Okay, I’ll admit it. . . most of the songs I like are already stories in a 2-5 minute time period. And while it is impossible to pick my top 10 favorites, I’m going to give it my best try.
10. “Fifteen” – Taylor Swift
“Fifteen” (from the Fearless album) is the story about two girls in their first year of high school. It takes us through a journey of first meetings, first crushes, the first time (and the devastating consequences of it) and not knowing who you are at such a young and tender age.
Favorite Lyrics: Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday/but I realized some bigger dreams of mine/And Abigail gave it all away to a boy who changed his mind/and we both cried
09. “I’d Give It All For You” – Songs From A New World
This song tells a story about two (nameless) people meeting after being separated for a long time. We don’t find out why exactly they broke up. . . but we find out that they hated being apart and they’d give up their new found freedom to be with each other again.
Favorite lyrics: I took a trip while I was gone/I cashed in all my savings and bought an El Dorado and drove to Tennessee
08. “I Don’t Wanna See You With Her” – Marina Mena
Marina is singing to her ex-boyfriend, who found a new girlfriend. They live in a small town, so avoiding them is impossible and even though she’s happy for him, she prefers not to see he moved on. Even though she’s the one who broke up with him. She knows it’ll break her, seeing him with somebody else.
Favorite lyrics: I just don’t want to meet her, are you gonna keep her?
07. “Ironic” – Alanis Morissette
Each line tells the story of somebody being touched by irony. A 98-year-old man who won the lottery just to die 24 hours later, a man who was afraid to fly/had never done so only to die in a plane crash when he took his first flight for his business trip. It’s about meeting the man of your dreams just to find out he’s already married. Or a black fly in your wine or rain on your wedding day. . .
Favorite lyrics: A no smoking sign on your cigarette break/it’s like ten-thousand spoons when all you need is a knife/ it’s meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife
06. “Atlas: Taste” – Sleeping At Last
Ryan is currently taking us on a tour of the senses with his newest batch of songs from Atlas Year 2. “Taste” follows closely at the heels of “Touch”. . . where “Touch was about being numbed to life, “Taste” was his awakening. A sequel to “Touch” so to speak. The singer realizes life is beautiful and he’s not afraid.
Favorite lyrics: We’re nothing less than a work in progress/sacred text on Post-It notes/We only speak of a world in pieces
05. “Starlight” – Taylor Swift
People overlook the fact that sometimes Taylor writes songs about other things than the boys who broke her heart. This is one of those examples. Starlight is a sort of fictional account about how Bobby and Ethel Kennedy met and fell in love in the summer of ’45.(Actually, they met on a ski trip in ’46. . .) But still, it’s a sweet song about true love that transcends the test of time.
Favorite lyrics: he’s talking crazy, dancing with me/we could get married/have ten kids and teach them how to dream
04. “She Used To Be Mine” – Sara Bareilles (Waitress)
The singer in this song is reflecting on the girl she used to be before she got married to an abusive man, got pregnant by him and got a job waiting tables. She wishes she could go back and tell her old self to do it over, to try and rewrite her ending.
Favorite lyrics: 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
03. “Unbreakable” – Jamie Scott
If the music video is anything to go by, this is a story about a girl who lost her mother and moved in with her grandfather. Or maybe it’s a story about a boy who loves a girl who is unlovable because he knows the truth. Everybody deserves to be loved.
Favorite lyrics: She’s the girl that I never had/she’s the heart that I wanted bad/the song I heard on the radio that made me stop and think of her/and I can’t, I can’t concentrate anymore
02. “Papa Can You Hear Me?” – Barbra Streisand
It’s a song about a girl having a conversation with her Heavenly Father/father. She’s lost and confused and all alone and it has some of the most vivid word imagery EVER!
Favorite lyrics: Can you hear me praying? Anything I’m saying even though the night is filled with voices
01. “Atlas Year 2: Life” – Sleeping At Last
The first song from Sleeping At Last’s Atlas Year 2 album, it tells the true life account of his first daughter being born last year. Beginning with the words his wife woke him up with: “I think it’s time”. It’s a beautiful ode to first children being born and how none of your lives. . . the parents or the baby’s life will never be the same again.
