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The Soundtrack of a Friendship

I honestly don’t remember the day I met Megan.  I do remember the day my other friend, Cassie, invited her to join us for a sleepover at my house in 8th grade.  I think our destiny as best friends was set then.  Cassie, you did us a great, great service.  Throughout the 12 year we’ve known each other, music has played a significant role in our friendship.  Over fries in the courtyard at Columbia River, we discussed the meaning of various Sarah McLachlan songs.  We loved The Beat (at one-oh-seven-dot-five).  Every time we’ve managed to visit each other, some song has captured the essence of our trip.

If, one day, our story were told in film, I can envisage it exactly.  And the soundtrack, well, that’s easy.  So here it is, Erin and Megan: The Soundtrack of a Friendship. It’s mostly chronological…


Possession, Sarah McLachlan

I think was was the first song we loved at the same time and talked about, ad nauseum.  Despite the fact there were better clips, I had to use the following, because it also included my other favourite from Fumbling Toward Ecstasy (which is still a great album), Elsewhere, and we were actually at this concert!

The night is my companion,
And solitude my guide.
Could I spend forever here,
And not be satisfied?

*

I Do, Jude

Really, this is our ultimate song.  We’d write the lyrics on notes to each other in German.  We never did figure out what people in Germany say during wedding ceremonies.  And there was that verse, that one little verse, that was inescapable:

I wish you health, and wealth, and a white house on a hill
And I hope you raise a family
A little boy, and a little girl
A little more joy in this little ol’ world
Well, that would be enough for me.

*

Twin Rocks, Oregon,  Shawn Mullins

Remember when Shawn Mullins had that hit, Lullaby (everything is gonna be alright, rock-a-bye, rock-a-bye-eee).  Well, Megan and I both bought the album, and fell in love with the songs about our backyard: Portland, Oregon and Washington.  The very best was Twin Rocks, Oregon, a sort of story set to music.  It was beautiful.

He turned his bottle up and down,
He could see me lost, and he could see me found
He said “I don’t know what I’ve been looking for.  Maybe me”


*

Se a Vida E by The Pet Shop Boys

The first song I ever loved, and the only song that always makes me happy. It was, and ever shall be, deeply, deeply embarrassing.  So to have shared it with Megan, and for her to not only understand, but also share my love for it reminded me exactly why she is my very best friend.

Why do you want to sit alone
In gothic gloom
Surrounded by the ghosts of love
That haunt your room?
Somewhere there’s a different door
To open wide
You gotta throw those skeletons out of your closet
And come outside

*


Song for a Winter’s Night, Sarah McLachlan

The second Sarah McLachlan song to make the list, but how could it not.  A rare little b-side when we first heard it, it quickly became a favourite.  I must have listened to it a thousand times the Christmas we went up to that cabin in the woods.  There were these wild dogs that looked so cold, and made me sad.  It was a lonely Christmas, and I wrote in my diary and read a book that made me cry.  I read the diary again recently.  It was embarassing.

The fire is dying, my lamp is growing dim,
Shades of light are lifting.
Morning light steals across my window pane
Where webs of snow are drifting…

PS.  I only just discovered this is a cover.  I don’t like the original as much.

*


Between The Bars by Elliot Smith

What a year that was.  The best Oscars ever.  I mean, it was tragic that Shakespere in Love won, but it was just so much fun.  We knew every nominee, saw every film.  And then there was Good Will Hunting.  We had a plan.  I was to marry Matt Damon.  This was before he was MATT DAMON.  Or Matt Damon (in the Team America voice).  Megan was to marry Ben Affleck.  This was before Armageddon.  Enough said.  We were going to write screenplays and direct and all live happily ever after.  We even wrote mock newspaper reports announcing our Oscar victory.  We were magnanimous, though, and decided to let Joshua Jackson win one too.  I don’t exactly remember why.

This was the song of that year, from one of the best soundtracks I own, and one of my family’s most beloved CDs.  It was one of the few we could all agree upon.  So sad we didn’t see him live before he died (he way always playing freaking over 21 only gigs!)

The people you’ve been before
That you don’t want around anymore
That push and shove and won’t bend to your will
I’ll keep them still

PS. Metric’s cover of this is INCREDIBLE.

