1. “I Was Here” by Beyoncé
This is one of my all-time favorite songs. Not only does it sound amazing, the lyrics are really moving. It makes me think about how I want to be remembered after I die, and to let the world know “I was here.” I also love it because of the memories I have while this was playing. This past summer I went on a cruise of the Baltic Sea, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I love to travel, and getting to see so many countries was so incredible. The day before I left, Beyoncé’s new CD “4” came out, so I immediately downloaded it so I would have new music to listen to while on vacation. This song was what I listened to every night while in bed, feeling the boat slowly sway, and the spray of the waves hitting my window. Whenever I hear this song it brings me back to those moments on the trip that I could never forget.
2. “Sunshine On My Shoulders” by John Denver
This song was recently introduced to me while I was nannying for a family with 2-year old triplets. The mom, who I grew extremely close with, was obsessed with John Denver. And so every time we got in the car to go run errands, she’d put his CD on. And I’ll never forget the first time Lidya, one of the babies, asked the mom for “suh-shi.” So Julie played “Sunshine On My Shoulders” and we just laughed as Lidya tried to sing along, as best as a two-year old can. It was just one of the funniest things I’ve seen a kid do.
3. “Braveheart Theme” by James Horner
This song plays into my huge, embarrassing obsession with movie soundtracks. With me, I can tell how much I love a movie by how much I love the score. I don’t know why, but sometimes listening to the music from my favorite movies is better than listening to my favorite songs. Braveheart happens to be one of my favorite movies, for many reasons, and the soundtrack is beautiful. The reason I love it so much is that my first time ever leaving the country and being away from my parents for more than a few nights was when I went to Scotland in high school. Because it was the first place I had ever traveled to outside of the country, it holds a significant place in my heart. The soundtrack to Braveheart represents Scotland in a beautiful way.
4. “Cat Daddy” by Rej3ctz
I wish I could dance like that.
5. “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles
I felt that it’s important to include this song, because I’m named after it…in a sort of indirect way. My real name isn’t Eleanor, and my parents weren’t trying to be totally artsy and unique by naming me after a Beatles song. But they couldn’t decide on a name for me, and Ellen was brought up. My dad, who’s a huge Beatles fan, immediately made the connection between the two and pushed for the name Ellen. He never told my Mom that was the reason he loved it, but he told me a few years ago when I had to do an assignment for a Child Psychology class about my mother’s pregnancy with me. He made me promise not to tell my Mom that I’m named after a Beatles song, and it still makes me laugh to think of that.