Tag Archives: music

A Story About the Kindness of Strangers and Musical Miracles, Told in Song Titles

27 Sep

The picture above is an approximate representation of how I feel. I’m happy. Like, spin-around-in-a-mountaintop-meadow-while-singing happy. Actually, since I’m supposed to be taking vocabulary steroids in preparation for the GRE, maybe I should be using a better word than happy. Gleeful? Ecstatic? Joyful? Thrilled? Jubilant? Elated? Tickled pink? Man, if this turns out to be one of the questions on that dratted test, I am set. 

I know what you’re thinking: Oh my words! Why are you so very happy, Abigail? Well, first of all, I like you’re enthusiasm. You’re all right. Secondly…I’ll TELL you why I’m happy! Because the universe is awesome and I have been rewarded with a stupendous gift! 

You may recall that I have been searching for a special Birthday Song that is part of my family’s birthday tradition. Well, a wondrous, serendipitous event happened. Someone who visited this little ol’ blog (Kasi, if you read this, you’re my new favorite person in the whole wide world) appreciated my desperation and my story, and left a comment that included a link to the MP3 for the song. Isn’t the universe amazing? Isn’t the internet incredible? Is the sky bluer than usual today? Are my dogs cuter? Don’t you just feel like smiling and laughing all the livelong day?

Really, though, I am so happy that a perfect stranger helped me out and am grateful that I now have this song in my itunes possession. I was taking a blogging break to focus on studying and working and other unpleasant -ings, and when I finally allowed myself to return to my blog baby, it was such a thrill to find this long-lost song. See? You can rely on the kindness of strangers. Ask and ye shall receive. Music does make the people come together!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: What’s this about a story told in song titles? Oh my word, Abigail, was this post’s title false advertising?

First of all, woah Nelly! You’re a tough audience, aren’t ya? It’s okay though, I forgive you because a song title poem-story is quite exciting.

Below is my epic hero’s journey–the significance of the Happy Birthday Song, its absence, its recovery–told through song titles, to honor this miraculous musical moment. I’ve linked a few of them to their youtube selves and encourage you to listen and enjoy.

(Note: You may need to read the original Birthday Song post for some helpful context….or you can just muddle through and listen to the music….woah-oh-oh, listen to the music… )


Music. Foundations. We Are Family. Songs We Sing. Memories Are Made of This. All the Small Things. Precious Love. Part of My Life. Hooked on a Feeling. Groove is in the Heart. Hidden Away.

I Got Trouble. Something’s Missing. Those Sweet Words. Can’t Find the Words. I Have Nothing. Lost. Harder to Breathe. It’s the End of the World as We Know It. I Hate Myself for Losing You. What Did You Do. Don’t Blame Me.

Heartbreak Hotel. Today I Sing the Blues. Irreplaceable. Incomplete. Inaudible Melodies. Here Without You. Crying Shame. When You’re Gone. I Want You Back.

Help! Rescue Me! Not the Only One. We All Want the Same Thing. Searchin’. Luck Be a Lady. Simple As It Should Be. Needle in a Haystack. Creep. The Things We Do For Love. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.When You Were Mine. Wasn’t It Good.

Worrisome Heart. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. Trouble Sleeping. On My Mind.  I’ll Do Anything. Nothing but a Miracle. Makes Me Wanna Pray. When You Wish Upon a Star. I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.

Takin’ Care of Business. It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings. You Can Get it if You Really Want. Never Going to Give You Up. I’ll Find a Way.

People Get Ready. Something Good This Way Comes. Teardrops Will Fall. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. Fairytale. Love is All Around.

You Don’t Know Me. Beautiful Stranger. You Give Me Something. The Gift of Song.


Oh!   You’re the One.

Back Together Again. Celebrate. I Feel Home. Breathe Again. Oh What a Day. Because of You. You Rock My World. Hallelujah. Wonderful. Bubbly. Overjoyed. Zip a dee do da. This Magic Moment.

From My Heart to Yours. Thanks and Praise. Danke Schoen. Thank You For the Music. Thanks For the Memories. All Because of You. Earth Angel. You’ve Got a Friend in Me.  

What a Wonderful World.

