I wrote a blog last year about my perfect playlist, ten songs that spoke to emotions I was feeling at the time. I thought it was a good time to write an updated playlist.
1. Not Done Yet by Superchic[k]
I can't do a playlist without a Superchic[k] song, and this has been my jam for the year. Also, I fell down yesterday. There's a line in the song that says, "I fell down in the place that I always fall down, and I want to give up and let it be what it's been." Well, I'd never fallen down there before, in fact, this was the second time I've ever fallen down since my accident, but the next line is my anthem: "Sometimes life gets you, but we go on... we're not done yet, not going quietly into the night, not me and my friends. We're not done yet, don't take it too seriously. It's just life will win in the end." The last verse says, "It's been one of those days but I don't care now. It was only a day and tomorrow's ahead. I got this far and I know that I can ride this one out. Though I want to lie down, well I won't quit yet." I fell down - right on my butt - and I got back up.
2. Make Me a Robot by Tessa Violet
I may be five years late to the Tessa Violet train, but she's like my favorite human being right now. Seriously. There are days when I'm exhausted (everyday) and this song speaks to the realness of that emotion. "I don't want to have to fight anymore; / I'm tired. / I don't want to have to feel anymore / uninspired." The feels are real.
3. Cray Button by Family Force Five
Just because the feels of the last song are so real, doesn't mean I'm not capable of a range of emotion. I look around me, and I see crazy that evokes lots of emotions. You just got to crank up the FF5 sometimes. (Usually I let loose the YouTube playlist for the Zombie music video which, incidentally, is how I first discovered Tessa Violet in what is unashamedly my favorite video of hers: Wizard Love.) I'm partially feeling this FF5 song these days because of the cray cray in my home country leaking across the ocean through the internet. Sometimes my own life is just full of crazy though. I wonder what happens if I hit the Cray Button? Spoiler alert: I guarantee the whole place starts jumpin'. Fun fact: Tessa Violet features in this music video. Unrelated, this music video was made in the US Cray four years ago.
4. Can't Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis covered by Pentatonix
I feel like I should be ashamed that I enjoy Macklemore, but I'm not. I really enjoy the Pentatonix remix of this song because I love Mitch Grassi in it. So this is obviously a riding high song - it's happy and uplifting, and it mentions shark week. This time in my life is happy and uplifting, and I love shark week.
5. Bigger than Us by Dame D.O.L.L.A. feat. Paul Rey
We live in a crazy world, as mentioned in the Cray Button paragraph. I want to be excited about the world, but I can never forget I live in a fallen and broken place. Damian Lillard is an NBA star, and he's chosen to use his voice to raise awareness about the tragedy and leverage his influence to make the world a better place. I respect that a great deal. In the final verse, Dame raps, "God created us equal, so let's embrace it / And in life you run into evil, you gotta face it... We the people gotta love one another / Let it be known with nothing under cover / Let's take control of the future / Instead of letting it hover / Everybody to the table, make sure your bringing something." Paul Rey's part repeats throughout, "We all walk side by side / Even if we're all on different roads, I know / Because this is something bigger than us." The Lord is the Author and Perfecter. This song encourages me to be better, to bring something to the table that makes a positive difference.
6. Rebirthing by Skillet
This song is awesome performed live. It involves lots of pyrotechnics. The first line is "I lie here paralytic." It's about the one thing in the universe that brings life to those of us who are dead in our transgressions. It's pretty fantastic.
7. Movements by Rend Collective
Once we are reborn, we are given direction. I'm really fond of this group of Irish people who make beautiful, happy sounds. This song is just delightful. It opens, "I wanna soar with You / Upon wings like eagles / But I'll crawl with You too / When the dark and lonely questions come." Yup. That's me. That's the story of my life. Then the chorus breaks out, "I'm running fast and free to You / Cause You are the movement and fight in me / I'm running fast and free to You / Cause You are my home where I wanna be." Yup. I won't walk away; I won't walk away. I've tasted and seen - to whom would I go? I know who has the words of eternal life.
8. It's Chill by Lancifer feat. Meekakitty
This is another gem thanks to the YouTube mix of FF5's Zombie. This also features Tessa "Meekakitty" Violet. She's the bomb. She also has fantastic hair. Ok, but for real, the reason it's on this playlist is because I'm super chill. The music video is ridiculous, but through all the ridiculousness in my life, it's all chill. Even with the roller coaster of emotions I'm laying out on this playlist from wanting to be an emotionless robot, to happy, clapping Irish hipsters, to alluding to racial tensions, I'm still grounded. None of the emotions unhinge me because I have this peace that passes understanding. It's chill.
9. I Will Fail You by Demon Hunter
Demon Hunter is the other staple band in my life playlists. I love this song. The title says it all. I'm not worth putting your faith in. If I point you to Jesus, that's awesome, but don't just look at me. Which leads me to my next song.
10. Take Me to Your Leader by the Newsboys
I was going to do Step Up to the Microphone, but this just had such a great segue from the don't look at me thing, and that Newsboys song was about how you should listen up to me. Now, I love Peter Furler almost as much as I love Ryan Clark. There's something about bald guys. Or maybe awesome singers who love Jesus... You know, one of those things... But here's what it comes down to, I want to live a life like this, "They see we've got the joy / They see us live it, oi / It's real, it's free, it's fun, / Let's take 'em to our Leader's Son."
Bonus Track: Sorry I'm not Sorry by Tessa Violet
For real, she's like my current YouTube obsession.
It's a diverse list, but we're all complex people. I'm navigating what makes me me - strange musical tastes, loads of time on YouTube, live texting my friend Shannon when I watch ridiculous TV shows, reading theology books and chick lit back to back, and taking more steps and stretches every day. All staff conference starts next week, and I'll be back to my teaching routine by the first of September, but I'm praising Jesus for being my rock through all the emotions of this summer and for setting me up for successes to come this fall. Praise Jesus with me for the healing that's been done and the progresses that continue to unfold. I'm still asking for stamina as I return to work in the coming weeks.