Song connection exchange

Your mission, should you decide to accept it:

  1. We’ll exchange email addresses.

  2. I’ll send you 5 songs and their significance in my life. (It’ll be a PDF file.)

  3. You reply with 3 – 5 songs that are significant to you in your life. You can just reply to the email with your songs—including 1) song title, 2) artist, 3) lyrics in the song that have particular meaning to you (if any), and 4) the song’s significance to you, or you can use a template that I’ll provide if you want to make your response fancy. (The template will be an editable ODT file, which is an OpenOffice file format, but which can be opened with other popular word processors, such as Microsoft Word. Of course, you don’t have to use the template to create your response. I’m not your father.)

  4. It would be nice to get at least 3 songs (5 would be great) from you, but you’re not being graded, so no points will be taken off if you deliver fewer. If you use the template, you can export your file to a PDF before sending it to me to look just like the file I sent you.

  5. You email me your response on or before my birthday, which is Tuesday, October 13. Disclaimer: If you send it before, I still might not open this present until Tuesday.

  6. We agree not to share any part of this exchange publicly without each other’s expressed permission.


To get a feel for what this will look like, here are 2 examples of mine. One song has certain lyrics that “speak to me,” so I included them. For the other one, the entire song “takes me back,” plus it’s a classical music piece without lyrics.

Notes: 1) Neither of these 2 songs will be one of the 5 that I send you in the second step above, and 2) Each song title is linked to a version of the song on YouTube.

Le Freak by Chic

Have you heard about the new dance craze?
Listen to us, I’m sure you’ll be amazed
Big fun to be had by everyone
It’s up to you, it surely can be done
Young and old are doing it, I’m told
Just one try, and you too will be sold
It’s called “le freak, ” they’re doing it night & day
Allow us, we’ll show you the way

Ah, freak out
Le freak, c’est Chic
Freak out

1978 song by American R&B band, which Billboard ranked as the #3 song for 1979. For these lyrics, slide to the :20 mark in the video linked to by the song’s title above.


This song always takes me back to college and reminds me of my sister.

I attended East Carolina University (ECU) from the fall of 1975 through the spring of 1980. My younger sister and I have always been close, and back then was no exception. She arrived at ECU in 1978 in the midst of the disco era, and while I was still there. We both loved to dance, and we headed downtown to the clubs on the weekends to do just that.

Saturday Night Fever was a recent blockbuster movie, and about a year after it became so, clubs in small towns like Greenville, NC—where ECU is—were finally installing the iconic lighted dance floors that took the disco craze up a level.

This song was all the rage then, and we danced to it any time we could. And if that wasn’t enough, this song had its own dance to go with it, which my sister and I learned and wore ourselves out doing together on that light-pulsing dance floor. Happy times.

The Marriage of Figaro1 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

No particular lyrics
1This is the 2-clarinets version. The entire orchestral version is more beautiful.


In high school (from 1971-1975), I played clarinet and for most of that time, I was “1st chair.” It wasn’t necessarily because I was the best clarinet player in our band, but possibly because our band teacher liked me.

I was “challenged” several times—a formal meeting during which each person was judged playing the same piece of music—and I did “win” each time to keep 1st chair, but our band teacher was always the arbiter. He probably thought he was doing me a favor, but what actually happened was that I always doubted whether I was as good as my “title” indicated.

So, this song always reminds me of that whole time and my mental conflict, because it was arguably the most difficult song (at least for its clarinet parts) that I played, and I did get to the point where I could “nail it,” so it gives me hope that even if I wasn’t “the best,” I did have a decent amount of talent.

And in retrospect, this may have been my first experience with impostor syndrome, although that term wasn’t coined until 1978.