Modern Nostalgia · Music · Nostalgia

Music Monday Bonus: Music that Speaks to Your Heart (and Soul)


Since my daughter Zoey was about 2, she’s had a handful of favorite songs, and while they’re all different genres, there are similarities among them: they’re catchy, easy to sing to, they have a good beat, and they make you want to dance. If she could make a playlist of her favorites, it would probably consist of the following songs:

  1. Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
  2. Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
  3. Roar – Katy Perry
  4. Biscuits – Kacey Musgraves
  5. Brave – Sara Bareilles
  6. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
  7. Honey, I’m Good – Andy Grammer
  8. Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson (ft. Justin Timberlake)
  9. HandClap – Fitz and the Tantrums
  10. Electric Love – BØRNS
  11. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
  12. Brand New – Ben Rector

I know I’m biased and all, but that’s actually a pretty darn good mix, don’t you think? Just looking at that list makes me happy.

Because music is such an important part of my life, I want it to play an important role in Zoey’s life, too. As you can tell from the playlist above, I’m constantly exposing her to new music. Right now in the car we have a CD filled with 93 songs on it, and Zoey will often give me her comments from the backseat in the form of either a thumbs up or thumbs down, or a “Play it louder!” or “Skip!” comment.

Tonight as we were driving home, Zoey’s new favorite song came on. It’s a catchy little county song called Jet Black Pontiac by Chase Bryant. Personally, I think it’s a pretty good pick, because every time it comes on, I find myself singing and tapping on the steering wheel, and my feet start getting that twitch, the one that tells me they just want to move.

Since she knows all the words, Zoey belted her little heart out to it, and after the song was over, I turned the volume down so we could talk.

“Zoey, don’t you just love music?” I ask.

“I do. It’s the best.” She sighs, and in the rear-view mirror, I see her smiling. She is gazing out the window at the Christmas lights we are passing as we drive through a quiet neighborhood.

“I mean, I don’t know about you, but it all just speaks to my soul,” I tell her as we stop at a stop sign.

“Mama,” Zoey says very matter-of-factly, “It doesn’t just speak to my soul, it speaks to my HEART.” As I turn to look at her, she moves her little hand to her chest and points to where her little/big heart lives.

“I totally get that, Z. So how does Jet Black Pontiac speak to your heart?” I ask, curious.


“That’s easy,” she answers. “It’s happy, and I like the beat, and it makes me want to dance, and I really like how he sounds out the word ‘Pontiac.’ I bet he probably did really well in Kindergarten, because we’re sounding out words, and that one’s a tough one. Oh, and he says the word baby a lot, which makes me think about you because I’ll always be your baby. And that makes me happy, too.”

A pretty simple explanation, but pretty perfect, too. And it got me thinking about what songs speak to my heart and soul. I have so many of them that it’s difficult to pick only a few. A song can speak to you for many reasons, but the best part is that it speaks to you in the first place. Your experience with that song is your own, and your interpretation of it is yours and yours alone.

So while I take the time to ponder this one, I’ll throw the question out there to you: What piece of music or song speaks to your heart? What lyrics make your soul sing? What is that one song that comes on the radio or that song that you hear after not hearing it for 2o years that makes your heart say, ‘Oh yes, that feels like home’? Or what is the song that you will hear 20 years from now that will make you have nostalgia for this time right now, the song that will make you say, ‘I remember when….’ as a smile spreads across your face?

Share it with us in the comments below, and next week, when I report back on my soul-speaking songs, we’ll include some of your favorites (and comments), too. We can’t wait to hear what moves you.




12 thoughts on “Music Monday Bonus: Music that Speaks to Your Heart (and Soul)

  1. Absolutely LOVE your post. I couldn’t imagine my life without music (and the fact that I’m a musician). Ironically, every song from your playlist is a regular listen on my phone. Music does speak to me. And, like Z, I love happy music…stuff that makes me walk/run with a bounce in my step. However, there are songs that cause me to reflect.

    Recently, Brad Paisley released a song called “Today”. You should check it out!And, being the sappy fool that I am, I actually teared up as I listened to it. Being a single Dad, I thought of my three kids, and some great memories.

    Music, both listening and playing, is my Zen. It washes away pain and heartache for me. I love it. Thanks for sharing this…it made my day.

    1. I heard “Today” on my drive home this afternoon. You are no fool – I think anyone would tear up to this! I thought the song was really perfect for this blog, actually, especially with the lines “I don’t know about tomorrow, But right now the whole world is right, And the memory of a day like today, Could get you through the rest of your life.” Lyrics like that speak to my soul, too. Thank you so much for sharing! We hope you continue to enjoy our Music Monday posts!

  2. First thing…Zoey is utterly adorable!!! 🙂 As for a song that makes me feel nostalgic, there is a long list. However, going back to when I first started to make a point of seeking comfort and connection in pop music, I think back to the tiny Christian school I attended in grade 7 and 8….someone had donated music and one of the albums was a Johnny Horton one…of the many songs I loved, I loved “Whispering Pines” best…I was so drawn to sad songs for years and decades….I still am, but not overwhelming so, anymore. A more contemporary/old school song I will always love is “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

      1. Another time, I will tell you about driving in my car, last week, singing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at the top of my lungs, while tears rolled down my cheeks….actually, I will probably mention it in my next, or an upcoming post, and include mention of your blog 🙂

  3. I know this sounds horrible, but I’m not really a music person. i didn’t get to much music growing up. It wasn’t until I was in college that I even really got to listen to any and it never really became a thing for me. I do try and sing songs to my little boys and we dance to toddler radio.

  4. She seems to have a wonderful and eclectic taste in music, I love it! I also love her answer for why the song speaks to her heart. I feel the same way about music, I think that it can be so powerful and it often gives me shivers or brings me to tears.

  5. She sounds like such a fabulous little girl! Ya know, I’m lucky that my son is really in love with music, too! I hoped it would be a passion we could share!

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