Tag Archives: Music

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Songs That Confused Me When I Was a Kid

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

If anyone is interested in reading a great essay about how common sayings, phrases,  and even certain logos can be misunderstood, go check out Knowledge Is Power. France Is Bacon.

I normally avoid discussing sensitive topics like religion online, but I must bring it up today due to the sort of childhood I had.

A closeup photo of a mic in a mic stand on a stage. The lights from the upper portion of the stage make it impossible to see anything in the distance. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was a preacher’s kid and was homeschooled for the first several years of elementary school.  The combination of these two things meant that I knew very little about secular pop culture until I was about eleven or twelve and my parents began gradually relaxing their rules about music, tv shows, and films.

(They were less strict about books for some reason, but even there I mostly read the classics, Bible stories, the Inspirational genre, and fairy tales until I was old enough to go to the library with less adult supervision and, ahem, bend the rules just a little bit by borrowing children’s ghost stories and Choose Your Own Adventure books. 😉 )

Therefore, I suspect that my first two answers might not be familiar to some of you. I mixed it up as much as possible and included secular music, too, to increase the odds of someone knowing at least one of my answers!

Apple Red Happiness

Apple Red Happiness is a kids’ worship song about the Fruits of the Spirit, which are a list of virtues from the New Testament. They include love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

What confused me about this song were all of the food references that had nothing at all to do with the topic at hand. What on Earth did food have to do with being kind or peaceful? I couldn’t figure it out, so I was always left feeling puzzled and a little hungry during this song.


I’m in the Lord’s Army 

I’m in the Lord’s Army is a kids’ worship song about committing to being in service of God that uses a lot of militaristic imagery to get its point across.

There were motions we were supposed to act out at specific portions of the song. For example, we’d pretend to pull the string back on a bow and shoot an arrow every time we heard the world artillery or pretend to hold a bridle and gallop like a horse every time we heard cavalry.

Given the large number of pacifist German Mennonite relatives I had, this song also utterly confused me. When I learned what metaphors were, I concluded that this was a metaphor….well, at least until I learned about the Crusades and other holy wars when I grew older. Then it was back to permanent confusion.

As protective as my parents were, though, some secular music did seep through.


Kissed By a Rose

I believe I heard Seal’s Kissed By a Rose on a radio that was playing in a store somewhere when I was a kid.

It sounded a little medieval to me and was nothing like I’d heard before. I loved it!. For several years I assumed that this song was hundreds of years old and had only recently been rediscovered and recorded for a new generation.


Stop! In the Name of Love 

One of my elementary school classmates would randomly sing Stop! In the Name of Love by The Supremes when we were at recess. (Or maybe some other artist did a cover of that song that I wasn’t aware of?)

I had never heard of this group before and had zero cultural context to understand what I was supposed to stop doing, what love had to do with it, or what other rules love might compel someone to follow in order to avoid breaking anyone’s heart. None of it made sense, and for many years I assumed that kid simply enjoyed making up silly things to sing that weren’t supposed to make any sense.

It also didn’t help that he only sang those five words over and over again and only occasionally included the next five (“before you break my heart”).  Maybe he didn’t know the rest of the lyrics and was secretly just as confused as I was?


Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Song Lyrics I’ve Misheard

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A close-up of a sheet of music on a music stand. The stand is next to a window that is covered by horizontal blinds.

This isn’t the sheet music to my answer. It’s simply a nice thing to look at.

I thought this topic was going to be an easy one, but it almost stumped me. Only one answer came to mind.

Artists and Song: Lloyd Feat. Lil Wayne, I Want You

What I Heard: “She’s 5’2,” but I want you.”

The Actual Lyric: “She’s fine, too, but I want you.”

I spent years wondering why height matters at all to these rappers. I don’t notice a meaningful difference between someone who is 5’2” versus an inch shorter or taller than that unless I have some compelling reason to pay close attention their height.

It feels weird to publish such a short post, but this one can help to balance out some of my earlier Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge posts where I gave long, chatty answers because I simply had to give two or more responses when only one was technically called for. Ha!


Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Your Theme Song for This Year

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A stereo audio equalizer showing a rainbow visualization of a beat. My theme song for 2022 is a song that was released a few years ago.

It was written by one of my favourite modern musicians, Ed Sheeran, and the title of it is “Beautiful People.”

