The Soundtrack of Our Lives

by Lance Ekum on · 44 comments

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” ~ Flora Whittemore

In a recent comment, Andy Bailey (creator of the awesome CommentLuv plugin used here) asked what the soundtrack of my life would be.  It also brought back a post Stacey at Create A Balance did on what song fuels your soul.  Music can be a powerful connection in our lives.

And this really had me thinking – what song does describe my life, and the life I desire?  In the end, I couldn’t get the list down to one.  Here are three that describe life as I see it.  They speak for themselves, so I’ll just leave you with that for today.

“What a Wonderful World” ~ Louis Armstrong

“Stand by Me” ~ U2 and Bruce Springsteen

My wife had fun with this one too.  In fact, she was like a walking, talking idea generator for this.  The selection below is one of her additions to the list, and one that really sums up what life is all about (thanks for the help on this one, honey!).  I’ve included the lyrics – and these are words that really describe living life on your own terms, and doing what “you” desire to do.  And isn’t that a powerful thought…

“Anyway” ~ Martina McBride

“Anyway” Lyrics

You can spend your whole life buildin’
Somethin’ from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway

You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
When I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away
Love ’em anyway

(Repeat Chorus)

You can pour your soul out singin’
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway

I sing
I dream
I love anyway

Do you have a soundtrack that describes your life?

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Salinas October 31, 2008 at 8:30 am

Great song…I have not figured out what soundtrack it is that would describe my life. Thank you as always for sharing. Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Stacey / Create a Balance October 31, 2008 at 8:32 am

Thanks for the love link and the songs. Music has a very powerful force to uplift us, to place in another world, and to pull tears from our eyes. I’m looking forward to listening to these three songs before my family Halloween festivities tonight.

Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..How Do You Practice the Art of Life Balance?


Miguel de Luis October 31, 2008 at 9:37 am

Is this a Meme of sorts? If not it would be a great idea for one, and I don’t usually like memes.


Marelisa October 31, 2008 at 10:11 am

Hi Lance: I just watched the video for “What a Wonderful World”. That’s one of my favorite songs and the video is absolutely beautiful, that just made my day. Happy Halloween!

Marelisa´s last blog post..How to Enter the “Flow State”


Betsy Wuebker October 31, 2008 at 10:12 am

This is great! I love Sam Cooke singing Stand By Me, too. I’m showing my age. How can you pick just one or two?!?! Okay – here we go. Blackbird, by the Beatles. I Know You by Heart, by Eva Cassidy. Time after Time, by Cyndi Lauper. Fields of Gold, by Sting.

Betsy Wuebker´s last blog post..GHOSTS


Wendi Kelly-Life's Little Inspirations October 31, 2008 at 10:20 am

Lance, that was really fun. I especially like Do It ANyway. It reminds me of that poem that Mother Teresa had on her office wall. It’s really powerful and that’a a really powerful song.


Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations´s last blog post..Teeter-Totter Tribulations


Sagan October 31, 2008 at 10:23 am

Love these! The song that I’m relating to most in recent times is Wandering Daughter by Kimya Dawson. Dreams by the Cranberries is another one that really speaks to me.

Sagan´s last blog post..New form of exercise: dodging cars!


Suzie October 31, 2008 at 10:50 am

i think Im a little Tea Pot sort of sums it up

Suzie´s last blog post..Too Cute


Urban Panther October 31, 2008 at 11:15 am

@Suzie – ROFL!

@Lance – oooo..this is going to take some thought. I’ll come back. I just had to respond to Suzie first. Too funny!

Urban Panther´s last blog post..Theme Fiction Friday – At last


Jennifer October 31, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Neat songs and videos Lance. I couldn’t get the last video to play. I was glad you had the words. Loved the words.

Mine? Good question. The one that comes to mind is that song called “Dance” (I believe) that became real popular several years ago. It reminds me of the Anyway song.

Jennifer´s last blog post..Have You Told Yourself this Lie?


Julie October 31, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Oh, Lance. What a great concept! Songs really sum up things, don’t they?

There are about 100 of them that would make my “tops” list. But there are three that ALWAYS drop me to my knees, and you picked one of them. My top three are: “What a Wonderful World,” as sung by Louis. “Over the Rainbow,” as sung by Israel “Iz” Ka?ano?i Kamakawiwo?ole. And “Amazing Grace,” sung by just about anyone. 😉 While they may not sum up my life, they depict the feelings I carry with me each day.

