Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I'm a Survivor Playlist

December 22, 2015

Awhile back, I asked friends for suggestions for some ‘Survivor’-type anthem songs for a playlist—something to keep me going and remind me to keep my spirits up when things got a little scary and uncertain.  Lots of these songs were ones I was reminded of by these friends; some of them had made the list before I threw out the call for help.  Sometimes it’s just a single line, sometimes it’s the whole vibe or message of the whole song that struck me.  Sometimes it’s a reminder to be strong, sometimes it’s visualization of what it’s going to be like once I make it through the fire. Admittedly, some of the songs themselves are a little on the darker side and I pulled a couple of lines out of context because, you know, I can.  Here’s my “I’m a Survivor” playlist.  The soundtrack of my life, formalized into focus when on October 15th, I was faced with being diagnosed with breast cancer.  Call ‘em cheesy, or too ‘poppy’, or whatever If you like.  This is MY Survivor Playlist, baby, and I’m stickin’ to it!  For each song, I’ve thrown out a line or two that highlight why it made the list.  Also, with the exception of perhaps one or two, I steered clear of ballads and slow songs.  I wanted this to be a “Kickin’ it into high gear fight song/celebration playlist.” 

The story itself—the journey—will be another blog post.  (Spoiler alert, if you haven’t been privy to the Facebook posts: it’s looking like a happy-ending kind of tale.)


Brave—Sara Bareilles
“Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down by the enemy/fallen for the fear and done some disappearing/bow down to the mighty/don’t run, stop holding your tongue/maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live/maybe one of these days you can let the light in/show me how big your brave is.”

Roar—Katy Perry
“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter dancing through the fire; ‘cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar louder, louder than a lion/’Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.”

Firework—Katy Perry
“You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine/Just own the night like the fourth of July.”

Bulletproof—La Roux
            “This time, baby, I’ll be bulletproof.”

Treat Me Right—Pat Benetar
            “Treat me right, treat me right/Open your eyes, maybe you’ll see the light.”

Confident—Demi Lovato
“It’s time for me to take it; I’m the boss right now…This is my game, and you’d better come to play.../So you say I’m complicated, but you had me underrated.”

Fight Song—Rachel Platten
“This is my fight song/Take back my life song/Prove I’m alright song/My power’s turned on/Starting right now I’ll be strong/And I don’t really care if nobody else believes/’Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.”

Hold On—Alabama Shakes
“So bless my heart, bless my mind. I got so much to do, I ain’t got much time. So, must be someone up above saying come on girl, you got to get back up.  You got to hold on. Yeah you got to hold on.”

Eye of the Tiger—Survivor
“It’s the eye of the tiger/it’s the thrill of the fight/Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival…”

Invincible—Pat Benetar
“Stand up and face the enemy/It’s a do or die situation/We’ll be invincible.”

I Will Survive—Gloria Gaynor
“I grew strong, and I learned how to get along.  Go on now go—walk out the door! …Did you think I’d crumble? Did you think I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I!”

Hollaback Girl—Gwen Stefani
“So I’m ready to attack, gonna lead the pack, gonna get a touchdown gonna take you out.”

All Fired Up—Pat Benetar
“I’ve got a new fire burning in my eyes, lighting up the darkness, moving like a meteorite!”

I’ll Make a Man Out of You—Donny Osmond (Mulan)
“Tranquil as a forest, but on fire within. Once you find your center, you are sure to win….You must be swift as the coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.”

Survivor—Destiny’s Child
“I’m a survivor/I’m not gon’ give up/I’m not gon’ stop/I’m gon’ work harder/I’m gonna make it/I will survive/Keep on survivin’.”

Don’t Come Around Here No More—Tom Petty
“Don’t come around here no more. Whatever you’re looking for, HEY, don’t come around here no more.”

Fighter—Christina Aguilera
“Makes me that much stronger/Makes me work a little bit harder/It makes me that much wiser/So thanks for making me a fighter.”

“You’re an overcomer/Stay in the fight ‘til the final round/You’re not going under/’Cause God is holding you right now.”

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)—Kelly Clarkson
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger/Stand a little taller/Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone/What doesn’t kill you makes you a fighter.”

Hit Me With Your Best Shot—Pat Benetar
“Knock me down, it’s all in vain; I’ll get right back on my feet again.”

Love Myself—Hailee Steinfeld
“I’m gonna put my body first/And love me so hard ‘til it hurts/I know how to scream out the words/Scream the words.”

Sole Survivor—Asia
“And from the wreckage I will arise/Cast the ashes back in their eyes/See the fire I will defend/Just keep on burning right to the end.”


Like a Prayer—Madonna
“In the midnight hour, I can feel your power.” 

These Boots are Made for Walking—Nancy Sinatra
“Well, these boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do/One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”

“Everything is going to be alright/Be strong, believe….Want to tell my kids they’ll never know/How much I love to see them smile.”

