Top 10 List of Songs that Inspired Me
by Marc Gunn
I was reading a newsletter today, and the author inspired me to write down the Top 10 songs that most defined my musical life.
"I Gotta Know" Elvis Presley. It was the B-Side to "Are You Lonesome Tonight" on a 45 of my mom's. A fun, upbeat song that turned me into an a diehard Elvis fan at age 4. And started my dream of becoming the next Elvis.
"An Irish Lullaby" mom. An old traditional Irish song that my mom used to sing to me. It has haunted me all my life. I didn't grow up in the Irish music tradition, but this song helped guide me to playing Celtic music. (and being born on St Patrick's Day helped a wee bit.
"Christy, Oh, Christy" Marc Gunn. A horrible, simplistic love song I wrote. It is the first song I ever wrote down. I was about 9 years old.
"O Sheila" Ready for the World. This song inspired my raging hormones and awoke in me the world of modern pop music. At long last, there was more than my mom's 45s.
"Fat" Wierd Al Yankovich. A new direction for my life-comedy. A very silly song and one of many that I sang incessantly. Greatly influenced my early comical songs.
"In the Ghetto" Elvis Presley. No, Elvis didn't disappear from life entirely. I sang this song to try out for a musical in high school. I got the part and it helped me realized that all of my years listening to Elvis taught me how to sing ballads really well.
"Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" Tom Lehrer. When college came, I would stand up in the cafeteria and rally a group of students to sing-a-long to this beautifully sadistic song. This song and "The Scotsman" by Bryan Bowers kinda solidified me as a fairly comical person.
"Fiume Sand Creek" Fabrizio de Andre. An Italian teacher introduced this album to me. I bought a songbook and started learning how to play some of his music. The song was about the Sand Creek masacre of Indians in the 1800s. It fascinated me that an Italian would write about an American Indian historical event.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana. By the time this song came around, I was listening almost exclusively to Alt Rock and trying to put together my first band, Skander.
"Froggy Went A-Courtin" my dad. Another traditional song. After swiping an autoharp from my dad in 1992, it was one of the first songs I learned to play many years later.
"Lounging in La La Land" Marc Gunn. The first song I ever wrote on the autoharp. I invited my friend Andrew McKee to perform on it and eventually that invitation led to the formation of the Brobdingnagian Bards.
Posted by Marc Gunn 2/4/2002