All of these songs were heavy on my playlist this year. Some because they touched my heart and others because I just liked their sound. All in all, however, music was not a major player in 2011. For the first time since I was ten, I wasn't obsessed with it. Which is a good thing because, in the past, I often spent too much of my energy on music and not enough on God. These songs slipped through, though.
- "Don't Carry It All" - The Decemberists
The King is Dead was dropped in January of 2011, and I listened to it over and over again. I love the Decemberists previous albums (especially Picaresque), but I think that this is their best album so far. And this song, unbeknownst to me, would set the theme for 2011. Carrying burdens. And it, quite fittingly, told me to "let the yoke fall from [my] shoulders."
- "Someone Like You" - Adele
21 is easily my favorite album of the year. To me, this album is perfect. Her voice is haunting, and the lyrics let the things that you had hidden in your heart loose. Out of all of the amazing songs on the album that I've alternated loving in different seasons, this one has never left my mind. In an interview, Adele said that she wrote it after thinking about what will happen in twenty years when she runs into the guy she wrote the album for. What would she feel? And that theme really resonated with me because there are a few people in my life that I've loved mightily and have had to let walk away, and I always wonder what will happen if I ever see them again.
- "Parachute" - Cheryl Cole
Of course, I have to have a poppy dance song of the year, and I estimate the number of times my mother, sister, and I listened to this song in the car to be at least fifty times in one month. The lyrics actually do having meaning for me, though, because the attitude running through them is exactly the one that Dom and I adopted when we were being ostracized by his family. "It's you and me up against the world."
- "Lead Me" - Sanctus Real
This is probably more Dom's song of the year than mine, but I love it, too. Although it's written from the perspective of a man who wants God to lead him so that he's a better husband and father, the same concept is applicable to anyone. Let God lead you, and you will be a better everything.
- "Jar of Hearts" - Christina Perri
I feel like the whole world was obsessed with this song before I found it, but when I finally did, I listened to it over and over again for weeks. Having being held captive by several horrible relationships (however platonic they were) for many years made this song powerful for me. Even though my love was never romantic, pain feels the same when it comes from someone you love. And the wounded strength, the vulnerability throughout the song is just so beautiful.
- "Breathe Me" - Sia
Right around the middle of the year I was pretty much floored by depression. When I'm in that emotional state, that spiritual state, I feel completely isolated from everyone, even my husband. And this song really captured my brokenness, my fear. It helped me express what I couldn't, helping me release what I was holding inside. It didn't offer hope, but it helped me feel less alone.
- "Before the Morning" - Josh Wilson
I remember riding in the car one morning with Dom and Marina, listening to this song, and just crying. I had been emotionally drained for months, bordering on despair, and this song just hit me. And, for the first time, I had hope. I was able to truly believe that I would get out of the darkness of depression. This is my most beloved song of 2011 because it caused something to break inside of me. In a good way.
- "True Love" - Phil Wickham
The best way for a Christian to regain perspective and encouragement after experiencing a spiritual collapse is to return to the Good News and remind themselves of Jesus' sacrifice and their salvation. This song was that for me. "When blood and water hit the ground, walls we couldn't move came crashing down. We were freed and made alive the day that True Love died."
- "Heartless" (Cover) - Dia Frampton
There is nothing about this song that captures me lyrically. It's really all about the uniqueness of her voice and the creativity of the way she covered this song.
- "Fix You" - Coldplay
Chris Martin wrote this song for his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, but he might as well have written it for me because I feel as though he did. I feel as if I am the one being comforted and consoled every time. And I really needed consoling in the middle of the year, so this song was on constantly.
- "Cosmic Love" - Florence and the Machine
I love the lyrics. I love the music. I love her voice. I love to sing it in the car at the top of my lungs. It's beautiful.
- "Hosanna" - Hillsong United
I love love love this song. So many times during the day, when I'm done praying or just reading or driving or whatever, this song will come into my head. The bridge is truly my heart's cry.
Heal my heart and make it clean.Open up my eyes to the things unseen.Show me how to love like You have loved me.Break my heart for what breaks Yours.Everything I am for Your kingdom's causeAs I walk from nothing to eternity.