France: a musical interlude

Nothing much going on in France right now. This is the fourth day in a row it’s been cold, windy, and rainy, which means I’ve spent a large portion of the last few days indoors (my hosts are out of town until tomorrow). I did get venture into Tournefeuille on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for some croissants, groceries, and postcards, and the weather did clear up enough one evening to let me go on a walk, but mostly I’ve been inside, doing crossword puzzles, reading books, attempting to write, and listening to music.

Every time I travel I make a new traveling playlist. I made this one extra long, because I wanted it to last me through two eight-hour plane rides, two airport layovers, and four weeks of scattered downtime. I didn’t plan on listening to it for almost four days straight, though, and I’m already starting to get sick of some of the songs. Here are seven that I’m not skipping by, however (and apparently they’re all by men):

“Bruised,” by Jack’s Mannequin
I never get sick of this song. It’s actually inspired parts to two very different stories I’ve written (and am still writing, I suppose, since they both need massive revisions still).
Favorite line: “So read your books but stay out late some nights, some nights. And don’t think that you can’t stop by the bar. You haven’t shown your face here since the bad news. Well I’m here ’til close with fingers crossed each night ’cause your place isn’t far. And hours pass.”

“I Will Wait,” by Mumford and Sons
This is a sad song that makes me happy. I know that might not make a lot of sense, but I don’t know how else to say it. I’m not happy because it’s sad…I don’t know how to say it. I learned a long time ago that feeling sad is a part of life, and my ability to feel sadness is, in some ways, a gift. None of this really gets at what I’m trying to say. I’ll work on it.
Favorite line: “Raise my hands, paint my spirit gold. Bow my head, keep my heart slow.”

“Semi-Charmed Life,” by Third Eye Blind
I love pretty much every song by Third Eye Blind (and I put about six or so on this playlist), and this is my favorite song of all time. I love it, and I hate when radio stations take out the middle (the best part!).
Favorite line: “She’s got her jaws now locked down in a smile, but nothing is all right, all right.”

“Hey Ho,” by the Lumineers
It’s been interesting to note that the French seem to love this song just as much as I do. I hear it all the time on the radio, or over the speaker systems in stores.
Favorite line: “I don’t think you’re right for him, think of what it might have been if you took a bus to Chinatown, I’d be standing on Canal and Bowery, and she’d be standing next to me.”

“I’m Still Here,” by Vertical Horizon
My dad introduced me to this song. There’s apparently a really cool guitar thing somewhere in the song that he always points out to me, but I can’t ever hear what he hears. It’s a good thing I love this song so much, or all that backtracking to ask if I can hear it now would have made me crazy.
Favorite line: “The cities grow, the rivers flow. Where you are I never know, but I’m still here. If you were right and I was wrong, why are you the one who’s gone, and I’m still here? The lights go out, the bridges burned. Once you’re gone, you can’t return, but I’m still here. Remember how you used to say I’d be the one to run away? But I’m still here. I’m still here.”

“On the Lie,” by the Goo Goo Dolls
I can’t say why, exactly, I love this song, but I do. I really, really do.
Favorite line: “He said, ‘I’d hang and swap clichés all night, but I’m not in love with you.'”

“Carry On,” by Fun.
I started out really not liking Fun. I can’t stand their “We Are Young” song because, to me, it has too much of a blase approach to domestic violence. “Some Nights” sucked me in, though, and this song won me over.
Favorite line: “‘Cause we are, we are shining stars, we are invincible, we are who we are. On our darkest day, when we’re miles away, sun will come, we will find our way home.”

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