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Which Songs Have Influenced You The Most?

August 31, 2018

Which songs have influenced you the most? Almost all of us have been influenced tremendously by one piece of music or another, but which ones? It differs from person to person for a variety of reasons.

Some like me are influenced strongly by classical music and popular music as well. The songs that influence us also change as we change ourselves. What seemed like a musical epiphany when we were 16 years old may well be just an echo when we are 70 years old. It depends on what’s going on in your life at any given time.

When I was young, I loved both bass toned and brassy rock ballads for their uplifting energy. Their melodies and instrumentation seemed to have pushed me ever forward like rocket fuel. When I was middle-aged, I was more moved by the classics for their reflection on life lived. Now as I enter my geezerdom, I am influenced by them all as if they were of one huge musical work. Of course there have been thousands of other songs along the way that have touched my life and influenced me in some way. We all share that experience, albeit in different manners.

Okay, time to fess up. The four songs that have influenced me the very most are Time Won’t Let Me (The Outsiders), In The Still Of The Night (Cole Porter), Vissi d’Arte (Puccini) and Ave Maria (Schubert). Time Won’t Let Me was a high energy song that pushed me to do more in high school and college. I play it regularly for a little push when I need one. In The Still Of The Night has always touched my sentimental side and lead me to search for my wife of 40 years. It also inspired the internal rhyming that I use in many of my own songs. Vissi d’Arte is simply one of the best opera arias ever written and moves my soul, especially in considering life’s confrontations with others around me. It’s reflective and I enjoy that type of music. Ave Maria has always influenced my spirituality.

While there have been literally thousands of pieces of music that have collectively shaped my soul, these are the top four. I include a sample of all four here:

Time Won’t Let Me (The Outsiders)

In The Still Of The Night (Dion and the Belmont’s Version)

Vissi d’arte from the opera Tosca

Ave Maria (Helen Fischer Version)

(Note: This is the German version as originally written.)

So which songs have influenced you the most? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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From → America, History, Music

  1. KiM permalink

    Funny, I now have “In the Still of the Night” by Whitesnake playing in my head (Good song). I like classic rock and some heavy metal from the 80’s. Most songs bring back a memory of being someplace or someone, and it’s still my favorite type of music. I like contemporary Christian music too. Radio presets always include 106.9, 101.1 and 105.
    From our wedding Peter, Paul and Mary – Wedding Song “There is Love” and Stryper “All of Me”.
    From around the time my dad passed Mercy Me “I Can Only Imagine” and I can’t make it through “Amazing Grace” without tears. Hubby and I have ONE country song by Randy Travis but country, and classical are really are not my thing. Hubby always laughs at me when oldies songs come on and I know the words. Not sure how I know the words because I really don’t remember my parents or Grandma playing much music.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t say that a song influenced me, but a piece of classical music does stand out. It’s the Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. I had it played at my father’s funeral, and every time I hear it, I think of him. I think it is the singular most distinctive, emotionally inspiring work I’ve ever heard. A close second is Amazing Grace. Whenever I hear it, I am moved almost to tears.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I associate the Vienna Maiden’s Waltz with my father as it is the only piece of his music that we have. I found the 1931 recording on YouTube. It was recorded when he was Concert Master for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.


  3. Reblogged this on allenrizzi and commented:

    Wednesday thoughts on music.


  4. Marian Anderson-Boncato permalink

    My all time favorite song is Summertime by Billy Stewart! The song reminds me of the vigor of my youth and my first love. The next favorite is Angle City Chorale’s rendition of Africa by Toto. The song is masterfully presented and truly sounds like rain pattering on my home while to stay warm & safe inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So many over the years but in last decade it is Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Poncho and Lefty, Townes Van Zandt
    Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell
    Southern Cross, Steven Stills
    Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve also listened to Time Won’t Let Me to give me a boost, it keeps its uptempo from beginning to end. Another song from that era (maybe a couple of years after) that gets me going is Buffalo Springfield’s Mr. Soul, not quite as uptempo but it moves along at a nice, quick pace.

    Liked by 1 person

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