Life’s Soundtrack [2006-2009]
Its so hard to condense all the music that impacted me during my college years, but here are some highlights (sorry I couldn’t find links to all the songs):
‘All Hands on Deck’ by Waking Ashland [Summer 2006] – The Summer of 2006 I decided worked at a camp called ‘River Valley Ranch’. I got hired through a conference that I went on in the Fall of 2005 with Jr. High students, but had no idea where the camp was till two weeks before. It turned out being 4 hours away in Maryland, and I knew no one at the camp. So I embarked on my first ever solo road trip. Waking Ashland’s album ‘Composure’ was one I played over and over again during the trip, and I fell deeper and deeper in love with ‘All Hands of Deck’ during this time.
‘Center’ by Charlie Hall [Fall 2006] – The fall of my freshman year Charlie Hall came to lead worship at Lancaster Bible College. I stood near the back listening and worshiping along with him. Toward the end of the concert he began to play this song, and it has been one of my favorite worship songs since. It just captures the essence of what it really means to live for Jesus:
“Oh Christ, be the center of our lives
Be the place we fix our eyes
Be the center of our lives.”
(P.S. This video I found for it is amazing!)
‘Fourth of July’ by The Mint [Spring 2007] – My girlfriend, at the time, was visiting me at college and I played this song for her while we were crossing the bridge coming out of Lancaster City. She said, ‘I like that a lot,’ but secretly I felt like the song was a prophetic voice that was ushering forth the end of the relationship – which came later that month.
‘High-Strung Poets’ by The Evan Anthem [Spring 2007] – I was standing in a room listening to this song. I cannot recall which room, but I do remember that I was starring up at the ceiling and imagining these lines:
“Hold your words against the sun.
It’s like high-strung poets on a porcelain string.
Tied to one another, always searching for something.”
‘Fin’ by Anberlin [Spring 2007] – One of my favorite albums was one that played in the background of most of my college life was Anberlin’s album ‘Cities’. When I first heard the song, ‘Fin’ (the last track of the album) I remarked, ‘I do not think I’ve ever heard such and open and honest song about faith before in my life.’ I remember thinking deeply about this song while walking through the hallways of my dormitory one day, and then I remember singing it out loud to myself as I walked to class, wishing I could be as open and honest about my own faith.
‘Sister’ by Sufjan Stevens [Fall 2007] – I was visiting my friend Dave’s dorm room for the first time. I wasn’t in the room for more than five minutes when he said, “Hey have you ever listened to Sufjan Steven’s album ‘The Seven Swans?’ Its one of the best albums I’ve ever heard, and I think you’d really like it.” So that night I went back to my dorm and listened to the album. One song that really struck me was ‘Sister’. It hated the first 3 minutes of the song, but suddenly at the end everything changed and the song was so beautiful:
“I’ve got a red kite
I’ll put you right in it
I’ll show you the sky”
(‘The Dress Looks Nice on You’ and ‘The Transfiguration’ are two of my other favorites from the album).
‘Talkin World War III Blues’ by Bob Dylan [Spring 2008] – For some reason this is one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs. During my college years me and my friend Eric Gregory would always have amazing conversations about Bob Dylan, and I remember being in his dorm one day talking about this song with him, and explaining why I loved it so much. This sparked a conversation about Bob Dylan songs that lasted for a good hour.
‘The Dangling Conversation’ by Simon and Garkunkle [Spring 2009] – I was just getting done rehearsing my lines for the school musical I was in, and I decided to find some good music to write to. So I searched through the itunes playlists of other people on campus. Somehow I stumbled upon Simon and Garfunkle (who I’d never heard much of before) and this particular song was the first one I listened to. It has since become my favorite.
‘The House’ by Cool Hand Luke [Spring 2009] – I had just received ‘The Sleeping House’ by Cool Hand Luke in the mail. So when I went off to work in the library I put it in my computer and listened to it as I bound periodicals in the back room. Toward the end of the CD this song came on and floored me. I stopped everything I was doing and started worshipping by myself in the back room. My hands went up and down as I mimicked the drums and I started ‘dancing’ around. Then, out of nowhere, I began to cry as the chorus played:
“You brought from the womb
You made me trust in you
You oh God, I need You
Oh, your irresistible, You’re irresistible
Yours are the only hands that can heal me.”
It was a beautiful moment in the presence of my Savior.
‘Too Loud to Hear, Too Bright to See’ by Underoath [Spring 2009] – Graduation was only a few weeks away and my friend Eric and I were driving back to college. I don’t quite remember where we were driving back from, but I remember that as we were going through an old covered bridge he turned to me and said, ‘Have you heard Underoath’s new album?’ I looked at him and said, ‘Nah, I’m not huge into hardcore stuff.’ ‘Oh yeah,’ he said, ‘Either way I think you’d really like this song. Its called “Too Loud to Hear, Too Bright to See.”‘ He went on to play the song, and then began to tell me the whole point of the album. How it was an album calling out the Church to really love people and live out Christ instead of their legalism. It was such an inspiring moment, and I soon bought the album for myself. (I also remember watching a video he took from an Underoath concert of this song, and it was amazing – a year later I was able to experience it for myself).
What songs impacted your life in college?