Here is a link to the lyrics for anyone who would like to read them before listening to the song.

What I love about this piece of music is how it encourages everyone to embrace their true selves, flaws and all. That’s such a positive and helpful message to share with the world! It’s something I need to hear sometimes, too.

Here is the official music video for the song: Beautiful People by Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid 


Filed under Blog Hops

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Favourite Songs

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Were we supposed to share our favourite songs of all time or our favourite contemporary songs? I decided to do a little of both since I wasn’t sure how everyone else would interpret this prompt.

The links below will play these songs for you. Some of them are also the official music videos for them.

Hotel California” by The Eagles

My father really enjoyed this band when he was growing up, so we heard their music throughout our childhoods. I always liked this particular song of theirs.


Slightly burned sheets of musicPuff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul, & Mary

Sometimes I wonder if my parents would have been hippies if they’d been born a decade or so earlier. They love whimsical songs like this, and so do I.


Best Friend” by Brandy

I saved up my allowance for weeks to buy her albums as they came out! (My parents were pastors. We didn’t listen to much secular music for the first decade or so of my life, so she made a big impression on me).


Hands” by Jewel 

This song has such a beautiful message about how to deal with tough times and what we can do to help others when they’re struggling.


May It Be” by Enya 

Her contribution to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack was perfect.


Happy” by Pharrell Williams 

These lyrics and music video are so filled with joy.


Spirit” by Beyonce 

Honestly, I like just about everything she puts out. This is one of her newer songs that I think will be a classic.


Beautiful People” by Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid

Ed has written a lot of lovely music. I especially appreciated this song of his because it was about the perspective of totally ordinary people.


The Last Great American Dynasty” by Taylor Swift 

Did you know the protagonist of this ballad is based on a real person? I thought that was pretty neat.



Filed under Blog Hops

Top Ten Tuesday: Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Close-up shot of piano keys.I decided to add what genre of music I think these imaginary bands would play, too!

1. Blinded by the Sun

Genre of Music: Happy Hardcore

2. The Go-Between 

Genre of Music: Caribbean. But I think I’d tweak their name to be “The Go-Betweens.”

3. Daddy Cool 

Genre of Music: Jazz

4. Men Without Art

Genre of Music: Modernized folk music from around the globe performed by a diverse group of musicians from those cultures. Their band name would be a misnomer for sure.

5. Lullabies for Little Criminals 

Genre of Music: Rock

6. Man-Eating Vegetables 

Genre of Music: Annoying but also strangely catchy tunes for young children. This band reserves the right to borrow from any other genre with no advanced notice.

7. Mystic River 

Genre of Music: Country

8. The Thorn Birds 

Genre of Music: Pop

9. Twelfth Night 

Genre of Music: Classical

10. Midnight’s Children 

Genre of Music: An R&B girl group. I choose to believe that Blue Ivy Carter would be one of their members, but I’ll leave it up to the rest of you to pick the others. 😉


Filed under Blog Hops

Nothing Appeals to Everyone

As I mentioned last week, there are certain authors and genres I’ve never been able to become a fan of no matter how many times I try to like them.

It simply isn’t possible to write, draw, film, or sing something that’s going to appeal to every single person who stumbles across it. My thoughts on this topic were too complicated to condense for last week’s post, so I’m going to discuss them with you this week instead.

Some themes, plot twists, or tropes will appeal to one reader but will repel the next person who attempts to read them. This is completely normal, and it says nothing about the quality of the writing itself. It all boils down to the subjective nature of art and storytelling.

Subjectivity and Literature

To give you a concrete example of what I’m talking about, let’s go back to when I was in high school. My eleventh grade English teacher was a kind, generous woman who regularly allowed her students borrow books from her if we wanted something to read for the sheer joy of it.

When she noticed me reading a scary Stephen King story one week and a collection of Langston Hughes poems the next, she smiled and say she was glad to see a student of hers readings such a wide variety of stuff.

She taught her students a lot about literature in general. The authors she assigned us to study were from a wide range of eras and movements. I enjoyed all of them at least a little bit with one glaring exception: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

By the time I finished the first scene of it, I began counting down the days until we finished the last chapter and moved onto literally anything else in the entire world. I honestly would have preferred to read the phone book by the time we were halfway through that story because there was nothing about it that I found at all enjoyable. The characters were vain, selfish, and materialistic from what I observed. If anything interesting ever happened to them, the horrendously slow pacing made it hard for me to tell when those scenes were occurring.

