Tuesday, June 21, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 21: A Song That You Listen To When You're Happy

The prompts for today and tomorrow's 30 Day Song Challenge seem a bit repetitive to me. You may remember that back on Day 3 and Day 4, we were supposed to pick a "song that makes you happy" and a "song that makes you sad," respectively. And now, on Days 21 and 22, we're to pick "a song that you listen to when you're happy" and "a song that you listen to when you're sad." Since I'm trying to take this Challenge seriously, I've been struggling to figure out what the difference is between a "song that makes me happy" and a "song that I listen to when I'm happy." I've decided the latter must be a song that makes you happi-ER, since it's something that you choose to listen to when you were already happy and I think it's safe to assume that nobody reaches for his or her iPod in order to become sad.

Now, that's a challenging pick. I mean, I've got to find a song with a whole load of happiness in it. So much happiness, in fact, that if I was already happy I would not only listen to it, but get happier doing so.

I'm pretty confident that this one does the trick. It's on my "Driving" playlist that I mentioned the other day (on Day 18), definitely a roll-down-the-windows and crank-it-up summer Car Song. It's also one of those songs (like Al Green's "Love and Happiness" or the Stones' "Beast of Burden") that is recognizable right from the opening lick, which in this case is a super-groovy one. Here it is, The Staples Singers' "I'll Take You There" released as a single on Stax Records in 1972:



I mean, who doesn't get happier thinking about a place where nobody's crying, nobody's worried, there's no lying to the races, and where The Staples Singers are going to take you? (Though there is that weird line about "ain't nobody smiling," too. I never really understood that. Can someone explain it to me?) I saw Mavis Staples perform this here in Memphis a few weeks ago, and I can verify that this song makes a LOT of people happy. Once she got going, concertgoers young and old all threw their heads back and their hands up, starting swaying side to side, and sang along the "I'll Take You There" lines with full abandon. It was about as close to church as I've ever been at a concert.

As a matter of fact, I'm listening to the song right now as I write this entry. And, yup, sure enough, I definitely feel happier.

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