Favorite lyrics: we were changed in an instant/we became so much more/our definition of perfect was written when you were born/there is so much to tell you/there is so much to see/we will show you the oceans and everything in between
top ten mentions:
“Before the Parade Passes By” – Barbra Streisand
I want to feel my heart coming alive again before the parade passes by
“Touch” – Sleeping At Last
down my arms a thousand satellites suddenly discover signs of life
The whole entire 1989 album.
“True Love” – Tobias Jesso Jr.
and she waits through everything, anything for you, it’s what you call true love
“Samson” – Regina Spektor
Your hair was long when we first met, Samson went back to bed not much hair left on his head
“Days & Days” – Judy Kuhn
Days and days and days made of posing and bragging and fits of rage
“Burn” – Phillipa Soo
You built me palaces out of paragraphs
“Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” – Hamilton
Every other founding father’s story gets told, every other founding father gets to grow old
“Cecilia & the Satellite” – Andrew McMahon & the Wilderness
Of all the places I have been, I’m no place without you
“Wasn’t Expecting That” – Jamie Lawson
It was only a smile but my heart it went wild, I wasn’t expecting that
10. Iron Man
Because out of all the Avengers, he has the most character growth. By the end of the third one, he is taking serious steps to be his best self. Will this last? The Avengers 2 is coming out this spring, so we will see.
Favorite Quote: My armor was never a distraction or a hobby, it was a cocoon, and now I’m a changed man. You can take away my house, all my tricks and toys, but one thing you can’t take away – I am Iron Man.
9. Cory Matthews (Boy Meets Word/Girl Meets World)
There is little to DISLIKE about Cory Matthews. He has an unfaltering belief in God, in family, in his friends and that true love lasts forever. Never does he breathe a discouraging word, never is he hateful or unloving to anybody he meets. He is always respectful to authority figures and holds his father, mother and teacher, Mr. Feeny in the highest regard. And he never hesitates to do the right thing, even if it is the unpopular choice. I think if we had more Cory Matthews in real life, the world would be a brighter place.
Favorite Quote: I believe in love like I believe in God: You can’t touch it, you can’t see it, but you can feel its wrath.
8. Sherlock Holmes (Elementary)
He’s a different kind of Sherlock than the other ones I watch. A little more down-trodden by the world, a little more bruised. He has his vices and he’s beaten them. He’s loved and lost and learned to love again against all odds. He’s faced the dangers of falling into old habits and won the battle. He takes care of bees and wears funky socks, and when he lets somebody in, you can tell that he genuinely cares about them even if he is not that great at showing it. You are rooting for him to be the best man he can be. And ever since Joan Watson has come into his life, you can see the amazing changes he has made.
Favorite Quote: When I look back at the last 18 months I often categorize it as a grand experiment. The results which has demonstrated to me, much to my surpass, that I am capable can change. So, I will change… For you. For the sake of our partnership. For the sake of our work. Stay.
7. Joan Watson (Elementary)
Portrayed by the gorgeous Lucy Liu, she is making TV history by playing the first female Watson EVER. She doesn’t put up with any of Sherlock’s nonsense and has no qualms with putting him in place when he oversteps his boundaries. In the case of any great male-female relationship, she saves him from himself and he in turn shows her the kind of life she wants to live.
Favorite Quote: You have this kind of pull, like gravity. I am so lucky that I fell into your orbit.
6. Rose Morgan (the Mirror Has Two Faces)
Played by one of my favorites, Barbra Streisand, Rose is a single, middle-aged professor at a prestigious college. All of that changes when her younger sister answers an ad in her name. She meets and marries the handsome, middle-aged math professor, Gregory Larkin (Jeff Bridges). Their marriage is a unconventional one, born out of their friendship and mutual respect for each other. By the end of the movie, she has Gregory wrapped around her little finger and they get their happily ever after. Note, out of all the characters on this list, I relate to her the most from the way I feel about makeup to hiding my snacks all over the house to the way I feel about true love.
Favorite Quote (when Gregory asks her why she doesn’t wear makeup): What’s the point? I’d still look like me, only in color.
5. Kathleen Kelly (You’ve Got Mail)
I love everything about Kathleen. There is no need to get into a lengthy description why.
Favorite Quote: People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all… has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It’s a lovely store, and in a week it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it’ll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it’s a tribute to this city, the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that’s the sort of thing I’m always saying. But the truth is… I’m heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right.