Julie´s last blog post..Been There, Done That


meleah rebeccah October 31, 2008 at 12:23 pm

what fantastic song choices.

I live by the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin type of tune-age.

But I do have ONE Song that describes me, and my life, and the LYRICS are why.
Its a Mary J Blidge song called: Take Me As I Am.

I made a “movie” about me with it, LONG TIME ago. You can view it HERE if you’d like.

Here are the lyrics:

“Take Me As I Am”

She’s been down and out
She’s been wrote about
She’s been talked about, constantly
She’s been up and down
She’s been pushed around
But they held her down, NYC

She has no regrets
She accepts the past
All these things they
helped make to make she

She’s been lost and found
And she’s still around
There’s a reason for everything

You know I’ve been holdin on.
Try to make me weak,
But I still stay strong.
Put my life all up in these songs
Jus so you can feel me.
so you can get the real me

So take me as I am,
or have nothing at all.
Just take me as I am,
or have nothing at all.

Now she’s older now
Yes, she’s wiser now
Can’t disguise her now
She don’t need
No one tellin her
What to do and say
No one tellin her
Who to be

She’s on solid ground
She’s been lost and found
Now, she answers to G-O-D
And she’s confident
This is not the end
Ask me how I know
Cause she is me.

You know I’ve been holdin on.
Try to make me weak,
But I still stay strong.
Put my life all up in these songs
Jus so you can feel me.
so you can get the real me

So take me as I am,
or have nothing at all.
Just take me as I am,
or have nothing at all.

So it’s all or nothing at all,
All or nothing at all
Don’t you know I can only be me.
(I can only be me, yeah)

So take me as I am,
or have nothing at all.
Just take me as I am,
or have nothing at all.

Take me as I am.
Take me as I am.
Said it’s all or nothing at all
Said it’s all or nothing at all

Just take me as I am,
or have nothing at all. (This is me)
Just take me as I am, (take me as i am)
or have nothing at all.
Just take me as I am, (take me as i am)
or have nothing, nothing at all.
Take me as I am.

meleah rebeccah´s last blog post..Happy Halloween 2008


Urban Panther October 31, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Okay, I thought of one! There are more I’m sure. Martina McBride This One’s For The Girls. In particular this verse:

This is for all you girls about forty-two
Tossing pennies into the Fountain of Youth
Every laugh, laugh line on your face
Made you who you are today

Urban Panther´s last blog post..Theme Fiction Friday – At last


meleah rebeccah October 31, 2008 at 12:31 pm



That video can be found HERE

(and this one is much HAPPIER than the other one!)

Happy Halloween!

meleah rebeccah´s last blog post..Happy Halloween 2008


Maya October 31, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Great picks Lance!

My kids love it when I sing Que Sera Sera.
Abba’s Dancing Queen is the special song for our family dance.

Your post made me get out of my chair and share these songs with my kids 🙂

Maya´s last blog post..Embracing our cultural identities at work and in life can only be good for us


Laurie October 31, 2008 at 1:05 pm
Stacey Shipman October 31, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I love music and think of this kind of thing all the time. The first three that come to mind:

32 Flavors by Alana Davis
Say by John Mayer
Livin La Vida Loca, Ricky Martin (has been and always will be a personal favorite!)

Stacey Shipman´s last blog post..Are you thinking BIG Enough? Interview with Wendy Hanson, The Sassy Ladies


Annette October 31, 2008 at 2:53 pm

What a neat post! I love that Martina song! I don’t know if I have one for my life but I really like the country song by Trace Adkins, “You’re Gonna Miss This”…… reminds me to stay present!

Annette´s last blog post..6 Month Progress Pics and a Happy Halloween!!!


bobbi October 31, 2008 at 4:27 pm

I would have to say that I have never really thought about this, and now I want to come up with something great so I will have to post it later:)

bobbi´s last blog post..Freaky Friday!


Davina November 1, 2008 at 12:02 am

Hi Lance. This is a real hard one! Now that I’ve thought about it, I’d have to say one answer (because there are many), would be Live Every Minute by Ali Thompson. He’s a brother of a member of Supertramp. But it’s not because of the lyrics I chose this, (I don’t think I even know them all). I love the rhythm and the title means a lot too.

Davina´s last blog post..A Ghostly Life Experience


Rachel November 1, 2008 at 12:21 am

At a previous job, I came up with a game where everyone thought of a song that best described them (“if my life were a song”). About 30 people participated, and we all tried to match each person with their song title. Everything from the “Andy Griffith theme song” to “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places”. The winner was the one who could guess the most right, and it was a lot of fun to see how well we knew our coworkers.

Rachel´s last blog post..Paper Pile Makeover Results!


Linda Abbit November 1, 2008 at 2:51 am

A few of my favorite songs are mentioned above — Louis’ “Wonderful World” and Iz’s “Over the Rainbow,” plus “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack.

And for background music, it would have to be either Harry Connick, Jr.’s When Harry Met Sally or just about any Beatles songs.

This was fun but hard to narrow down!

Linda Abbit´s last blog post..How a Bus Stop Helps Prevent Wandering in Alzheimer’s Patients


Andy Bailey November 1, 2008 at 3:49 am

great tracks to live your life by. I feel like doing my own soundtrack to my life post but I’m worried I’ll end up with 100 youtube videos embedded in it 🙂

Andy Bailey´s last blog post..I wanted to join Starfleet


Barbara Swafford November 1, 2008 at 3:57 am

Hi Lance – What a great idea. I’m too tired to think of a song that describes me, but reading the other comments was enlightening. This reminds me of a episode that was on Ally McBeal where they all had songs in their heads and acted accordingly. You had to have seen it, but it was funny.

Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..Blogging To Do List – Do It, Delete It Or Delegate


Lance November 1, 2008 at 4:23 am

All – What a great list of songs you’ve shared, and many that I wasn’t familiar with, so lots of great new stuff to listen to!


Lance November 1, 2008 at 4:44 am

@Mark – Thanks! Halloween was GREAT, hope yours was too Mark.

@Stacey – Music is powerful indeed. Hope you enjoyed your Halloween festivities! We went trick or treating, followed by a visit to the “haunted woods” near our house – lots of fun!

@Miguel – Well, I guess this could be a meme! It fits.

@Marelisa – I’m glad you enjoyed it Mare! Interesting story about the “What a Wonderful World” song. We were driving up to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday, and discussing the idea behind this post (and coming up with songs). This song never made the list, and yet – it was the song that was playing in the musical birthday card we had purchased. It wasn’t until I was writing this that I thought – this is a perfect song.

@Betsy – That’s what I thought too, as I was doing this – how can I pick just one or two! Thanks for sharing some that describe you – and I like that “Stand by Me” rendition also.

@Wendi – I really love the “Do It Anyway” song too (my wife picked a great one!). the poem – yes, that is very powerful as well. Mother Teresa was very wise…

@Sagan – Both of these are songs I’m not familiar with – and I’ve just listened to them. I, too, love the “Dreams” song. What a powerful song to listen to. Thanks much for sharing these Sagan!


Lance November 1, 2008 at 5:03 am

@Suzie – Ha! I love it Suzie – thanks for sharing that!!

@Jennifer – Hmmm….I’m not sure what was wrong with that last one Jennifer. The words do give you a good feel for the song, and it really is a powerful one. The “Dance” song – I’m not if it’s the one shared later on in the comments by Linda – “I Hope You Dance” – and that is another great song!

@Julie – Yes, songs can be so powerful! I love all the ones you’ve shared as well. “Amazing Grace” is one that I never tire of listening to. It is just such a strong reminder of life. Thank you for sharing these choices Julie!

@Meleah – Meleah, you’ve really put some time into these creations you’ve made. What a wonderful way to share your life. “Take Me As I Am” – we are who we are – all of the experiences we’ve had in life. And we can’t change the past – so take us as we are – I like that. Thanks for sharing the movie you’ve made on this. It’s a glimpse into your life – something not always easy for us (me) to share. And, your “So Happy Together” movie – that is a fun one! You have quite a “friend”! I love it!!

@Urban Panther – That is another great song. Ah, yes – the “fountain of youth” – the thing we sometimes don’t want to lose – our youth. And yet, there are great things about “aging” as well – think how much wiser we are at 42 compared to 22. Come to think of it, 42 is far away for me!!! OK, on second thought, let’s not think about that…

@Maya – Thanks Maya! “Dancing Queen” – that is a good one!! Alright – you’re out sharing these with your kids (I’m guessing you do this regularly, though…)! What a great way to pass on the love of music to them!

