Monday, January 4, 2010

A Song For Me (Route 90 into New Orleans)

I've been so many places in my life and time
I've sung a lot of songs I've made some bad rhyme
I've acted out my love in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you
-Donny Hathaway, A Song For You

My parents gave me gift cards for my birthday and that credit has been staring at me from the upper right hand corner of my iTunes store since September. In honor of my last full day of walking (tomorrow is just a few hours) and my longest trek to date (26 miles) I splurged and bought about 50 songs. Together with songs I already had I fashioned together a 6-hour, 82-song play list to listen to as I walk my marathon into East New Orleans . Trust me when I say it could have easily been double or triple that. I made two rules to keep the number reasonable:

1. Only one song per artist, unless your name is Whitney Houston, in which case you get three.
2. The song can't just be a favorite, it has to evoke have a specific memory from a certain time and place in my life.

For example, A Song For You by Donny Hathaway. When I lived in Los Angeles I got my first chance to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Company at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It was November of 2001. I remember sitting in the mezzanine toward the end of the show, waiting for the final Revelations dance that I had heard so much about. Before that finale, however, there was another newer dance whose name I didn't recognize. The stage was empty. The crowd was hushed. Then a single dancer glided on stage as a familiar song began to play. "I've been so many places in my life and times ...". From that instant until the moment the dance ended I was so amazingly present in my enjoyment of that performance that I almost felt sad when it was over. I had loved that song before, but coupled with the movement of the Alvin Ailey dancers it truly became transcedent. For that reason, it makes my list.

As for the rest of these ... all I can say is that I'm all alone today ... and I'm singing these songs for me...

Childhood - The West Hebron Years
Rocky Road - Peter, Paul & Mary
Stained Glass - Keith Green
Kiss on My List - Hall & Oates
Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) - Christopher Cross
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
Surrender - Cheap Trick
Take the Long Way Home - Supertramp
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
Take It On the Run - REO Speedwagon

Adolescence - The Zimbabwe Years
Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley
Weekend Special - Brenda Fassie
Jump - Van Halen
One More Night - Phil Collins
Rhythm of the Night - Debarge
Dancing on the Ceiling - Lionel Ritchie
Beat Street - Grandmaster Flash
Jam On It - Newcleus
Secret Lovers - Atlantic Starr

8th - 12th grade - Ardmore & Phoenixville
I'll Be Over You - Toto
Piano Man - Billy Joel
Greatest Love of All - Whitney Houston
Shake You Down - Gregory Abbott
There's Nothing Better Than Love - Luther Vandross
Paradise City - Guns N' Roses
Vision of Love - Mariah Carey
Superwoman - Karyn White
My Perogative - Bobby Brown
Man In the Mirror - Michael Jackson
Love Makes Things Happen - Pebble & Babyface
Better Days - Diane Reeves
Two Occasions - The Deele
My, My, My - Johnny Gill
One Moment In Time - Whitney Houston
Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
End of the Road - Boyz II Men

The College Years - Lehigh
Enter Standman - Metallica
The Joker - Steve Miller Band
Will You Still Love Me - Chicago
Black - Pearl Jam
Come & Talk to Me - Jodeci
Lithium - Nirvana
Son of a Preacherman - Dusty Springfield

Out West - The LA Years
The Mountains Win Again - Blues Traveler
A Long December - Counting Crows
Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day
How Do You Want It - Tupac
Have You Ever - Brandy
Sometimes - Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Light - Common
Astronomy - Black Star
A Song For You - Donny Hathaway
They Dance Alone - Sting
Seasons of Love - Steve Wonder/Rent
With You - Tony Terry
Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing - Marvin Gaye
Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn
One of Those Days - Whitney Houston
Where Is The Love - Black Eyed Peas
Spend My Life With You - Eric Benet

Bast East - Ardmore & NYC
The Last Resort - The Eagles
Something So Right - Paul Simon
Diamonds On The Inside - Ben Harper
Sowing the Seeds of Love - Tears for Fears
Fastlove - George Michael
Streetcorner Symphony - Rob Thomas
Move Along - The All-American Rejects
Tell Me Baby - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's
What I Did For Love - A Chorus Line
Bubby - Colbie Caillat
Everything - Michael Buble
Viva la Vida - Coldplay

The Walk
Walking To New Orleans - Fats Domino
Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones
Doctor My Eyes - Jackson Browne
Walk Like A Man / Who Loves You - Jersey Boys
Out of My Head - Fastball
Say - John Mayer
I Wish - Heather Headley


  1. Considering your background, I was rather surprised to see, you did not list one Gospel song. Blessing on your last few days. I hope you will not freeze. This is very unusual for us to be this cold in Janurary. We are usually around 60 daytime and 40 at night. I read about you in my home newspaper, The Sun Hearld in Gpt MS.

  2. Hey! Long time no talk. I am glad you found a place in Evergreen. My boss had some family stuff going on and he was distracted. My family had some stuff going. I am sorry I didnt check in. I was praying for you however and glad you survived your walk to Monroeville. (-; Hope you have a great time with family as your journey comes to an end. It was a blessing to meet you and serve you for lunch on the 12th. I cant wait to see something in writing one day! God bless you Garth. You will always remember these days.
    Along the journey,
    lisa rose(and Russ)

    PS God brought you some NYC weather just to make you feel at home. We LOVE it!!!! Stay warm.