Far From Over—The Sly Guys (Staying Alive)
“Save me darlin’/I am down but I am far from over/Give me somethin’/I need it all ‘cause I am runnin’ over.”

Don’t Stop Believin’—Journey
“Don’t stop believin’/Hold on…”

Bring Me to Life—Evanescence
“Wake me up inside, save me, call my name and save me from the dark…”

Hall of Fame—The Script
“You can go the distance; you can run the mile. You can walk straight through hell with a smile.”

Living on a Prayer—Bon Jovi
“Woah, we’re half way there/Woah, livin’ on a prayer/Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear/Woah, livin’ on a prayer.”

Let It Go—Idina Menzel
“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small/And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.”

Are You Ready for a Miracle?—Rejoice Gospel Choir (Leap of Faith)
“Are you ready for a miracle? As ready as I can be. Are you ready for a miracle? The spirit will set you free.”

I Gotta Feeling—Black Eyed Peas
“I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night/That tonight’s gonna be a good, good night.”

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough—Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
“No wind, no rain/Or winter’s cold can stop me baby…”

Wide Awake-Katy Perry
“I’m wide awake/Not losing any sleep/Picked up every piece/And landed on my feet.”

Worth it—Fifth Harmony\
“Give it to me, I’m worth it.”

Zero to Hero—Cheryl Freeman (Hercules)
“Honey, the crowds were going bonkers/He showed the moxie, brains, and spunk/From zero to hero/a major hunk.”

Safe and Sound—Capital Cities
“I could lift you up; I could show you what you wanna see and take you where you wanna be.  You could be my luck even if the sky is falling down.  I know that we’ll be safe and sound.”

Love is a Battlefield—Pat Benetar
“We are strong, no one can tell us we’re wrong/Searchin’ our hearts for so long…”

Tubthumping—Charlie Wonder
“I Get Knocked Down, But I’ll Get Up Again”


Dance, Dance—Fall Out Boy
“Dance, dance/And these are the lives you love to lead.”

Bang Bang—Ariana Grande
“Queen Nicki dominant, prominent.”

Fancy—Iggy Azalea
“I’m so fancy/You already know/I’m in the fast lane/From L.A. to Tokyo.”

“How will it feel havin’ so much fun? Hard to imagine but it’s electrifyin’/Go to sleep tonight and dream about it til the morning/Appearing for the very first time, on the screen tonight/And when you wanna, they treat you like a prima donna.”

Get Lucky—Daft Punk
“We’ve come too far/To give up who we are/So let’s raise the bar/And our cups to the stars.”

Greatest Day—Bowling for Soup
“The sun is shining down and/There is no one else around now/I wish you were here to hear me say/This is gonna be my greatest day.”

Radioactive—Imagine Dragons
“All systems go, the sun hasn’t died/Deep in my bones, straight from inside.”

We Are the Champions—Queen
“We are the champions, and we’ll keep on fighting ‘til the end.”

Problem—Ariana Grande
“I got one less problem without ya.”

I’m Still Standing—Elton John
“Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I every did/Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid/I’m still standing after all this time/Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.”

It’s My Life—No Doubt
“It’s my life—don’t you forget. Oh it’s my life; it never ends.”

When I Grow Up—The Pussycat Dolls
“When I grow up, fresh and clean, number one chick when I step out on the scene.”

SexyBack—Justin Timberlake
“I’m bringin’ sexy back!”

Since U Been Gone—Kelly Clarkson
 “Since you been gone/I can breathe for the first time/I’m so moving on….”

Turn the Beat Around—Gloria Estefan
“’Cause when the guitar play starts playing/With the syncopated rhythm, with the scratch, scratch, scratch/Makes me wanna move my body, yeah, yeah, yeah.” (Okay—this one is just because how can you NOT feel good listening to this song?)

“If the music’s pumpin’ it will give you new life—you’re a superstar, yes, that’s what you are.” “Beauty’s where you find it.”

Hella Good—No Doubt
“You got me feelin’ hella good so let’s just keep on dancing!”

Price Tag/Don’t You Forget About Me—The Barden Bellas (Pitch Perfect)
“Everybody look to the left, everybody look to the right, Can you feel that yeah, we’re payin’ with love tonight.”

Respect—Aretha Franklin
“R.E.S.P.E.C.T./Find out what it means to me.”

It’s My Life—Bon Jovi
“I just wanna live while I’m alive/It’s my life.”

Cool For the Summer—Demi Lovato
“Tell me if I won; if I did, what’s my prize?”

Brick House—Commodores
“’Cause she’s a brick house/Ow that lady stacked and that’s a fact/Ain’t holding nothing back.” (So yeah—a little tongue in cheek.  Gotta laugh, right, or what’s the point? Besides, this is a family fav. from way, way back.)

Have a Nice Day—Bon Jovi
“Ohh, if there’s one thing I hang onto/That gets me through the night/I ain’t gonna do what I don’t want to, I’m gonna live my life./Shining like a diamond, rolling with the dice/Standing on the ledge, I show the wind how to fly./When the world get in my face, I say, Have A Nice Day.”

