Music Monday – Greeting the New Year

Late last night/very early this morning, I posted an Open Letter to My Daughters on this blog. It was about changes I know are coming.  I included a few bits of advice in it.  Some of that advice would be good for LOTS of people to read and heed.  It isn’t groundbreaking, but it is good, solid, concise advice…IMHO
As this Music Monday falls on New Year’s Eve, I feel it fitting for it to follow that open letter with music that’s a wee bit inspirational.  No, I’m not talking about church/gospel music (this time).  I’m talking about songs that have a positive message for my daughters…for everyone.
If I had just one wish
Only one demand
I hope he’s not like me
I hope he understands
That he can take this life
And hold it by the hand
And he can greet the world
With arms wide open…
“With Arms Wide Open” by Creed
Creed’s song hit the mark with me on this one.  I truly hope it’s a long time before my daughters become as skeptical (cynical, maybe?) as I have.  While I want them to be safe, think things through, and look below the surface, I want them to remain open…to people and to change.
If I could reach, higher
Just for one moment touch the sky
From that one moment in my life
I’m gonna be stronger
Know that I’ve tried my very best
I’d put my spirit to the test
If I could reach
“Reach” by Gloria Estefan

I was instantly hooked on this song back in 1996 when it was released for the Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.  It sums up everything about setting a goal to be the best and giving everything to reach it.  This goes for most things in life.  If you put your heart into it and give one hundred percent, even if you don’t reach your goal, you can hold your head high knowing you gave your all, your best effort.  You can’t be faulted for that.  I want my daughters to have that kind of drive in whatever they choose to excel at…school, work, sports, the arts.  It doesn’t matter what it is, just put your heart into it and go.

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But, no, I’m not breaking
“The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
Part of reaching for those goals is getting knocked on your butt, overcoming hurdles and roadblocks.  Like the Chinese proverb goes:  Fall seven times, stand up eight.  Get back in the saddle, knock down the walls…keep climbing.
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
“Firework” by Katy Perry
This song rapidly became one of my all-time favorites.  I can’t paste the entire song’s lyrics, but for my daughters, right now, I think the two lines above are the most important.  Remember that when things look bleak, when you can’t seem to find any friends, when the slope seems steep and endless, whatever the problem is will pass.  Persevere. Don’t quit.  Know that once you overcome whatever it is, the reward, however big or small, will be so much sweeter.  Giving in isn’t an option.
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Musical Meanderings with My Girls

Tonight after dinner, I was driving around with my daughters, listening to a mixed CD I made.  Taylor Swift’s “You Belong to Me” came on…and I turned the volume up to close to the level I listen to it.  They sang along with it.  Usually, I get complaints from the younger one about the music being too loud…but not tonight, not for that song.  When it finished, I switched back to an earlier track and blared “Firework” by Katy Perry.  Again, no complaints, and the sing-a-long continued.  I skipped to Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” with Freddie Mercury’s haunting vocals, then to “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato.  I changed discs and we sang along to “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus, then the acoustic version of Bon Jovi’s “Keep The Faith” from their This Left Feels Right album, followed by Demi Lovato’s “Don’t Forget“, Zac Efron’s “Bet On It“, and brought it, and us, home with Taylor Swift’s “Love Story“.

The girls knew the words to almost all of the songs from their generation.  I knew those, and the others.  The more important things, though, were that we all had a good time driving around singing along with the songs, that they are getting exposure to  good music, theirs and mine (and liking it all), and they are listening to songs with positive messages.

Here are a couple videos from the list of tunes we sang along with tonight:

The one that kicked it off…Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me”

My favorite band, Bon Jovi’s “Keep The Faith”  (this actually ends then follows into “Always”)

and Katy Perry’s “Firework”

America’s Love of Train Wrecks

I grabbed from another blog I’ve been slowly shutting down.  Initially written during the height of the Charlie Sheen meltdown, I decided it is fitting since I recently saw headlines about Ashton and Demi having marriage problems and about whether Charlie Sheen has fallen off the wagon, as well as a friend posting a link today about how Scarlett Johansson’s nude pics have been leaked.

It amazes me how people can ask, rhetorically or not, “How did Charlie Sheen get 1 million followers on Twitter?” or “Why does the media keep talking about Charlie Sheen?” right before digging into the latest story about him on their favorite new site or clicking through a dozen articles on the entertainment sites.  Are people really that thick?  Now I sound like one of them, right?  Charlie Sheen has imploded and aside from the same media that has always been available to celebrities (newspapers, TV, radio) he’s got the world of social media that he can control –Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, web sites, etc.  He can, and is, broadcasting his message… and the masses are eating it up.  Why is he doing it?  The same reason the mainstream media does it… because it sells.  He’s got more followers on Twitter now than he probably ever would have if he hadn’t blown up like this.  The masses give him power.  They will read and listen to what he has to say because it sounds funny, maybe to empathize with him, or to make fun of him, but they keep him in the spotlight… exactly where he wants to be.

To a large extent, this is the same reason dimbos like the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, et al., are famous.  It certainly isn’t because they have talent.  Stupid “reality” TV is making celebrities out of talentless, halfwits who may or may not realize that half their “fame” is because they are being made fun of.  Jersey Shore is a joke.  All the bimbos and dumb asses throwing themselves at the various Bachelors and Bachelorettes… ridiculous!

Oh, hey, there’s a new clip of Miley Cyrus… yeah, you’re just waiting for that train to completely derail, aren’t you?

Don Henley hit it on the head years ago…

…and, sure, I’m (potentially) capitalizing on this same love of train wrecks by blogging about/dropping the names of Charlie, Paris, and Miley and hoping to get hits from searches for them.  Feel exploited yet?

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