Then of course, there's the whole I got depression thing. Not gonna lie, it gets hard. I talked about it before, but that was a pick-me-up, a way for me to get off my butt and keep trucking. And I've been doing that pretty well since then. Not great, but I'm working. Been working hard to make some money to continue to get things to review for this ridiculous blog I love so much so that it doesn't hurt our actual budget, and been watching and writing every day. Hell, if my Psych review (Seasons 1 through 7) wasn't going to be so long, it would be going up today, but I need the weekend to get all the words on the page.
So as I was walking wonderful P-Chan to get rid of more fluids from her surgery, I put on my handy-dandy mp3 player I bought probably 3 years ago, actually a little more than that by some months. And very quickly, a song came on, and I was singing at 2:30 in the morning at the top of my lungs outside, dancing along, my troubles all gone away. And it struck me. Everyone should have a Happy List! A happiest song playlist. So I'm going to share mine with you! This is in no way an objective list, though I assure you some of these films are some of the best songs ever created, but it is a personal one that keeps me going when the weight of the world makes it hard to stand tall. So let's pop our janky headphones over our ears, plug it into an obsolete piece of technology that weighs less than a quarter, hit random, and find the happiest songs on my mp3 player and talk about them!! This is Jessel's ...
Top 7 Happiest Songs
Some quick arbitrary rules so that anyone who wants can play along in the comments (that would be awesome, by the way!):
1) Turn on the mp3 player, preferably on Random
2) Skip anything that doesn't immediately make me want to smile, sing, and/or dance
3) Write down what it is immediatley
4) Smile, sing, and/or dance
5) Keep going until you get bored of making this list
Paul Williams "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song"
I first heard this song on the Muppet Show, Season 1. It was just a simple sketch, with Paul Williams - who looks REMARKABLY like my theatre's artistic director - singing his song as two muppets of him come out to sing the "three part harmony." And I was in love. The song is infectious and so incredibly musical, with such a cool combination of instrumentation and melody. It is the song that sparked this list, and I couldn't be happier to start here! Which is the point.
Queen "Don't Stop Me Now"
Just look at Paul Rudd dancing. LOOK AT HIM! :D
This is from the amazing Jimmy Fallon video of Rudd lip sync battling Fallon, and it is infectious. I could make and watch gifs of this video all day. It starts with a simple melody and just builds to the amazing Queen energy you should expect from most Queen songs. Another personal anecdote, this is the song that kicked off the dancing at my wedding. Sure, some songs played before this, including our first dance, but THIS song is the one that got everyone dancing. Of COURSE it did.
X Ambassadors, Jamie N Commons "Jungle"
This song is PRIMATIVE in its power, it is the building blocks of all happiness! It is so basic, and simple, and THRILLING, yet RICH, with its wails and driving bass and claps, and it is so glorious. My head does not stop moving the second the song starts to play. It makes me shut my eyes and wander aimlessly into traffic, jamming away. Hey, I didn't get hit by a car, it is ok. This song flippin' ROCKS. Makes me want to buy t-shirts from Shop.WWE.com.
It isn't shameless if I want the money really really bad. I'll also take T-shirts, XXXL please. :)
Pink ft. that guy from Fun. "Just Give Me A Reason"
All right, sure, at first glance, this song about not breaking up isn't immediately a happy maker. Well ... actually, I guess it really should be! Like Breakfast at Tiffany's, they are just clinging to anything to fight for their relationship. That's ... ok, that is kinda bleak and not exactly "happy." But whenever it is on, I just can't help myself. I got a lot of memories tied into this song. And those memories, those nostalgic times, have made this song become a truly happy experience time. I just start jamming, rocking on my right foot, gesturing like an idiot to every word, singing both parts, and acting all of it out. It just makes me the happiest of campers. We are not broken, just bent. :D
Pentatonix "Save the World/ Don't You Worry Child"
YAY!!! I LOVE PENTATONIX!!!!
Let me put this in perspective. I am not a live concert kind of guy. I don't enjoy the atmosphere, I don't care for the sound quality, I don't drink, I don't care about meeting the bad. Live concerts just are not my thing. I not only got to go to their concert when they came to Atlanta, but I was thrilled about it, and it was one of the best gifts I've ever gotten, on top of just being awesome completely!
This song, combining two of Swedish House Mafia's singles into one track, is phenomenal. I'm a sucker for GOOD acapella (no, most of it isn't actually good, and no, Pitch Perfect wasn't particularly good either) and Pentatonix are not just "good," they aren't even just "great." They are absolutely perfect at what they do: create amazing covers and tracks that are just five voices and are radio quality! And this song is a perfect example. So is a lot of their stuff, including ONE cover that the original is going to be featured later on this list!!! :D
Andy Mineo ft. KB and Trip Lee "The Saints"
It is hard to find good Christian music. Mostly because Christian media exists in this place where "good enough is good enough." There is not a lot of people within the Christian entertainment industry that actually strive to be GREAT. Just good enough. There are SOOOO many bands that just put out album after album, making their money off all the Christians looking for an alternative, even if it isn't as good in quality. Christian rap is even weirder, where the "street"-ness and hardness of a song is what makes it live and breath.
And Andy Mineo is awesome. So awesome that this song didn't register as Christian until I had listened to it probably 10 or 15 times. Which just enhances it for me, personally, but it amazing because it doesn't DETRACT from its quality for people who don't want to listen to Christian music. When I zumba'd (I need to do that again ... stupid car) when this song came on, it didn't matter how tired I was, I was pumped and ready to DANCE THE POUNDS AWAY. It was also a hard song, too, with lots of squats and crunches. I loved it. And I love this song itself. It just gets ME FLIPPIN' PUMPED!!!
Whitney Houston "How Will I Know""How Will I Know" got some major zeitgeist renewal when Sam Smith did his soulful version of the song. And his version is ... fine. It isn't bad or anything, it is simple, and he takes the song to a kind of interesting new place with the lyrics. But ... no, no, it is missing the essence of the song. I mean, look at Whitney's face and watch this little bit of the video:
She is so DAGGUM HAPPY! People just dancing around in the brightest colored warehouse ever, just flipping and getting in weird three-ways. This is the HAPPIEST SONG IN THE WORLD! It makes me want to cry with joy, I love it so much. Every single time I start feeling crappy, I just have to toss this on and BAM, I am singing and dancing and shimmy-ing my shoulders just like Whitney.
Now, I know for a fact there are other happy songs. But for now, I think I've made my mood too good to continue. I just want to run outside and make other people listen. Which is kind of the reason I made this list. So, readers, bookmark this article. Whenever you are feeling crappy, whenever your day isn't going your way, whenever someone yells at you at work for no reason, or you don't have enough money to do anything, or just every word out of your mouth makes every situation worse, or your tires have all rebeled and gone flat, just flip to this, and listen to some of the songs I linked. And your mood will hopefully improve. I know mine will. :)
Plus, you can play along. I'd love to hear YOUR Happiest Songs list! Play the game with the rules above, or just tell me yours, that'll do too!
Oh, and before you leave, I am going to do a second AMA (Ask Me Anything) on August 1st. So I need questions. Send me questions in my email, in the comments here, or in my ask on Tumblr, or just somehow. Mark it on your calender, I'll see you then.