I’ve never been able to get into F. Scott Fitzgerald’s catalogue even as an adult reader who no longer has to remember anything about what I’ve read for a future pop quiz. Obviously, there are plenty of people who disagree with me here, and I’m glad that they’re able to get something out of his writing. The fact that it doesn’t speak to me in no way means that it isn’t worth reading.

He simply isn’t the kind of storyteller that I’m drawn to. Something tells me that my teacher would have understood this if it had been socially acceptable for me to tell her how much I disliked that unit. As it was, I stayed perfectly polite and never brought up the subject. She might have privately had a list of authors she wasn’t a fan of as well!

Subjectivity and Art

The subjective nature of these things isn’t limited to literature, either.

One of the biggest reasons why I love going to art museums, shows, galleries, and other creative spaces with a small group of like-minded people has to do with how interesting it is to see how different folks respond to the same painting, sculpture, or other creative work.

When it comes to photography, I like whimsical, thought-provoking pieces like the shot of two toy robots on the right side of this post. Their glowing eyes make it easy to imagine that they’re somehow at least slightly aware of their surroundings.

There are so many different ways to interpret a photo like this one. Sometimes when I’m sitting quietly somewhere this is exactly the sort of thing I think about.

My taste in paintings is nothing like my preferences for photography. Hyperrealism fascinated me long before I had any idea that there was a name for this movement or that multiple painters have figured out how to paint scenes so realistic that I genuinely feel like I could walk into them and never notice I was in a painting at all. It was a style of painting I was pleasantly surprised to see on occasion, and I only grew to love it more once I figured out what it was called and that many different artists have explored it over the years.

Of course, not everyone is going to agree with me on either of these points. There are people out there who don’t connect with the pieces that speak to me at all just like I have been known to have trouble understanding other, most abstract types of art.

Subjectivity and Music

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to get a group of people to agree on what a good song should sound like even after you’ve sorted out objective criteria like the quality of the singer’s voice or whether or not they’re singing on key?

I know plenty of folks who have incredibly strong opinions on this topic. Some of them even refuse to listen to certain artists or entire genres of music altogether because of how firmly they’ve made up their minds about what they do and don’t enjoy.

Yes, I’ve done this, too. There was a long period of time when I didn’t think I liked any form of country music at all. It was only after being exposed to many different types of it that I realized there were a small number of country artists that I actually did enjoy quite a bit.

There’s Something for Everyone

While nothing is going to appeal to everyone, there is something out there for everyone.

I don’t know about you, but I find that freeing.

It’s okay not to like something. Someone else out there loves it.

On the flip side, you’ll find plenty of books and other creative works that you do love if you keep searching for the things that speak to you.

What have you read, watched, or listened to that you’ve never been able to enjoy? What creative works have you tried and been surprised by how much you loved them?


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Why It’s Okay to Eavesdrop for Creative Purposes

 I have a confession to make today. Listening in on other people’s conversations is one of my favourite things to do, and I don’t think any artistic person should feel the least bit guilty about it.

In fact, we should be doing it regularly.

Why is that, you might be wondering? I have several different reasons for feeling this way.

This Isn’t About Spreading or Listening to Gossip. I would be equally interested in overhearing people passionately debate their favourite fishing techniques as I would a happy story about someone they know who just got engaged. If someone really loves a certain topic, their enthusiasm for it can be contagious.

There’s also something fascinating about conversations that aren’t rehearsed or expected to be remembered in any way. I like the little pauses people add to what they say before they share big news and the different sounds they make when they hear something sad, thrilling, troubling, or wonderful.

The way that words slip off of a real person’s tongue isn’t always the same as the way that characters speak. It’s interesting to find these small cracks between the two and try to fill them in the next time I read or write something that didn’t quite hit the mark.

Your Intentions Are Good. On a related note, another big reason why I don’t have a problem with eavesdropping for creative purposes is because artists and writers generally have good intentions when they do it. We listen in on other people’s conversations to find inspiration, not stir up trouble or poke our noses into other people’s business.

