A song that you first heard live, that you became instantly obsessed with

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wow, what a long-winded song challenge topic.

When I was a teenager, I had the tendency to be very, very loyal to my crushes. Meaning I'd hold onto a crush even when it was clear that the feelings were not mutual. I spent 3 of 4 years of high school enamored of this one guy. I have since realized that life is much too short and there are far too many fish in the sea to dawdle like that.

In my high school, we had something called Arts Day. It was one Wednesday a month, and it was basically a day of artsy shows in the auditorium teachers could bring their students to. I wasn't lucky enough to have particularly art-loving teachers, so attending one of these assemblies was rare. On one particular day in the tenth grade, I had a forgiving (or lazy) teacher who brought our class in for a show featuring a female a cappella group visiting from Yale University.

So the boy I'd been crushing on (for only a handful of months at that point) and I, along with the rest of our class, filed into the auditorium seats, with him sitting a couple seats diagonal in the row in front of me. The Yale girls went through a couple of songs, and then they launched into "It's Too Late" by Carole King, followed by "China" by Tori Amos.

While my 16-year-old self felt like these two songs were speaking directly to me in the moment, "China" had the greater impact on me at the time.

"China, all the way to New York
I can feel the distance getting close
You're right next to me
But I need an airplane
I can feel the distance as you breathe
Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
How can I when you build the great wall around you"

There I was, sitting in an auditorium in New York City, with the boy I adored less than an arm's length away, but I just couldn't get to him. I wondered what was going through his head as the girls sang the song, wondered if he knew that I liked him. Well ... he would eventually come to find out, because I would tell him in a particularly bold moment on a hot August night.

Other songs that fall under this category:
- "It's Too Late," Carole King
- "Leave The Pieces," The Wreckers (I'm not in love with this song, but I happened to see Michelle Branch back in spring 2004, I guess before The Wreckers officially formed, and she and Jessica Harp performed this song. I really liked the song at the time.)

China It's Too Late Leave The Pieces (Album Version)

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