Today call me stranded

Today call me stranded, as in “on a desert isle” but not really. I mean, I’m at home so you don’t have to worry about me. Unless it would scare you to know that I’ve spent the last half hour wondering whether or not the phrase is actually deserted island but people got lazy and dropped the ed and the and.

Is the point that we’re alone? Or are we in the Sahara? Even worse, is it an aisle instead of isle and I’ve mixed up the homonyms? That’s something else to Google. But not now.

No, right now I’m only pretending to be stranded in order to decide which ten songs I could listen to forever. If I were indeed stranded on a desert isle. Deserted island. Dessert aisle?


Anyway. I won’t bore you with long disclaimers about how much I adore music and how impossible this task is besides this: I do and it is.

So to simplify my goal, I first decided to select two options from each decade in which I’ve been alive. Next, I sobbed a bit when I realized I’ve been alive in five different decades. Then I collected myself and Googled how to upload YouTube videos to a WordPress blog.


I didn’t pick the “coolest” or the “best” tunes since the (sob) sixties. I simply selected songs that still move me. One way or another. Every time I hear them.


“God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys: This band provided the soundtrack to my childhood summers but I could play this song for every season all year long.

“For Emily Wherever I May Find Her” by Simon and Garfunkle:  You probably haven’t heard this song but it’s pure poetry. Just listen to the lyrics and you’re welcome.


“She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel: Cheesy? Perhaps. But this song put to words exactly what I hoped someone would someday feel for me.

“Mamma Mia” by ABBA: Their outfits alone warrant ridicule; but my Swedish sister and I danced to this song so many times we wore out the bedroom carpet and the memory makes me happy to this day.


“We Belong” by Pat Benatar: I harmonize with my sister like a rock star to this song. What?

“Red Hill Mining Town by U2: This is (by a landslide) my all-time favorite song from my all-time favorite band. Enough said.


“Ghost” by Indigo Girls: More poetry, this time from the Girls. And I admire them both. Hard.

“Lightening Crashes” by Live: I almost didn’t include this song because it was so overplayed. But the live version is special and I can’t forget how much I  listened to this song and band in the nineties.


“Feeling This” by Blink 182: They’re another of my favorite bands and I’ve listened to this while running more than any other song. I figure I’ll need exercise on a desserted aisle. (Sorry.)

“Fix You” by Coldplay: Another song I run to and I dig the way it builds. This one gives me goose bumps every time I really listen.

2010 – Present:

“Waiting for the End” by Linkin Park: The rhythm to this song is my perfect running pace. Plus, I kind of know Brad Delson (even though he probably doesn’t remember me).  Sigh.

“Someone Like You” by Adele: I feel  like a cliché including her, but this song is lovely and haunting and my nephew plays it on the piano. So if I’m stuck on an island without family, I’m listening to this. Often.

And that’s my ten.

I realize a lot of these songs involve LOVE. Or maybe how much I wanted others to love me. But you don’t have to love my list. (As long as you still like me, of course.)

Instead, please share a song or two from your top ten. And feel free to tell me my list sucks. After all, I’m stranded on an island (or in a desert aisle), remember?

Just kidding. I’m at home. And eating cake. So don’t be sad.

(Addendum: Three days after I posted this, my sweet husband Bill pointed out in the comments  – as Mr. Julie C. Gardner – that I have in fact been alive in six different decades and have listed twelve songs here. I don’t know what is worse: How old I am, how long it took him to finally read my post, or how poor my math skills are. You decide. And also, does anyone know a good tutor for Algebra? My kids are screwed.)

61 thoughts on “Today call me stranded

  1. Holy crap. I knew we were soul sisters! Except for the last few. But back in the 80s and 90s? YES!! “We belong” is one of my all-time faves!

    Also, I was kind of hoping to be stranded on a dessert isle. Or even the dessert aisle.

    Just saying.

  2. This is too hard. I will ponder and comment later with a song or two, but I love your list.

    Somewhere on my list would be 99 Luftbalons & Tiny Dancer, but those are the only two I can say without a doubt 🙂 And something by Coldplay.

  3. I have to agree with your list except Adele. I like her “Fire to the rain”, but the other song makes me want to shoot myself in the head (or even better shoot someone else).
    My all time favourites include “Dream On” by Aerosmith, “Africa” by Toto, “Carry on my wayward son” by Kansas, “As” by George Michael and Mary J. Blige and “Bring me some water” by Melissa Etheridge.

