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All Songs Considered
Fri February 14, 2014
Your Songs: A Listener-Generated Valentine's Day Playlist
Earlier this week we asked listeners to tell us about the songs that marked milestones in their lives, particularly the songs they came to while falling in love. These are the tracks couples inevitably call "their song" and forever embody a specific time or place or feeling. We got some great stories — and plenty of wonderful songs as well. So with Valentine's Day upon us, here are a few of our favorites.
"Just after we first met (in our late 30's) as coworkers, we were at a party in the backyard of another coworker's home. One of the other employees was a very young guy, must have been about 20. When [Van Morrison's] 'Moondance' came on, he said he didn't know the song and was complaining about it (too slow, oldster, whatever). I picked a fight with him about the fact that this is the very most romantic song ever. It was all in good humor, me educating a youngster very seriously about the value of the song. But my later-to-be-spouse was standing there and heard the whole conversation, agreeing with me, [while] gathering one more data point about me that night. Guess I passed the test." - jhante
"The first vacation my (eventual) wife and I took was to the Newport Folk Festival. M. Ward opened his set with a stripped down version of ['Poison Cup']. Just him and his guitar. During the pauses, the massive crowd was so quiet that we could hear the wind whistling in off the water. The performance blew us away. No pun intended. Eventually, after a few months of practicing a pseudo-waltz in the kitchen and living room, we used it for our first dance at our wedding." -Chad Ploskina
"We met in high school, and on a senior year backpacking trip in Arch Canyon we were washing dishes in a stream and I started singing an ear worm in my head, 'So Happy Together' by the Turtles. He sang along with me all the way through to the end and did all the Ba Ba Bas. We were close friends for 13 years before admitting we'd been crazy about each other all along. Now we're getting married this November. And we are so very happy together!" -Brooke Chapla
"The Magnetic Fields. '100,000 Fireflies.' I worked third-shift at a gas station and went to college full-time in the day. That album [Distant Plastic Trees] was just released and the radio station played the song at midnight every Friday and Saturday. I worked those shifts and fell in love with the song. It was in a college town in the middle of nowhere. She would come in after parties now and then with a group. One night she exited with her friends but returned to ask what the name of the song was. Soon, she just started coming around alone. Always near midnight and we would sit and listen to the song, then talk a bit and she would leave. Then I fell in love with her, and later we got married" -Marty Hafner
"When the 'Permanent Roommate' and I first started dating, I was traveling a lot for work. 'If You're Here When I Get Back' by John Eddie really resonated with us, lamenting on the difficulties of such an arrangement but how it's all worth it in the end. That was years ago, but we both still love when it comes up on iTunes." -Jack Romain
"My mom listened to country and western when we were growing up in the '60s. I didn't like it at the time but when I was older I was nostalgic for it and began listening to those old songs again. So my kids heard those songs, too by George Jones, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller. Now they are grown and married and listen to those old songs. My daughter in law confessed to me that because she was hearing these songs at our family gatherings during her courtship by my son, now they consider the song by Roger Miller, 'King of the Road,' to be 'their song.' I thought that was so sweet and my Mom would love how her music is carried on through the generations. My younger son was married this past summer and when 'King of the Road' was played, everyone sang along." -Jan Brattain
"Peter Gabriel's 'I Grieve.' When I heard it on my CD, and again in a movie in which Nicolas Cage grieves for his lost wife, I grieved too. I knew my husband of 50 years would be gone before long and grieved when hearing it, both before and after he died. But this song was so powerful for me because of the lyrics: 'life carries on ...' I knew I would carry on, and I have done so." -Diana Morley
"'At My Most Beautiful' by R.E.M. It was actually our wedding song, but chosen by my very reserved, non-romantic-gesturing husband. In fact, he insisted upon it. We tried it out in our living room before the big day and it was perfect. It was like him: a wonderfully beautiful surprise. A few years ago, I was shopping in the market and oddly enough, it came on over the speaker system. I was transfixed in the stupid produce section, crying like a lunatic." -LibraryGirl74
"The Wild Hunt album by The Tallest Man on Earth was the soundtrack for my college boyfriend's and [my] relationship, punctuated by some heart-meltingly good live shows of his we saw together. It later proved to be an excellent album for wallowing in post-break up melancholy, so it works well on both sides of the equation. Thanks Tallest Man! The song I most associated with the relationship was 'Thousand Ways.'" -Amy721
"Funny you should ask. My song is: 'Your Song' by Elton John. It reminds me of someone I loved and lost in 1973. Every time I hear it, I go right back to that year, and back to the memories of that special someone. Somehow forty years ago seems just like yesterday. Rest in peace, Mr. Goat. -Kristine Wilde