“I’m on my way. Driving at ninety down those country lanes, singing to ‘Tiny Dancer.’ And I miss the way you make me feel, and it’s real. We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill.” ~Ed Sheeran


It’s no surprise that I like to sing. Check out my youTube channel I’m about to take down, and you can hear for yourself how freeform it truly is — kind of like my dancing. More often than not I’ll be singing my song of the moment, whatever song has struck my fancy that day, that week, or that month. Generally it’s a song I play a lot in my car, but sometimes it’s random enough to be maddening even to me.

Currently that song is “Castle on the Hill,” by Ed Sheeran, a soaring anthem that tugs at both the heartstrings and my legendary sense of nostalgia at the same time. I love the whole album (Divide) but something about this one song brings me back to my childhood in a way that few songs not from that era have the ability to achieve. At least for me.

Which is funny because I don’t really have a relationship to look at in the same way as he remembers one of his earliest. I was pretty much strictly friend material to girls back in middle school, even though I would pour my heart out to them in poems I never sent, in songs I never sang, and in words I never said face to face either. It was this dichotomy between the me I wanted to be — strong and determined — and the me I couldn’t help being — fragile and tentative. Like oil and water, they didn’t mix.

So I sang to myself, but my song wasn’t “Tiny Dancer.” It was more often than not “Broken Wings,” or “Get Outta My Dreams,” songs of lost love or unrealized love that resonated with the teenage me much more than anything by Prince or those other guys who sounded like Prince. I was a bit quirkier, preferring “Motown Song” over more sensitive fare.

But that’s always been me, my songs of the moment somehow connected to me in ways only I could ever figure out at the time, then moving on to the next song when my emotions have moved on. I do miss those songs when they fade from my spotlight, though, when they’ve gone back to their regular places on their own albums, when they’ve drifted from my mind like so much snow blowing across the boulevard.

So right now it’s “Castle on the Hill,” and I nearly cry when I hit the chorus. Every single time I hit the chorus. Because it’s SO me right now, and the sun is setting over the hill. I’m just still waiting for my castle.


That Song You Get Stuck In Your Head

Do you ever find yourself singing or humming a song that you find horrendous? And once you realize it you want to wash your mouth out with soap but it’s too late. That song is now stuck in your head until the next one comes along. That song for me today is, “Gangnam Style.” I don’t even know what he’s singing most of the time, but I sing it anyway. Argh.

So now I’m hoping for a song like “Time After Time” to save me from this ludicrous song on replay in my brain. To help it along I have my iPod playing “Time After Time,” but it hasn’t started working yet. Damn.

Then there’s the song someone else gets stuck in your head. You hear them singing or humming it and you continue doing it even after they’ve finished. I’m actually good at getting those started, usually with something like a Britney Spears song (they’re so addictive!) until I’ve got the other person on the hook. Then I stop and leave the room. They’re usually cursing me when they realize what I’ve done, but I’m laughing instead.

You know, unless it backfires and I get the song stuck in my own head too. But I guess that’s the risk I take when I play that particular game. Bonus points if you can get the other person singing “Free Bird.”



All eyes on me, in the center of the ring, just like a circus.
When I crack that whip, everybody gon’ trip, just like a circus.
Don’t stand there watching me. Follow me. Show me what you can do.
Everybody let go, we can make a dancefloor just like a circus.” – Circus, Britney Spears

The song is a circus, with the thumping beat, the voice modifier, and the oh-so-infectious chorus. I feel like I’m in the center of the ring when I sing it, watching the clowns squeeze into their tiny clown car, gazing up at the trapeze artist as she balances in mid-air, and seeing the lion tamer holding the chair up high against the advancing king of the beasts.

But the song is so much more than that. It is empowering. You heard me right. “Circus” is one of the most empowering songs I have ever heard. It’s like Tina’s “Proud Mary,” like R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” and like Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” all rolled up into one. Seriously, give it a listen sometime. The lyrics are phenomenal, even though they’re simple on the surface, a party girl wanting to get down and have fun whenever and wherever. What’s really there, though, is so much deeper. It’s really about getting people up and moving when they haven’t been. She wants to be the center of attention because it inspires everyone else to follow her lead. And it works.

I remember a couple of years ago I was at a high school dance. It was probably the beginning of the year dance because it was mostly freshmen there (don’t ask), but when they played this song it really rang true. All of the wallflowers peeled themselves off the walls and “betook them to their legs” (see if you can place that quote) in the middle of the dancefloor. It was incredible to see. Every single one of them knew every single word. It was like they all had lighters and were waving them back and forth, concert style, that dynamic a moment, and the only time all night when nearly every single person in the place was dancing. That’s what I call empowerment.

So, when I found out that today’s Daily Prompt was what song is constantly on replay in my head, it was a no-brainer (ha ha). I love dancing, and I love Britney Spears, so every time I sing the song I have to dance. Did you know that I used to do a mash-up with “Circus” and Pink’s “Funhouse” that rocked everyone’s socks. Well, it didn’t make them cover their ears, and that is definitely a bonus.

“I’m like the ringleader. I call the shots.
I’m like a firecracker. I make it hot when I put on a show.”

Just like a circus. Uh huh.


Still Bleeding (Lyrics)

I want to be your shadow
but you’re losing light
I want to be the only one
who tucks you in at night
I want to be the dream
when all you do is sleep
I want to be the first thing
that you’d ever want to keep

And I know it’s not the same
and I know this is no game
’cause I’m still breathing
And I know it’s not the end
and I know this is no trend
’cause you’re still bleeding
and I’m the one who cut you
yes, I’m the one who cut you
and you’ll never forgive…

me, I can’t be your shoulder
when you need to lean
and I can’t be your water
when you need to get clean
but I will be the one who loves you
after all’s been said and done
and I will be the one to hold you
in a world without a sun

but I know it’s not the same
and I know this is no game
’cause I’m still breathing
but I know it’s not the end
and I know that it’s no trend
’cause you’re still bleeding
and I’m the one who cut you
yes, I’m the one who cut you
and I hope that you’ll forgive…

me, I will treat you right
if you give me one more chance
and I will be your precious feet
if you give me one more dance
and I will give you all of me
after life won’t let me be
and I’ll be your every need
if you’ll only let me bleed…

even though it’s not the same
and you think that it’s a game
I’m still here breathing
and I know it’s not the end
all our colors need to blend
but you’re still bleeding
and I’m the one who cut you
yes, I’m the one who cut you
and I hope that you’ll forgive… me.

and let me stitch you up again.


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