4. Holly Golightly (Breakfast At Tiffany’s)
I think the young adult author, John Green, can best describe her “I was drizzle and she was a hurricane”. That sums her up exactly, Holly is a force to be reckoned with, she is larger than life but she is still a little girl in many ways. I love watching her onscreen growth from that of a scared little girl to one who is ready to face the things she is afraid of. And you can’t forget her amazing wardrobe.
Favorite Quote: A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick.
3. Lady Thiang (the King & I)
Ever since I was a little girl, I have LOVED the character of the King’s head wife. Ever since I was seven, I always thought that she really loved him despite his faults and that she was the one person who really knew the man behind the throne. I know now that the King & I is really a love story about Ana and the King, but I will never relinquish my belief that she loved him. That she was the only people who knew how to love him.
Favorite Quote: No quote, just the song Something Wonderful.
2. Patrick Jane (the Mentalist)
From the second I started to watch this show, I was drawn to this beautifully tragic man. I have probably gotten to know him better than any fictional character on this list (aside from my number one pick, Teresa Lisbon). For six whole seasons, I rooted for this man to find the peace he was so desperately looking for, to catch the man who had killed his first wife and daughter and to find a second chance at true love. In season 6, he found all three. This season is him accepting that he deserves all the things he has gotten.
Favorite Quote: You’re right. I have forgotten how to act like a normal human being. And I play games and I lie and I trick people to avoid the truth of how I feel. And the idea of letting anyone close to me is terrifying for obvious reasons, but the truth, Teresa, is that I can’t imagine waking up, knowing that I won’t see you. The truth is… I love you. Whew! You can’t imagine how good it feels to say that out loud, but it scares me… and it is the truth. It is the truth of what I feel.
1. Teresa Lisbon (the Mentalist)
Patrick Jane would not be the same person he is without THIS woman here. She took him in when he was at the lowest point in his life and told him to shape up. She sympathized with him but didn’t pity him and she proved to be the exact kind of cure he needed. I watched for seven breathless seasons as she fought with him and was his friend and flirted with him and fell in love with him and made him love her back. She was just as tragic and broken as him and together, they have found a completeness that Robin Tunney describes perfectly as what “she deserves but didn’t know she wanted.”
Favorite Quote: I love you. I said it.
Maria Von Trapp & Captain Von Trapp – Sound Of Music
Finn Hudson & Rachel Berry – Glee
Pepper Potts – Iron Man
Mr. Knightly & Emma Wodehouse – Emma
Marianne Dashwood & Colonel Brandon – Sense & Sensibility
Jacob Stone & Cassandra Cillian – the Librarians
Mary Poppins – Mary Poppins
Fanny Brice – Funny Girl
Lily Rush – Cold Case
Sam Brosocky – The Mentalist
Natasha Romanoff & Clint Barton – the Avengers
Phil Coulson & Melinda May – Agents of SHIELD
John Reese, Sameen Shaw & Joss Carter – Person of Interest
Daniel Pierce & Kate Moretti – Perception
Everybody is asking me what I want for Christmas. But what I really want this year cannot be found at Forever 21 or the Apple store. It cannot be paid for with credit cards, cash or a check. You cannot wrap it in shiny paper and line it up along side all the other pretty packages that will be under the tree.
It isn’t possible.
Santa Claus, what I really want this year is for there to be peace in the house.
For the violence to stop in the world. For justice to be served when justice deserves to be served.
For my sister to be happy. For my other sister to be whole and well again.
I want somebody to see me and only me and to gift me his favorite songs and to want to spend the rest of his life with me with a couple of dogs and maybe a kid. I want somebody to look at me the way my sisters boyfriends look at them. I want coffee kisses in the morning and slow dances around the kitchen at night. I want an imperfect prince charming. I want to give my healing heart to somebody who will keep it safe for me this time around. I want arguments and make ups and movie marathons. I want somebody who will get me and see all of me and love even my ugly parts. I want long conversations that do not take place in my dreams anymore. I do not want to be alone among a group of people anymore.
I’m waiting patiently Santa.
