Stayed With You // 20 Songs

Friday, 23 May 2014


As I'm sure it is for everybody, music is a huge part of my life. I find it extraordinary how much particular songs can make you feel - there are those that seem to be written for you, those that remind you of a memory, those that remind you of a person, and those that are simply so powerful that they leave you speechless. From my experience with music, I've come to find that I'm a very lyrical person. It's obviously always better if a song sounds great, but if the lyrics aren't somewhat meaningful and heartfelt, it's just another song in my eyes. Scrolling down my iTunes library, I felt a sudden burst of inspiration to add to my 'Stayed With You' series with the category of music. As hard as I tried to limit myself to 10 songs, it just was not feasible, and so here are the 20 songs that mean the most to me. Enjoy! (Warning: this might be a long one...)

#1 - TERRIBLE THINGS (MAYDAY PARADE) 
Although I wouldn't call it my favourite song, there's a reason that this is the first song that came to my mind - it has the most beautiful (yet heartbreaking) lyrics. It's basically a narrative of a father telling his son about his first love, and about how terrible life can be sometimes. Not because she ripped his heart out, but because she died. Like I said, heartbreaking, right!?

#2 - ONLY ONES WHO KNOW (ARTIC MONKEYS)
Despite the fact that I've seen them live, I wouldn't call myself a big AM fan. I love all of their hits, and I've heard such amazing things about their latest album, but that's as far as I go. Having said that, I'm not sure how famous this song is. Again, the song has such moving lyrics, and is one of those songs that I could happily listen to when falling asleep at night.

#3 - NOBODY'S HOME (AVRIL LAVIGNE)
As a 13-year-old, I thought Avril Lavigne was the most amazing singer that I'd ever come across. Don't get me wrong, I still love her to pieces, and have every single one of her albums, but sort of for a nostalgic purpose. I remember being a confused just-been-tween and not really knowing who I was, and I listened to this song and realised that it was normal to feel that way, that it was normal to be confused.

#4 - ARE WE THE WAITING (GREEN DAY)
The first time I ever got into Green Day was when my brother and I would play Tony Hawk's skateboarding playstation games back in the day (which is also the reason that I've always loved the idea of being able to skateboard). The entire American Idiot album was on one of the game's playlists, and I remember really getting into the song 'Holiday'. As you can probably tell by now, I've picked songs that aren't exactly the most upbeat, and so I had to include one of the slowest Green Day songs of all time... Don't judge me - I could have picked 'Wake Me Up When September Ends'!

#5 - HOW TO SAVE A LIFE (THE FRAY)
I can't think of a single person I know that does not know and love this song, just because of how powerful it is. For me, it reminds me of a particular SCRUBS episode that never fails to make me cry. It focuses on a complicated transplant storyline but, long-story short, three transplant patients die because they've been accidentally infected with rabies. I've never seen such brilliant acting from Zach Braff (JD) and John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox), and I cannot listen to this song without thinking of that episode.

#6 - NICEST THING (KATE NASH)
Again, this is one of those songs that I loved in my early teen years, purely because I was trying to figure out what love was, and it just seemed like such a perfect description of what I might want some day. 6 or 7 years later, and I still think it's an accurate representation of what I hope to find... although I understand now that love cannot be so selfish.

#7 - HEAR YOU ME (JIMMY EAT WORLD)
The first time I ever heard this song was on 'The Cinderella Story', about 10 years ago. I'm a big believer in the fact that a soundtrack can completely make or break a movie, and it was the perfect song for the scene it was played in. I then stumbled across it years and years later on a website called 8tracks, and I refell in love with it all over again.

#8 - SKINNY LOVE (BON IVER)
This is definitely one of those songs that has the potential to be on everybody's favourite songs list. I love how unique a sound that Bon Iver have, and combine that with beautiful and well thought out lyrics, and bang! - that song stays with me.

#9 - WIRES (ATHLETE)
I have a feeling that I first heard this song in an RS lesson in secondary school, but I can't be too sure. Wherever and whenever I heard it, it automatically stayed with me, mainly because of how beautiful the story behind the song was. I obviously seem to like a lot of love songs, but 'Wires' is based around a true story of a newborn baby that is fighting for it's life.