  4. Christy H.

    Billy Joel and Elton John…anything by them!

  5. It is clear to me that we are soul sisters.

    Oh wait, someone else said that.


    This is a real bummer. Like when my sister told me I couldn’t have pink as my favorite color because she already chose it. So I had to choose yellow, even though I really hated yellow.

    Whatever. I’m going to secretly think of you as my soul sister anyway.

    Also, I might add Run by Snow Patrol and Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons. Oh, and Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf. And Hallellujah by Jeff Buckley. And How to Save a Life by The Fray. And American Pie by Don McLean. And La Bamba–just kidding. I meant Viva la Vida by Coldplay.

    I guess that was more than two. Sorry, Soul Sister. I mean, Julie.

  6. “For Emily Wherever I May Find Her” has been my all time favorite song since the first time I heard it when I was making out with a guy in high school. I almost fell over in my chair when I saw that it is one of your favorites, too. Figures! XOXO

  7. OpinionsToGo

    Well, we did agree on one…Adele’s “Someone Like You.
    Actually, I have such eclectic taste in music, that my favorites are
    ALL OVER THE PLACE! You’ve given me something to think about and so,
    I’m off to think!

  8. I just heard Adele for the first time the other day. People on my FB page were quite concerned when I had said I’d never heard her before.

  9. Your first three songs FINISHED me…they seriously make me sob – not with sadness, but just the emotion behind the songs. The last few make me feel like you are incredibly hip and I am an out-of-date old fogey.

  10. liz

    You know how you always talk like you’re so old and stuff? Well I, too, grew up on the Beach Boys. My parents – dad, specifically – loved them. We sang as a family in one of those touristy music shops where you can lip sync and play the drums and crap, and they record it. ALSO, as if that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve attended a Beach Boys concert. Back when John Stamos played with them.


  11. Also, the Serb used to come home from work in the weeks after my son was born, only to find me still in jammies and singing Simon & Garfunkle to my baby, while on the verge of the ugly cry. Good times.

  12. “Ghost” was the soundtrack to my life for many years.

    And I was NOT an angsty young adult. I was NOT.

  13. Tommy Christianson

    I bought an 88-key keyboard for just one reason — I wanted to learn to play “She’s Got a Way” by Billy Joel. It’s been ten years and I’m still working on the bridge, but I’ll get there, dammit! That song speaks to me like no other.

  14. Yes!!! Coldplay Fix You and Adele Someone Like You are amazing songs I could listen to forever. Great choices.

  15. That’s a really thoughtful list. Groovy chick you are.

  16. I danced to Abba too. Way too much. And badly.

    I’m very cheesy with my top ten songs so letting you in on this means I love you tremendously.

    One of them is “Just The Way You Are” by Billy Joel.

    Sigh. I need to go listen to it now.

  17. I didn’t know you were a U2 fan! That’s my husband’s all-time favorite band too, and among my top ten. I love “Red Hill Mining Town,” but it’s a sad, sad song.

    And now I just want to sit here and surf the Internet while using this blog post as my playlist. Good stuff, Julie.

    My all-time favorite song forever and always is “End of the Innocence” by Don Henley (or Bruce Hornsby whenever he happens to perform it). Definitely one I would need with me if I were ever stranded on a desert isle. Or a deserted island. Or a dessert aisle. (I admit it – I laughed at that.)

  18. Di

    Wow…what a great way to while/wile away the time trying to come up with my top ten songs: “Imagine” by John Lennon, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison, “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield, “Layla” by Eric Clapton, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Bruce Springsteen, “Break on Through” by The Doors, “Diamonds and Rust” by Joan Baez, “Wedding Bells” by Lissie, and “Water With the Wine” by Joan Armatrading…whew, hard to stop at ten…thanks for the motivation to even think about my favorites!

  19. KLZ

    You have got good taste.

    God Only Knows What I’d Do Without You

  20. annabelle

    I say this with LOVE…you and I are gonna fight if we end up on that island with only yours songs.

    We have a difference of taste is all I’m saying. I don’t know if I could even pick a ten though, that’s crazy hard. Good for you to make the attempt.

