A Special Report from Agent MamaBear
I used the same parameters as Chris did. I went off the songs on my iPod. These aren’t necessarily my 26 favourite songs, but songs that have some sort of meaning to me… some enough so that they have remained on my playlist for over 25 years. I also tried not to pick any songs I have used on How Was Your Week, Honey, Our Liner Notes, or The Listening Party Podcast.
A – Ain’t That a Kick in the Head by Dean Martin
I would have picked All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers, but Chris beat me to it! I would just like to put it out there that I went to The Killers to hear this song while HE went to The Dandy Warhols… just saying.
I love the standards. I have always had a thing for the Rat Pack and the music made from that era just puts me in the mood to dance, get dressed up and drink martinis. Although Dean Martin isn’t my favourite of the group this tune is one of my favourites, because I love the lyrics and it is in one of the best movie sequels ever, Vegas Vacation.
B – Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered by Ella Fitzgerald
I was 19 when I was introduced to Ella and I thought, “where have you been all my life?” I felt so glamorous, sophisticated and very adulty drinking a glass of wine in my very own apartment listening to Ms Fitzgerald. The 3 words bewitched, bothered and bewildered became my sexier more grown up synonyms for crush, horny, and crazy.
C – Can’t Hardly Wait by The Replacements
So this is a song that Chris introduced me to. When we met and started discussing music we had some common ground… But not much! He lent me CDs from three bands: Pulp, The Stone Roses and The Replacements. This song became one of my absolute favourites and I played it all the time while preparing for our wedding.
D – Dog Days are Over by Florence and the Machine
To be honest this is not my favourite Florence and the Machine song, that would be “Shake It Off,” but this is a very close second! She has such a fabulous voice and the music is so dramatic that it is hard not to sing as loud as you can while listening. When it comes on in the van we crank the volume and even the van dances much to the delight of my 4 year-old.
E – Evaporated by Ben Folds Five
I have found in my experience the majority of the sadness, anger and disappointment in my life was brought on by something I did or most likely something I said. I have always loved the chorus of this song. It always blares inside my head when I eff up.
F – Forever Young by Bob Dylan
My Brother sang me down the aisle of my wedding and I also asked him to sing the Father/Daughter dance as well. I was stuck between this song and Forever Young by Rod Stewart. Ultimately, I didn’t choose the Rod Stewart song though it was a favourite in our house as I was growing up and always reminds me of my Dad. I used Dylan’s version in my Mom’s slideshow at her celebration of life and every time I hear it I think of my Mom because to me she will always be forever young.
G – Ghosts That Haunt Me by Crash Test Dummies
The Crash Test Dummies are a Winnipeg band and they were the first band I ever paid to see live! This song comes off of their first album in 1991 entitled “The Ghosts That Haunt Me.” Although this song, their second release, was never a huge hit, it has remained on my playlist for 26 years.
H – Harvest Moon by Neil Young
On the Canadian Prairies bush parties are a major staple of all teenagers lives. For me sitting in the bush drinking beer with good friends always brings back memories of this song. In the fall you can smell the burning fields and you can feel the warmth of the autumn sun giving way to the harvest Moon. I even have a picture that says I love you to the harvest moon and back
I – I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons
I’m not even sure if this is a good song. (LOL) My reason for picking it is purely based on emotion. This song came out after my Mom died and the words spoke to me. When he sings, “remember when I broke you down to tears I know I took the path that you would never want for me I gave you hell through all the years” really hit home. I made my Mom cry… A lot. I always took the hard way and I think she expected me to be something amazing. Another section that really gets me is, “I’ve told a million lies but now I’ll tell a single truth there’s you in everything I do.” For so many years I denied being anything like my Mom and those lyrics leave a huge lump in my throat. By the time he begs, “please forgive me for all I’ve done” I am usually bawling. Whenever I’m feeling sad I go to my Mom’s final resting spot and crank this song super loud and I have a dance party. It’s what she would want me to do.
J – Jane Says by Jane’s Addiction
When I was 15 and in grade 10 I tried out for the school drama production, The Forgotten Slipper. It was written by a super cool drama student from the University of Winnipeg. I was the only grade 10 student to get a part and all the rest were super artsy and trendy Grade 12 students. In the play the main character laid on her bed singing this song on the top of her lungs. I had never heard Jane’s addiction before and I just related this song to being ultra cool LOL. I still crank it in the van and Sing it loud like I was laying on my bed, an angst ridden teenager listening to my ultra cool music.
K – Knowledge by Operation Ivy
I’ve spoke about this song on How Was Your Week, Honey? However, it bears mentioning again, this is 1 minute and 43 seconds that pretty much describe my state of mind from 18 to 21. It was on every mixed CD and it was one of the first songs I woke up to every morning. One night I stayed out way too late partying and got home just in time to shower and change into my uniform for my dead-end job. This song came on while I was talking down the vomit in the shower. I really listened… And registered for university the very next day!
L – Let It Be by The Beatles
The Beatles have always played a very important role in my life. My Dad is a huge Beatles fan and we grew up with the entire Beatles catalogue playing on the ghetto blaster. A few days after my Mom passed I was on automatic. I had to drive out to a neighbouring town to drop off something for Chris and a yellow butterfly accompanied me on the drive. before my mom passed she said that whenever I needed her, to look for something yellow and she would be there with me. The whole drive I kept looking out the window and seeing this beautiful yellow butterfly when this song came on the radio. Seriously, a Beatles song came on a modern radio station. I knew what she was telling me and this song became one of the many that played at her celebration of life.
M – Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin
I have always loved this song. I love that it is so raw and has no music. My 4-year-old daughter sings it all the time because is the perfect sing-along! You don’t have to be a good singer and the best part about this song is that I change up the lyrics to whatever suits my needs, “oh Lord won’t you buy me a new set of girls they don’t seem to listen I’d trade you my pearls. Prove that you love me and send me some good listeners oh Lord won’t you buy me a new set of girls.”
