Christina’s Soundtrack

[I’m putting out a blog early this week. I will be up to my eyeballs in coffee and edits on Sunday. SPRING SUBMISSIONS ARE COMING.]

I went down a Reddit rabbithole. You know how it is. You search for one thing, you end up somewhere else…life in a nutshell.

I was researching qualitative thought on musical preferences and potential for influence as it pertains to life choices (it’s a character development thing, i.e. writing stuff) and I ended up in multiple threads about making a soundtrack for one’s life.

I thought, ‘That’s cool. What would my soundtrack look like?’ I was surprised by how complex the answers were. Most songs had an explanation, others simply did not.

I decided my “life soundtrack” was worth exploring in a blog.

1. Life on Mars? by David Bowie.

[Oh man, wonder if he’ll ever know / He’s in the best selling show / Is there life on Mars?]

When I’m feeling my most core self. Resigned to the state of humanity and yet I would still look for hope; outwards, not within.

2. Red Rain by Peter Gabriel.

[Putting the pressure on much harder now / To return again and again / Just let the red rain splash you]

This is a song that resonates, I don’t know how to explain it. Red Rain is a feeling.

3. Estranged by Guns N’ Roses.

[When you’re talkin’ to yourself / And nobody’s home / You can fool yourself / You came in this world alone]

I was a fan since Appetite for Destruction but it’s the opening lyrics to Estranged that gets me. You either know what it is to be that alone or you don’t. I do.

4. Nightcall by Kavinsky.

[There something inside you / It’s hard to explain / They’re talking about you boy / But you’re still the same]

A song for when I’m in serious contemplation. Yes, I have driven in the night to Nightcall.

5. I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons

[But I’ll kneel down / Wait for now / And I’ll kneel down / Know my ground]

I’m a decided person and my actions reflect in kind. But I also acknowledge that some things are worth waiting for. Not everyone moves at the same pace. This song has that presence of mind. I need to remember what’s worth waiting for.

PS – I adore Mumford & Sons’ version of the The Boxer. Check it out.

6. Killing Me Softly (as sung by Lauryn Hill of the Fugees)

[I felt he’d found my letters and read each one out loud / I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on]

To me, this is what pure vulnerability sounds like. I keep my feelings close to my chest. I’m at my most comfortable when writing my truths and, strangely enough, direct confrontation. I respect directness as I can only be as real with my feelings as I believe others to be with me. Killing Me Softly is a desire for that realness. To be so confronted.

7. Surrender by Suicide

[Love isn’t easy / Easy to find / I’ll stay for you / I’m trying hard, baby / Too tired to fight / For you / I surrender / To you]

The idea of surrendering to another (or being surrendered to) is overwhelming. I don’t know what it is to surrender to someone and it captivates my feelings (and imagination) for that reason. I can feel the longing in this song, the desire to give in. It challenges me without trying. Very powerful. As simple as the song is, it captivates me.

8. Someone That I Used to Know by Goyte

[But you didn’t have to cut me off / Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing / And I don’t even need your love / But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough]

I HAD NEVER THOUGHT OF IT LIKE THAT. A breakup, I mean. I remember an ex asking me once why I acted like we didn’t have something together, as though I was denying the relationship. I hadn’t denied anything, I simply went on with my life and assumed he had as well. I didn’t understand his beonghurt by my ability to move on, especially as he broke up with me. I was confused to say the least. Apparently, there’s a difference between separation and total cut-off. I never understood that until I heard this song.

9. Bullet with Butterfly Wings & Zero by Smashing Pumpkins

[Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage / Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved / Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage]

[I’m your lover I’m your zero / I’m the face in your dreams of glass]

When I’m pissed off…or exercising at the gym.

10. I Wanna Be Adored by The Stone Roses

[I don’t need to sell my soul / He’s already in me / I want to be adored / I want to be adored]

I have a lot to give. I could even surrender. I only ask for one thing in return.

11. Road to Nowhere by Talking Heads

[We’re on a ride to nowhere / Come on inside / Taking that ride to nowhere / We’ll take that ride]

We are all on a road to nowhere. May as well take the ride while you can.

12. Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie

[Pushing down on me / Pushing down on you, no man ask for / Under pressure / That burns a building down / Splits a family in two / Puts people on streets]

Under Pressure aligns me with my own sense of humanity. I can’t think of another song where I could say the same.

13. Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money

[With all the power you’re releasing / It isn’t safe to walk the city streets alone / Anticipation runs through me / Let’s find the keys and turn this engine on]

I’m a sucker for any song that showcases anticipation and tension (not easy to capture as a sound), and I love the 80s. Take Me Home Tonight is the embodiment of both. I just feel good when I hear it. Upbeat even. I could have a bad day, nothing’s going right, I’m tired and pissed off, Take Me Home Tonight could come on and I would think, ‘Well, today wasn’t that bad.’ It’s a natural mood lifter.

14. Here I Am (Come and Take Me) by Al Green

[A burning deep down inside / A love that I cannot hide / I know it’s you and me baby / That makes this world go round]

This is the sound of seduction. It’s a slow, seductive movement captured in song. It stands out to me because I feel it more than I hear it.

15. Hey Jude by The Beatles

[For well you know that it’s a fool / Who plays it cool / By making his world a little colder]

When I need my faith in humanity restored, Hey Jude.

It’s a mix I know, but that’s the idea. I love the critically acclaimed music, the fun music, the serious music, all of it…these songs have stood up over a period of time when it comes to my feelings and experiences. That’s all. It was fun to explore them. I could talk music all night but I think 15 songs is sufficient for a soundtrack…I am contemplating a re-mix version of this blog so TBC.

Christina Schmidt, MA

Published by Christina Schmidt

I'm an author and live in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas. Cheers, y'all.

8 thoughts on “Christina’s Soundtrack

  1. Ah, well, nothing’s perfect. Our musical tastes seem a point of divergence. For instance, I love Peter Gabriel, but (and I can’t explain it either) for some reason I don’t care for Red Rain musically. It obviously grabs people. The friend who is also a major Peter Gabriel fan places that as his favorite.

    For me it’s Solsbury Hill, Shaking the Tree, and In Your Eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My soundtrack lists make me all the more aware of how across the board my tastes are (eclectic, for simplicity’s sake). I have a workout cardio list called “Adrenaline.” Here’s a short sample of that list: Machinehead by Bush – Tempo by Lizzo – Dragula by Rob Zombie – Thunderstruck by AC/DC – Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson…yes, eclectic is accurate I think.

      Love Solsbury Hill.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. An upgrade at one point wiped out all my iTunes playlists (I was furious) and I haven’t gotten around to re-creating them. I used to have one called Dance that was all my favorite high-energy gotta-move-to-this-one tunes.

        I really should re-make that one; it was a great way to cheer up when I felt down. Problem is, with almost 7,600 tunes, it’s hard going through them and finding the ones I want.


      2. I didn’t lose the tunes, thankfully. I would have completely lost my mind over that. I’m slowly joining the world of rented videos and books, but I still own all my music. (Actually, I suppose I don’t completely own the iTunes stuff I bought. The cloud givith and the cloud takith away.)

        It was the playlists referencing those tunes. My Favorites was up to 350 tunes (the Dance list had maybe 30), and now figuring which 350 out of 7,600 is a huge task. The original Favorites list built up over years!


      3. Oh boy but still…a 350 song playlist!!! That’s intense, sir. I build an obnoxious amount of playlists to be honest. I have 80s lists with subsections but I think you may well appreciate that 🙂 What is on your dance list!?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, it sucked. Still does.

        I found a text file I made of my Favorites list a couple of years ago. It has over 200 tunes on it, so it’s a head-start on re-creating it in iTunes. It’s the only one I found, but going over it, some of the ones I remember being also on the Dance list:

        Jump, Jive an’ Wail; The Brian Setzer Orchestra
        Prairie Dog Town; Bruce Hornsby
        Cadillac Ranch & I’m A Rocker; Springsteen
        Ants Marching; Dave Matthews Band
        The Doctor; The Doobie Brothers
        Willie And The Hand Jive; Eric Clapton
        When The Sun Goes Down; Fleetwood Mac
        Johnny B. Goode & Bertha; Grateful Dead
        Too Bad On Your Birthday; Joan Jett
        Let It Roll (& Fat Man in the Bathtub?); Little Feat
        Chrome Plated Heart; Melissa Etheridge
        Cherry, Cherry & Brother Love’s … Show; Neil Diamond
        Gloria; Patti Smith
        Solsbury Hill & Sledgehammer; Peter Gabriel
        Danny’s All-Star Joint; Rickie Lee Jones
        Bop ‘Til You Drop; The Nylons

        But I’m missing a bunch and I’m not entirely sure all these were. Going through the old Favorites playlist, these struck me as movers.

        That’s the whole pain point, really. My tastes change constantly, my memory for stuff like this is Swiss cheese, and I changed those playlists a lot. After I lost them it was such a task to re-create them I just started shuffling the whole catalog or, like, the Rock genre. (Which I got to like. It’s like listening to the radio when you have a large catalog.)


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