"Dela", Johnny Clegg & Savuka
Most of the songs that I’m into right now are koogrr’s fault, as he sent me home with a 600 meg’s worth of music, which I’m slowly purchasing as I figure out which ones I like and which ones I don’t. Sometimes iTunes lets me down, and while they have dozens of songs by Johnny Clegg & Savuka, what they don’t have is one of their earliest albums: "Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World". John had given me four songs from this album, and I liked all of them, so I wound up ordering it from Amazon.com.
"Dela" is my favorite song from the album, but there’s a lot of good music on this album. Johnny Clegg & Savuka is a South African band, and this album was released in 1989. As one might expect, there’re several songs related to apartheid, resistance, and revolution on the CD. Despite the dark, somber nature of the subject matter and lyrics in these songs, they have a vibrant, joyful quality. It’s music about people who’re happy to be alive, no matter how hard life becomes. "Dela" is more of a straightforward love song, which I don’t normally like, but it’s so upbeat and hopeful that I love listening to it. If I’m walking to or from work, I often put it on, because it makes the world look brighter and more beautiful. The liner notes describe it as "Quite a mystical sort of song, really, something about love and wholeness."
"Das Nervt", Die Prinzen
Die Prinzen is a German band, and their songs are all in German. I expect I could Google to find out what the lyrics translate to, but I haven’t yet. They enunciate so clearly that I’m sorry I don’t understand German, because I’m sure I could follow the lyrics if only I knew the language. (Contrast this with, say, Nirvana, where speaking English doesn’t much help in figuring out what’s being sung.) I bought an album by them off of iTunes, but couldn’t find a copy of this song, sadly. Even without understanding the lyrics, "Das Nervt" is evocative, alternating between a gritty, hard-edged rock that reminds me of living and working in a city in winter time, and then sweeping away to a lighter tropical sound that’s like a visit to the Bahamas.
"My Thanksgiving", Don Henley
I hadn’t listened to this song in a long time, in part because I haven’t ripped this album to my iPod yet. But I’d put a new CD into our CD changer at home, and the Don Henley CD came up in the rotation a few hours later. This whole album is one of my favorites; it’s got a ton of good music on it, and has a thematic feel to it, as if it’s following the course of one man’s life from callow teen to a mellow maturity. "My Thanksgiving" is the last song on the album: it’s about celebration and gratitude for the good things in life, and a recognition of wisdom gained through maturity. Like "Dela", it’s a song that makes me glad to be alive.
Don Henley is the token American on this list, incidentally; all the other bands are from other countries. I feel so international.
"Wind Him Up", Saga
I’d never heard of Saga until John gave me a couple of songs by them, but they have somewhere around twenty albums – none of which are available on iTunes, sadly. I ordered two of their CDs from Amazon.com, too. "Wind Him Up" is a song about a compulsive gambler, and I like the unusual choice of subject matter as well as the sound of the work. I rarely use songs as inspiration for characters, but "Wind Him Up" has become bound up with a character who has a story but not yet a name. I’ve been thinking of starting his story in Unfinished Tales, but have been more inspired to do Silver Scales so I’ve not started the newer one yet. The new character an addict, too, although not to gambling or drugs.
"Mission", Rush (Rush, like Saga, is a Canadian group.)
I haven’t listened to this song much lately, but it just came up on my iPod and I’ve decided to include it. "Mission" is a song about the drive to create and the people who act on their inspirations. When I was writing Prophecy, I used this as my theme song. "But dreams don’t need to have motion/ To keep their spark alive/ Obsession has to have action/ Pride turns on the drive." I don’t think you need to be obsessed to be a creator, but it helps. For me, the song is a reminder to "hold your fire/ keep it burning bright". That I can work on my dreams, not just think about them.
So those’re mine. I’m gonna tag five more people to list five of their current favorites, who may feel free to ignore me if they don’t wanna answer. :)
koogrr, who’s already done this once but hey, that was a few months ago and his answers have probably changed by now. =)
alinsa, because I know she particularly enjoys music.
gwendelkitty, who listens to a lot of J-pop and I know nothing about the genre so her answers would be neat to hear.
ltwarhound, because I don’t talk to him enough about music. :)
barbx, because anyone who has her own soundtrack ought to have interesting thoughts about songs.
And all this memage reminds me that I volunteered to do the interview meme with ladyperegrine but forgot to answer her questions. Whoops! I’ll plan on doing that next.
[Edit: Can I tag six people? Well, I'm not a big believer in following rules when it comes to memes anyway, so I'm gonna tag level_head, too, because I know he has a rather atypical style of listening to music.]