Top 10 Songs

Okay, so I’ve done books and albums, but now I’m challenging myself to come up with the top ten songs that have stayed with me. I didn’t come up with this challenge by myself, it’s something else that’s been going around the Facebook.

This is going to be hard because I can barely pick a favourite song by any one band and I’m going to force myself to not repeat bands (I hate myself already). Some of these aren’t “favourite” songs, but are songs that have influenced/inspired me in some way.

In no particular order:

1) Take Off Your Colours – You Me At Six

Take off your colours, who are you wearing them for?

I originally put “Reckless” on this list, for obvious reasons (mainly the tattoo on my wrist). But then I remembered that I probably wouldn’t have even heard “Reckless” if it hadn’t been for “Take Off Your Colours”.  Finding this song (before seeing YMAS for the first time when they opened for The Academy Is… in November 2009) was the reason I gave those five boys from Surrey a chance. And I’ve never looked back.

2) There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of it Yet – Panic! at the Disco

When you’re in black slacks with accentuating off-white pinstripes, whoa-oh; everything goes according to plan.

My love affair with Panic! at the Disco is an ongoing saga. It’s not an exaggeration to say they changed my life, or at the very least, they changed the way I listen to music. This was the first P!ATD song I heard, and it immediately opened my brain to a whole new branch of music that I had previously never explored.

3) All the Small Things – blink-182

Say it ain’t so, I will not go…

When this song came out, I was about 9, and all the other girls in my class made fun of it, while I sat quietly thinking, “I don’t know what he’s singing about, but I flippin’ love it”. If Panic! at the Disco was the band that really cultivated my love for pop-punk, then blink-182 was the band that first planted that particular seed in my heart.

4) Bruised – Jack’s Mannequin

So read your books, but stay out late some nights…

This was the first Andrew McMahon song I ever heard. I owe it so much for introducing me to such an incredible, inspirational singer-songwriter-human. I may not have been a fan since the early days of Something Corporate, but I have faithfully followed Andrew on his musical journey over the past seven years and, as long as he keeps making music, I’ll keep on following him.

5) Color – The Maine

I’m just trying to find some colour in this black and white world…

This isn’t my favourite The Maine song (I have a hard time picking my top 5 TM songs, so I can’t choose just one), but I love the lyrics and the overall sentiment.

6) Slow Down – The Academy Is…

Then we’ll turn it up and we’ll play a little faster…

The first TAI… song I ever heard, it sticks with me because I have such strong memories of hearing it for the first time and learning about this amazing band.

7) Sanctuary – Paradise Fears

Even broken wings can fly away…

The first time I saw Paradise Fears – November 2011 – I remember them playing a great cover of “Stacey’s Mom”, and then, a few songs later, diving into “Sanctuary”. I didn’t know what it was called but it struck a chord with me. By the time I saw them a second time, four months later, I knew that I had stumbled on a very special band. I will never not feel emotional while shouting the words to the “speech”.

8) Bed of Roses – Bon Jovi

I’ve got nothing to prove for it’s you that I’d die to defend…

I spent a lot of time trying to decide which Bon Jovi song would end up on this list. At first I thought “Blood on Blood” because I love how relateable the lyrics are; then I thought “Born to Be My Baby” which is one of my favourites, or “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night”, which is one of my other favourites. But I ended up with “Bed of Roses” because I have these vague memories of listening to it a lot with my oldest sister, Vanessa, when I was little (it came out when I was about 3).

9) Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

I wanna free fall, out into nothing, gonna live this world for a while…

I remember loving this song as a kid. I still really like it (sidenote: the cover by The Almost is also excellent). I don’t have any fun stories surrounding this song, but I can definitely remember singing along to it.

10) Take it to the Limit – The Eagles

So put me on a highway, show me a sign…

For most of my life, this song ended every other mixed tape (and later, mixed CD), we listened to on family road-trips. Once, I tried throwing it into the middle of a track list to mix things up, and it just didn’t work. It’s an end-of-the-night sing-along song, and is, essentially, my family’s anthem.

Shot through the heart and you’re to blame…

…YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME

I can’t start a Bon Jovi song without finishing at least the chorus.

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David, Richie, Jon, and Tico.

I refuse to use a picture without Richie, even though he’s technically out of the band (until he gets his act together! C’mon, RIchie, it’s not the same without you!)

Ro and I had been lamenting our lack of concerts for November (until the end of the month, at least), and we were also a little sad about missing Bon Jovi (we’ve gone pretty much every time they’re in town, but we couldn’t justify paying for tickets when we just saw them in February).

But then Ro’s friend Carrie hooked us up with FREE TICKETS (if you’re reading this, Carrie, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU). And this show marked a very special occasion in Ro’s life: it was her 10th Bon Jovi show ever! (and it was my 8th!).

Luckily, having been fans since childhood, neither of us were worried about lack of pre-concert preparedness i.e. we knew that we could sing along to roughly 90% of the songs they sang without going on a Bon Jovi binge beforehand.

This is the first Bon Jovi video I remember watching…approximately 10 years ago.

Bon Jovi celebrated their 17th show at the ACC on Saturday! So while we missed the ceremony (we were at Friday’s show), we were still part of their record-breaking weekend.

As I mentioned, my love/appreciation for Bon Jovi reaches back to my earliest childhood. You can’t grow up with two older sisters (one born in the mid-seventies, the other in the early-eighties) without hearing Bon Jovi at some point in your life. I don’t think it’s possible. And they are one of the bands that stayed with us (or I guess, that we stayed with) for a very long time.

On Friday, they went onstage just after 8pm and played two hours straight before taking a less-than-five-minutes-long break and coming back out for the encore. Their set included classics like “Bad Medicine”, “It’s My Life”, and (one of my personal favourites) “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night”, oldies that aren’t always played live (like the super 80s but still super good “Raise Your Hands”), and songs off their most recent album (i.e. “Because We Can”).

If you ever want to hear 19 000 people losing their minds in one shot, go to a Bon Jovi show and wait for “Livin’ on a Prayer”, preferably during the encore. The screaming-in-anticipation is enough to make you lose your hearing…if you still have any hearing to lose at that point.