30 Days of Music Challenge Roundup: Days 1-7

So, I saw a post on a blog that I follow, written by my favorite blogger with a tricky-to-pronounce name of (presumably) Celtic origin, Eiain (better known by his blogging name “Mr Knitter”, and that’s with no period because he’s British).  He decided to take part in something called the ” 30 Days of Music Challenge”, where you post one song a day in accordance with that day’s theme.  I was so interested by it that I’ve also decided to take part this month.  The day-by-day version will play out on my Tumblr page, but Eiain also encouraged me to post them here on WordPress, too.  However, I’m not a daily poster here and prefer to do one or two posts a week.  So, for this blog, I’ll be posting my selections once every week or so in batches of seven (although the final week will actually have 9 posts instead of seven.  I hope you enjoy my selections and feel free to chime in with your own picks for whatever theme you like in the comments.

BTW, if you want to check out Eiain’s picks for this challenge (or just want to learn more about him), you can check him out at Mr Knitter.

So, here are my picks for Days 1-7 in this challenge.

Day 1: Your Favorite Song Right Now

“Your Love” by The Outfield

I love this ’80s classic, from its power chords, to its lyrics, to that rhythmic yet understated bass line.  This song about a guy getting a booty call while his girl is on a vacation far away was a pretty big hit here in the States but barely made a dent in the band’s native UK.  It’s still regarded as an ’80s arena rock anthem here in America.  Not bad for a British band named after part of America’s Game!

Day 2: #1 Song When You Were Born

“Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau

This cover of the Bill Withers classic is one of a handful of songs that have topped America’s Billboard Hot 100 twice (along with classics like “Lady Marmalade”, ” Venus”, and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”).  And according to Billboard magazine’s issue dates, this is the song that was #1 on the Hot 100 for the issue dated during the week I was born, on March 24, 1987.

Day 3: Song You Play When You Are Happy

“Zou bisou bisou” by Gillian Hills (and Jessica Paré…and Sophia Loren…and many others…)

This song may be in French, but its lyrics (if I read the translation correctly, an ode to sweet and secret kisses) are so fluffy and cutesy, and the music itself is reminiscent of so many early ’60s rom-coms.  How can you not be happy after hearing this song?  Even in English (called “Zoo Bee Zoo Bee Zoo”) it sounds happy!

Day 4: Song You Play When You Are Sad

“Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths

The first time I heard this song was in the movie Never Been Kissed, but I really only remember hearing the mandolin playing at the very end of this song as flashback scenes of Drew Barrymore’s character Josie getting humiliated on her first prom night years before the movie’s events take place play out on the screen.  When I actually heard this song in full for the first time, I really related to the lyrics in which Morrissey laments his terrible luck in life (and presumably in love; Morrissey was notoriously known for being celibate during his time with The Smiths, and according to most sources he remained celibate until the late ’90s).  Now and then, if I’m feeling a little down or moody, this song is certainly on my playlist.  I guess as the Elton John song says, “Sad songs say so much.”

Day 5: Song You Play When You Are Angry

“Cult of Personality” by Living Colour

Sometimes you want a songs that just screams “Screw the system!”.  This is one of them.  It is awesome.

Day 6: Your Favorite Classical Song

“Thaxted” (Gustav Holst)

This piece is known by several titles: “Theme from Jupiter” from The Planets (which is the orchestral suite of Holst’s in which this theme originally appeared), “I Vow to Thee, My Country” (a patriotic hymn in Britain, basically the United Kingdom’s answer to “God Bless America”), or “God Beyond All Praising” (if you’re of the church-going crowd).  I tell you, this is one of the few pieces of music that consistently makes me cry.  And not a lot of pieces of music make me cry.

Day 7: A Song That Makes Me Want to Fall in Love

“Angel Eyes” by The Jeff Healey Band

A little ironic that the first line of the song, “Girl, you’re lookin’ fine tonight”, is sung by a man who lost his eyes to cancer as a child (and would die in 2008 from a recurrence of that same cancer), but I should mention that this song was originally co-written by the (sighted) singer John Hiatt (of ” Have a Little Faith in Me” fame).  It’s such a sweet song, but not cloying or bubblegum.  I can see why this makes a great wedding song.

Stay tuned, next week is Days 8-14!