You know that I don’t actually really make mix tapes, or recorded one in my life, ever? I mean the actual cassette tapes, because I made mix CDs as gifts to friends (and crushes), because it was fun and I was one of the first few who had CD burner before every household that had a computer had it. I remember making this a Valentine’s Day playlist in college (ooh, idea for next year) and gave it to several friends because why can’t I give a gift to my friends on Valentine’s Day?
While I haven’t made mix CDs / tapes for other people, I still make playlists for myself. Like I mentioned in previous related posts, you can tell my mood mostly from the music I listen to (or the lyrics I tweet).
So for my first 2013 recap, I present you my soundtrack for 2013. 13 songs for 2013, songs that aren’t included in the “EP” I listed earlier this year. :D
Warning: #feels all over.
(But perhaps not the kind of feels you are expecting.)
1. Start With Meby Meredith Andrews (Worth It All)
My life is an empty cup
Fill it up, fill it up!
I wanna hear every rescued heart cry
You’re enough, You’re enough!
Break what needs breaking
‘Til You’re all we see
And start with me, start with me, yeah
I heard this song in one Boundless podcast and immediately bought it. I think it was one of those nights at work when I had a hard time sitting still, and this song helped me be still in so many ways. This also became my Lent song.
2. Not With Hasteby Mumford & Sons (Babel)
And I will love with urgency but not with haste
Funny thing: when I first tried to listen to a Mumford & Sons song during one road trip, I didn’t like them that much because I didn’t really like their sounds. And then, my favorite adopted brother gave me this song for my 27th birthday, and I learned to listen to their lyrics…and well, wow. That’s all I can say: wow.
3. Against the Grain by City and Colour (Bring Me Your Love)
When all the hard times outweigh the good,
And all your words are misunderstood,
When the day seems lost from the start
You must follow your heart
Another one from The Birthday Connivance CD that some of my best friends gave me. This also isn’t something that I would normally listen to, but when songs come from a friend, it just makes sense you’d listen to them more, right? This became one of my “keep calm” songs in the past year, and I have a feeling it will still be that. (Also, this live performance is really very nice.)
4. St. Patrick’s Day by John Mayer (Room for Squares)
And if our always is all that we gave
And we someday take that away
I’ll be alright if it was just ’til St. Patrick’s Day
This is the third song on this list from my Birthday CD, and well, it’s kind of obvious that this song was given to me because my birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day. There’s a longer story behind this that I will just keep to myself, but suffice to say, this was one of those songs that played a big part in my life this year. (If you know why…then just nod, and leave it at that. :P)
5. Gratitude by Nichole Nordeman (Woven and Spun)
We’ll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
April was one of those difficult months this year, so much that I still cringe when I remember it. Sometime during the end of April, this song came up on shuffle and it was like I finally found the light switch that would stop me from groping in the dark. This song was a reminder of not just gratitude but also of grace, and how I must learn to give thanks, even if things aren’t going my way. (And this is a lesson I needed to learn for the rest of the year, too!)
6. The Sophomoreby Ben Rector (Songs that Duke Wrote)
It’s like learning how to drive on a crowded highway.
Whether this dies or stays alive, I did it my way.
I know that the adventure’s gone,
But it’s the second time I find that what is lost is replaced by grace that I find
I’m pretty sure this song was written for and about Ben Rector’s sophomore album (hence the title), but this song meant so much more to me when I heard it. It was one of those hard times again, and somehow, this song made it to my list, and I had it on repeat for days. Somehow the lyrics just said all that I felt, and it was like Ben understood (except maybe he was really just talking about his album here). There’s so much I don’t know.
7. Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser (Albertine)
When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in you
This is another old one that I listened to a lot years ago, and when it came to a time when I needed to make a major decision in my life this year, this song calmed me down. Talk about really, really walking with shadowfeet. There’s a line there that says: There’s distraction buzzing in my head saying in the shadows it’s easier to stay / but I’ve heard rumours of true reality whispers of a well-lit way. This song is almost like a promise, and it is true — because when I found that my world is falling, I was found in Him.
