"Imagine"--John Lennon. I was this shy yet idealistic 6th grader, listening to the radio, when I heard "Imagine" for the first time. The song literally changed my life, giving me a frame for the principles I was still struggling to form. In a way the most important part back then was the chorus, with its reminder that no one really dreams a dream alone. For the first time I felt myself part of a greater whole.
"At Seventeen"--Janis Ian. This was the song that got me through high school. I was 15 when she released this song, and it just seemed to me she nailed it all, from the inability to play sports to the lack of Valentines. The fact that she was, at the time, only 23 herself, and thus not that far removed from the high school zoo just gave it all more credibility. She was my first favorite female singer, and I still listen to this song when I need to find myself back in that time and place.
"The Rainbow Connection" --Kermit the Frog . I saw the Muppet Movie 4 times in the theater, in spite of the fact I was a freshman in college. I owned the soundtrack too. I loved the Muppet Show too, and later learned from the mom that as a very little girl I watched Rowlf the Dog when he was on the Jimmy Dean Show and named my stuffed puppy after him. I loved the song's linking of lovers, dreamers and me. We have all been all 3. And there's something about Jim Henson's performances as Kermit that has never been matched, even by much better vocalists. (It was a close call between this song and "Its not Easy Being Green" but I think this one influenced me more.)
"Its In Every One of Us" Dennis DeYoung. This is another song I first encountered through the Muppets, who performed it on their Christmas Show with John Denver, and then later on "The Muppet Family Christmas". The Muppets only performed the chorus though, and I didn't hear the whole song till it was the theme song of my Wood Badge course with the Boy Scouts of America. I identified fully with message of the song, about participating fully in all life had to offer. "I'm realizing that I bought this ticket, and I'm watching only half the show." Since the Muppets never did the whole song, here's the version they used at our Wood Badge Course:
"Wasted on the Way" Crosby, Stills and Nash. I always liked this song, but late in the last decade, due to a series of events I found myself back in contact for the first time in nearly 20 years with a number of people from my youth whom I truly cherished. One happy result was the renewal of a precious friendship. Another was a reawakening of the creativity that I, like many parents, had buried in the early child rearing years. This blog is one result of this. "Wasted on the Way" is all about missed opportunities, and the fact that it's never too late to make up for lost time or lost love.
So this was fun. I will do it again. If you want to check out more great mixtapes for yourself, click on the link below.