    Now I’m off to make you a mix tape…Hugs and Love

  21. Some I know and some I don’t. I will have to come back to listen to them.

    This post reminds me a bit of your first (i believe it was anyway) vlog where you talked about your favourite books and you had trouble narrowing that down too 🙂

    Now hopefully that was actually your vlog I am remembering and not someone else’s or this is a very embarrassing comment 😛

  22. Ghost. I love Ghost. My U2 would have to be Stuck in a Moment because it got be through a hard time. And S&G, I just love Cecelia. Despite being about a slut, the tune always makes me dance.

  23. Le sigh. I love your music taste, sweet friend.

    I’m also wildly in awe of your mad uploading skills. More than one video in one post? Are they called videos? Pure fab!

    Also? “She’s Got A Way?” Swoon.


  24. I love Lightning Crashes. I saw Live in concert when I was 21 – it’s one of my fondest memories. They were fabulous.

    I also love cake. Obviously we have to get together for a Live concert. And cake.

  25. Oh, love your list- I don’t know most of what’s on it. 🙂 haha! I love that you do, though- I love good music and singing and dancing- when I hear or see it, I get shivers. But, I’m too lazy to search and downolad music. So a post like this for me would be short- It would be a link to Pandora with the search term “Ray Lamontagne”. 🙂

  26. I love posts like this (even if I can’t watch the videos from work, which makes me sad). Just a few notes about your selections

    – I’m not a great singer, but I can put out a decent rendition of “She’s Got a Way” if I have an in-tune piano at my disposal.

    – Live started right around where I live right now . . . which is where I also went to college. “Lightning Crashes” was played ALL OF THE TIME. It’s one of the few songs that I considered good that I now don’t listen to.

    I’m in the middle of re-vamping my marathon playlist . . . I’m going hard in my old age.

  27. Jessica Lundquist Tessler

    Too funny. In order to retain my sanity when I was driving to UCLA 4-5 days a week from OC, I created and continually refined a list of my top 10 favorite songs of all time. It was harder to do than I thought. So, here they are:

    1) Yellow Ledbetter – Pearl Jam
    2) Angel – Sarah McLachlan
    3) True Love Waits – Radiohead
    4) Leather and Lace – Stevie Nicks
    5) Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
    6) Mama, You Been On My Mind – Bob Dylan
    7) Pathetique Sonata – Beethoven
    8) One – U2
    9) You Belong to Me – Any version, but my favorite is Bob Dylan’s
    10)Dimming of the Day – Bonnie Raitt

  28. I could not love Simon and Garfunkel more. It’s simply not possible.

    And if I was on a deserted island? I would probably be making “Lost” references to my volleyball friend.

    Because I’m all by myself, and won’t care about being a cliche.

  29. Nikki

    Occasionally (or daily) I have the fantasy in my head that Ryan Gossling and I are in an airport musing through our playlists (since he and I share great music tastes), and my list always ends up something like this:
    “Love Song” – Telsa
    “More than Words” – Extreme
    “Colorblind” – Counting Crows
    “Collide” – Howie Day

  30. I like Billy Joel and Adele a lot, but you know what I can’t get enough of these days? Norah Jones. I could listen to the same cd til I’m blue in the face. I think there is something wrong with me.

    Or we don’t have enough cd’s.

  31. Of course you’d have to run on your desert isle. Me? I’d be parked in the dessert aisle. With headphones, of course.

    I’m going to add some of those to my playlist, and I do not think Adele is cliche, she’s got an unbelievable voice and the lyrics really get to your core.

    I’ve been in love with The Bo Deans for quite a while. Runaway is a great song to crank up. And Jonathan Coulton’s Baby Got Back. A treasure.

  32. Dad

    Your list really takes me back to when the family would be out in our cool ’73 Chevy van with the orange shag carpeting and dark “pecky cedar” paneling and the bitchin’ 8-track tape player. The Beach Boys Endless Summer tape played 1000 times. But did you consider including the Oakridge Boys “Amanda”, or Lou Rawls’ “fabulous” rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”?

    I just want to add that my favorite mixed tape you made for Mom and me was the one with Bonnie Raitt the Indigo Girls, which included “Ghost”. I duplicated most of those songs on my ipod and listen to them to this day. Here are the list of the songs I most associate with you and Nancy in your “Big Hair” days when we were all at Agoura High School: Journey “Faithfully”; Stix “The Best of Times”; Foreigner “I want to Know What Love is”; Survivor “The Search is Over”; Paul Young “Every Time You Go Away” and the song every high school used as their prom theme song, Rod Stewart “Tonight’s the Night” (Wonder why the chose that song?)
    All of these songs are on my playlists.

