The Songs of Our Lives

Think of a song that means a lot to you. Chances are it means so much because it’s in some way connected to an important event in your life, such as falling in love, travelling to a magical place, mourning a loss or overcoming adversity. These songs form the soundtracks of our lives, inspiring, reassuring and uplifting us.

In my new novel, Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow, I explore the power of music through one of the main characters, Stevie. When Stevie’s dad died he left her his record collection and a notebook titled: Stevie’s Little Book of Big Song Wisdom. In the book, he recommends certain songs for specific issues, such as; Songs That Make You Happy to be Alive and Songs to Make You Feel Unstoppable. Stevie uses this book – and the songs recommended in it – to triumph over adversity.

To celebrate the release of the book I asked people to share with me the stories behind the songs of their lives. What follows is a truly heartwarming celebration of music and how it can help us in so many ways. Enjoy!


Sunday Bloody Sunday changed the way I viewed the world…

The song Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 means the world to me because of the story it tells. When my dad told me the story it blew me away. I listen to the song on a daily basis and it really gets me thinking about the world. Sometimes I think that the world is a place of chaos. The song Sunday Bloody Sunday reminds me a lot about the Soweto Uprising in South Africa. And makes me think about how us as humans can really do some of the most despicable things. The fact that we judge one another by skin colour and by religion proves how inhuman we can be. We’re living in a world ( I feel) where you can’t just be you. Every one of your moves is monitored and commented on. We are so pressured by society to act a certain way and to do certain things. As I teenager I’ve never had a boyfriend or kissed anyone ( I’m 15) and every time some other teenager hears this they’re shocked. “You’ve never had a boyfriend?” It’s almost as though you’re expected to be a Barbie doll. Manufactured to be perfect. If you listen to certain music other than your usual Post Malone or Beyonce it’s judged. I often feel like the world expects you to be flawless and sorry but that’s impossible. We’re so inconsiderate to other people and their feelings. Why can’t we just live in peace, with no murders, racism or bulling. The world is so fickle and some people act so fake because they’re scared of what people will think of them. I think we just need to allow each other to be confident in our own skin. Not someone else’s. – Nicole.



Nothing Else Matters got us through our darkest days…

When Gra and I got back in touch after many years (and when we were both in equally unhappy relationships with other people) he introduced me to a band called Linkin Park. It was instant love and the first CD I had bought in years! Time went by and after many months we decided to meet again for a catch up. After a few drinks he came back to my flat to call a cab. Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park went on… and the speakers failed. Gra tried to fix them and Crawling came on as our eyes met and something changed in that moment. Many months of angst, guilt and painful times followed but we never gave up…. and In The End – Nothing Else Matters. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica has always got us through the times when everything has seemed dark and desperate. When we get married it will be our song. – Shirley

Graham and Shirley – Nothing Else Matters


Airfield helped me deal with medical issues…

The song that means the world to me is the slow piano ballad Airfield by British rock band Enter Shikari from their album, The Spark. The reason it means the world to me is because of the lyrics. The song is about adversity, and how – no matter how dark and rough things get – there will always be a positive on the other side. Many musicians have done this message to death in songs, but with Airfield, Enter Shikari’s frontman and songwriter, Rou Reynolds, cleverly uses the metaphor of an airfield to describe both the state of despair, and the hope of positivity on the other side. The lyrics also talk about the comfort and help that loved ones can provide through adversity and the courage to continue on through the darkness. These lyrics have helped me through incredibly tough times, like the stress of dealing with various medical issues. They lyrics have also provided me with the comfort that I can get through whatever is happening when I’m feeling like nothing is going right. I also adore this song because when I went to see Enter Shikari live in concert in July and they played Airfield, Rou Reynolds came up onto the balcony of the venue, and stood right in front of me to sing the song. That is the greatest moment of any gig that I’ve ever been to. – Katie.

The Spark featuring Airfield by Enter Shikari


Moon River made me see that I could do and be anything…

The first time I heard Moon River I cried. It was late at night and I was in my room, bored and looking for good music when Moon River by  Audrey Hepburn came on. The song spoke to me in so many ways that no person ever really could. The line “two drifters off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see” really got to me because it was only then that I realised I could actually do more than I had in mind. I realised that I could do anything and be anything. The song will always make my heart sing no matter what. I love the emotions you can feel in the song. The whole song just makes me feel like I can do so much in life and that I can very well try to change the world. – Charleigh


Ordinary World helped me mourn the loss of my best friend…

Ordinary World has always been a favourite of mine from my teenage crush band, Duran Duran. Having kissed numerous posters of Simon Le Bon in my youth this song was added to my list of favourite Duran songs. I loved the way his voice soars in it and also the emotion. I didn’t really listen to the words of the song or look for a deeper meaning, I just liked the melody. But then, after the tragic death of my best friend in October 2017, I turned to music as a source of comfort to help make sense of her untimely death. I found myself listening to songs from specific periods in our lives to remember road trips or going out to certain places. Some songs were particularly painful to listen to so I searched for music that didn’t have an immediate connection to my friend. One day, when I listened to Ordinary World in my car, it just spoke to me. I listened to it again and I found myself completely identifying with it. The song describes a sense of loss and how the world in which you are in after a loss is completely different to the one you were in before. It talks about needing to find a new ordinary in order to feel comfortable and happy. To me the song is about bereavement and grief but it could also be about a lost love. I find it comforting that although you can be in the depths of the grieving process you will still find a new ordinary world to live in, however painful that is. One other way in which the song resonates with me is that grief is such a personal thing. You can be in the midst of it, on the grief journey, and oblivious to what is going on in the world, such as wars / major news / Royal weddings / World Cup matches. Whilst the world might have stopped for you, life marches on. – Claire.

Claire (right) and her best friend

What song means the most to you and why? Let me know in the comments below…

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow is out now. Find out more or order a copy here.

I was stunned into silence at the beauty of this book. It leaves you inspired to help make the world a better place. A must read for everyone.” Addicted to Books

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