My Life in Korea – The Soundtrack

I decided to stop procrastinating about something and so I finally picked the songs I would have on a soundtrack about my life in Korea. I’m even going to provide details as to why I’ve picked these songs. Aren’t you happy?  This is almost a REAL blog entry. Almost.
1. American Football – Stay Home
… Simply because I have ALWAYS said that I need this song to be on the soundtrack for the movie of my life. Also, the lyrics are somewhat fitting: "don’t leave home again, if empathy takes energy, cause everyone feels just like you… that’s life – so social…"
2. Turin Brakes – Balham to Brooklyn
… This is because of the lyrics: "but thats just like me, to leave my friends behind holding hands, at least holding hands in my eyes … and its hard, hard when you don’t know why you’re leaving … you can take yourself to a better place, a better place, you’ve been longing for"
3. Stephane Grappelli/REM – Leave
… Remember a looong time ago this was stuck in my head for weeks?  Another lyrics issue: "Where is the road I follow to leave, leave… It’s under, under, under my feet … The sea spread out there before me … where do I go where the land touches the sea? There is my trust in what I believe … I suffer the dreams of a world gone mad … I like it like that and I know it…"
4. Gary Jules – Mad World
… I had never seen "Donnie Darko", so the first time I ever heard this song was in a department store in Korea. I really dug it and so I learned how to play it on the guitar. And now, almost all the lyrics seem to fit my experience here…
All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very, very
Mad World

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what’s my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me
5. Beirut – Postcards for Italy
… Mike sent me this song while I was here and I fell in love with it. Nothing more to it.
6. Radiohead – Pyramid Song
… This song makes me really sad when I hear it while riding the bus for some reason. Of course, the lyrics "nothing to fear and nothing to doubt"  resonate with me, almost as though the song is trying to convince me of something I KNOW I need to be convinced of.
7.Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger
… I like to sing this one at the Nori Bang. True story.
8. Pearl Jam – Given to Fly
… This song has always been a favourite of mine. It is very uplifting and I hope to be "a human being that was given to fly".
9. Radiohead – Karma Police
… This one is on the list because of the lyric "And for a minute there I lost myself… I lost myself". I’m not always sure of myself: what I am doing here, or who I am, or who I want to be. And being alone in Korea to think about it has highly enhanced those feelings.
10. Shiny Toy Guns – Don’t Cry Out
… This song will always remind me of MySpace, which was a minor obsession while I was here. I don’t even HAVE a MySpace account anymore; I’m SO over that. Hellllloooo Facebook!
11. Leonard Cohen – Suzanne
… This song first got caught in my head while I was traveling with Mr. James in Cambodia. It played nonstop (in my head) while we were there. I think it started with the lyric "and you want to travel with him, and you want to travel blind".  But it also made me think about something I consider a downfall of the iPod phenomenon… people are forcing soundtracks for their lives. They aren’t allowing the music and sounds around them to build the background. And I wonder if we don’t change our experiences by listening to certain songs while things are happening.  But I digress. I also had this song seriously caught in my head in China… because of the lyric "and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China".
12. The Tragically Hip – Bobcaygeon
… It is absolutely delayed that for the rest of time I will associate this very Canadian song with an Irish guy. Once Brendan and I were in Geckos having a beer with Brooke and Chad when Brendan asked us, "What is that song that they always play in the Rocky Mountain that makes all you Canadians sing along and cry?  I think it might be your anthem."  It was Bobcaygeon.
13. Crosby, Stills, and Nash – Ohio
… This is also Brendan’s fault. I believe it may be due to the fact that Brendan has some sort of musical tourrettes – he can’t help but sing whatever damned-fool (and oft-annoying) song he has in his head. While we were in China he took great pleasure in making the intelligent half of Team Six roll their eyes by singing just the beginning of this song over and over. I seem to remember there was a real wanker from Ohio on the trip – that must have been the inspiration. 
14. Sigur Ros – Staralfur
… A beautiful song, and I will never forget the day my seven-year-old Korean kindergarten class chose to listen to Sigur Ros over Disney. I do love the wee buggers sometimes!
15. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
… This is another wonderful song that Mike sent me that I loved immediately. It will always remind me of Korea because of KRail. I was watching TV (random enough, I NEVER watch TV here) when an ad for Korean Rail came on. They were using this song! Is nothing sacred people?!?
16. REM – Walk Unafraid
… This is definitely because of the following lyrics (I’ve taken out some of it):
Fearless was my middle name
But somewhere there I lost my way
Everyone walks the same
Expecting me to step the narrow path they’ve laid
They claim to walk unafraid
I’ll be clumsy instead
How can I be what I want to be
When all I want to do is strip away these stilled constraints
And crush this charade, shred this sad masquerade
I don’t need no persuading I’ll trip, fall, pick myself up
I just want to hold my head up high
I don’t care what I have to step over
I’m prepared to look you in the eye
Look me in the eye
Help me when I fall to walk unafraid
17. Muse – Starlight
… First, I got to see them live in Seoul, which kicked ass. Second, the lyrics are good and somewhat fitting (again, this ain’t all of ’em):
This ship has taken me far away
Far away from the memories
Of the people who care if I live or die

I will be chasing a starlight
Until the end of my life
I don’t know if it’s worth it anymore

I’ll never let you go
If you promise not to fade away

18. Radiohead – Creep
… Another good Nori Bang song, believe it or not. But that’s not why it is on my soundtrack. It is because of the lyric "What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here."
19. John Denver – Take Me Home, County Roads
… I’m ready to go…
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin’ down the road I get a feelin’
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong…

2 responses to “My Life in Korea – The Soundtrack

  1. i like this.. 🙂 thanks for sharing!
    miss you!! xxoo!

  2. NahnahnahnahnahaTin soldiers and Nixon\’s comin\’We\’re finally on our ownThis summer I hear the drums andFour dead in O.H.I.O….That night in Toronto with its checkerboard floorsRiding on horseback and keeping order restoredTil the men they couldn\’t hangStepped to the mic and sangAnd their voices rang with that Aryan twang

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