#10 - THE BOY WHO LOCKED HIS OWN SHOT (BRAND NEW)
This is another song that I found on 8tracks. Although I don't do it so much anymore, a few years ago I got into a routine of finding heartfelt playlists and downloading every track... and then listening to that playlist on repeat for weeks on end. After finding 'The Boy Who Locked His Own Shot', I came across quite a few other songs by Brand New, and they quickly became a band that I could not fault.

#11 - NOBODY DOES IT BETTER (CARLY SIMON)
Although I would not highly recommend it, the reason that I love this song so much is due to hearing it in the film 'Little Black Book'. When I'm sad, I have a habit of lying on my bed and staring at my ceiling, and listening to music that describes how I feel. This is exactly what the main character of the film did with this song, and so it became one of the songs that I zone out to as well.

#12 - IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY (SHERYL CROW)
This is actually one of my life philosophies - if it makes you happy, it can't be that bad. I'm sure most of us forget in the hustle and bustle of life that our only aim in life, really, is to be happy. So put away your problems and your worries and concentrate on what makes you happy... it can't be that bad, can it?

#13 - IF IT MEANS A LOT TO YOU (A DAY TO REMEMBER)
One of my best friends, Sophie, introduced this song to me in November last year, when we were at Vans Warped Tour. I hadn't previously listened to any songs by A Day To Remember, despite knowing how highly rated they were in the rock community. At the time, I was still suffering from quite an upsetting break up, and the lyrics were so relevant to my situation, and so it quickly became a song that has stayed with me.

#14 - ROSE (THE FEELING)
For the first two years of secondary school I had to walk over a bridge to get on the bus to go home, and during those walks, I developed a bit of an obsession with The Feeling. Because their music was quite 'poppy', it was nice to find a song that was a little bit less cheesy, and is still a song that I listen to on a regular basis 8 years later.

#15 - IRIS (GOO GOO DOLLS)
Like 'Skinny Love' by Bon Iver, I'm sure that this has the potential to be on a lot of favourite song lists. I'm not even sure if I could explain why, but it's just such a beautiful and relaxing song. Come to think of it, I heard a cover by Boyce Avenue before I heard the original, which was every bit as incredible.

#16 - HALLELUJAH (JEFF BUCKLEY)
Before anybody says it, yes I am aware that Leonard Cohen did the original version, and that Jeff Buckley only did a cover... but Jeff's version is something I have sat and listened to on repeat for hours on end. It brings all sorts of memories to mind - such as the 2008 X Factor final, and Shrek - but nothing of much significance. Sometimes a song can just stay with you without meaning anything personal, just by being beautiful.

#17 - ALL I WANT (KODALINE)
Ahhh! I am so excited to see Kodaline again in August at V Festival. After seeing them last November, they have become one of my most listened to bands. Before seeing them live, I didn't have many preferences on their songs, but that all changed. 'All I Want' is the one of the last songs (it may have been the last song) that they sung, and I cannot even explain the atmosphere that was in the room. When live music makes me feel that way, it is something extraordinary, and I wouldn't trade that feeling for the world.

#18 - DEAR MR. PRESIDENT (P!NK)
This is another song from my just-been-tween years, where I thought P!nk was one of the coolest people on the planet. But let's face it, she still is, right? I'd never heard such a powerful song before that wasn't about love or relationships, and so it managed to move me in a completely new way, and still does to this day.

#19 - WITH OR WITHOUT YOU (U2)
I am almost certain that the main reason that this song has stayed with me is because of FRIENDS. If anyone is as big of a FRIENDS fan as me, they'll know that it's the song that's played after Ross and Rachel almost entered into a relationship in Season 2, but didn't because Ross majorly messed up. I can't listen to the song without picturing Rachel sat on her windowsill looking out at the rain.

#20 - DANCE SO GOOD (WAKEYWAKEY!)
My mum and I went to go and see James Blunt live a few years ago, and it was phenomenal - so phenomenal, in fact, that we're going to see him again in November this year. When we saw him before, WakeyWakey!, a band I'd never heard of at the time, supported him, and after throughly enjoying their set, I bought their CD. Long-story short, it's been one of the most played albums on my iTunes ever since; especially 'Dance So Good'.

And there we have it - I warned you it'd be long! If you've made it this far, I salute you, and challenge you to think of the top 20 songs that have stayed with you for as long as you can remember. Believe me when I say that it's a lot harder than it sounds!

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