In the meantime, I was sorting through some old "Top Ten Lists" (the precursor to this blog), and found this gem from August 1999. Hope you enjoy!
I found the Lost Notebook with my top ten list in it (on a bookshelf - who'd a-thunk it?). So at long last, here is Auntie Nettie's Top Ten List: Music as Pop Psychology! What I mean by that is a lyric or phrase that catches your attention because it's so true, or it's more like advice meant just for you. For once, this is actually numbered by order of importance!
"There are people in your life who've come and gone / They let you down, you know they hurt your pride. / You'd better put it all behind you, 'cause life goes on. / You keep carrying that anger, it'll eat you up inside." -- Don Henley, "Heart of the Matter"
'Nuff said. When I first heard these lyrics, I squalled. It was precisely what I needed to hear at that time in my life, and each day since. It's a lesson we continually learn, and it's one of the most important ones to know.
"There's no such things as 'no regrets' but baby it's all right." -- Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Almost Home"
This is a recent addition to the list, and another case of what I needed to hear at just the right time. I like to think that I won't have any regrets, but I know that just won't happen; but this let me know that it was okay about that too. And, as an added bonus, it's a pretty good song to boot....
"What the head makes cloudy, the heart makes very clear." -- Don Henley, "New York Minute"
Keep reading and you'll see the role that Don Henley's lyrics have played in my life. This is a great one, and one that I tend to follow quite a bit in murky situations. I've even passed it on to others when they've had difficult situations -- and it does work, even when we think it doesn't.
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need." -- Rolling Stones, "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
Truer words were never spoken................
"I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints - the sinners are much more fun." -- Billy Joel, "Only the Good Die Young"
Okay, it bothered me a little as a kid, because we were definitely a religious family; I wasn't sure if it bordered on sacrilege or not. But religious thoughts aside, throughout my short lifetime, I have found this to be true about 80-85% of the time. I find it hard to tolerate people who take themselves too seriously or who have little or no sense of humor. "Lighten up, already!!" I just want to yell to quite a few folks I've encountered!
"Sometimes to keep it together, you've got to leave it alone." -- The Eagles, "Wasted Time"
Told ya it was the Don Henley anthology. For me, this is one of the best songs for picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and starting all over again. I've done that enough to know the drill, and it's advice I've taken more often than I care to admit. But it always turns out with the best eventual results.
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." -- The Beatles, "The End"
Don Henley and John Lennon are practically the High Priests of Musical Advice. This is a fairly good example, though I don't always succeed at following this formula. When you give without thought of reward, you receive rewards far greater than imagined (okay, at least that's my perspective on the lyrics). Lennon knew it, and gave us this phrase to remind us; following this simple rule is a pretty good way to live.
"Gimme the beat boys, and free my soul / I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away." - Dobie Gray, "Drift Away"
Life getting you down, things piling up, along with more demands than you have resources for? I promise, follow that advice, and you'll thank yourself for it. No, your problems won't go away, but you'll be renewed to deal with them. Close your eyes, and sway a bit to this song, and it almost becomes a hymn. So thank you, Mentor Williams (songwriter) and Dobie Gray (singer) for "the joy that you've given me....."
"Shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel / Things are gonna work out fine, if you only will." -- James Taylor, "Shower the People"
File this one under "Advice Not Always Followed." Make a copy for "Advice That Doesn't Always Work The Way You Would Like" and one for the "Nice Sentiment Department." Seriously, though, this is pretty good advice -- if more people loved unconditionally, then maybe our best dreams and ideals would begin to become reality.
"I will not lie down, I will not go quietly." -- Don Henley, "I Will Not Go Quietly"
This one falls under Newly Meaningful Advice. Yeah, this song's been out for a while, but it's only been recently that I've taken it to heart. I am usually Miss Sweetness and Light. It's commendable but (a) too much of these traits are damaging - or more so - than too little and (b) it gets REAL old to be sweet and nice all the time. Not that I'd ever be baaaaaaaaaaad, just tougher (does all this make sense?) As I age and hopefully grow wiser, it's my hope that I stop being so much of a doormat and start being the wonderful person I know I can be.
**Honorable mention goes to "I'm tired of baling hay for something that I can't see..." -- Hootie & the Blowfish, "Let It Breathe"
Okay, technically, I don't know if this is advice, but it's a lyric that's stuck in my mind for a number of years. These days, it keeps coming back, maybe as a signal not to settle for less than I deserve -- and as a reminder of what I've learned in these last few months. If you can get all that out of one sentence in a song, that ain't bad.....