N – Night Will Save Us by The Strumbellas
This is the newest song on my list. I first heard The Strumbellas when they played at the Canadian Super Bowl, the Grey Cup and I fell hard. I have since listened to everything they have ever put out, but this one is my favourites. A little Kings of Leon and a little Mumford and Sons but a whole lot Canadian. The song may not be anything special, but it is the perfect opportunity to introduce this fabulous band to people who may not have heard of them before.
O – On My Own from Les Miserables
I started working at McDonald’s when I was 15. With my very first paycheque I went directly to HMV and bought the 4 disc set of the Broadway cast singing Les Miserables. I refereed ringette as a kid and some of the little kids games were very boring. This song got me through some very cold and tedious games. I knew I had to sing it 4 times for the period to end. I would stop at every whistle and then start singing again. I reffed for almost 20 years and I was known as the “singing ref.” This is still my go to song whenever I have to wait for anything.
P – Perfect Government by NOFX
When I was 16 I liked this song for pure shock value. As I got older I liked it because it asked obvious questions, questions I myself asked. I always bug my father-in-law that I dislike The Man and without getting too political… I have always found that this song describes what I think is the biggest problem with our democracy… Political money protects the rich and denies the poor. Plus, it has a super catchy tune.
Q – Suzie Q by Creedence Clearwater Revival
I can’t lie… This song is not on my playlist but CCR is! This is all sorts of cheats but I can’t say I’ve ever listen to a song that begins with Q. I’ve always enjoyed CCR and this song was in a medley that I performed for the grade 6 talent show so I thought… It counts.
R – Revelry by Kings of Leon
I think this is an honest and raw account of what it’s like to be an artist/musician. My older Brother is a true musician. Other people in my family have never understood but I think the lyrics of this song help me understand… “See the time we spent it was precious to me but all of the while I was dreaming of revelry.” I love the Kings of Leon and this is my favourite of theirs, slow, gritty, and honest.
S – Story of My Life by Social Distortion
Best. Song. Ever. Growing up I knew some bona fide “Sick Boys.” This song reminds me of my youth and growing up. Nothing stays the same except for the fact that I am always dreaming of a rock ‘n’ roll weekend.
T – This Is Everything by Tegan and Sara
I love Tegan and Sara! In my 20s they were angsty and down on love and so was I! For the longest time my “I hate men” song was “Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette, but this took its place! Both female Canadians singers. This is such a great final song and when Chris and I went through our early years of break ups and get back togethers I would play this song to remind myself to take care of me too.
U – Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks
At first I had Under the Bridge because the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have had such an outstanding career… But I had to go with an old school Country song instead. I am not a huge country fan, nor am I religious but this is my best friend’s favourite song and when we lived together when we were 20, so I heard it a LOT. I am able to overlook a lot for the clear message this song brings. I clearly remember grade 12 graduation and the weekend after when my group and I went camping. We felt like we could do anything and that these particular friends and this particular boyfriend was my guaranteed future… We would always be together. Looking back at that weekend I’m so happy where my life lead me and I truly do believe it is an unanswered prayer that led me right where I am meant to be.
V – Violet by Hole
To be honest I’ve never been a Courtney Love fan. This album, Celebrity Skin was by far Hole’s best album. I love this song because it is such a feminist song without being Kate Bushy! It is such an angry song, but I love how Courtney Love says and does everything that is completely acceptable for a man and makes it acceptable for a woman too. Plus, the one time I got to see her live, at the end of this song she showed us her boobs! It was awesome.
W – What I Got by Sublime
To me this song is saying, “live your omelette!” I feel like this song can be loved by any generation and by all types of music lovers. Plus it always makes me smile when it says, “I don’t get angry when my Mom smokes pot,” because she sure did and I certainly didn’t get angry.
X – Fix You by Coldplay
I know I am cheating a little bit here but Coldplay had to be on my list and I really don’t like X&Y, but I do like this song! Apparently, Chris Martin wrote it for his wife when her father died. This is exactly how I felt after my Mom died and Chris picked me up and kept me from breaking into one million pieces. In fact I have always felt this from Chris. He is the air traffic controller of my life, he is the light that always guides me home.
Y – You Don’t Know My Mind by Hugh Laurie
Who knew that good Dr. House could sing? I was very skeptical when I heard that Hugh Laurie was putting out an album. It was playing in the Starbucks one day and I recognized his voice right away… And I kinda liked it! When I got to the front to pay for my drink I noticed they were selling CDs at the counter so on an impulse, I bought it. Super happy that I did! This one and the Battle of Jericho are my 2 favourites. I think my husband can relate to the lyrics, “sometimes I think my baby’s too good to die sometimes I think she should be buried alive.”
Z – Zoot Suit Riot by Cherry Popping Daddies
In junior high we took dance class in PE. My favourite was the jive/swing. When I was older every time this song came on at the bar we would all go to the dance floor and swing dance! My partner and I would always blow everyone away with our stunts and lifts. I do remember one time however in one of the lifts my skirt flew up and I was wearing granny panties. Mortified!
Agent MamaBear a.k.a Kristin Maier (@kmaemaier) is the lucky wife of Agent Parlaphone a.k.a. Chris Maier. She is also the Mommy of 2 beautiful girls, Honeybear (Rowyn) and SydneyBean (Sydney). Fortunate enough to live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley she is involved in numerous volunteer organizations, writes a cooking/parenting blog named HoneyBears and SydneyBeans and is also the co-host of How Was Your Week, Honey? With her husband… Who doesn’t have nearly as good of musical taste as she does.