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Day 30: A song that reminds you of yourself

The very last day of this challenge! Before I go into the song, I want to thank you for joining me this month and for contributing your selections as well. It’s been a blast!

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I have to go with Brian Littrell’s ‘In Christ Alone’. Some of you may know Brian from Backstreet Boys. He has the voice of an angel… if I ever heard one sang and if he were a fulltime gospel singer, he would’ve been my absolute favorite. He is the owner of one of the most beautiful voices known to man, but when he uses it to bless the Lord it’s even sweeter. 

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Unfortunately, he’s been struggling with vocal issues, but his voice is almost back… I think. 

Anyway, I chose this song because in Christ alone I place my hopes. In Him alone, I seek refuge, strength and protection. Brian couldn’t have expressed it any better. Christ is the reason why I exist, why I breathe and why I love. 💙

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In Christ alone
I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory
Let it be said of me
My source of strength
My source of hope
Is Christ alone

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Day 29: A song you remember from your childhood

*clears throat and attempts to sing* Have you seen my childhood? I’m searching for the world that I come from… 

Right. Kidding! I have to go ‘Remember the Time’ by the one and only, MJ. 

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Yass! I remember & cherish those times! 😄

Michael dedicated this song to Diana Ross because he liked causing speculation, theories, rumors, gossips, and fan fiction. Or did he? His brother Jermaine said that the song was in fact about Mike’s relationship with Ross, but eh, I’m certain that it’s about a girl who had amnesia and she can’t remember him so he’s recalling her to remember the awesome times they had together. 😉

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Do you remember
Back in the Spring
Every morning birds would sing
Do you remember
Those special times
They’ll just go on and on
In the back of my mind

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Day 28: A song by an artist with a voice you love

I’ll have to go with RIDSA. I was searching for French songs I can listen to while practising my French pronounciation, and I came across this French rapper of Spanish descent. I selected a few of his songs including the emotional ‘Avancer’. The video tells a vivid story of a union that fell apart. He packs his bags and leaves with his young one, but later on, he misses his other half, longs to return home, and begins the journey back with his son. Only when he gets there, it’s too late, for the home he once knew is abandoned and falling apart. 

Merci pour la chanson, Ridsa! 👍

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J’voulais juste avancer, me retrouver
Pouvoir recommencer, sans me retourner
Oui j’avoue, j’vous ai laissé, j’vous ai blessé
Mais sache que ça je ne m’en remet pas
J’vous ai laissé, j’vous ai blessé
J’y pense chaque jour, mais je ne le dis pas

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Day 27: A song that breaks your heart

My heart is not easy to break, so I’ll list a few songs that I think was actually heartbreaking.

Stranger In Moscow by Michael Jackson

The raw pain, the sadness, the hurt, the loneliness, no other artist had been able to capture such emotions in a bottle, shake it up and pour it out in a song like Michael. 

Fun Fact: This is my favorite MJ song and I consider it his greatest masterpiece.

Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O’Connor

This song was written and recorded by Prince in 1984 and never released… until April this year. It was written during the time when he broke up with his girlfriend and lost his mother to cancer. O’Connor does a fantastic job with it but had Michael Jackson sang it, it would’ve been raining buckets of tears!

Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely by Backstreet Boys

This sad, but beautifully composed song touched on some of the boys’ real-life issues at the time: Brian’s open heart surgery for a defect he has had since childbirth, Kevin’s deceased father (he provided some actual footage so I know that this song must be quite personal for him), Howie’s sister who died a year earlier of Lupus and Denniz Pop who died in 1998 and produced some tracks for BSB.

Fun Sad Fact: This is my favorite BSB song.

I Will Wait by Nick Carter

Gaa! I did not sign up for this feel trip! I forgot how sad this video actually is with that adorable elderly couple and the acoustic guitar does not help! 😭 Anyway, I love this song because it brings back warm memories of my grandfather because it has that waltzy thing from his era. 💙

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Day 26: A song that makes you want to fall in love

I’ll just leave a few songs that I think is love. 

Take My Breath Away 💙

Sweet Top Gun memories! Actually, the first time I heard this song, I had no idea who Tom Cruise or Top Gun was. I just really loved the song and thought it was downright sweet and romantic. It took my breath away at first listen.