  33. Well since others have already declared that you are soul sisters, I will simply say this:

    I would totally run away on a bus, become a prostitute, start a prostitute rebellion against our mean (and decidedly unattractive) pimp and then dance in the street with my slutty friends only to come back home to you, Julie. Because to feel your arms wrapped around me.

    Well, Mama Mia.

    And I would teach you to appreciate Prince more. Because I would die 4 u.

  34. I love you Julie, I really do, and not just for including the Beach Boys (God Only Knows is gorgeous, isn’t it?). But then you go and include Simon and Garfunkel, and this whole list just makes me want to be your sister and harmonize with you.

    ps – you forgot “Afternoon Delight.”

    pps – PSYCHE!

  35. Love these, J. I think we’d get along just fine. But I already knew that.

    I have about 5 covers of Cohen’s Hallelujah on my iPod. My favourite is k.d. lang’s version. And I too love U2. It’s hard to choose just one. Most of The Joshua Tree gives me the shivers.

  36. I cannot abide The Beach Boys or Abba but you, I adore. And cake. Eat some for me.
    Oh, and listen to some Bob Seger, for old time’s sake.

  37. We could be running partners with that Linkin Park beat! I’ve added it to my current training play list! I love music too much to write a good response but I will tell you that right now I keep pushing play and repeat to Mat Kearney, Closer to Love. The line about being one phone call from our knees takes me breath away!

  38. Red Hill Mining Town brings back so many memories. I remember the first time I heard it – I mean REALLY HEARD IT. It was in college probably way after it was released but I was stoned and it was BEAUTIFUL.

    Did I say too much?

    I also have a soft spot for “Hard Habit to Break”. Sleepaway camp in the eighties. Chicago was EVERYTHING back then.

  39. Oh Julie, yes we are kindred spirits indeed! (We will have to have drinks soon so I can tell you about the time I kissed Bono – or rather he kissed me!) I love every U2 album (yes even Pop), but I do think that Joshua Tree is my favorite – especially Running to Stand Still and One Tree Hill (yeah,I like the sad songs!) I don’t know about a top ten list… I’ll have to think about this one. (And then we’ll discuss – over drinks!) xoxo

  40. You know I respect you.

    And admire you.

    And think you are so very, very talented as a writer.

    And you are nice. LIKE REALLY nice.

    And supportive.

    And a good person, rare, special, one of a kind. Authentic. Trustworthy.

    All that to pave the way to say:

    Couldn’t do the desert island thing with you on it.

    No way in hell.

    I’m a Flo Rida and Eminem girl.

  41. Abby

    Great list, but I gotta add me some James Taylor & Jimmy Buffett. More James than Jimmy, actually. In fact, if I had to pick between the two, it’d be James. So, forget Jimmy.

  42. I am feeling kind of down right now, for a myriad of reasons. So I cannot think of anything witty. And I only think of one song: Slim Shady by Eminem.

  43. Tisha

    Love the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, and the Indigo Girls. U2 is great, also. You managed to pick the only songs by Live and Adele that I don’t really like.

    I’m good with your list, as long as you add Neil Diamond to it. The man has 2 songs about wine, for heaven’s sake!

  44. NannyK

    OMG Dad!! The Best of Times and The Search is Over…good times! You and Mom were such good sports to listen to our cassettes during our high school years!! A round trip to Ojai provided 2 full hours of REO Speedwagon, Journey, Phil Collins, Toto (oh yes. I said it 🙂

    And we, of course, were superbly accommodating in our willingness to memorize every lyric from the following 8 Tracks…in that bitchin Chevy van (best. car. ever!!!).

    Beach Boys – Endless Summer
    Oakridge Boys – Best of?? (I believe “I’ll Be Good to You” brought the house down every time!!)
    Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (because you couldn’t possibly get enough BeeGees in the 70’s. Fact!)
    And let us not forget A Barbara Streisand Christmas
    No wonder Julie’s and my musical tastes are so eclectic. You guys were all over the map!! 🙂

    Jules…love the post, and your song choices. Still hoping to finagle a party out of this topic…but now that we know your songs, we’ll have to spin the theme.

  45. Glad you got your cake.

    Is it o.k. that I don’t like any of these songs? Can we still be friends? I do like Linkin Park. Is that o.k.?