@Laurie – Great additions Laurie! I feel very much the deep spiritual connection that music brings to you – and that is an awesome thing!


Lance November 1, 2008 at 5:20 am

@Stacey Shipman – I’m smiling Stacey! So, this was right up your alley! I love music too. But, for some reason – this idea of a song to describe my life – was more difficult for me than it probably was for you. “Say” – the lyrics to this song say so much (no pun intended!). And that’s the thing about music – songs that can speak to us in ways that just the words do not. Thanks for sharing your collection of songs Stacey!

@Annette – The Trace Adkins song – and staying present – what a great choice to share Annette! That’s a great reminder that we are “in” each moment of our life – because that moment will soon be gone – forever. Wow, that really is a powerful thought…

@Bobbi – OK, looking forward to what you come up with!

@Davina – “Live Every Minute” — that IS a powerful title Davina! Just those three words say so much. Thanks for sharing that here! And…I found this exercise difficult too – picking just one (or three I guess) songs…

@Rachel – What an awesome way to get to know your co-workers better (and have a lot of fun in the process) Rachel! I should pass that idea along at work…

@Linda – Yes, Linda – this was hard for me to narrow down too! The “I Hope You Dance” song – thanks for sharing that! I love that song, but had forgotten about it. The words say so much in this song – and it’s just a great reminder for how to live life.

@Andy – Well, Andy – thanks for the idea for this post – it’s generated lots of great responses – and many new songs for me! It is hard to narrow it down – yes, I agree! I was going to do this as the one song to describe my life – and I couldn’t do it!

@Barbara – The “Ally McBeal” episode sounds quite entertaining. I’m thinking now this could be pretty funny depending on the song in your head!


MizFit November 1, 2008 at 5:33 am

I dont which is odd as before we had our daughter a song reminded me of HER (UNWRITTEN) and still does.

every time I hear it I think about her life and wonder if, when she ‘hears’ it for the first time and understands the words, if she will agree.

MizFit´s last blog post..Hear ye! Hear ye! Get Thy arses to CHICAGO for a Fit Blogger Meet up!


Evita November 1, 2008 at 11:04 am

Lance – those are such beautiful choices. I was familiar with the first two and I love them dearly too as they resonate greatly with me, but I have never heard of “Anyway” by Martina. It was so beautiful too!

What a great idea too, to see how music and songs represent us. I love that because music to me is such a spiritually transforming medium and I use it in my life daily. Hmmm, I wonder what songs I would pick…will have to reflect on that and perhaps one day I will share my soundtrack of life!

Evita´s last blog post..Heroes of Healing: James Arthur Ray


monica November 1, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Great idea, great songs. I love “Stand by Me.” I’ve always been a fan of the “theme song” concept, probably because I’m an unabashedly big fan of musicals (I also think it’d be cool if people spontaneously burst into song and dance). My “theme song” really depends on my mood. The ones that spring to mind at the moment are…

EyeTV – “Just The Way It Is”
Tears For Fears – “Mad World”
James Taylor – “Fire and Rain”

monica´s last blog post..Thursday Food Diary: Bircher, Beer and a Bonus Recipe


Lance November 2, 2008 at 4:55 am

@MizFit – The rest IS still unwritten… I don’t know that it’s odd, but this is an interesting thought you’ve had about how the words to music affect us. And it really shows the deep meaning music can have for us. Thanks for sharing this here MizFit.

@Evita – Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed them Evita! Yes, music is powerful and can be also a very spiritual medium to “connect” us. Thanks for sharing that thought. And, if you do come up with a soundtrack that fits your life, please do share Evita!

@Monica – The “Stand by Me” song was the first one that came to mind for me. I love that song too, especially the version above by U2 and Bruce Springsteen. Bursting into song and dance Monica – sounds like an awesome idea – but why do I feel like I would hold back from doing this? Fear? Probably so – fear of not looking “normal” – and goes to show that I need to work on this… Mood – yes that does really play into the choices we make – thanks for sharing three of yours here. From your choices, I really get the belief you do live your life on your terms – and if that’s right, that’s an awesome thing…


Tammy Warren November 2, 2008 at 6:52 am

I would have to say James Taylor and “You’ve Got a Friend.” I love people and I feel as though I am a good listener.