I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith 💙

I haven’t seen the movie that this song was made for and the music video is eh, but the violins, the guitars, Steven Tyler’s amazing voice on this ballad! It’s filled with raw romantic dedicated and unconditional love and this feeling can never ever be bought. It’s filled with passion for that other half. When you find this kind of love, why let it go? I like to think that this is the greatest love song of all time… or one of.

Never Tear Us Apart – INXS

Eh, it’s more about fate putting two people together because you don’t get to choose who to love sometimes. It’s intense love through an instant attraction and remembering the first time they met and although there’s a hint of break-up in there, this song can also be looked at as a make-up song after the couple resolves the conflict hence coming out stronger than ever. But that beautiful synth at the beginning which built up and broke over the saxophone is magnificent!

By Your Side – Sade

I think it’s a beautiful song and it captures love in every sense of the word. No matter what you’re going through, the ups, the downs, the smiles, the frowns, when lonely, Sade is going to be by her partner’s side. If you love someone and you can’t seem to say the words, play this song for them.

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Day 25: A song by an artist no longer living

The ever timeless classic “Billie Jean” by the talented Michael Jackson. Who was Billie Jean? What was Billie Jean? Was she just a girl as Michael claimed? The stalker who wrote him letters about a son she thought was his? Shall we decode the song? First, let’s take a moment to appreciate the moonwalk:

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Now, the song. What I loved about MJ, was the fact that his songs and videos mimicked each other and didn’t confuse its audience, for he used the videos to tell the story of his songs. In this song, we have a girl claiming that MJ is the father which he is outright denying. After all, this is an outcry! He’s a virgin (straight from his mouth) so how can he be the father? A PI is then seen following MJ in order to take pictures with him and the so-call Billie Jean to prove that they’re lovers. A newspaper headline appears screaming “Billie Jean Scandal” showing that the press never lets scandals or rumors for that matter fade for the media is almost always the ones responsible for making them up. 

The glowing floor is the most mysterious.

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I think it represents MJ being followed and accused and that no matter what he do or were he goes, someone is ALWAYS going to be there watching (Big Brother), which was creepily true in real life. She shows him a photo of his kid, and although “his eyes were like mine”, he still denies it “She says I am the one but the kid is not my son”.

Pffftt!! Yeah, right, the kid was his son and the lady ain’t no crazy fan named Billie Jean. His admonition of warning “remember do always think twice” overshadows his repeated denials of “the kid is not my son”. He had history with that girl. He’s admitting his mistakes because of fathering a child while being a child himself (possibly), but when he found out that the child isn’t his, he’s relieved because “mother always told me be careful of who you love. And be careful of what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth” and he regretted not listening to her. He’s also relieved because he’s young, his career is just taking off and having a child can be a setback. Obviously, he slept with this woman. How stupid does he think I am? He does not get to play the innocent victim in this song for moonwalking out of Billie Jean’s life and his possibly child. 

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As for “For 40 days and 40 nights. The law was on her side” it brings to mind Biblical accounts such as Jesus fasting for 40 days and the great flood. Here, 40 is the nominal number of weeks of pregnancy. Gestation lasts 40 weeks or roughly 9 months.

Hmmm… maybe I should start a Hollywood Speculation & Theory series. 🤔

Anyway, here’s a fun fact: this was the first music video I actually saw and I was intrigued with the mystery surrounding the story. It’s also the video that’s credited for breaking the color barrier on MTV. His videos were always groundbreaking and he changed an entire genre with them for music videos were never the same afterwards, but Billie Jean was his lover… at least in song.

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Billie Jean is not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son

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Day 24: A song by a band you wish were still together

I’m not a band lover. I loved Backstreet Boys and I think they’re still together and Depeche Mode is definitely still going strong. I’ll have to go with Creed. Scott Stapp’s voice was not top notch in my opinion, but I liked it anyway. My all-time favorite song of theirs was “With Arms Wide Open”. Taking the lyrics at face value, it’s obvious that it’s about a father (Stapp) welcoming his newborn (Jagger) into the world. But the video tells a different story altogether.

Given that Creed was a “Christian” band, there had to be a spiritual theme. 

Stapp is addressing his Creator, there’s lightning and then he is suddenly surrounded by fire and brimstone (?) a sure sign that we’re living in a wicked world; the world in which his son is going to be born in. He sees a tower/church and seek refuge (Proverbs 18:10). He then finds himself in a cave under the tower church and while he sings about his one desire being that his son does not end up like him, he accepts God as His true Savior and is baptized and ends up on top of a mountain with arms wide open as if surrendering to God. Thus God receives His son once more with His arms wide open (The Prodigal Son).

