Awhile back I said I was in the middle of putting together a First Anniversary CD for some friends. We gave out CDs of some of our favourite music as gifts during out wedding and I struck upon the bright idea that we should do it again for our First Anniversary.
I say "bright idea" somewhat sardonically because Rule #1 for the CD is that both Cathy and I have to like the song (the unspoken second rule is that while every song doesn't have to be happy and sunny, it shouldn't make people thing we're on the verge of divorcing). And the thing is, we share very little in common musically. Cathy likes "happy" songs and ones where she can very clearly hear the lyrics. She also doesn't like "angry" songs, meaning ones where the guitar is quite heavy.
Whereas I'm much more scattershot. I'll listen to almost anything once, part of my Muse upbringing, where I was exposed to a large range of music. And while I like good lyrics, if the music and voice are good enough, I can give the lyrics a break unless they're horrifically bad. But if I don't like something, I'm a terrible snob about it. For example, Cathy likes Garth Brooks and Bon Jovi. I would rather stick knitting needles in my ears than listen to it.
Conversely, Cathy doesn't understand how I can mock country, but love Neko Case (because the woman has one of the best voices in music. Period) or why I would like Tori Amos at one moment and Matthew Good in another.
So it's a challenge. Although occasionally I introduce her something and much to her surprise she'll like it. Death Cab For Cutie's "Plans" recently made it onto her iPod and she likes it. So miracles can happen.
We recently sent out a handful of belated First Anniversary CDs. If you didn't get one, don't feel slighted. There is a very limited press run of about six. Postage is a bitch up here. Also, my printer died during the move, so I couldn't do up the nice labels like I did for the wedding CD last year. All in all, a very half assed effort on my part. Sorry, if I do it again next year, I'll try and be better organized.
Still, if you want to create your very own Craig and Cathy First Anniversary Wedding CD, I'll include the song list below and a brief reason why we picked it. If you e-mail and ask very nicely, I might even see what I can do about getting you certain songs.
1. We – Neil Diamond: Because it would mess with people a bit as I'm not known as a Neil Diamond fan. But his last CD, "12 Songs" was pretty good. And this is a cute little love song.
2. Song for a Winter's Night – Sarah McLachlan: I think we're both past our days of being Sarah McLachlan fans. But this is still a nice cover of a Gordon Lightfoot song and appropriate for where we are right now.
3. What Am I Doing Here – Blue Rodeo: There are days we ask ourselves this very question.
4. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys: Just seems like the right answer to the question above. Also, played in the movie "Love, Actually" which is one of the few date movies we both like.
5. The Scientist – Coldplay: No reason other than probably the best song Coldplay has done.
6. Tower of Song – Jenny Gear: I mocked Canadian Idol recently, but Gear is from the first season and this song was a revelation. It still holds up really well. Cathy has discovered that while she hates Cohen's voice, she loves his songs, much like the oft-covered "Hallelujah."
7. Kathleen – Josh Ritter: "All the other girls here are stars/you are the northern lights. They try to shine in through your curtain/you're too strong and too bright. They try and they try but everything that they do/is the ghost of a trace of a pale imitation of you." The first time I heard Ritter was opening for Sarah Harmer. The audience was skeptical, but he completely owned them by the end of his set and got a standing ovation. This is perhaps my favourite opening verse to a song. Cathy has just grown to accept that I love this song. It was the last song cut from our Wedding CD.
8. Beautiful Day – U2: We love U2. It is the meeting ground of our musical tastes.
9. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police: Well, there are times she utterly baffles me, and yet I love her like crazy. Magic.
10. With A Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles: The other band where we meet on common ground.
11. Who Put The Bomp... - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies: I thought Cathy would hate these guys. They do covers, but in punk rock style. Yet she loves them. Go figure. About two minutes of frenzied fun.
12. Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz: What the hell does this song mean? No idea. But if you're not bobbing your head to it when it comes on, then you have no beat. Hell, this song offered me hope that I might have some small sense of rhythm.
13. Na Na Song – Colleen Power: We love Colleen Power. You must go immediately and buy Colleen Power's CDs. One of Newfoundland's best singer/songwriters. No kidding.
14. Swearing Song – Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers: Just to mess with friends, who would probably view themselves as being above the band. For non-Newfoundlanders, these guys are probably as big, if not bigger, than Great Big Sea in their home province. Silly and kitschy, but they get the job done. The funny thing is, there is no actual profanity in the song unless "Lord liftin', leaping lyin', dear ravin' and dancing dyin', sufferin' thunderin, workin' wonderin', robbin' gobbin' hairy, hells fire, firey flamin', screechin' screamin', namin' blamin', son of a no good, merciful-mudder, of jumpin Joseph Murphy!'" is your idea of hardcore swearing.
15. All That Heaven Will Allow – Bruce Springsteen: "Tunnel of Love" is one of my favourite Springsteen CDs. This is the one song off the CD that we can agree on.
16. Red Is The Rose – Nancy Griffiths and The Chieftains: Cathy loves the song. I love the Chieftains. And this version is much better than the version they did with The Ennis Sisters a few years back.
17. And So It Goes – Billy Joel: Just a nice song from Billy before he completely lost his mind.
18. Love Me – Norah Jones: Lovely voice, lovely song.
19. I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love – Tom Waits: Cathy feels much the same way about Waits as she does about Cohen – nice songwriter, horrible voice. Of course, his voice is part of the reason I like him. We both agreed on this song, from early in his career when his voice wasn't completely messed up because of booze and smokes.
20. Beautiful One – Sean Panting: The other great unheralded singer/songwriter from Newfoundland. I heard this song months before it came out on CD and begged Sean for a copy of it. I wanted to play it at the wedding. He meant to send it, but life got in the way (his wife got pregnant) and it never happened. Still, it's a great song. He wrote and recorded it the night before he got married and played it at his wedding. For anybody who ever went through a long distance relationship.