Songs That Define Me

I'm obviously really late to the Helene In Between party because she has thousands of followers, including most of my favorite blog friends. How did I let her slip through the cracks? She commented on one of my posts last week, so I went and checked out her blog and now I'm following her everywhere, like a proper stalker blogger. And it was just in time for her "Songs That Define Me" linkup. 

Helene in Between

If you asked my friends they'd all say No Doubt, Britney Spears, and Blink-182 remind them of me, but I don't think that defines me. I definitely have some songs that speak to me or for me, but that post could get deep and drawn out. Instead, I'm just going to talk about the songs that connect me to memories of times, places or people in my life. Just remember, I was a child of the '80s and teen of the '90s. Some of you might not remember this stuff. And a lot of it is really embarrassing. 

As a kid, my cassette tape collection consisted of pop music and movie soundtracks. I spent the majority of my time making up choreography with my sister and our best friends so we could put on lip-syncing concerts for our neighbors. For more info and an awkward picture of our performance, see here. I don't know how I got so lost and strayed from my pop star dream.

I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany
Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Papa Don't Preach - Madonna
Cold Hearted - Paula Abdul
Step by Step - New Kids on the Block
Then I hit middle school and it was all about the inappropriate-for-my-age sexy slow jams. At after school socials in the small gym, my girl friends and I would sway back and forth, singing with such emotion to these songs played by a local DJ under a disco ball. All while the boys played basketball in the big gym. Clearly they were too immature to grasp the romance involved with slow dances.

If I Ever Fall in Love Again - Shai
That's The Way Love Goes - Janet Jackson
End of the Road - Boyz II Men
Freak Me - Silk
Weak - SWV
Knockin' Da Boots - H-Town

Knockin' da Boots by H-Town on Grooveshark

Middle school is when I got into rap too. Sure, Ice Ice Baby was my introduction to the genre, but I stuck with it and memorized all of Dr. Dre's The Chronic and Snoop's Doggystyle albums. Um, where were my parents? This music was also not ok for a 7th grader! I can honestly say that I had no idea what most of it meant. I was a naive goody-goody.

Regulate - Warren G ft. Nate Dogg
Summertime - Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff
Snoop Dogg - Lodi Dodi
Poison - Bell Biv Devoe
Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang - Dr. Dre

In 9th grade I started paying attention to the alternative radio station. Except, I wasn't into all the grunge they were playing. No grunge in Seattle? Sacrilege! I preferred the pop/alt hits.

Runaway Train - Soul Asylum
No Rain - Blind Melon
Stay (I Missed You) - Lisa Loeb
Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
What's Up - 4 Non Blondes

But my R&B days weren't behind me. I was still listening to it well into high school. What can I say? I was diverse.

Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio
Waterfalls - TLC
This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan
Freak Like Me - Adina Howard
Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days) - Monica

With grunge fading out in the late '90s, I got a lot more interested in alternative music. These are just a few songs that remind me of high school the second I hear the first few notes.

Santa Monica - Everclear
Come Out and Play - The Offspring
Wonderwall - Oasis
What I Got - Sublime
I Got A Girl - Tripping Daisy

I also discovered that girls could rock. Courtney Love was my first real girl crush. I loved everything about her. She was messy, loud and rude. She screamed instead of sang. She wore torn up flowery vintage dresses with Doc Martens or Mary Janes. She had ratty hair and smeared lipstick and eyeliner. Plus, she was insanely talented. I wanted to be her. Alanis Morrisette also stole my heart because her music was the perfect soundtrack to my high school relationship. Read more about that here.

One of Us - Joan Osborne
Stupid Girl - Garbage
You Oughta Know - Alanis Morrisette
Miss World - Hole
Angry Johnny - Poe

I also got into ska in high school. It was just so light and happy compared to the dark days of grunge we were used to. And who didn't love to skank? I still love to put on a good ska album on a sunny summer day.

