“Beautiful” Tunes for a Tuesday

Though I’ve been writing / posting recently, I’ve been experiencing some writer’s block on a post I’ve been working on for several weeks…a sentence here & there, but not coalescing quickly.  I ran across today’s post from You Must Be From Away, and I was inspired to do my own Tunes for a Tuesday post.  So here are some selections I love from my other passion…music.

Stuart Townend – Beautiful Savior

MercyMe -Beautiful

Rage Against the Machine – Beautiful World

Queen – It’s a Beautiful Day

U2 – Beautiful Day

Darryl Worley – Awful Beautiful Life

10 Years – Beautiful

Prince – The Beautiful Ones

Purple Knights – The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
(because Spotify didn’t have the original Prince song)

Jimmy Buffett – The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

Bellamy Brothers - If I Said You Have a Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)

Darren Hanlon – I Wish that I was Beautiful for You

Duran Duran – Too Bad You’re So Beautiful

One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful

R.E.M. – At My Most Beautiful

Joe Cocker – You Are So Beautiful

Darius Rucker – She’s Beautiful

INXS – Beautiful Girl

Ben Harper – Beautiful Boy
(of course John Lennon’s original is the best, but sadly not available on Spotify)

Van Halen – Beautiful Girls

Bon Jovi – When We Were Beautiful

The Cure – How Beautiful You Are

Christina Aguilera – Beautiful

Beck – Beautiful Way

Big Head Todd & the Monsters – Beautiful

Smashing Pumpkins – Beautiful

Creed – Beautiful

Rascal Flatts – Long Slow Beautiful Dance

Sister Hazel – Beautiful Thing

Annie Lennox – A Thousand Beautiful Things

Josh Woodward – I Want to Destroy Something Beautiful

Shawn Mullins – Beautiful Wreck

Kelly Clarkson – Beautiful Disaster

Tina Turner – Something Beautiful Remains

Maroon 5 – Beautiful Goodbye

April 18 (P)…The Politics of Dancing

I participated in a market research interview this morning on politics…something I’ve never done before.  For 90 minutes, I sat at my computer, cell phone set to speaker, and answered questions about my political opinions.  It was a really interesting experience, and I’m glad to have done it…not just for the compensation (yep, it was a paying gig), but because I learned that I can, indeed, articulately clarify my political convictions in a way that is understandable and appreciated.  No dancing around the issues…not that I could have, as the interviewer was excellent at encapsulating what I had to say in statements that properly reflected my beliefs.  For someone who can sniff out bias from miles away, I can confidently say that he did not display any particular bias during this interview, and that quality gave me assurance that what I had to say will actually be presented accurately.

Why on earth it causes me to recollect the following song is a complete mystery to me, but there you have the peculiar ponderings of my coffee-fueled brain on 5 1/2 hours of sleep.  Presenting…

Tune in Tuesday – James Durbin

This weekly meme is hosted by Ginger at GReads that showcases music. Each week you can post an old or new song so that it gains more interest! So head on over and link up.  If you are a regular follower to her blog, you probably have figured out by now that outside of books, music is a passion as well.

And if you follow my blog, you’ve probably noticed that music posts appear on a fairly regular basis.  It is a passion here, too.

This Tuesday’s Tune:
Love Me Bad by James Durbin

How Sweet and Awesome is the Place

One of my favorite hymns ever, written by Isaac Watts (1674-1748).  This was introduced to me about 10 years ago when I was attending St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford FL and listening (weekly) to the magnificent sermons of R. C. Sproul.  The music there was glorious, and the music director, with discerning taste and a keen ear, chose this hymn as their “hymn of the month.”  It was so well received that it ended up in the regular rotation of hymns, and I was always extraordinarily lifted up when we sang it.

Here are the lyrics, and you can listen to the music here.

How sweet and awe-some is the place
   With Christ with-in the doors,
While ev-er-last-ing love dis-plays
   The choic-est of her stores.

Here ev-ery bow-el of our God
   With soft com-pas-sion rolls;
Here peace and par-don bought with blood
   Is food for dy-ing souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
   Join to ad-mire the feast,
Each of us cries, with thank-ful tongue,
   “Lord, why was I a guest?’

Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
   And en-ter while there’s room,
When thou-sands make a wretch-ed choice,
   And ra-ther starve than come?

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast
   That sweet-ly forced us in;
Else we had still re-fused to taste,
   And per-ished in our sin.

Pit-y the na-tions, O our God,
   Con-strain the earth to come;
Send Thy vic-tor-ious Word a-broad,
   And bring the strang-ers home.

We long to see Thy chur-ches full,
   That all the cho-sen race
May, with one voice and heart and soul,
   Sing Thy re-deem-ing grace.

‘Tis the Season (part 2)

As promised, here are several more suggestions for some fun & contemporary Christmas music.  These (for me) are great because they are artists of my generation, and I love listening to both their takes on Christmas classics and their own original Christmas songs.