    Friends? Still? Please?

  46. I love all of yours except the Blink song. Love U2, Beach Boys, Coldplay, S&G, and Adele. Adele may be the most talented singer of this generation.

    I would add Sinatra, the Beatles, Eminem (till I collapse), and Madonna somewhere in the mix, as well.

  47. Mr. Julie C Gardner

    Someone does feel the way about you that Billy Joel put it :-). Except I would add an additional verse. I haven’t completed the words yet but it would have to do with how charming your lack of math abilities is. Let’s see…60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, 10’s…I get 6 decades and if you were interested in double checking your math, count the number of songs on your list of 10. Just as i suspected, I came up with 12. This certainly helps explain our kid’s latest report card.

  48. Julie

    I am dying right now, Bill.

    Because HOLY CRAP you are right.

    And I’m charming.


  49. Ha! I’m late to the party but I had to see what you were talking about with your math skills. Too funny! I don’t think that three years should count as a whole decade, but it is 12 songs. I’m sure all of that crazy video uploading and dessert talk was totally distracting, otherwise you would have realized. 🙂

    Also, Blink 182 is one of my faves of all time…I’ve seen them at least three times live….probably four or five. Ani Difranco is another.

  50. First, I thought Suniverse said ” glad you got your coke” and I was all “wait. what? why isn’t she sharing?”

    Second, I LOVE that your entire family is on here in the comments section and is also now reading about your coke problem.

    Third, what no NWA on that list? Very disappointed. I do agree with the U2 Red Hill Mining Town. Great song!

  51. I’ve had this bookmarked for days so I could listen at home and not at a coffee shop. What a fun exercise to pick 10 couldn’t-live-without songs. An IMPOSSIBLE exercise too! Great choices here!

  52. I read this on my phone the other day and am just getting to comment. I’ve had most of these songs on auto shuffle in my head since reading this – love them all!

    I don’t care if he’s cheesy, Billy Joel is one of my favorites.

    My 10? I just don’t know if I can do it. But I’m going to try, dangit.

    One that is so cheesy, but makes me happy every time? Arthur’s Theme by Christopher Cross. It just popped in my head while writing this comment, and I do think it would make my final list.

  53. LOVED this post Julie! I didn’t recognize half the songs until I played each one, and said, “Oh yea, I’ve heard that.” Can’t say I know the artists though. I always remembers tunes, not the singers. Unless you’re talking Rolling Stones or Jennifer Lopez (had to get her in there). I know all their songs. Well except the ones JLo does in Spanish. I’m working on that, though. Learning Spanish in my car. Don’t ask. I only have 10 minutes to work each way, so I my progress is kinda slow.

    Dessert aisle? I.AM.IN.

  54. At first I was going to say Billy Joel was the big winner but I have to say, I’m in love with Adele.

  55. can i bring my 70s glam, punk and 80s grunge and hang on your desert isle?

    I like finding fellow audiophiles

  56. I LOVE GHOST by Indigo Girls. I used to listen to it over and over and over. One of their best, though I have to say Galileo edges it out by a hair. Just a hair, though!

  57. Oooh, what good picks. I was once the blonde from Abba for Halloween in the days of my early 20’s and a perky butt. Oh to be able to wear those silver sparkly pants again.

  58. Me

    Great songs! One of my favorites – Van Morrison – just about every song he sings.

    PS I’m pretty sure we’ve met. My stepson was on a little league team – Twins – with your son. Do you remember us?

    I found you on San Diego Momma. Small world huh?

  59. Me

    PSS I love how your husband confirmed that someone feels that “you’ve got a way about you.”

  60. I should maybe not comment on this. Because you might throw things at me about not being born when some of these were recorded.

    well crap. I commented on that.

    But I do love me some Blink 🙂

  61. Just GET OUT. OUT. All the way.
    So here’s what we have:
    Both Scandinavian. 43 (right?). And other BFF stuff I can’t list right now. But every one of these songs? Are soul-sister-y. I’m with you on each and every.
    And Indigo Girls? i can’t take it. I’m thinking my dad had an affair with your mom, but that would be wrong. (Although he DOES live in Camarillo…)
    My point is…
    I can’t wait to do this song life evolution this week.
    Because I’m hoping there are more life parallels. But this isn’t about me! It’s about you. And how we are BFFs. Wait. I just made it about me again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *