The Tracks of Our Lives
We all have cherished songs stored deep in our musical memories. And whatever brings them to mind, suddenly we may find ourselves humming along to a favourite tune once again! We asked My Pop Choir members to share those favourite tracks of their lives and why they have meaning.
Sue Somers (Burlington) shares the “in car” experience that many of us have with children. When my kids were little (and we still played tapes in the car and house) there were some great children’s entertainers - notably Sharon, Lois and Bram, Eric Nagler and the incomparable Raffi. Raffi had a talent for singing songs for kids that parents also enjoyed. Our favourite was “Baby Beluga.” My grandchildren also love the song, and I am still happy to hear it over and over. In fact, from my house to my grandkids’, it is exactly 18 renditions of that happy little song …. Play it again Nana! It evokes warm thoughts of family and happy times in our lives. I guess it’s my sentimental favourite.
David Lim (Lawrence Park) experienced a musical moment with his daughter while practising for My Pop Choir. My favourite song is “A Million Dreams” from the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” While I was practicing, my four- year-old daughter, Norla, began to sing along and I saw the passion in her face and voice. We soon started watching the movie and this became her favourite. The movie and song only deepened our connection as father and daughter. I thank My Pop Choir for the amazing gift of singing and the bond that music has given to me and my daughter.
Julia Horel (Virtual) tells us why her favourite song is “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. It is an upbeat pop-rock song about perseverance that really spoke to me when I was in high school. Fast forward to the birth of my daughter and I sang to her all the time, from lullabies to old favourites. One day I was trying to soothe her to sleep and “The Middle” popped into my head. I slowed it way down from its pop-rock tempo and the chorus instantly became a lullaby. "It just takes some time/ Little girl, you're in the middle of the ride/ Everything, everything will be just fine/ Everything, everything will be all right, all right." My daughter is now almost seven and this song is still part of her bedtime routine.
Nobody Does It Better
Rachel Woods (Virtual) has loved Coldplay for years. “Fix You” has been one of my favourite songs since it was released by Coldplay. I think my CD copy of that album skips at “Fix You” because I played it so many times. The first time I saw the music video I fell in love with the song all over again. And, having been lucky enough to see Coldplay perform live a few times, for me this song is always a memorable part of the concert. Chris Martin used to swing a lightbulb around the stage and then the whole stadium would light up, as the music swells in the last part of the song.
Julie Iuvancigh (Mount Pleasant Vancouver) chooses a band and song that is likely on the list for many My Pop Choir singers. My favourite song of all time is "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones ... brings me back to the day!
Joanna Waine (Oakville) is a fan of the song-writer and performer Tim Minchin. My favourite song is "Seeing You" from “Groundhog Day, The Musical.” It's just the most perfect love song. I was so lucky to see the musical during its short run on Broadway.
Liz Birket (Burlington) chooses a top hit from a Canadian icon: Joni Mitchell’s “Yellow Taxi” - my sister and I loved Joni in the ‘70s.
Julie Yoshida (Lawrence Park) loves what has become an anthem, resonating over the decades and around the world. My favourite song is probably “Imagine” by John Lennon, because I think he and The Beatles are the greatest band ever in the history of pop music.
Kristine Fitzpatrick (Burlington) reflects on how music and loss go hand in hand. “She Used To Be Mine” from the musical “Waitress” popped up on a playlist a few months after my mother passed away in 2021. I knew of the musical, but had not heard the song before. The chorus hit me straight in the heart, and spoke to the feeling of being lost and not myself after the loss of my mom. "She's imperfect, but she tries/ She is good, but she lies/ She is hard on herself/ She is broken and won't ask for help/ She is messy but she's kind/ She is lonely most of the time/She is all of this mixed up/And baked in a beautiful pie/ She is gone, but she used to be mine." This is definitely a song that will always stay with me.
Judi Cooper (Mount Pleasant Vancouver) chose “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” You almost certainly know it….it was sung by The Hollies, and by Neil Diamond, among others. I’ve always loved the message of the song – that caring for and helping those we love through difficult times is not really a burden. So much love and caring in this song!
Sue Johnson (Etobicoke) points to a favourite line in her favourite song, “Best Friend” by Sofi Tukker. I love the line, “I think that I’ll keep loving you, way past sixty-five.” Also has a great beat.
Marlene Jamieson (Mount Pleasant Vancouver) reflects the pleasure we all feel in tunes that raise our spirits. There are so many songs which are my favourite, but if I had to choose one, it would be "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. It is so energetic and uplifting, and also great to dance to! It makes me feel really happy.
Heather Penstone (Richmond Hill) also centres in on musical moods. My favourite song is “Downstream” by Supertramp from the album, “Even in the Quietest Moments.” The piano playing is pure and unadorned. The lyrics are reflective, conveying both the immediacy of love and intention for the long haul. The album was released in 1977, but the sentiment here is timeless.
Lisa Blackmore (Burlington) has no doubt about her choice. “You’ve Got a Friend” - it’s been my absolute fav song since I was a teen back in the ‘70s.
Danielle Gosselin (Oakville) had trouble choosing (like many others) and sent in three favourite songs. So we chose one of them for her! I pick "Downtown" by Petula Clark because whenever the first bar was heard on the radio, EVERYONE became instantly happy. Growing up in a French- speaking household, I didn't even understand the words, but the song guaranteed a moment of joy and warmth. To this day, this is my go-to song for instant cheers.
Patricia Sousa (Burlington) illustrates how early musical memories stay with us. “Over the Rainbow” reminds me of my first movie musical I watched with my mom. Loved “The Wizard of Oz.”
One of our Burlington singers, who wishes to remain anonymous, traces her favourite back to childhood. My all-time favourite song is “Part of Your World” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” I have loved the song ever since I was a little girl. The melody is beautiful and the lyrics resonate with me, as it is about someone who wants to explore somewhere new and find where they belong, much like I always felt for much of my life. I am also a huge Disney fan, so it makes sense that my favourite song comes from their library.
Dave Toms (Oakville) takes a deep dive into music theory to come up with his favourite. I'd have to go with Tool's song "Lateralus" as my #1 fave. “Lateralus” is the title track from Tool's third studio album of the same name. As a math nerd, I've obsessed over the mathematics behind the album's time signatures, lyrical imagery, lyrical syllable structure, track ordering, multi-instrument polyrhythmic dancing... it's a work of mathematical art. At the same time, the song has soul. While some call it a "heavy metal" song, the denouement has quiet, soft guitar slowly inhaling and exhaling deeper and longer rhythmic cycles while the singer shares a profound spiritual journey. The rhythmic patterns can gently guide a willing listener into a trance state as the lyrics seek epiphany.
Pixie Irving (Etobicoke) chose her song from a favourite musical. "I'll Walk with God," from the musical “The Student Prince” ... I sing it often, and the words have a special connection for me when I sing it.
Beverley Fox (Thornhill/Richmond Hill) chose from the My Pop Choir repertoire. We did “Life in a Northern Town” by Dream Academy for The Big Sing. Each choir was given their three- part harmony to learn, but not every choir got the same three parts, and when we showed up for the Big Sing, it turned out to be a six-part harmony. The first time that all the conductors heard it in all its glory was that night. It was magical.
THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC
A heartfelt thank you to My Pop Choir members for their thoughtful submissions. Their musical memories reflect the span of interests and life experiences that enrich our choirs.