Sing-Along With All the Right (Oh My) Words

28 Jan

I recently learned that one of my close friends knows all the words to R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.” This, as you must know, is an impressive accomplishment—right up there with knowing how to fold fitted sheets and do open heart surgery. This is a pal I’ve known for about eight years and naturally I called her a liar. “Prove it!” I dared. And she did.

My usual reaction to an impressive feat looks something like this. Only cuter, and less naked.

Sure, she missed a few lines because she was laughing at my awestruck facial expression.  But somehow, miraculously, she did know the lyrics. When I sing along to this particular song, my accompaniment ends up being more noise than wordsI’m totally with it at the chorus. I feel fine as I sing that it’s the end of the world as we know it. But the rest of the song? I catch phrases or words. Eye of a hurricane. Book burning. Leonard Bernstein.

I’m pretty proud of the fact that I know all the words to Salt n Peppa’s song Shoop. Random, I know, but it’s something Ellen Degeneres and I have in common. But my friend’s total familiarity with “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” takes the cake. I’m shocked that she can decipher the words, and I’m flabbergasted that she can keep up with the high-speed song. Ever since I discovered her secret skill (maybe I’ll suggest that she put it on her resume), I’ve been thinking about songs that are hard to sing along to. If I met someone who knew all the lyrics to these songs, and could sing them like the real thing, I would be mightily amazed. I think I would even be speechless, which, as the voice of Oh My Words, is the highest compliment I could give you.

*Click the song titles to be taken to a youtube video with appropriate lyrics. I challenge you to sing along!

Dog Days are Over—Florence + the Machine

The radio hasn’t quite ruined this song, and I still attempt to sing along whenever it’s played. Lead singer Florence Welch’s voice is beautiful and mesmerizing but there’s something almost yodel-like about it, no? I’ll admit that during research for this post, I looked up the lyrics and realized that the part of the song that I always thought was just a demonstration of pretty vocal range is actually words. (What do you sing after “the dog days are done?”) That means that I’ve been singing something akin to  Heh oh hee oh heh oh ee la he cooo for no good reason.  

 Dynamo of Volition—Jason Mraz

First off, I love Jason Mraz so if you know the words to this song I’m going to assume that you too are a fan and then I will assume that we have the potential of being best friends or soul mates. I adore Mr. A-Z’s clever lyrics with their interesting rhymes and occasional sexual innuendo. This particular song has the trademark Mraz wit, and it’s fast. In theory, I know the words, but I am incapable of singing them as quickly as him. (There goes my rapping career…darn.)

 Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag—James Brown

I’m not sure why I consider this a difficult song to sing along with. Okay, James Brown’s soul sort of muddies the clarity of the words. But maybe the real reason is that it’s because it’s pretty much scientifically impossible not to dance along to “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” so who can spare the brain space and energy to sing too?  I’m not talking about the tapping-your foot-and-bobbing-your-head kind of dancing, but the get-down-and-boogie kind. If you can pay proper dance tribute to this song and sing the words properly you deserve praise, accolades, and a million hits on youtube. (Seriously, could you film yourself singing and dancing because that sounds like a blockbuster to me…..Are you uploading yet?)

One Week—Barenaked Ladies

This song is probably in the same category as “It’s the End of the World As We Know It.” By the time your brain processes the words they’re 12 stanzas ahead of you. I can sing certain parts, but put it all together and I tumble all over myself. In case you’re dying to know, and I’m sure you are, I think my favorite parts of this song that I can never sing along with are:

Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon/Cause that cartoon/Has got the boom/Anime babes/That make me think the wrong thing.


Like Harrison Ford/I’m getting frantic/Like Sting I’m Tantric/Like Snickers,/guaranteed to satisfy

You Can’t Stop the Beat—from the musical Hairspray

According to the movie trivia on imdb, the cast of the 2007 Hairspray movie called this song “You Can’t Stop to Breathe” because of the speedy singing it demanded. Apparently, Queen Latifah was one of the few who had no problems singing it because of her rapping experience. I found “You Can’t Stop the Beat” with accompanying lyrics on youtube and I’ll tell ya, even when I can read the lyrics as I attempt to sing it’s hard not to gasp for air partway through like a wigged-out fish.

And of course, here’s the song that inspired it all:

Happy singing!