Over the weekend a friend asked me which 5 albums I’d take to a desert island. It’s a fun question to contemplate and it struck me as prescient because during my most recent runs, I’ve been thinking about making a Top 10 list of songs for my daughter Olivia. The songs we sing to in the car, the songs we dance to in the kitchen and (of course!) the songs we run to.
Back in the day, I might’ve made her a mix tape. Now, I’ll memorialize these moments by putting my heart into a list and publishing it for her online, calling it- appropriately- “Songs for Olivia”. Who knows how she’ll “obtain” these songs in 5, 10, or even 20 years- purchase? download? stream? The important thing is that no matter where she is- on a desert island or the island of Manhattan, with friends and family, or far from any familiar faces- she’ll have these songs to keep her inspired.
10. “They Love Each Other” by The Grateful Dead
Mama loves the Dead and you are a budding little hippie. It’s nearly impossible to choose one song- especially with favorites like Terrapin and Eyes of the World- but this song- and specifically the live show from Mama’s hometown of New Haven, CT. on May 10, 1978- really conveys timeless, beautiful love.
9. “Stuck In the Moment” by U2
Daddy’s favorite. I hope – if you should find yourself stuck in a moment- you are never afraid to get unstuck. Put on your ice skates, lace up your running shoes, do your yoga poses, or take a walk in the woods with your dogs. Get out there, get going and whatever you do, don’t be afraid to “get yourself together”…you deserve to be happy, hopeful, and healthy.
8. “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay
You’ve had an ear for Coldplay from the very beginning! Martin’s voice always sounded like a loving lullaby to me, maybe you hear that too.
7. “Like a Prayer” by Madonna
These days Madonna is just another voice in a crowded pop field, but for years she was the most important and most influential woman in pop. You like this song because it’s catchy and fun; it’s also surprisingly smart! Life IS a mystery. “Everyone must stand alone. I hear you call my name and it feels like home.” I hope you always take solace knowing regardless of where you are- in a foreign country or in a funk in your room- I am with you, you are not alone.
6. “About the Base” by Meghan Trainor
Ok Mama doesn’t actually have this song (why haven’t I gotten this song?!) but you heard this once with your big sister and have been requesting it ever since, singing “bout the base no trouble” and making me smile.
5. Fixer Upper from the Frozen soundtrack
4. Let It Go from the Frozen soundtrack
We love every song on this soundtrack (who doesn’t?!) but these two songs in particular really capture the spirit of the movie- the first movie you ever saw in a theater!- that continues to captivate (and dominate) in our house. I will never tire of dancing to these songs with you in the kitchen, or watching you run the yard singing “let it go” at the top of your lungs.
3. “Catch My Breath” by Nick Fradiani
Not only does this song evoke the great (and original American Idol) Kelly Clarkson, it also showcases CT. native Nick’s “nice” and “lovely” (as you like to say) voice. This song is always a great way to start my runs with you, and I really appreciate what a positive role model he is to you and other kids. He never stopped pursuing his dreams. We went to his homecoming parade and concert in Guilford, CT, and we love cheering for him when he sings on tv. Mama thinks he will be the next American Idol.
2. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
The Van Morrison references probably escaped you at age 3, but when you are older perhaps you will hear the “Into The Mystic” and “Moondance” elements of this song. More importantly, I hope you will always find love where you are. As you get older you may not remember singing “We found love right WHERE. WE. ARE” over and over again, but your Dad and I will never forget it. Your “soul is evergreen” and we will always love you where we are.
1. ”Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
You REALLY love this song. Really REALLY LOVE THIS SONG! Probably because it has a “sick beat” and a great message. “Haters gonna hate” and people may talk about you but you just gotta shake it off. Stay true to who you are and shake off the doubt, the negativity, the fear, and the hate. You will thrive!
Olivia, we love these songs together. I hope they will remind you always how much you are loved. xoMom