Friday, February 20, 2009

Heart Songs and Miss Sweeney

These are my heart songs
They never feel wrong
And when I wake
For goodness sake
These are the songs I keep singin'

It's the chorus from "Heart Songs," by Weezer, on the Red Album. It's a good song, and all about the random songs and artists that influenced them, from Gordon Lightfoot to Bruce Springsteen to Debbie Gibson to Judas Priest.

I like the part of "Heart Songs" below. The lines are about Nirvana's Nevermind album, although Weezer never comes right out and says it:

Back in 1991
I wasn't havin' any fun
'Til my roommate said "Come on"
And put a brand new record on
Had a baby on it
He was naked on it
Then I heard the chords
That broke the chains I had upon me

I'm not a big Nirvana fan, but I can relate to how Rivers Cuomo and the Weezer guys felt about music that had a huge impact on them when they were younger. To hear the song, click here and press the play button on the black box on the right. The part about Nirvana starts around 1:35 into the song.

I'm not sure what a list of my own "heart songs" would look like, but it'd probably include early favorites like Brooks & Dunn and Paula Abdul (you know it), DMB and Pat Green from my college years, and stuff I like now by Dolly Parton, Kate Nash and Keane.

And also Weezer. Because they're JB's favorite band, and I had their Blue and Green albums memorized just from hearing them playing in his car when we were dating.

Anyway, all of this is a lead-in to something that happened a couple of days ago. Agent Kristin had a good post over at Pub Rants yesterday about how great music inspires writing. It was funny because I'd just had a music-inspired brain wave about my new novel (still in the idea stage) on Tuesday afternoon.

I was driving home from work and Weezer's Miss Sweeney (Red Album) came on, and it hit me that the song kind of works for the new novel I'm writing. Not because it tells a similar story (it doesn't) but it's about potentially unrequited love, in a sweet and funny way.

Also I just like the name Sweeney.

So thanks, Weezer. My MC's got a crazy cool name now: Jonquil Sweeney. "Quil" for short.

Here's Weezer performing an acoustic version of "Miss Sweeney" and, oddly enough, Rivers is acting it out. The girl dancing is kind of distracting, but funny and be sure to listen to the lyrics. I'm a sucker for great lyrics.


Lenore said...

My heartsongs include a lot of Tori Amos.

Have you heard Fly Away by Poe? This Woman's Work by Kate Bush? Those two songs really helped me grieve after my mother's death.

Number One Novels said...

I don't know that I have official haeart songs, but I know there are several Dido songs that inspire a story in my head whenever I hear them.

Lenore, that's how Tori Amos used to be for me. I'd listen to her music, and I wasn't hearing the lyrics so much as seeing the story built in my mind. Always inspirational.