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The playlist to my life

Music, listed, defines life.


Stock photo.
Stock photo.

This week I was really struggling to write this column. I said to myself “Dude, you have to write something.” (I call myself dude, but only in my head.) I decided to take a walk since that usually helps.

Now, I know that I am not unique. I am not a beautiful snowflake. If I do something, I am sure there are many other people out there who do it too. Whenever I head out the door, the first thing I do is put my headphones in my ears. That’s the easy part. Deciding what to listen to is the hard part. There are so many factors that go into the choice that sometimes I don’t know where to start. What mood am I in? What is the weather like? Where am I going? How long will it take? All these variables affect the final decision. Sometimes I take the easy road and choose shuffle. It makes sense that I should like any song that comes on since I am the one who put it on the iPod in the first place. However, as anyone who has an MP3 player will agree, there is always something on there that every time you hear it, you think, “Why is this on here? I’m deleting it as soon as I get home,” but you never do.

I enjoy making playlists. I make them for all kinds of occasions. I make my own “Best of” lists of Joel Plaskett or James Brown. I make genre lists of funk or soul. I make lists for parties or road trips.

And so, as I was walking down Barrington Street that day, I realized that the songs playing in my ears were perfect for the surroundings. It was a soundtrack to the activities on the street that only I could hear. This got me thinking: If these are the songs of this street, what would someone else hear if they were watching me?

I started thinking about a playlist of my life. What would go on it?

Would I include songs from my childhood? How about popular songs from when I was growing up? I hope that is not the case, as my list would be full of Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock songs from 10 years ago. Would I go with songs that I never get sick of, or songs that I like right now?

Some of the choices seem like they would be easy, but the more I think about it, the harder it becomes. The Beatles would go on my life playlist for sure, but choosing just one song is almost impossible. The same is true for many of my favourite bands. By the end, I feel like I am farther away from a decision than when I started.

How would you represent your life in 10 songs? Would you choose songs that describe you, or create a list of your favourite songs? How about songs that are associated with an important event in your life? The song that played every fifteen minutes that summer you took a long trip? What about the song that played at your grandmother’s funeral?

Music is such an integral part of each of our lives that no two personal playlists would ever be the same. Next time you make a playlist, take a few minutes and think about which songs best describe you. Just remember, everybody has that one song or artist that they are too embarrassed to admit they like. Would you be confident enough to tell the world that Sisqó‘s “Thong Song” represents you as a person?


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