There have been times when I suddenly stopped eavesdropping on people because of how personal or sensitive their exchange was becoming. It’s one thing to overhear someone talk about what kind of fruit to pick up at the grocery store and quite another to listen to them plan a funeral or publicly break up with their partner.

These aren’t things that I have any interest in overhearing. They really should have happened in a private place anyway, so I pretend like I never heard them if they accidentally spill out into the public sphere. Someone who was eavesdropping for an unsavoury purpose wouldn’t have this kind of discretion.

Some Moments Were Made for Each Other. Have you ever thought of the perfect comeback minutes, hours, or days after a discussion ended? Time travel isn’t possible, of course, but you can always go back and rewrite how things should or could have gone if that’s something you want to.

There’s also something to be said for snipping moments out of real life that never could have happened next to each other and then figuring out how to lay them down gently on a fresh sheet of paper, tuck them into song lyrics, or flick them onto a clean canvas.  The best things I’ve ever written were a curious mixture of wishful thinking, stolen tidbits of time from true events, and characters I’ve already created that demand to keep that particular idea for their own uses.

Other People’s Stories Are Fodder for the Imagination. I have never used an entire conversation that I’ve heard in anything that I’ve written. The details always get changed, and they usually are altered in such profound ways that no no one would recognize their source.

Most of the time these exchanges make me think of questions that lead me to entirely new places in my mind. For example, I might hear someone mispronounce a fairly common word and wonder why they did that. Is English their second language? Did they used to have a severe stutter when they were a child that now only comes through when they try to say certain sounds? Have they only ever read that word in print and so have no idea that they’re mispronouncing it?

There are so many logical explanations for something like this. If you’re writing science fiction or fantasy, there could be plenty of supernatural or otherworldly explanations to play around with as well. Has this person been possessed by a ghost who lived in a time when that word was pronounced differently? Is she an alien who is desperately trying to blend into human society while she observes how our society functions and decides whether or not to officially make first contact?

I almost never have a clue if my theories are actually correct, but that doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things. They provide a decent jumping off point, and I’m happy to let my imagination wander after that.

Life Would be Dull Without Storytellers. I believe that poets, musicians, writers, painters, and other creative folks fulfill a vital purpose for our species. We take note of those strange, beautiful, difficult, or thought-provoking moments in life that many other people miss and reinterpret them in all kinds of wonderful ways.

Occasionally we even get to preserve those moments so that they can be savoured decades or even centuries after they originally existed. If this isn’t a kind of immortality, I don’t know what else would qualify. There is something almost magical about still having these snapshots of ordinary times that existed long ago and in faraway places.

So eavesdrop away, fellow creative people! There are beautiful moments slipping by every single day. It’s up to us to capture a few of them and make sure they’re not forgotten.

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Filed under Writing

This Isn’t How Earworms Are Supposed to Work

This might come as a surprise to readers who haven’t heard this story yet, but my family didn’t listen to secular music until I was in middle school. Even then it was limited for religious reasons.

We knew a few hymns. We knew a lot about worship music, old folk songs from my parents’ childhoods, and Contemporary Christian music.

We didn’t have cable until I was a preteen. Some years we didn’t own a television at all. Other years we did, but we were limited to the free channels we could pick up with an antenna when the weather was clear. We didn’t have Internet access until I was in high school. Most of the places we lived also weren’t close to any record stores or malls.

It’s hard to imagine that world now. I feel so far removed from it as an adult, but it was all I knew growing up.

When I was old enough to make my own media decisions, I started catching up on the pop culture I’d been completely unaware of as a kid. It happened in a slow, piecemeal fashion. Occasionally I still come across a reference to a celebrity, or a song, or a TV show that most people my age remember but that I do not.

I still hear the religious music of my childhood in my head sometimes. It’s something that I assume happens to everyone, regardless of what kinds of music they like as adults or what they think of the music of their childhood.

Recently I had this song stuck in my head for a few days. The interesting thing about that is that I’ve always thought of earworms as something that mostly happens with songs people hear as children because of the nostalgia factor.

So why is a song that I first heard many years after it was originally released getting stuck in my head in 2015?

This isn’t how earworms are supposed to work!

What assumptions have you made lately that turned out not to be true? What song(s) have gotten stuck in your head recently?



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