A Decade Of Documenting


Despite the best of my intentions, I am not a journal person. I’ve never been good at keeping one, or trying to keep one, and many years ago I gave up on the trying. Several times I would get a new journal for a new year, write in it for all of four days in January, then abandon the thing to collect dust somewhere.

I am not a journal person.

Ten years ago I was not on what you would call a winning streak. Nearly every part of my life was the unideal, and no matter how I was trying to turn it around, it wouldn’t turn around.

It damn near broke me.

It wouldn’t be until the following year that I started to make any kind of headway, but that’s a story for another time, another place.

Or not.

Music (more specifically musical theatre and playing the piano) has always been the foundation of my passions. I don’t often talk about it, but it’s always there. Always in my mind. Hopefully in the future, the musical theatre will make its way to reality as well. Who knows. We’ll see.

Music has often held stronger reminders for me (of a time or place or experience) than words ever could. Some feelings can’t be put into words. Or at least, I’ve not found the accurate words for them.

In October of 2005 I started doing something that I wasn’t sure would work: documenting each month with a playlist of the songs that either reminded me of that time specifically, or of a situation, or of my feelings in general. Or, sometimes, the songs were just songs I was really into at the time. I put no boundaries on this endeavor. So I started.

And as of the end of last month, I’ve done it every month for a decade.

A lot has changed in ten years (obviously), but certain things have not. My taste in music has evolved, but the backbone of theatre is still there. I make no excuses for the music I like. If it is meaningful to me for the month in question, it goes on the playlist.

I have never shared the playlists themselves, but I thought it might be interesting to look at the original one from October of 2005, as well as my most recently playlist from last month. I can only offer a short explanation of why each is there, as, again, I’ve never been great at putting certain feelings into words.

Ironic for someone who writes, isn’t it?

The humor is not lost on me.

Here are the songs from that initial playlist. If you click on the videos, I ask that you listen and not necessarily watch. The songs stood alone in their moving me one way or another.


Anna Nalick – Forever Love


Cary Brothers – Forget About You


Jason Mraz – Geek in the Pink


Jason Mraz – Life is Wonderful


Velvet Underground – Pale Blue Eyes


Until I just looked back at these, I didn’t recall that there were only five tracks on that first playlist. Most I can recall why they are there (one in particular caught me off guard and made me instantly recall certain things about that time), and one in particular I had no idea why it was there.

Those are memories for you.

Now, here is the juxtaposition of my most recent playlist. Again, if you take the time to listen to any of these, please do so without watching the videos. Think of this as the mixtape of my life.

Because it is.


Brian Tyler – Broken Compass

(From the moment I heard the Far Cry 3 soundtrack back in 2012, it has resonated with me. Certain songs from it have been present on my monthly playlists each month since then.)


Sukhwinder Singh & Sapana Awasthi – Chaiyya Chaiyya

(Here is one where it’s perfectly fine to watch the video. This was from a Bollywood film and this scene was actually shot entirely on a moving train.)


Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark

(This about sums it up for me.)


Petula Clark – Downtown

(A dear friend told me she thought of me singing this, and it made me want to.)


Electric Light Orchestra – The Fall


Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire

(This song is powerful. It is something to aspire to.)


Brian Tyler – Heat


Pawel Blaszczak – Horizon


Electric Light Orchestra – I’m Alive


Brian Tyler – Journey Into Madness


Yann Tiersen – Les Jours Tristes

(If there is one song I’d prefer for people to remember me by, this is the one. I believe this is my favorite song of all time.)


Imagine Dragons – Radioactive


Kenneth Young & Brian D’Oliveira – Record Scratching Tune (Sogport Remix)

(I find something deeply moving, uplifting, and moderately out of control about this. I adore it.)


Electric Light Orchestra – Ticket to the Moon

(This is another song I found myself wanting to sing. It has certain similarities to a particular song from “Evita.”)


Electric Light Orchestra – When I Was a Boy


The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1


I can’t quite impart how personal it is for me to share this. I’m not sure why I did. I hope it meant something to you, whoever you are who is reading (and perhaps listening along) this.

Cheers, friends. Thank you for visiting my past and present.

Categories: musings

Tagged as: ,

9 replies »

  1. Wow! The fact that you consistently did that every month for 10 years is… incredible. What a cool thing!

    Music is amazing the way it can bring to mind different times from our past, anything from specific memories to scents, even just the hint of an emotion you can’t quite put your finger on. I’ve always loved and appreciated music in many, many forms, but have certainly found it to be more meaningful to me with each passing day. Which is weird seeing as my library hasn’t really changed much at all in the last decade.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s a bit difficult to believe I’ve been doing it that long. But I’m oddly proud of it. I can choose a month from any year and the playlist immediately takes me back.

      I think you nailed it with your description. And perhaps you will find some new music in the future. I sort of love that iTunes can suggest music based on things you currently like. And of course, then there is Pandora and such.

      And thank you for reading it. :)


  2. Music has always been important to me too. Some songs bring tears or laughter or sometimes both. Thanks for sharing this list, I knew most of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that you opened this post talking about journals. What an interesting way to journal and document your life and feelings. Like you said, music has a way of articulating things that words simply can’t. I enjoy many of these songs, as well as the stark comparison between the two playlists. You are still the same person, but many things have changed. I love it. This piece was a work of art. How cool that it has meaningful sound to accompany it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The evolution of what I enjoy and how I enjoy it is interesting to me. As is how I’ve changed. I mean, I know we have all changed, but sometimes it can be difficult to see it in ourselves until we get a glimpse of a historic version of ourselves.

      And I’m still going strong on my monthly playlists. Some months are a bit sparse, but I never force myself to include more than I feel should be there.


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