8. Good to Me by Audrey Assad (Fortunate Fall)
Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I will trust in Your promise
Oh, my heart. This song literally came out on the day I needed it the most. Noisetrade released two free Audrey Assad songs on one of those really terrible days I had this year. The moment I heard the first verse of Good to Me on my way to work, I wanted to just stop and start bawling because it was exactly what I needed to hear. I really ended up crying my eyes out to the song later on, and this song was a constant companion in the days and months following that. (This, and all of Audrey’s Fortunate Fall album. Definitely the best album of the year for me. :D)
9. Replace Me by Andrew Belle (All Those Pretty Lights EP)
I’m fighting sleep right now don’t matter why or how
I walked, through the thickness of your heart
Straight through the middle of your deepest darkest dream
To be totally honest, I really couldn’t relate to this one that much, especially after I read the lyrics now. However, this song earned a spot in my 2013 playlist because one Sunday when I needed a song to cry to, and this was the saddest one I could find in my hard drive, which was attached to the TV. I didn’t have the energy to make a playlist because I needed my phone to make calls for the entire day.1 Listening to this song doesn’t make me sad about what made me sad that day when I listen to it now, but it just makes me a little sad because I got sad. (Oh, so meta!)
10. Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles (Kaleidoscope Heart)
Open up next to you and my secrets become your truth
And the distance between that was sheltering me comes in full view
Hang my head, break my heart built from all I have torn apart
And my burden to bear is a love I can’t carry anymore
And then, oh, my heart. One of my closest friend’s ultimate Sara Bareilles’ song is Gravity. I loved that song, I thought it was too sad and I couldn’t really relate. Then I was on a Sara Bareilles kick,2 and I heard Breathe Again, and almost burst into tears. I sent a message to my friend after I listened to this to say, “This is my Gravity!” Sigh. This song still makes me sad — but then again, I think anyone who hears this song will be sad, whether you could relate to it or not.
11. Tuloy Pa Rin by Neocolours (Sce: Tuloy Pa Rin)
Tuloy pa rin ang awit ng buhay ko
Nagbago man ang hugis ng puso mo
Handa na ‘kong hamunin ang aking mundo
‘Pagkat tuloy pa rin
So I was in a cab in Subic with some SFC friends, on our way back to the conference site after we went to the hotel when this song played. We started singing in the cab, and…you know those moments when you hear a song that you’ve heard and probably sung for a long time and then it hits you that it’s one perfect song for your situation? It was that kind of moment. I downloaded the song when I got home, after I tried to find the artist. I thought it was Side A who sang the original version of this (it sounded like them!), but apparently it wasn’t. Anyway, one of my friends said this is such a “good vibes” song, and I really, really agree. :)
12. The Heart of the Matter by India.Arie (Testimony Vol. 1: Life & Relationship)
I’ve been learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning them again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
My best friend loves the Songza app, and so when I was in Guam, I decided to use it because I was sort of getting tired of the music I have. I was listening to the Female Singer-Songwriter channel when this song played, and the first few lines hit me. Unfortunately, you can’t replay songs on Songza, so I listened to the same channel until I heard the song again, and listened to all the lyrics. Then I bought the song, because why not? Oh my stars, this song is just perfect in so many ways.
13. I’ll Be Okay by Amanda Marshall (My Best Friend’s Wedding OST)
Throw away the chains
Let love fly away
Till love comes again
I’ll be okay
Here’s a funny story: I only watched My Best Friend’s Wedding in full early this year. I remember smiling at the end of the movie, grateful that I can’t relate to Julia Roberts’ character. I liked the movie, though, and I thought the movie’s ending was really great, because those things really happen, right?3 But I liked it a lot, and I remembered this song at the end of the movie that I downloaded right after because I thought it was nice and something that I should have in my phone — just in case. And now that the year is almost over, I found I was right back then — I needed this in my playlist.
* * *
This was a little harder this year, I think! But if you know me in real life, then you probably understand most of my song choices here (and probably even point to the exact moment I started putting some of these songs on repeat!). Truly, the songs I listen to really show a lot about how my day/week/month went. But here’s to more music in 2014.4 Feel free to stalk/add me on last.fm! :)
So now I throw the question back to you: what song(s) describe your 2013?