Asking me to tell you about the three most important songs in my life is like asking a mother to name her favorite child. Ok, no it’s not exactly like that but close. I’ve got so many albums and a varied taste (from NKOTB to Bruce Springsteen to Bruno Mars to Snoop Dogg to Jamie Cullum), it’s extremely hard to choose.

But it’s the prompt – and since I always like to complete my assignments, I’ll do it (and I’ll wah wah all the way.)

The good thing about this assignment is that it forced me to do two things – revisit my iTunes library and remember that I have to find my iPod.

Here are my 3 most significant songs (today, ask me tomorrow and the list might change):

1.  Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (written by Leonard Cohen)

Lyrically, it is genius. Devotion to song, devotion to a love, love gained, love lost, the struggle in between and being thankful for all of it. Complete with musical references, and biblical references, and sung by the one and only Jeff Buckley, it’s transcendent.  To me, his voice is like no other. He sang from his soul and it is evident in every song he’s recorded.  I still get pissed when I think back to his death and curse the damn Mississippi River because of it. (For those who don’t know, he went for a swim, and drowned when he was 30.)

2.  Bella by Jovanotti

If I want to be transported back to my time in Italy, all I have to do is turn on this song and I will find myself back in the Piazza in Siena, staring at the clock tower, wondering if I should go get myself un panini or to fare un giro.  Music for me can always take me to a time or place and as Italy is just about my favorite place on Earth, this song is an essential tool for time travel.  For those of you who don’t know,Jovanotti is an Italian rapper (yes, those two do go together) whose music I discovered while I was studying abroad. He sells out stadiums there.  A little while back, he played a very small venue here (200 seats!) and I not only had the pleasure of having him play right in front of me, I also met him and got a picture taken.

Near the Grammy Museum where he played a few songs and had an awesome Q &A

Near the Grammy Museum where he played a few songs and had an awesome Q &A

Check him out if you like Italians…and rap, and world music in general as he has a lot of influences from around the world.

3.  Is There Something I Should Know by Duran Duran

This song, or actually more to the point, the video for this song really propelled my love of music as a child into an obsession.  It was the first video I ever saw on MTV.  I was in New York, at my grandparents’ place, when cable boxes still had an A/B switch and no remote controls.  I remember flipping around the channels on the box (which meant I toggled switches…ha!) and happening upon MTV. It was 1983 and I was 7 years old. It was hot, humid and I was ripe for a little entertainment…and there he was, Simon Le Bon prancing around with his band mates in black and white in a forest. Totally random and I was hooked.