The chatter on my car radio caught my attention about halfway home from Kentucky on Interstate 64.
I have no idea who was talking, or where they were talking from, or how the discussion started on the FM station.
The topic: If they were doing a movie about your life, what songs would be on the soundtrack?
Hmmm. It was one of those random conversations that I couldn’t get out of my head until I got home, sat down at the computer and wrote about it myself.
A movie about my life would rely heavily on good music. It’s been a good life, overall. Not exactly movie material, though.
We all have our favorite songs, but which ones would you choose to help tell your story?
It was fun to reminisce about good music. All the genres over decades. Songs that make me think about certain people, moments and memories. Some simple songs that have a special meaning.
After several hours at the computer, and multiple lists, here the songs that I chose to be on the soundtrack of “Mackin: The Movie:”
“Mack the Knife,” Bobby Darin. It was one of the hit songs of 1959 when I was born. For the record, I hate knives. I always end up cutting myself.
There have to be songs in honor of my late parents.
“Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” Nat King Cole. It was my mom’s favorite song. She cried when we danced to it on my wedding day because I remembered.
“Fly Me to the Moon,” Frank Sinatra. I think Dad thought he was cool as Sinatra. Sometimes, I’d catch him late at night, headphones on, tapping his foot and singing slightly to Ol’ Blue Eyes.
There have to be songs in recognition of my two children.
“Sam Stone,” John Prine. For my son. We’re both big fans. There are so many Prine songs to choose from. It could easily be “Illegal Smile” or “Hello in There.”
“Twist and Shout,” The Beatles. It’s the first song I taught my daughter as a baby. Sang it to her. Danced with her in my arms. She is 21 now.
“Mama’s Pearl,” The Jackson Five. Whenever I hear this song, it reminds me of hanging around on my bike near the old Loisel Village shopping center neighborhood in East St. Louis in the early 1970s.
“Sweet Emotion,” Aerosmith. The song sums up the 1970s. Driving around in Mom’s car. Speakers rattling from KSHE-95 Real Rock Radio playing off the FM converter. “You talk about things that nobody cares / You’re wearing out things that nobody wears ”
“Thunder Road,” Bruce Springsteen. The Boss’ “Born To Run” album came out in summer 1975. I was going to be a junior in high school. It was different from other music. I listened to it non-stop. Had the album and 8-track versions. Today, it’s the only song I could karaoke without a prompter.
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” Various artists. There has to be one Christmas song. This is one of my traditional favorites, no matter who sings it.
The remainder of the soundtrack are favorite songs that I’d like to be listening to if a movie was really trite and boring.
“American Girl,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. A great opening lyric: “ Well she was an American girl raised on promises ”
“Carolina In My Mind,” James Taylor. In an interview I heard many years ago, he described writing this song when he was young and homesick. Missed his friends, family, dog. This song always reminds me of home.
“Harvest Moon,” Neil Young. The song actually is about a broken relationship. But one of my favorite sights is a big, round, orange moon. This song reminds me of October.
“Still Be Around,” Uncle Tupelo. One of those songs I can’t listen to just once. “Sandusky” by Belleville’s Uncle Tupelo is one of my favorite instrumental songs if there is a scene in the movie that needs good music that speaks but no words.
“American Pie,” Don McLean. I don’t think you can grow up in my era and not have a special affection for this song, and try to figure what the lyrics really mean.
“The Weight,” by The Band. See American Pie above. An anthem for my generation.
Every good movie needs a sing-along scene. In a pub somewhere, filled with friends. My songs would be Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and The Doors’ “Touch Me.”
“Circles Around Me,” Sam Bush. Good mandolin music just plain makes me feel good.
“Have a Little Faith In Me,” John Hiatt, I figure this song would be playing in the last scene. For all those good folks who have always been there for me. The folks who would come to the movie even if they knew it was going to be trite and boring. ...
But, hey, the music will be good!