invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

songs and what they mean to me December 16, 2008

Filed under: life,love,mental illness,pain,peace,stigma — clementine @ 4:12 pm

Music has become a big part of my life. It brings out emotions when I need to feel them. sadness. happiness. love. pain. anger.

Here are a few of my favorite songs and why:
(for some reason wordpress will not allow me to embed the audio)

Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell
Sure, befriending her a few years ago has something to do with this. But more importantly her words speak to all of us. I listen to this song frequently and it has taught me a lot about LIFE.
click here to listen

Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen
I’m not that ‘music savvy’ however, I believe we can all interpret music in our own way. This song is very special. When I hear the lyrics:

It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher
Pressure on people – people on streets

I think of the mentally ill screaming, let me out! the people on the streets, the homeless. we are all just as important. I have a BIG, probably impossible dream of someday using all of my contacts in the film/music industry and putting together a large event with 50 or more actors, artists, musicians, etc. who all come together on one stage to send the message- WE ARE ALL ONE….LET’S COME TOGETHER AND END THE MENTAL ILLNESS STIGMA. I imagine several people singing this particular song and as I’m driving in my car listening to it, dreaming, it sometimes makes me cry. Who knows…maybe someday, anything is possible.
click here to listen

I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty
very similar to the above. this would be one of the songs played. why? when i listen to this song I think of one thing—I won’t back down, I will not let my illness defeat me. I will fight big pharma and the evil that surrounds them in the mental health world. For example, Stephany at soulful sepulcher is a true example of never backing down. And I dream of her being there on stage, with her daughter, singing along with Tom Petty.
click here to listen

Just Like Honey by The Jesus and Mary Chain
I just simply love this song. I haven’t quite figured out why. But it does remind me of a favorite film of mine, Lost in Translation.
click here to listen

Low Rider by War
This song makes me happy and reminds me of one of my favorite actors. I won’t name who but this song played during a scene of his. And I clearly remember that day and his undying kindness to me.
click here to listen

Something to Talk About by Badly Drawn Boy
I was introduced to this song while watching the film, About A Boy. It’s a great song and a heartbreaking but beautiful film…watch it…you will cry and smile.
click here to listen

Lithium by Nirvana
Brilliant. and no explanation needed.
click here to listen

La Valse D’Amélie, Tiny Dancer and Stray Cat Strut
Three songs that always make me smile. and cheer me up.
-Amelie is probably my all time favorite film and love the entire soundtrack.
-Tiny Dancer reminds me of a night when a bunch of my friends gathered at my old apartment and we all started singing this song, even the guys…some were a bit high which made it even better!
-Stray Cat Strut just makes me want to dance, dance, dance and I can’t dance.
listen to La Valse D’Amelie
listen to Tiny Dancer
listen to Stray Cat Strut

Hard Times, Hurt, Where is My Mind, Mad World
These four songs bring out the strongest emotions, although I find it healthy and therapeutic.
-Hard Times (written by a distant relative of mine, Stephen Foster) Below are 2 versions of the song, one covered by Bob Dylan and the other by East Mountain South. I’ve blogged about the special meaning behind this song numerous times.
-Hurt by Johnny Cash. A painful, beautiful song by a great, great man.
-Where is My Mind by the The Pixies. Not necessarily depressing but the title is a constant question of mine.
-Mad World, the Michael Andrews & Gary Jules cut from Donnie Darko. Completely depressing but I totally get it and absolutely love this version. and Donnie Darko is a film everyone should see.

Bob Dylan\'s cut of Hard Times
eastmountain south cut of Hard Times
listen to Hurt
listen to Where Is My Mind
listen to Mad World

Fuel by Ani DiFranco
damn. this song is powerful and very political. i love it.

(don’t worry about the quality-just LISTEN! and the embedding is disabled so when you click play and it gives you that disabled message, click ‘you tube’ on bottom right corner and it will open new window)

Broken by Robert Downey, Jr.
Yes, that Robert Downey, Jr, the actor. I have always been a fan of his and will be terrified if I ever have to work with him. My respect for him cannot be explained. His album, The Futurist” I believe was made to heal old wounds and I believe it freed him. And yet, unlike most artists who sober up, he just continues to surprise, create beautiful art and performances.
listen to Broken

Leif Erikson by Interpol and Everybody Here Wants You by Jeff Buckley
These both have a special place in my heart. When we first starting dating my swain made me a mix CD and on it, one of the songs was ‘Leif Erikson’. It is our song. He also introduced me to Interpol, a group I now adore. Check out their video for ‘Evil’ below, brilliant! So, Jeff Buckley, very special in many ways. the smell of coffee and lilac skin. All things I choose to keep private but I love my swain for opening my heart. and I miss Jeff Buckley.

listen to Leif Erikson
listen to Everybody Here Wants You

also, if you’re not familiar with the genius feature at iTunes, I highly suggest it….

hope you enjoyed and feel free to add your favorites in the comments!


7 Responses to “songs and what they mean to me”

  1. Stephany Says:

    Under pressure was my personal ‘theme song’ and i would blast it in the car when i was prepping for bankruptcy court, etc. and ‘won’t back down’ is another one of my fav’s too. ironically, i have had a dream where i am part of a convention of sorts…and when they introduce me to speak, i walk out on stage and my daughter is with me. maybe one day it would happen.

  2. Alicia Says:

    “Music has become a big part of my life. It brings out emotions when I need to feel them. sadness. happiness. love. pain. anger.”

    That is exactly how I feel! Too, you and I have very similar tastes in music.

  3. giannakali Says:

    thank you…we like a lot of the same music..

    and I totally can’t thank you enough for turning me onto Robert Downey JRs work…

    I too have an unexplainable adoration for him…always have…through his whole career ups and downs!!

    thanks very much for fleshing him out for me some more…

  4. clementine Says:


    I feel the same way about Robert, have always loved him through his ups and downs.

    Do you remember the video he did for Elton John back in 2001? I remember it because I think I watched it at least 100 times. His eyes were both alive and dead at the same time and it really spoke to me.

    if you have not seen it, here is the link:

  5. Jane Says:

    Johny Cash did not write hurt. Trent Reznor wrote it for his Nine Inch Nails album, ‘The Downward Spiral’.

    I’ve heard it every time I have seen NIN in concert and the visuals are amazing.

    My last suicide attempt was to that track. I was listening to it in my car when I ODed.

    when I survived I remembered the words, ‘If I could start again, a million miles away, I would keep myself, I would find a way.’

    and I did.

  6. clementine Says:

    My swain is all too familiar with NIN and Johnny Cash-fans of both. He can’t listen to Hurt because he was a cutter and it’s just too painful for him. One night I was playing the Cash version of Hurt and my swain went into a very dark place that took awhile to get out of..I will never make that mistake again.

    I am sorry if I brought up a horrible, sad experience by listing that song. It was more about Johnny the man I respect AND the lyrics which are so very painful. something we all can relate to. and sometimes even more painful as with you and my swain.

    my best to you and that last part you wrote from the lyrics…beautiful…there is beauty in darkness, that much I know from experience.

  7. Jane Says:

    Don’t be sorry for bringing it up. It’s not painful at all.

    I look back on those days and smile at how lost I was that a song like that could and would get me to thinking about how painful and futile life was to me then.

    There was a time when I could not listen to my beloved NIN because it would trigger my own inner downward spiral.

    I have no triggers around that kind of stuff anymore.

    It’s great to be able to listen to emotionally moving music like that again and enjoy it and not have it destabilize me.

    I hope your swain is able to find some healing. I know from my own past that life is not fun when you are locked out because of all your triggering stuff.

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