You May Be Right—Billy Joel
“I might be as crazy as you say/If I’m crazy then it’s true/That’s it’s all because of you/And you wouldn’t want me any other way.”

Big Shot—Billy Joel
“You had to be a big shot, didn’t, you had to prove it to the crowd; you had to be a big shot, didn’t ya-all your friends were so knocked out.”

So What—Pink
“So, so what? I’m still a rock star. I got my rock moves and I don’t need you. And guess whaat? I’m having more fun…now that we’re done.”

Honey, I’m Good—Andy Grammer
“Nah, nah, Honey, I’m good!”

Raise Your Glass—Pink
“Won’t you come on and come on and raise your glass/Just come on and come on and raise your glass.”

Get the Party Started—Pink
“Get this party started on a Saturday night/Everybody’s waitin’ for me to arrive.”

My Life—Billy Joel
“I don’t need you to worry for me ‘cause I’m alright/I don’t want you tell me it’s time to come home.”

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)—Green Day
“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go. So make the best of this dance and don’t ask why….I hope you had the time of your life.”

Good Morning—Mandisa
“Wave away my yesterday/’Cause I’m leaving it behind me/Hello sunshine, come what may/I feel something new inside me/I hear the birds singing/Now my alarm’s ringing/ Get up, get up, hey/It’s a good morning/Wake up to a brand new day….”

Heart to Heart—Kenny Loggins
“I know the only way to start this time is heart to heart.”

I’m Alright (Theme From Caddyshack)—Kenny Loggins
“I’m alright—don’t nobody worry ‘bout me!”

Don’t Fight It—Kenny Loggins and Steve Perry
“There’s times you want to shake yourself; there’s nights you want to yell for help. You can’t  fight it standing still—there’s nothing wrong with raising some hell. Tonight we’re gonna raise it!”

Girls Just Want to Have Fun—Cyndi Lauper
“I want to be the one to walk In the sun/Oh girls, they just want to have fun.”

I Sing the Body Electric—Irene Cara (Fame)
“I sing the body electric; I celebrate the me yet to come….I sing the body electric, I glory in the glow of rebirth, creating my own tomorrow, when I shall embody the earth.”

Happy—Pharrell Williams (Despicable Me 2)
“Because I’m happy/Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof/Because I’m happy/Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth/Because I’m happy/Clap along if you know what happiness is to you/Because I’m happy/Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.”

Centuries—Fall Out Boy
“We’ll go down in history.  Remember me for centuries.”

Sing Your Praise to the Lord—Amy Grant
“The life goes on and so must the song.”

Up!—Shania Twain
“Up, up, up/Can only go up from here.”

Awesome God—Rich Mullins
“Our God is an awesome God; he reigns from Heaven above with wisdom, power, and love….He spoke into the darkness and created the light.”

I Lived—One Republic
“I, I did it all/I, I did it all/I owned every second that this world could give/I saw so many places, the things that I did/With every broken bone, I swear I lived.”

Good to Be Alive—Andy Grammer
“I think I finally found my halleluiah; I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life. Now all my dreams are comin’ true, yeah. I’ve been waiting for this moment—feels good to be alive right about now.”

Ex’s and Oh’s—Elle King
“One, two, three, they gonna run back to me/Climbing over mountains and a-sailing over seas/One, two, three, they gonna run back to me/They always wanna come, but they never wanna leave.” (Okay, this one has nothing to do with anything. It’s just a great song!)


Ain’t No Other Man—Christina Aguilera
“Ain’t no other man, can stand up next to you/Ain’t no other man on the planet does what you do.”

We Are Family—Sister Sledge
“I’ve got all my sisters with me!”

Let Me Be There—Olivia Newton-John
“Wherever you go/Wherever you may wander in your life/Surely you know/I always wanna be there/Holding your hand/And standing by to catch you when you fall/Seeing you through/In everyting you do/Let me be there in your morning/Let me be there in your night/Let me change whatever’s wrong and make it right.”

I’ll Be There for You (Friends)—Rembrandts
“I’ll be there for you (when the rain starts to pour)/I’ll be there for you (Like I’ve been there before)/I’ll be there for you (‘Cause you’re there for me too).

Whenever I Call You Friend—Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks
“Whenever I call you ‘friend’, I begin to think I understand/Anywhere we are, you and I have always been, ever and ever/ I see myself within your eyes, and that’s all I need to show me why/Everything I do always takes me home to you, ever and ever.”

Never Alone—Contemporary Gospel Chorus (Fame)
“Never alone—He’ll never leave you alone.”

Keep Holding On—Avril Lavigne
“You’re not alone/Together we stand/I’ll be by your side/You know I’ll take your hand/When it gets cold….So keep holding on/’Cause you know we’ll make it through.”

Pride and Joy—Stevie Ray Vaughn
“I love my baby, heart and soul. She’s my sweet little baby; I’m her little lover boy.”

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