You may know that I was a Vocal Music Performance major in college and love music from all genres, decades and styles. I’ve often joked I get nervous putting my iPod on shuffle in front of others because it can go from Beyonce to Beethoven to Backstreet Boys without missing a beat! Music for me is an absolute passion and I frequently immerse myself in song when I can think of no other way to express my emotions.
So when a student of mine asked me to help her with an assignment earlier this year, it really got me thinking. She was tasked with picking a personal “theme song” and sharing her rationale for choosing that song. It didn’t need to have lyrics, it didn’t have to be a “mainstream” song, but it had to reflect her. After helping her come up with some ideas (she ended up picking “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder), I started thinking about how I would answer.
Where do you start? What does the song you pick say about you? I started by looking at my “Most Played” list on iTunes to see if the songs I listened to the most said anything about me. My top three?
1. “No One” by Alicia Keys
2. “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles
3. “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney
While all of these are great songs (and fun to sing to, which is probably why they are my top three!), I didn’t feel like they really resonated with who I was as a person. I scoured through lyrics websites and did countless Google searches for “Songs about _______” (filling in the blank with “daughters,” “sisters,” “friends,” “mentors”), but nothing was working for me. I stopped actively searching, figuring that if I didn’t think so hard about it, finding my perfect theme song may come easier.
And that’s exactly what happened. While driving to the Cities one day, my theme song played on my iPod and I knew immediately it was what I’d been searching for all along. What was the winning selection?
For those of you unfamiliar with this musical gem, it’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python’s Life of Brian. It’s cheeky, it’s catchy and it’s perfect. So now it’s your turn…what’s YOUR theme song?