So as you are aware I post… very randomly and on random subjects because that’s how my brain works. I created this blog as a very free outlet for myself and I know in order to create an audience and to show my writing more I should be more consistent but such is not the case and I apologize.
Now, on to this blog post: These are my heart songs, the ones that somehow made a strong impact in my life. They are not exactly my top ten favorite songs of all time, but it’s more like their lyrics really got to me and either changed me or helped me or influenced me in some way. They each form a piece of my life.
They are in chronological order, starting with the oldest and ending with the most recent one. I can still hear most of them and feel a special connection to them. As a bonus, I titled this blog post “These are my heart songs” after “Heart songs” from Weezer. The first time I heard that song I cried when it got to the middle whereRivers Cuomo describes “Back in 1991, I wasn’t having any fun, ‘till my roommate said “come on” and put a brand new record on, had a baby on it, he was naked on it…” I didn’t need the name of the record he’s talking about, you probably don’t either. That is how important that album is. That is how a generation transcends through music.
Nirvana – Lithium
For a lonely, depression-prone teen like me, Nirvana was the one band I could count on to understand what I was going through. This particular song helped me realize that I was not the only one feeling sad and just trying to hang on. It was one of the reasons why I’ve always been on the creative side of the world, because I wanted to give back what I received. When Kurt died it felt like a bright star that was shining against all odds had sparked out. But I’m glad he was able to create the songs he did, because those mopey nights would have been gloomier without them.
No Doubt – Just A Girl
Say what you want about Gwen Stefani, I personally don’t like anything she has done after “Rocksteady” (and even that album is pushing it). In the 90s though, she rocked. I was not a Gwenabe, but she definitely showed me that it was possible to be feminine and cute and still rock out. Not to mention this song is a bit of a feminist song or at least it questions society. “I’m just a girl, and I’d rather not be, ‘cause they won’t let me out late at night…” It was my first exposure to this kind of lyrics and soon after I learned about the riot grrl movement.
The song has a second relevance in my life. Once I was driving home from work while on my third trimester of pregnancy. Suddenly this song came out on the radio and I started feeling kicks almost to the beat. We had performed an inconclusive ultrasound so we were not 100% certain of the gender of our baby. When the song stopped, my daughter stopped kicking. That moment I knew she was girl. I told my husband but he just laughed. Then we got another ultrasound and the tech said it was going to be a boy. I was perplexed, but I still didn’t believe him. When the doctor brought her out and said she was a girl I got the last laugh. No one believes this but I know it’s true. My daughter was letting me know through this song what her gender was!
Save Ferris – Everything I Want To Be
This song is part of a nearly flawless album, and it’s a shame the band didn’t make it. Still, I remember hearing this song and singing along to the lyrics with all the emotion behind it. “And everything I want to be/ is just another silly dream you see/ but I’ll keep dreaming just the same”. I’m already grown up and old but I’ll keep dreaming just the same, well maybe I’ll dream for my daughter’s dreams now more than mine. I’ve always been a dreamer so why stop now.
Bif Naked – Moment of Weakness
This is not a particularly great song and now that I saw the video again it doesn’t look as bada**. But back in the day Bif Naked made a great impression on me. First of all, I had never seen so many tattoos on a woman before. Even though they’re not great, they still amazed me and I just loved her look so much that I hope to one day be sleeved out on one arm. That may or may not happen due to financial and labor constraints but body art is still a big part of my life. Also the exes on her hands were my first exposure to the straight edge movement. The orange pants… well… because the 90s.
Sekta Core – Pobrero
By the mid 90s I was in Mexico City listening to a lot of sad, dark music and I was growing tired of it. Nirvana was gone, grunge was dead and it was time to look for something new. That’s when mexska came into my life. Mexska is the official/unofficial genre of music that loosely describes the music scene that mixed ska with cumbia, salsa, rock, punk, reggae and a whole bunch of other genres and subgenres but in the center of it is ska. Bands like La Tremenda Korte, Panteon Rococo, Sekta Core, Nana Pancha, Salon Victoria, Inspector, Revuelta Propia and many more formed part of the scene. Most of these bands I’m sure are unheard of outside of the Latino world but suffice it say it was a scene I am happy to have been a part of and to have been there right when the whole thing exploded was a great experience and I hope that every music fan gets to experience something similar because it is quite frankly the most amazing thing that can happen.