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With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I’ll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open

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Day 22: A song that moves you forward

‘Heal the World’ by Michael Jackson! I 💙 this song! 

I like that the song addresses the current condition that we’re living in, but it also expresses hope “And the world we once believed in. Will shine again in grace” and what’s to come “Create a world with no fear. Together we cry happy tears. See the nations turn their swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4) when Jesus returns. In the meantime, we’re supposed to “Be God’s glow” in this less fortunate world and represent Him. 

Man, sometimes I wish Michael Jackson was not a pop star!

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Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me
And the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make it a better place
For you and for me

 

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Day 20: A song that has many meanings to you

Runner-Up: Lay Your Hands by The Thompson Twins

Winner: The World I Know by Collective Soul

Just like ‘Lay Your Hands’ this song is open to many interpretations, but I want to talk about the “spiritual” one in this post especially the second verse.

Let’s face it, we live in a fallen corrupted world where every immoral thing is considered good. “Are we listening?” is asking are we listening to the inner voice within? Are our ears open to “Hymns of offering” and “Have we eyes to see?” We’re spiritually blind (and deaf) to this world and we can only see when the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Do not become drunk with the world. “That love is gathering” (Brothers and sisters. All those who have the dwelling of the Holy Spirit). 

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“All the words that I’ve been reading” (the Holy Bible) “Have now started the act of bleeding. Into one, into one” (becoming one with God because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit). When the narrator “walk up high” on that tall building to “see my world below” something awakens in him and he changes his mind about committing suicide. He connected with God on a spiritual level and was able to reflect on the world from His point of view. He realized that his pain and suffering is small compared to what others are going through daily hence “And I laugh at myself. While the tears roll down.”

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Songs are always open to interpretations and this one can go either way (I talked about this very same song last evening), and although it’s hard not to miss the spiritual feeling in this one, don’t read much into it. It’s sadness and joy and the realization that although the world is not good, there is redemption. The video is another thing entirely altogether for it may not reflect the song this way, but I’ve never seen the video and the original is nowhere to be found on YouTube. I heard it was quite powerful.

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So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down
‘Cause it’s the world I know
Oh it’s the world I know

 

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Day 19: A song that makes you think about life

Well, to be honest, a few songs did make me think about life when I first heard them:

Graduation (Friends Forever) by Vitamin C – This bittersweet song made me reflect on my school life and the friends I had back then. Friends forever? Well, I’m not one to have a lot of friends given that I am not a social butterfly and trust back then was something I couldn’t count on. And to be honest, I am glad that I didn’t have to see the majority of classmates again once school was out for good.

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Paradise by Coldplay – This song hits the heart hard. When we’re young, we expect the world of our dreams/imagination. But when we finally get there, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be but “life goes on, it gets so heavy” and we have to keep fighting our battles. Despite the tough times “I know the sun must set to rise” meaning that there’s always another day for progress. At the end of the day, we all live in hope and faith. Aerosmith’s Dream On’ has a similar narrative.

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Another song is The World I Know by Collective Soul. It’s about losing hope in humanity and that’s not so easy to do. All you have to do is look around! Because of how corrupted we’ve become with our thoughts and actions, the earth just keeps crying out for blood. Most of us choose the negative such as greed and hatred over love and empathy. However, at that moment the narrator decides to do away with the world, the realization hits him like a ton of bricks and his eyes are open and it’s the world I know versus what the world could be like. However, there is a certain spiritual aspect to the song that I’ll discuss in a later post.

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One of the saddest, yet truest songs ever written is The Living Years by Mike + The Mechanics. Don’t leave things unsaid for when that person dies, it hurt us even more. If there is someone you’re not talking to out of spite, put that behind and make amends for life is too short. Listen to what people are trying to say even if you may not like the good advice you think is bad at the time. Let people know you care; don’t hold grudges especially where it concerns your loved ones. 

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And last but not least, my reflection song, Man In the Mirror by Michael Jackson. The message is simple: before you change the world (or address any situation for that matter), look at yourself within and change. How can you change the world if you can’t start with yourself? A mirror reflects who we are. If we keep seeing the same man or woman in the mirror, then we must change that. We need to become selfless, not selfish. 

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I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change