As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'll be going over the 22 songs that make up the mixtape that I made for my daughters. I don't just throw songs on a playlist at random. My intention is to tell a story through songs and give my daughters a gift that they can listen to and enjoy for years to come. The theme of our first five songs is introductions.
So without further ado, here is part one of my breakdown of The Gallawa Girls Story (Click the song titles to hear them):
1. Welcome to Life - Matt Maher
I'll be the first to tell that I don't like "God rock". I find that South Park actually did an incredible job pointing out that most of that music is just love songs where they took a girl's name out and replaced it with God. So it took a little convincing for me to even listen to it when my wife recommended this song. But once I listened to it, I was all about it. It's just a great song. Especially the chorus. I'm welcoming my girls to the world, and my biggest hope for them is happiness and having a good life (a.k.a. enjoying and getting it right). I'm sure some will dismiss it because it is faith-based, but the message is ultimately that life is about loving your fellow man through good and rough times. That's a pretty good message to pass along to my little ones.
2. The Galway Girl - Sharon Shannon feat Mundy
Back in 2009, I was lucky enough to go on a trip with my wife's family to Ireland. Describing how incredible and fun this trip was would need a post for another day, so I'll just jump ahead to one part of it. One of our stops was in the city of Galway which in spite of overcast and rainy skies was one of the coolest cities that we saw. It was full of music, great pubs and nice people. While there our driver Liam told us all about the song The Galway Girl. It was written about the city and was apparently quite popular. In fact it was mentioned and performed in P.S. I Love You. Don't bother with that movie because it is rubbish, but the song is phenomenal. It just feels like Ireland (which is hard to explain). It reminds me of how much I love my wife, and now it will always remind me of the Gallawa Girls. FYI, my name is pronounced Gal-uh-way in case you were wondering, so it even sounds similar. And I lost my heart to a Galway girl. Yep that pretty much sums it up.
3. Heaven - Live
Throwing Copper was a monster hit and catapulted Live to super stardom, but since then Ed Kowalczyk has written some incredibly moving and beautiful songs that are often overlooked. This is definitely one of them. And all it took was that one line "I don't need no one to tell me bout heaven. I look at my daughter and I believe" for me to love this song. Nothing anyone could tell me about heaven could ever be a better representation than my girls. This is all the proof I could ever need or hope for. They are my little piece of heaven. A little bit of perfection to remind me of God's presence, and the wonderful gifts that I've been given.
4. Gracie - Ben Folds
For as long as I've wanted kids, I've known that one of my daughters was going to be named Grace. I find it to be an incredibly beautiful name, and there are quite a few musicians that agree with me. One just so happens to be one of my all-time favorites. I love Ben Folds. He became a part of our lives at the very early stages of our relationship and has been intertwined with the story of Erin and me. The Luckiest was our first dance song on our wedding day, and I can't listen to it without thinking of my wife and getting a little misty eyed. While Erin and I were dating, I flew down to southern California to go to a Ben Folds show at El Rey Theatre. It was the first time I had gotten a chance to see him live despite loving his music for years, and I was seeing him with my future wife. Needless to say it was already very special. It was during that show that I heard Gracie for the first time. I just remember it bringing the biggest, goofiest grin to my face. It's funny and cute and moving, and it expresses perfectly the relationship between a father and his daughter. It also only hammered home my love of the name Grace and is the perfect song to sing to my Gracie every night.
5. Sweet Pea - Amos Lee
Unfortunately for Ana, there just aren't that many songs that feature her name. Sure there are plenty of songs about Anna, but that just isn't my daughter's name and would be forcing it. But there is a song that I do relate to her. When she was born the first thing that one of the doctors said was "Her head is a little misshapen". Obviously the thing you want to hear as your kid is being born, right? It wasn't untrue though. She really did have a head that was kind of shaped like Mr. Peanut. So being as unoriginal as I am, I started calling her Peanut Head and then eventually Peanut. So you can see where I'm going here. You may know this song from the AT&T commercial where the dad is sending pictures of the monkey to his daughter. Adorable commercial made even more adorable by this song. This past summer we saw Amos Lee at Outside Lands, and he really is a fantastic singer-songwriter. My wife was very pregnant at the time and was not happy by the end of the day, but she definitely was smiling during his set and especially during this song. These girls are my biggest reason to come home every day.
That wraps up the first section of this series which focused on introducing my girls to the world and vice versa. Give a listen to the songs, and check out part two!