I Know - Save Ferris
Room Without a Window - Operation Ivy
She Has a Girlfriend Now - Reel Big Fish
Time Bomb - Rancid
Here In Your Bedroom - Goldfinger

In college, I worked at a daycare as a Kindergarten co-teacher and in the after school program. The kids reintroduced me to pop music. Just as I did, the girls spent their time on the playground making up dance routines and learning all the words to their favorite new songs off Radio Disney. I quickly jumped on this bandwagon because the music was just so fun and addicting. And it totally made me the "cool" teacher. I embraced pop music and never looked back.

Wannabe - Spice Girls
Crazy For You - *NSYNC
What a Girl Wants - Christina Aguilera
Crazy - Britney Spears
Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - Backstreet Boys

But I still had my alternative roots. I spent my weekends at concerts and music festivals, getting all banged up in the mosh pit. I was dehydrated, tired, sunburned, sore, and hungover for work and school on Monday, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything. And I still can't get enough of attending concerts to this day! 

Dammit - Blink-182
Glycerine - Bush
How's It Gonna Be - Third Eye Blind
Celebrity Skin - Hole
Steal My Sunshine - Len

When I finally moved away to college (I did two years at community first), my roommates, friends and I would get ready for a night of drinking while our TV was tuned into The Box. Do you remember this channel? MTV bought it in 2001 and turned it into MTV2, so maybe not. Anyway, it was an all music video channel where people could call in for $1.99 and vote on which song should be played next. These were our favorites:

Holler - Spice Girls
What's Your Fantasy - Ludacris
Simple Kind of Life - No Doubt
Big Pimpin' - Jay Z
Faded - Soul Decision

After graduation, I returned to my hometown to live with Jacob. I spent a good six months hitting the bars and clubs with the friends I reconnected with. These were our jams:

Dilemma -Nelly
Work It - Missy Elliot
Ignition - R Kelly 
How Many Licks - 'Lil Kim
Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love) - JC Chasez

And these were the pop songs we sang to at the top of our lungs in the car during the day:

Pieces of Me - Ashlee Simpson
True - Ryan Cabrera
Buttons - Pussycat Dolls
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Wind It Up - Gwen Stefani

I also got back into alternative music again. The up and coming bands were theatrical, their songs were more musical than ever, the lyrics contained story lines about love and heartbreak, and the lead singers were cute. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to get out and go to some concerts again, though I steered clear of the mosh pit in my old age. (I still haven't seen The Killers. They are on my must-see list).

I'm Not Okay (I Promise) - My Chemical Romance
So Contagious - Acceptance
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
I Write Sins Not Tragedies - Panic! At The Disco
All That I've Got - The Used

Then I got married, had kids, lost my identity, and stopped listening to music. Just joking! But going through my recent history is kind of boring, so I'll just share my favorite songs of the moment.

Applause - Lady Gaga
Kanye West - Black Skinhead
Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus
Stubborn Love - The Lumineers
Bubble Butt - Major Lazer
Lorde - Royals
Miss Jackson - Panic! At The Disco

  I have the strangest taste.
Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me!


Jen said...

This post could have been written by me! I love that Panic song!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

So so so many of these are on my list too.

I was too lazy to do this post today, I might do it tomorrow!

Misty said...

This is why we're friends. We're pretty much the same person. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who listened to Shai, H-Town and Silk. I was just telling Tony that's why I used to stay up late and watch Arsenio. He always had the hottest R&B, hip hop and rap artists on his show.

I would just like to copy this list, insert Kid Rock where Blink-182 is. I forgot all about Poe. Love her!

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

I could probably just copy and paste this! SAME! So many good songs :) Montell Jordan is on my MUST-PLAY list for the wedding!

Helene said...

you are too sweet! so glad to have you linking up!! so that tiffany song brings back VIVID memories from when i was young, that song was my jam! adding that to my playlist!

Melanie Montgomery said...

ha, I love Regulate! And of course Gangsta's Paradise and Waterfalls brought me back.

Alisha Byrd said...

Your list def just made me want to put together another playlist! So many memories!!

Alisha @'The Alisha Nicole

Gi said...

Love your song list! So in depth and had some amazing songs listed.
Great post.

Jo said...

I love this post, found that I was nodding along thinking, yip, listend to that, and that and that :)

Kate said...

What a fun post! Lots of these are on my list and I will be adding a bunch more thanks to your post