Since I am on the bottom of the comment section and I am not looking for hits from something I posted long ago….here is a video that I made for Dylan’s class after a field trip this past school year. I have another blog that I keep each year for his class that I share with the children. You can relate to this because you have children.

Tammy Warren´s last blog post..The Road Boy…by Miguel F. de Luis Espinosa


rummuser November 2, 2008 at 10:23 am

Frank Sinatra’s I did it my way.

rummuser´s last blog post..Realities Of The Past.


Mitch November 2, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Man, what a great idea this is. I know I’m going to “steal” it and do something like it for my blog, and of course give you attribution for it. But I’m going to have to think about it some; I have no real idea what three songs would describe my life, so I might have to go a slightly different direction. Wow, thinking on a Sunday afternoon; that’s not right!

Mitch´s last blog post..A Point About Commenting On Blogs


meleah rebeccah November 2, 2008 at 3:11 pm

YAY. Im glad you enjoyed the videos and soundtrack of my life!

meleah rebeccah´s last blog post..Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?


Kelly@SHE-POWER November 2, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Okay, will try again. “What a wonderful world always makes me cry”, I love it so much. And “Stand By Me” is an awesome song. I have many songs which define events and periods of my life. When I hear these songs I am immediately transported back in time and often when I think of the past or someone I once knew, a song will be associated with that person or that time.

I wrote about this 6 months ago in a post, titled

Check it out. Tell me if we have any of the same tastes.

Kelly 🙂

Kelly@SHE-POWER´s last blog post..What is Life Balance & is it Achievable for Everyone?


Lance November 2, 2008 at 8:53 pm

@Tammy – I love your addition – “You’ve Got a Friend” – that song says a lot – and does describe you very well Tammy! And, thanks for sharing the video you’ve made – what a very nice way to put to music events from your children’s lives (and hey, I recognize that first song!!).

@Rummuser – Excellent choice – I just watched a video of it, and am reminded of what those words mean, thank you for sharing that here!

@Mitch – Steal away, this has been a ton of fun hearing what people have chosen!! And, thinking on a Sunday afternoon….yeah, I’m for skipping that too!

@Meleah – I did enjoy very much Meleah, thanks again for sharing these here – you’ve really put a lot of thought and time into these – and I believe they speak volumes for the passion you have in you.

@Kelly – I love that song — “What a Wonderful World”. The “Stand by Me” rendition I really liked because of the artists singing it — U2 and Bruce Springsteen – a couple of my favorites. So, I checked out your (very extensive) list of music of your life! Wow – you’ve really got quite a list! And…we do have many of the same tastes – U2, Queen, Beatles, The Doors, KISS — to name a few. Many excellent songs – and several new to me songs (especially the Australian-based bands). Anyway, Kelly, I think we could hang together and enjoy the same music very easily!


Grace November 2, 2008 at 9:11 pm

What a great question. When I am feeling down, that Louis Armstrong song always picks me up. What about Time in a Bottle? Bittersweet, but right now that’s where I am. G.


Lance November 3, 2008 at 7:39 am

Grace – That really is a feel-good song by Louis Armstrong isn’t it! “Time in a Bottle” – bittersweet, maybe…time…it flys by so fast sometimes… Thanks for the addition here Grace.


Robin Easton November 8, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Wow, I love the “Anyway” video. The “perseverance” brought me to tears. I needed that today. It’s truly amazing how one person (like you) being positive and up lifiting can turn another person’s (mine) day around. I think that is one of the most powerful and wonderful truths on the planet. Thank you for being part of that truth!

Robin Easton´s last blog post..One More


Lance November 10, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Robin, thank you so much for writing what you have here. It validates that doing this is the right thing for me to be doing. And, know also that your words continually lift me up and give me hope.


Liara Covert December 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm

This is a truly profound question that you were asked. Out of all the music you had ever heard, it may have been daunting to choose what you believed to be the most appropriate sondtrack for your life. I wonder if you ever considered the theme from the film, 2001: A Space Odyessey? You may get a kick out of this post from Daniel’s Den where he details his top 10 movie theme songs of all time:

Liara Covert´s last blog post..What if you are not waiting for anything?


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