His name was David and I had known him ever since I was 14-almost-15. He had introduced himself to me in Sunday school, I was the new girl in town. . . . totally awkward and out of my element. He was one of the only people who attempted to be my friend, he spent three years talking to me and asking me how I was every Sunday, every single time we ran into each other. I developed a huge crush on another boy and David and I remained strictly friends. I was easy around him, comfortable. I couldn’t even fathom having a crush on him never mind falling in love with him.
And then in 2008 that fateful summer happened, the summer where it all began. He became the boy I would never forget. By then, he was 20 and I was 18, I was even more awkward and gawky than when we had first met. I had just graduated from high school, but I was wearing braces and I was all limbs. The chest that everybody said would come in by then still remained as flat as a board. Despite my lack of womanly physical changes, my heart and mind were starting to wake up and the boy I couldn’t even fathom having a crush on suddenly became very appealing as a man.
I fell in love with him that summer.
To this day I still don’t know how it happened. I have tried to figure it out, but looking back I cannot pinpoint the exact moment I knew. It was like I had loved him forever and I just hadn’t realized it because the friendship had been that good.
The first day he came back from college and started to help our youth leader out with our youth group, he singled me out and we spent 3 fabulous months doing every single church related activity together. We sat on the same couch every Sunday for Sunday school, we ate Wednesday night dinner together before prayer meeting began, during VBS he helped me tame the unruly bunch of 5-year-olds I had been assigned. On a mission trip, we built flower boxes together from scratch and planted flowers in them, being careful not to let our fingers accidentally touch while we patted down the soil. He gave me light blue Gatorade and spent hours giving me music and movie suggestions. He even lent me his absolute favorite movie in the world. When we went on our yearly youth trip, he sat with me every single night during dinner and we shared sweet tea from the same cup and at the end of the week, we were both sick with the same illness. The first day we were there, I got up early to eat breakfast. I brought my book because I was going all by myself and wound up running into him, we wound up meeting every morning for an early breakfast. I never finished that book I brought. Not that week anyways.
2008 is littered with memories like that. By September, I was deeply in love with him. It had gotten to the point where I could see myself spending forever with him even though we hadn’t even been on a real date yet. But I was certain it would happen, he was still hanging around because he was studying abroad and he didn’t have to leave until the beginning of October. He never asked me out, even though he was always telling me how nice I looked and talking to me every week and teasing me about reading chick lit.
I thought it was because he was still in school because he was going to go to seminary the next year and he was smart. It never happened though. He never asked me out, we never got together together. He’s engaged to somebody else now and I am trying to recover from half-a-decade of waiting for him to come back and pick me.
But even though it’s over between us, even though it never actually began between us I know that he loved me too for a few brief moments in time.
And I never will forget him or that summer I fell in love with him.
I believe in fairy tales and in true love and that eventually, love will win out in the end no matter what. I believe in wishing on shooting stars and dandelion dust. I believe in Christmas and that you can fall in love again even after you’ve lost it to the worst of circumstances. I believe in second chances and that music really does heal, that just hugging is a powerful thing, that sometimes crying is the best therapy, that laughter is the best medicine. I believe that Anne Frank was right. . . in spite of everything, people really are good at heart. I believe that people do have an effect on us, even after they are gone. Especially after they’re gone. I believe in family, in sisterhood, in the bra code, in best friends. That fictional characters become part of our lives just for a little bit, that for a short amount of time they are our friends and that in the pages of a book, in the scenes of a movie or a television show there are lessons to be learned. I believe in superheros, I believe that we need them in our lives because they symbolize hope. I believe in Narnia and in Neverland. I believe in good coffee, in glitter, that sometimes a Starbucks barista does more than just make your coffee. I believe in bare feet and high heels and painted toenails. I believe that everybody is beautiful in their own way, that every girl is a princess. . . it is their right. I believe that one day there will be peace on earth, that everything has a purpose under the sun and that God is real.
I especially believe that God is real.
The streets were filled with the sounds of a jazzy saxophone and flip-flops hitting cobblestone, the air heavy with southern warmness and numerous restaurants preparing dinner for the 5 to 10 crowd. People were cheering for the soccer teams at sports bars, sweating glasses of beer were in front of them, mixing with the smells of French fries and cheeseburgers. The couple in front of her were dressed up for a night out. . . the girl’s tattoo looked out of place with her high heels and little black dress.
She smiled to herself. She loved the city, it filled her to the brim with energy and inspiration and coffee. She was herself there.