In this scene of my life, there is music. Good music. Music I dance to, sing along with and listen to while I work and make pancakes and drink my seventh cup of coffee and drive to preschool and wiggle into lacy new bras and take long bubble baths.
As a part of reclaiming nearly the whole CD collection (except for some key guitar riff-driven reminders I do not need coming through the speakers....yes, that's a big, smiling buh-bye to you, Rusted Root!), I also listen to music while I do all the things I haven't done in years or ever -- while I am dutifully paying bills on time, strategizing how to get a month's worth of grocery shopping done in the twenty minutes I have left before the boy is dropped off and talking to my grrrlfriends late into the night.
I've dug back into boxes and pulled out CDs and mix tapes I haven't heard since long before I met the Almost-Ex. Those songs seem to call to me as I remember who I was before that love scene became several long acts.
Now, words and direction are appearing on pages that were once blank. Now, there is also new music playing in the background. For months, I've wanted to write down what plays at certain times, to create some kind of soundtrack for all of this. And now, it is time.
This first playlist is an easy pick: Songs for moving on. It's where we're starting because it's where it all starts. Simple (and complicated) as that.
Whether you are a single parent entering or exiting stage left or are leaving a job or need some new music in your own speakers, I hope you enjoy.
And for the record, my iPod is about as functional as the oversized, soy butter and fishy cracker caked extra remote control we have floating around here for some reason. For that reason, we're kicking it YouTube style this set, my friends.
If this music isn't your style or I've left out a critical song, make some suggestions. Some days I'm just happy not to hear the theme song to Caillou or Lazy Town again, for God's sake, so I won't be offended if I'm not exactly on top of things over here. And not to worry, we are so going to get to the songs of bitterness, raunchiness, cussing and Justin Timberlake. All in good time, mamas. All in good time.
Click and cook or coffee or clear your mind or pack your own CDs up (after the jump, of course). Cheers to you and whatever plays out in your next scene.
Single Moms Playlist: Songs for moving on
Missy Higgins * Steer
Play this one over and over until the words sink in, especially the line about your heart being fierce. It will do you good, I promise.
Tegan and Sara * Call It Off
Hey, we all have apprehension, right? And it's here in this song. The good thing is, there's some base driving it on anyway.
I wasn't kidding when I said I dusted off the old jams. This song still has it, though.
U2 * Walk On
I am not a big U2 fan (feel free to give me the same look that one Irish fling from the summer of '93 gave me when I said that, wearing a body suit and baggy jeans and huge, Rosie Perez hoop earrings...it's all good). But this song, I cannot resist. (The link is better than the embedded video, just so you don't curse the audio too much).
Love the lines that say "She's off on her own/ And she knows now/ Is greater than the whole of the past/ Is greater and now she knows."
Well, of course they do. But I love this song. It's the 14-year old pop song queen inside of me. I can't help it.
OK, it's a little bit depressing. But really, it's an ass-kicking kind of depressing message.
Mmm-mmm-mmm. Now if Ben Harper can't convince you to move on, kitten, who can?
Because the reality is, sometimes we are left. And no matter who does the leaving, we still have to close the door behind it all. I like the matter-of-factness of this one.
Oh Emerson Hart, with your straight-forwardness and vulnerable edge. You go on, boy. You tell me to look onward.
Alicia Keys featuring John Mayer * Lesson Learned
I could add a new lesson every week. And you know what? I am getting smarter. Or at least wiser. You get that. And hell, it's just fine to have JoMay telling us over and over it's alright, mamas.
You must love a woman who says it like.it.is. Plus, one who wears yellow tights because it's...I don't know, Tuesday. That's my grrrl Kate Nash.
Even if you do, in fact, want to be a man's woman, it's cool. You will still be humming this song when you do his laundry and mix up his ramen. Swearsy.
Yeah yeah yeah, more back and forthishness but still the message of letting go. Plus, Lil E and I put this one on repeat and sing it over and over and gloriously over. (P.S. I hate when embedding is disabled. Damn you, Youtube fascists!)
"I hear in my mind all of these voices / I hear in my mind all of these words / I hear in my mind all of this music / And it breaks my heart." Even so, I can't help but feel good when I hear this song. And this should feel mostly good. This does feel mostly good (eventually).
A long time ago, I sang this really loud in the car with my mom, windows rolled down and heat pouring out of the air conditioner. Sometimes this song comes to mind, usually quite appropriately. Not sure if it's nostalgia or just an easy metaphor that I love, but this one had to be the unapologetic farewell on this playlist.