Pretty much everything
What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
The First Noel/Mary Mary
Song for a Winter’s Night
In a Bleak Mid Winter
Christmas Time is Here (featuring Diana Krall)
Elf’s Lament (with Michael Buble)
God Rest You Merry Gentlemen / We Three Kings (with Sarah McLachlan)
Deck the Stills
Auld Lang Syne
That’s What I Want for Christmas
Twist of the Magi
All I Ever Get for Christmas is Blue
Darlin’ (Christmas is Coming)
Little Town
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
Coming Home
Gold and Green
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Christmas Lullaby
Gabriel’s Oboe
Welcome to Our World
Here Comes Santa Claus (with Leanne Rimes)
Silent Night (with Sarah Evans)
If I Get Home on Christmas Day
O Holy Night
Ave Maria
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
I Wonder as I Wander
I Know What I Want for Christmas
Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are)
Noel Leon
If Every Day Could Be Like Christmas
Reason for the Season
This Christmas Time
Coventry Carol
One King

‘Tis the Season

The Christmas season is upon us.  Actually, it’s been skulking in since August, but I refuse to acknowledge it until there is no other choice.  My sentiments for the holiday aside, I LOVE good Christmas music.  Good, as defined by me, includes interesting arrangements, non-traditional artists (for Christmas music, that is), artists from my generation, collaborations (i.e. Bing Crosby & David Bowie), new songs, a general lack of cheesiness (although Christmas songs, in general…well…).  Here are a few albums that fit the bill for me.

Gabriel’s Message by Sting
I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas by Jon Bon Jovi
Christmas All Over Again by Tom Petty
Christmas Time Again by Extreme
I Saw Three Ships by Sting
Christmastime by Smashing Pumpkins
Children Go Where I Send Thee by Natalie Merchant
The Christmas Song by Hootie & the Blowfish
Christmas Song by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
Please Come Home for Christmas by Jon Bon Jovi
Merry Christmas Baby by Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Jon Bon Jovi
Christmas Day by Dido
Silent Night by Reba McEntire
Please Come Home for Christmas by Willie Nelson
Peace by Norah Jones
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! by The Carter Twins
Santa Baby by Kellie Pickler
Tune in tomorrow for more selections.  I’m looking forward to some fabulous listening this Christmas season!

Favorite Christmas Album

This is probably my favorite Christmas album ever, due to it’s meeting all of the criteria that are important to me for good Christmas music.  It’s well done, not cheesy, and it has a hilarious Christmas story in addition to great music done by modern artists.  This is truly MY kind of Christmas music.

Laura’s 15 (ok…17) Most Loved Albums (so far)

One of the notes that got passed around Facebook a few years ago, and I thought it should get a permanent place on my blog.  It was an interesting little project, thinking of the ALBUMS that have remained favorites since the moment I heard them…burrowed into my soul a bit.  I’m posting it as it was when I completed it, but I will add to it at some point to make it a better picture of who I am musically.


Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re 40 or older) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. Dig into your soul. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. This is music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the ass, literally socked you in the gut.

1. Pink Floyd – The Wall
I wore out two cassette tapes of this album before I finally bought the CD set. Yes, it’s that good!

2. Eagles Live
Perhaps the best recording (in my estimation) of any Eagles music. Every song had so much more energy & passion than on any of the studio recordings.

3. Queen – A Kind of Magic & Innuendo (I’m cheating, but I can’t pick one over the other)
It’s hard for me to decide on a Queen album, as there are several that I like about equally. However, these two are especially good. A Kind of Magic was my in my car music rotation during the years that Highlander was on TV (anyone who was a fan of that show will understand). Innuendo is a hugely poignant album, as it was the last one recorded before Freddie Mercury died, and it is somewhat prophetic with Who Wants to Live Forever.

4. Annie Lennox – Medusa

Though all three of her solo albums are fantastic, this one is the best. No More I Love You’s and Whiter Shade of Pale are haunting & sad…my favorites from the album.

5. Tom Petty – Wildflowers

It’s Good to be King!

6. Billy Joel – Piano Man
Worth it for the title song alone, yet it also scores with If I Only Had the Words (To Tell You) and You’re My Home (which is my favorite Billy Joel song ever).

7. Toby Keith – Unleashed
Full of great energy, but what makes this one great for me is Huckleberry, which is a really sweet love song that got little or no radio play, but is the highlight of this album.

8. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – Live at Luther College
Though I have loved almost everything by Dave Matthews et al, this one is my favorite by far. He and Tim Reynolds have such dynamic stage presence, and it is an absolute joy to listen to great music made even better in this concert.

9. Jimmy Buffett – Songs You Know by Heart

The first concert I ever attended was Jimmy Buffett, so this particular album has always had a special place in my heart. But…I am not a parrothead. LOL

10. Prince – Purple Rain

I believe this album to be Prince’s best, by far. It is fantastic in every sense!

11. Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
Seven Days is the best song on this CD – once again a song that is better than anything that got radio play.

12. Chicago – 17
One of the albums from my high school days where I wore out a couple of cassette tapes. I know, it’s cheesy & corny, but I loved it.

13. Alan Parsons Project – Ammonia Avenue
LOVED this album – especially Since the Last Goodbye & Don’t Answer Me. Yes, again I realize this was totally cheesy & corny, but it was high school & college. Need I say more?

14. Freddie Mercury & Motserrat Caballe – Barcelona
Classical music done with rock & roll flair! Outstandng!

15. Christmas Songs (various artists)

The main requirements for great Christmas music (for me) are that it be superbly done, NOT cheesy (to the extent that Christmas music can do that), and that there be a significantly modern twist to traditional carols or a mixture of traditional & modern by musicians of my generation. This album fits the bill in spades, and is not only great, but fun as well! All the songs are good, but the best (again, IMO) is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by BareNaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan.

BONUS: Sister Act 2 (various artists)
I had to add this one because it was not only a great movie, but a great soundtrack as well, and Lauryn Hill’s version of His Eye is On the Sparrow is absolutely fantastic.