Saturday, December 31, 2011

Music of the year

The last day of 2011 feel like it needs a big long list of accomplishments. Unfortunately I didn't seem to accomplished anything profound this year. Nothing write a whole post on anyway.
 Book list?
Nah. Everyone is doing those. Plus a list of titles isn't very interesting.
Ah, now there's a different story... Yes, I think I'll run with that idea. In fact, I think it deserves an impressive title....

Gwyn's List of Profound Music
Discovered in the Year of Our Lord 2011

This has been a great year in music for me; both in my own career and in the continuous hunt for new, inspiring, unique, and beautiful songs. So much so that I have had to narrow it down to my absolute favorites; the ones that fill all the criteria above and otherwise completely blow me away.

+ Now We Are Free - Lisa Gerrard

I picked up the dvd Gladiator(R) at the library this summer, excited to have found another historical-fiction film by director Ridley Scott {The Kingdom of Heaven(2004) | Robin Hood(2009)}, plus Russell Crowe was again the lead actor. While the movie itself was good, it was the music that made it a favorite. I felt I had died and gone to heaven. Hans Zimmer has long been one of my favorite composers, then paired with Lisa Gerrard, the closest I can find to an Enya rival; it's magic. I can't tell you how much this song has inspired me, in so many ways.
 The language in which Lisa sings is her own.

+ Guinevere's Tears - Enaid

What can I say? The Legend of Skyrian in a bottle. I seriously went whoop!-ing around my room after hearing this the first time -- it fits my story so perfectly! The slow mysterious sadness that haunts much of the melody but is brightened in the middle by the merry sounds of pipes reminiscent of a medieval festival, all before plunging back into the achingly beautiful theme from the beginning. That is my story.
 Sweet and nostalgic at first, lanced suddenly with loss and the knowing that nothing will ever be the same. Then comes a time of healing and happiness, long summer days, and the chance to change the future. But those days can never last. The days ahead are daunting. But you are stronger now, and face the dawn with new understanding. Life, though hard, is beautiful.

+ To the Sky - Owl City

Changing gears here, To the Sky is simple joy. It never fails to cheer me up and often times will turn a grey day into something special where I go out and accomplish, rejoicing in the free air.

+ Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift feat. The Civil Wars

Gives me goosebumps how real and true to the book this song is. Cold, grey melody + heartstring beat and harmony; couldn't be a better song for The Hunger Games. It's good to hear Taylor Swift singing something more deep than her usual, too. She has such a great voice, I wish she would branch out more often.

+ I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - H. W. Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play.
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of Peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll'd along th' unbroken song
Of Peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair, I bow'd my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song,
Of Peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With Peace on earth, good will to men.

I was unable to find a suitable video for this as I first heard it on one of my Mum's numerous Christmas albums and can't find the arrangement on the Web. (I see that Casting Crowns has done a rendition of it but cannot recommend it because Youtube is not working for me right now.) However, the potent and timeless lyrics earned it instantly Favorite Carol in my book.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is a Christmas carol based on the 1864 poem Christmas Bells by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator's despair, upon hearing Christmas bells, that "there is no peace on earth... for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men". The carol concludes with the bells bestowing renewed hope for mankind.

I could go on forever listing songs I love, but these will rank tops for a long time, I think. Please do tell me about you top songs for 2011, and tell me if any of these made you list!

Have a lovely and blessed New Year!


  1. Guinevere's tears was BEAUTIFUL! And yeah, i lovelovelove that new song for the hunger games. Have a happy new year, Gwyn!


  2. Guinevere's Tears brought tears to my eyes.... It is absolutely and hauntingly beautiful!