*

Honestly, Ok by Dido

We left the US.  I was sad.  Megan and I both liked Dido before she became massive thanks to the Sliding Doors soundtrack (I even had to special-order the CD).  This song magically captured the abject misery I felt when we moved back to Australia, and how lonely I was without my dearest friend in the world.

I just want to feel safe in my own skin
I just want to be happy again



*

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye by David Gray

Another song we both came to love when we were far apart, but nonetheless shared over email.  I forgot how lovely it was.  Also, I didn’t realise at the time it was about a hooker.

Under the deep red light,
I can see the make-up sliding down.
Well hey little girl, you will will always make up
So take off that unbecoming frown.


*

Come Here by Kath Bloom

We’re now entering the era of Megan’s trip to Australia in 2001.  This is more funny than anything:  we watched Before Sunrise, and this scene was on, and it just seemed incredibly funny.  It’s not so funny now- it’s slightly sad.  I couldn’t not include it, though.

Well, I’m in no hurry,
I’m not going to run away this time


*

Lover, You Should Have Come Over by Jeff Buckley
Oh, which Jeff Buckley song to include from that trip was a toughie, but given the prominence of this song on a later adventure, and our unanimous agreement that it is his best song, it seemed a wise choice.  My memories of Megan’s trip to Australia, to be honest, aren’t that strong, except for the socks rolling down the beach.  And Ugg Boots.  And the crazy old lady on the train eating my train ticket, money, and concession card.  (Trust me.  That actually happened).  It was cold, though.  One day, I really hope Megan gets to come to Sydney when it’s warm.

Too young to hold on,
Too old to just break free and run…


*

Someday We’ll Know by Jonathan Foreman and Mandy Moore
Ooh!  2003!  The year I loved A Walk To Remember, and finally went “home” to Vancouver.  It was a great trip, warm, with fireworks and adventures.  I was scared, before I went, that Megan and I would have grown apart.  It took two days and a bit of our favourite hobby, stalking, and we were back to normal.

Does anybody know the way to Atlantis,
Or what the wind says when she cried
I’m speeding by the place that I met you
For the ninety-seventh time… tonight.


*

Everybody’s Stalking by Badly Drawn Boy

Of all the bagel-man CDs, it had to be this one.  You see, there was this guy at the Bagel shop.  Not a hot guy.  Just a guy.  Megan, strangely, fell in love with him from afar, and would travel to Sunrise Bagels every Sunday to see him.  One day, she made the perfect CD to convey her affection, and put it on the windscreen of his silver VW Beetle (new model).  He ultimately wound up stalking her, so the tables were turned, but it was fun at the time.

I’m gonna follow you around
I’m gonna wear you down
I don’t want to alienate you
You’ve got as long as it might take you


*

Northern Sky by Nick Drake

Also on the Bagel-man CD, this became my favourite song in the world.  It still is.  It’s like how falling in love should be.  If I ever get married, I very much hope to walk down the aisle to this song.  The rest of the details don’t matter- a dress is a dress and flowers are flowers- but this song is  perfection.  And it is thanks to Megan that I know and love it.

Would you love me for my money
Would you love me for my head
Would you love me through the winter
Would you love me til I’m dead
Oh, if you would and you could
Come blow your horn on high.


*
There should be songs from our China trip in 2004 here, but I can’t think of any.  Except the Buffy theme song.  But nobody needs to hear that.
*

Anyone Else But You

THE song of my trip to Vancouver in late 2007.  Adding any other would cheapen it.  We drove around, singing, and listening to this song.  And we saw Juno twice.  It was a wonderful, cold, snowy time.  The highlight, for me, was the night we drank a bottle of Moet and sat on the couch talking til the wee, small hours of the morning.  It wasn’t hard to remember exactly why we’re still, to this day, best friends.

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start
Just because we use cheats doesn’t mean we’re not smart.


*

I love you so very much, my dear friend, and miss you more and more and then some.  Here is to another twelve years, and a thousand more shared songs.  And here is one final song, just for you:

One thought on “The Soundtrack of a Friendship

  1. !!! It is perfect. Well, it’s missing a few, but I won’t be critical. 😉

    yes, the tears did flow. (several times, in fact) I LOVE YOU. thanks for making me this and thanks for making me miss you a million times more…

    and, for me, the China songs are:
    Digital Love – Daft Punk
    Move On Up – Curtis Mayfield
    and a bunch of others thanks to Joel’s sweet mix cd. but yeah, I suppose Buffy does count too.

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