By the late 90s I started a website covering the scene. Many people criticized it, many people still do, especially the purists who believe it was a sort of deformed transformation of ska but I could care less. I don’t really hear most of the bands anymore and if I’m being honest most of their early work was amateur but many of the songs still hold a special place in my heart and that will never change.
This song in particular is one of the most unique in terms of lyrics because it addresses an issue that I don’t think many bands have addressed. It is for that reason that I chose it and it took a while to choose just one because so many are very important to me.
The song is called “Pobrero” and it’s a play on words joining “pobre” which means poor and “obrero” which means worker. Part of the lyrics say “The street that you live on seems like a dumpster/ but you don’t care/ because you’re a [porker? I’m just joining poor and worker here and it even rhymes in English!]/ You’re always late when you go in to work/and that’s why you will never progress.”
Not caring about the community you live in, not caring about the quality of work that you put out, I think that’s one of the reasons that a society doesn’t improve. When you care, it shows. In Mexico, there are a lot of hard working honest people, but there are a lot of procrastinators as well, and many people who don’t care about their communities. There’s a lot of dead beat dads that spend half of their salary on beer and pay more attention to the soccer game than to their kids and wives. This creates a whole cycle of apathy that keeps going and that’s one of the reasons why Mexico can’t move forward.
Hatebreed – This is Now
After college I was depressed. I felt I still wasn’t a good enough writer in English and I went back to Mexico hoping to find work over there since most of my experience was writing in Spanish. When that didn’t happen I started staying at my mom’s house being a couch potato, binge drinking every weekend and just not caring at all. This song was like the slap in the face I needed. It came out of my screen, pulled out its hands and grabbed me by the shirt and just yelled at me until I woke up from the slumber I had gotten myself into. “How can I change tomorrow if can’t change today? This is Now, Now! If I control myself I control my destiny.” It worked more than all the sermons my mother tried on me. I quit moping around, got myself a job and met husband not long after that.
Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
This song is an incredibly inspiring, upbeat, and just plain awesome song. It still rocks, and I think it will always rock. It was inspiring and uplifting when it came it and even now when I’m having a self-doubt day if I hear this song I just feel great. “Everything, everything will be just fine, everything will be allright.” Sometimes I just need to hear that.
Jimmy eat world – A praise chorus
“Bleed American” is such a great album. The whole song is perfect for working out, bungee jumping, whatever your need. I love putting on when I need to pump myself for something, like a job interview, a serious meeting or a night out “I’m on my feet, I’m on the ground/ I’m good to go. And all I need is just to hear a song I know.” It doesn’t get any better than this.
Millencolin – Pepper
- “Baby what is that song from Millencolin?”
Yes, that’s how I asked my husband because I couldn’t remember the name of this song. He is a huge Millencolin fan and he actually showed me this song, to encourage since he knows how much I tend to wallow in self-doubt. I actually did know Millencolin before we met and I like a lot of their songs but he still knew what song I was talking about. “I know it’s all in you, just gotta find out what you wanna do/I know it’s all in you, and deep inside you feel it too.”
It’s a short, quick inspirational song and it hits the spot in a jam.
B.o.B – Nothin’ On You [feat. Bruno Mars]
This song came out around the time my daughter was born, and it just felt so right because to me it exemplifies the unconditional love that I have for her. I know it’s a love song but to me, it doesn’t matter who I am with or who I meet or where I am in the world, they have nothing on my daughter, to me she is the most beautiful, inside and out. It’s also one of the few songs where there’s rap that I can understand most of the lyrics.