Music Monday: The Soundtracks of My Life

It happens a lot: a song will come on my iPod or on the radio, and immediately I am transported back in time, to a memory or experience from my past. Songs have such emotional resonances with me, and some songs and albums in particular became the “soundtracks” of my life at that time. I thought I’d take part in Kat’s Music Monday by making a list of some of these nostalgia-inducing albums, in reverse-chronological order.

1. Imagination by Bethany Dillon. I got this album my first semester in grad school, and I played it constantly. That first semester, as longtime readers of my blog know, was wretched. I was weepy, stressed, and insecure. I considered dropping out. But when I would play this album, I found a respite from that stress and worry. Instead I rested in the knowledge that Jesus would bring me through this. Standout songs for me: “Be Near Me,” “Hallelujah,” and “My Love Hasn’t Grown Cold” (I think I played that particular song over and over and over).

2. All Things New by Watermark. This was the soundtrack of my first year of college. A friend introduced me to the dulcet-toned Christy Nockels, and I was hooked. The lyrics on this album just blew me away; I remember driving in my car with the windows down and just singing along: “Because of who You are, and who I am in You, You make all things new.” Such beauty and power and scriptural truth! Other standouts: “Incorruptible,” “Where to Find Me,” and “You Are My Stronghold.”

3. Wide Eyed by Nichole Nordeman. I first heard Nichole Nordeman’s song “To Know You” on the radio during the end of my junior year in high school, and I remember wondering who this woman was and wanting to hear more. I looked up the song online and found the CD, and I instantly became a fan of Nichole, whose honest, gripping, and raw lyrics continue to draw me. If only she would release a new album!!

4. “The Great Adventure” by Steven Curtis Chapman. The very first “Christian” song I ever heard is “The Great Adventure.” It would come on the radio, and my mom and I would instantly sing along. I was in middle school when I first “discovered” SCC, and I became a fan in every sense of the word. When I got to go to his Heaven in the Real World concert, I was elated and danced and clapped the whole time, even though our seats were so far away that Steven was just a speck in the distance, and even though my brother was completely mortified by my behavior. (Now, I probably would be mortified by my behavior.) I’ve seen him more times in concert (5) than any other artist. Such was my obsession with SCC that I used to refer to him as “my husband.” Yes, I knew he was married. Yes, I did not care. Yes, I am insane. I don’t think I have followed any musician’s career longer than I have SCC’s; I own all of his albums, going back to his very first release, and while I don’t love him with the same youthful fervor, his music will forever hold a place in my heart. (As an aside, you can read updates on the Chapman family as they recover from the tragedy that befell them in May by going here.) His song “Maria” took on a new meaning when he adopted a little girl from China of the same, and that meaning is even deeper in light of their loss.

5. Heart in Motion by Amy Grant. I found Amy Grant’s music around the same time as SCC’s, and the Heart in Motion tape (haha) got heavy play on my tape player. I loved her voice, loved singing to her songs, and spent countless hours pretending I was her, giving concerts to adoring fans. (I dream big.) Standouts: “That’s What Love is For,” “Galileo” (I think I had to look up Galileo, and I didn’t really understand this song, but I played it a LOT.), “I Will Remember You,” and “Hope Set High.”

Which songs/albums would be on your soundtrack?

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