We joke at BFA that if you do something more than once, it's a tradition. Since I did a "Life Playlist" in both 2016 and 2015, it's a summer thing I do now. Here's a link to the 2017 playlist all together on YouTube if you want to follow along. Plus it makes me nostalgic, so my first song is nostalgic.
1. "We Used to Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols
Okay, this is mostly for Shannon because I love Veronica Mars. There've been opportunities this year to reflect on things I'd long forgotten. Good times, and I'm so glad I'm not in high school anymore.
2. "On My Own" by Tessa Violet
I'm close with Shannon and a lot of other people. In fact, I had lovely interactions with people every day this week as a different alum or friend came over for tea or took me out for breakfast or skyped me across the ocean, so this song is not really about a lack of friends. If you listen to the lyrics, it speaks directly to the social anxiety I deal with on a regular basis. And I'm trying to read what you want from me.
3. "Trying Times" by Demon Hunter
Oh my goodness, the Outlive album is amazing. I also really love this official video. I have a hope in the resurrection and life to come. Also, this year has been trying, so the lament of just screaming that out is nice. Which leads me to the next song.
4. "Help" by The Beatles
Honestly, I've never been so disappointed with the internet as when I couldn't find the version of this song from the opening credits of the movie Help! on YouTube. That is one of the most ridiculous and hilarious movies. I watch it when I'm stressed and just laugh and laugh and laugh. And also I need a lot of help which is why the song found a place on my annual playlist. I constantly need help. And, "when I was younger, so much younger than before, I never needed anybody's help in any way," but now, "my life has changed in, oh, so many ways, and my independence seems to vanish in the haze." That's just a season so --
5. "Seasons of Love" by Jonathan Larson (from the musical Rent)
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this musical, and how convicting I find it as a Christian wanting to live a life exemplifying unconditional love. The musical deals with lots of pain and lots of joy and lots and lots of love. How do you measure a life? (This is another one that wasn't available in good quality on YouTube.)
6. "Unashamed" by Starfield
This year has had a lot of learning and growing. I'm a pretty broken person, but because of the peace secured by Jesus, I can stand before God unashamed. This is an old song, but it's always been beautiful to me.
7. "Psalm 100" by First Friday House Band
This one isn't available on YouTube, but I highly recommend you all go download it from iTunes or listen on Spotify. It's a beautiful version of the words of Scripture, and this particular psalm, if you've been reading my blog lately, it's quite fitting. I also love this particular song version for many reasons, and I'm forever indebted to Jordyne for finding it online after it was stuck in my head for weeks without knowing the composer or having heard it in years.
8. "Desert Soul" by Rend Collective
I love the line, "I need you, God, but I want to need you more." That is the cry of my heart. I am nothing without the Lord.
9. "So Dang Dark" by Rhett and Link
It's actually not a huge shift for me to move from Rend Collective to Rhett and Link. I love the Lord, and I love to laugh. Rhett and Link are internet-tainers bringing clean comedy to the masses through YouTube, and this is perhaps one of the greatest things they have ever produced. I have laughed so hard and had so many jokes related to this song through the past year that there is no way it can be left off the playlist.
10. "Cross the Line" by Superchick
"Everyone dies, but not everyone lives." Well, obviously, I just embody these lyrics. I'm gonna live.
11. "Lane Boy" by twentyonepilots
Not only am I going to live, but apparently I'm living a little on the edge. I'm seriously waiting to read someone's theological analysis of the allusions to Scripture in the lyrics of twentyonepilots. I recently had a conversation with a friend who is, like me, a bit beyond the general demographic of this band, but even more excited with the music and lyrics of twentyonepilots than I am. Karen and I were talking about how clearly steeped in Christian culture the lyricism is -- big surprise since it's written by a kid who grew up in the same church culture I did even listening to loads of the same music. Now he writes with passion about the deep questions he didn't see addressed in his church experience and was danced around by his musical predecessors. He's pushing boundaries and bringing big issues to the forefront, and it's upseting to some. I upset some people.
12. "Don't Censor Me" by Audio Adrenaline
Some of those musical predecessors did their own edgy lyrics in the 90s. I love the Christian music I grew up listening to, and I'll contentedly rock out to twentyonepilots and Audio Adrenaline back to back. I'm figuring out when and where to use my voice well, but I won't be censored. "I'm gonna show you something real."
Bonus track "UNITY" by The Lovely Lads
Okay, I went long this year by adding two tracks, but there's no way I couldn't share this awesomeness from my adorable children. I love these kids so much. I love my job, and I love that I get to work with these precious students who are hilarious, creative, witty, and intelligent.