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:
- Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
- Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
- Roar – Katy Perry
- Biscuits – Kacey Musgraves
- Brave – Sara Bareilles
- Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
- Honey, I’m Good – Andy Grammer
- Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson (ft. Justin Timberlake)
- HandClap – Fitz and the Tantrums
- Electric Love – BØRNS
- Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
- 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.