The Hit Parade

That coy minx, emily sears, has tagged me. I now walk through the city with a dart in my shoulder, the tranquilizer calming me and encouraging me to:

1. Share a list of songs that defined you during at least eight significant years of your life beginning in early childhood.

2. There could be more than one song for each year, if you like, and and they should be songs that were released or popular in that year (but if there was one important to you that year which was released earlier, that is acceptable).

3. Please tag your post 'playgroup' and then tag four other people to do the same. 


1.  When I was in junior high school, I was very busy.  Busy creating the Aubrey that types this very post.  All that I am was either polished, researched or dreamed about during those years.  Those were also the years when I seemed to be incurably sad.  And I considered music to be the pool to reflect my thoughts.

Paul Simon, "American Tune".  This is a political song.  But in 1975 all I heard were these words,

"Many's the time I've been mistaken,
And many times confused
Yes, and often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I'm alright, I'm alright
I'm just weary to my bones…"

And they meant all the world to someone who was badly in need of comfort.

2/3.  Then there were the years in the mid-1980's when I was a romantic, waiting patiently to be disappointed.  I wanted to hear the same yearning, and to hear the beat of someone else's broken heart:

The Smiths, "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side"
The Smiths, "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"

4/5.  But during those same years, I also harbored a wish for unabashed joy – untouched by cynicism or irony.  And I wanted it beat over my head by a tirade of guitars.

Big Country, "Fields of Fire"

"The shining eye will never cry
The beating heart will never die
The house on fire holds no shame
I will be coming home again"

Big Country, "In A Big Country"

"I never took the smile away from anybody's face
And that's a desparate way to look
For someone who is still a child" 

I remember playing my Big Country records at full blast – at 11, actually – with my ears smeared across the speakers, my heart and emotions racing.

6.  I was a college graduate when I first heard this (released in 1978).  I was a secretary in a collections agency.  I was not happy with my job, or with other people.  I expressed myself clumsily and oddly.  But I had the wit to lose myself in a song that I then didn't completely understand.  It was like taking a walk in the darkness, enjoying the directions that just exceeded my grasp.

The Only Ones, "Another Girl, Another Planet"

7.  In the late 1970's, I also carefully stepped into the lava pool that was punk rock.  There was a lot of muck to step over, before discovering a passion so virulent that it could lift you off the ground.

The Clash, "Tommy Gun"

8.  This is the one.

1965.  A madness of words, somehow linking together to convey a message.  I bless the chemical, the intelligence, the truths, the lies that whispered the lyrics to this song in his ear.  Dylan in the mid 1960's was unexplainable, undecipherable; he was as exotic and unreachable as a unicorn.

Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone"

I invite everyone to take part in this little musical exercise.  During the course of this composition I did more thinking and remembering than I thought myself capable of.

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10 responses to “The Hit Parade

  1. Dylan, Simon and Big Country – with you there!

  2. what a beautiful, textured montage you've made of musically-formative aubrey– delightful. 🙂

  3. We share quite a few inspirational tunes. Fantastic!

  4. Those tunes made me all warm and fuzzy. And thanks for starting my Friday with the Only Ones!

  5. Very cool. I just wonder if I've got the music from my formative years.

  6. Oh all of this music brings back so many teen memories for me. When I was in 5th grade my dad made me a mixed tape with Big Country, "In A Big Country" on it, that was my FAVE song on that tape! It was right after an eurythmics song and before Men without hats. I wished I still had those tapes.And the Smiths, ah, they were a great tool to get through the awkward and moody teen years. I still have my dad's Smiths Records. They are soothing even now.

  7. …We come in the nation's most uncertain hourAnd we sing an American Tune.

  8. FDancer – what a concert that would be!
    NGazer – sometimes reading about other people's tastes in music is like looking at pictures at other people's children…not that engrossing. Glad you enjoyed this!
    SLearner – 'inspirational' – there you go; the common denominator.
    $6 – I couldn't BELIEVE I was able to find that video! I was quite ecstatic.
    Redz – please look; your collection would be most illuminating. But beware – if you decide to look up YouTube videos of your songs, you will lose hours of your life (as I did).
    Lavender – yes, The Smiths helped work one through the murk.
    Doug – agreed. Bleak and beautiful.

  9. Your description of Dylan is perfect, Aubrey.

  10. HOW did I miss this?!

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