Every year Michael and I each write an anniversary post. From ridiculous habits to sweet letters and crappy portraits, we felt like we'd covered it all. While trying to think of a topic for the "Big 5" we decided it'd be fun to have a post dedicated to music. We each came up with five songs that were tied to specific (and some not-so-specific) memories. There were only two rules: we couldn't share the songs with each other until I hit "post" and we weren't allowed to use our first dance song (Jack Johnson's "Better Together"). Simple enough. Here we go.
The first song to come to mind is "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder. You're going to need some background before I go any further. There's something wrong with me. I don't think they can medicate for my particular condition but I have a severe case. Any time of day or night in any surrounding, I can start singing a song out loud. These songs tend to be of the embarrassingly awful variety. Also, they're usually songs I haven't heard in over 5 years. I never know more than one line of any given song. One full line is generous. Humming is necessary. It's annoying for everyone around. I love it. The only part of this particular Stevie Wonder song that I know is the title, and I still mess that up. I left it as a message for Meredith once and I sang it as "I just came to say I love you." I was calling her, that was the reason I thought of the song, and yet I still messed up the one line I knew. It's become a running joke now and the only time I sing it correctly is when I forget how the song truly goes and accidentally sing it with the actual lyrics. While we were dating the song was my ringtone on Meredith's phone.
My second song is "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab For Cutie. Meredith introduced me to The Postal Service but when they turned out to be a one and done collaboration, we steered over to DCFC. We've seen them in concert four times now and they're great every time. The first time we saw them was at Cain's in Tulsa. We were with a group of friends and we all got sushi beforehand. Someone supposedly in the know texted one of us and let us know they wouldn't be coming on stage until at least 9:00 if not later. For some reason this prompted us to order another round of sushi. When we had eaten that and paid we walked to Cain's fat and happy. We were really surprised to learn that the opening act was still on stage. Then we realized it wasn't the opening act, but indeed DCFC, and they had been on for an hour already. I think we heard 3.5 songs, but the last one was "Transatlanticism." It was the first time I had heard it and I loved it. It's been the last song they play at every concert we've been to so I always think of that night.
Song #3 is "Work" (Demo Version) by Jimmy Eat World. It doesn't really have to be "Work," it's more the Demo sides of the Futures album. We found out pretty quickly after we met that we both loved Jimmy Eat World. That ended up being the first concert we went to together, which was also the first weekend I visited Ft. Smith and met her parents. Futures had been out a couple of months and I asked her if she owned it, which she did. Then I asked if she bought the deluxe edition that had the second CD of Demos, and she had done that as well. This was a small attempt to prove that I was a bigger Jimmy Eat World fan and impress her, but apparently I wasn't, and I didn't. Still a great CD though, and that weekend of the concert was so much fun because the drive from Ft. Smith to the concert took a while, leaving us plenty of time to talk and get to know each other and play stupid driving games.
Song #4 is "Man in the Mirror" by the sparkly gloved one. I like quite a few Michael Jackson songs. I remember listening to his cassette tapes on my Sony "My First Walkman" on long car rides growing up. However, Meredith LOVES MJ. I'm pretty sure "Man in the Mirror" is her favorite of his and it doesn't hit quite the same chord with me. I've gotten myself in trouble trying to change a radio station while it was playing. I guess the song seems a little hypocritical at this point. It's supposed to be some inspirational song, yet the man he saw in the mirror was slowly changing into a Hogwarts ghost. Nearly Noseless Mike is not the MJ I'll choose to remember.
I'm saving #5 for a small collection. We listened to a lot of Damien Rice early on and listening to it now I'm not sure how we didn't go into deep states of depression. We both hold an equal disdain for Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber songs. If we don't, she plays it off really well. We did a Sunday School lesson using DCFC's "I Will Possess Your Heart." I think we pulled it off but felt a little creepy the more I paid attention to the lyrics. I like to listen to the classical radio station sometimes on the drive home, usually to preserve my sanity. That music is repulsive to Meredith. We both really enjoyed the movie Across the Universe and we bought the soundtrack afterward. I imagine we'll be hearing a lot more "Hey Jude" in the near future. "18th Floor Balcony" by Blue October makes Meredith cry. (So do all Google Chromecommercials.) I have a habit of buying an artist's worst album. The last two concerts we went to BC (before children) were Snow Patrol and DCFC with an orchestra. The orchestra was a great touch and Snow Patrol was nice because the first time we bought tickets to see them I got sick and had to send Meredith with a friend instead. We both know all the words to "Boyz-N-The Hood," as performed by Dynamite Hack, and they are terrible.
"The World You Love" - Jimmy Eat World
The week after Michael and I met in Tulsa (April 2005) he drove to Fort Smith, met my parents, and then the two of us drove to Conway to hear Jimmy Eat World in concert. I remember being so nervous about the 2-hour car ride (what if we ran out of things to talk about?!) but we had an absolute blast and have been together ever since. They'd recently come out with the Futures album and I listened to it every morning as I drove to work. This song is one of my two favorites from the album (the other is "Work") and every time I hear it I think of our first road trip/concert together and the year we spent dating long distance.
(Sidenote--The lyrics don't match the sentiment. Clearly.)
"The Luckiest" - Ben Folds
I don't have a specific memory tied to this song, I just know we both love it. It was a contender for our first dance but we decided it was too slow and (at the end) too sad. I remember listening to the lyrics and thinking, "I want a marriage like that." So far? So good.
"I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you..."
"Transatlanticism" - Death Cab for Cutie
We've been lucky enough to see Death Cab for Cutie in concert four times. The first time we were with friends and missed half the show (oops), the second time we were anxiously awaiting a job offer for Michael (we found out the next day we would be moving to Dallas), the third time I'd just shared with the blog world the struggles we'd been dealing with for almost a year, and the fourth time we'd just publicly announced we were expecting twins. Needless to say, I vividly remember how we felt at each of these concerts (well, maybe not so much the first). Transatlanticism is always the last song they play and hearing it live is just phenomenal thanks to the drummer. Gives you goosebumps every time. It is Michael's favorite song of theirs (no way could I pick just one). It repeats the same phrase over and over (and over), which is good because Michael has a very hard time remembering lyrics.
"Sleigh Ride" - Johnny Mathis
One of my absolute favorite things about Michael is his LOVE for Christmas. If you're around him you can't help but get excited too. He hums Christmas carols all year long, which drives me crazy but I know it's not intentional. He grew up listening to Johnny Mathis (among others) so when we made our first Christmas playlist as a married couple he made sure to include this song. So now I'm including it too.
"Hey Jude" - Joe Anderson (Across the Universe)
This one is a little obvious I suppose. Michael and I saw Across the Universe when we lived in Tulsa and both really enjoyed it. The lead character is named Jude and it's the first time we ever considered it as a possible name for our future son. While the Beatles are awesome (obviously), I love this version. And even though the lyrics are specifically speaking to Jude, I think of both of our babies each time I hear it. And then I bawl my eyes out.
"And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain. Don't carry the world upon your shoulders."