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The Art of Picking a Theme Song

So let’s say someone commissions you to pick a “theme song” for them.  How does one go about picking the perfect theme song?  I know what you’re thinking, “Great question Ry, how DOES one go about picking the perfect theme song if someone were to ask you to pick a theme song for them?”, yeah I know, it happens to me all the time too!  Just kidding…

The way I see it, you’ve got three different options…

Option 1.  Pick a song that the subject would like.  Sadly enough, I have a friend who would love her theme song to be “Just a Girl” by No Doubt.  Yeah, I think that’s lame too (she’s not on myspace, so I don’t mind ratting her out), but she would totally eat it up.  The thing that would suck about this is that although she would love this selection, I would be embarrassed to have my name attached to this since No Doubt sucks so very much and Gwen should thank her lucky stars that Gavin has a decent album out now and wants to get back together to make a new Bush album and B-A-N-A-N-A-S is just retarded, excuse me “mentally challenged” (for all you politically correct nutjobs and McCain supporters out there).  

Option 2.  Pick a song that describes the subject.  I don’t necessarily mean a song that physically describes the person, but something that illustrates who they are as a person.  For instance, a song that might recount the overcoming of an obstacle, or the survival of a particularly bad situation, or perhaps a characterization of the subjects good traits.  Alanis Morrissette’s “Hand in My Pocket” would describe someone I knew in college to a “T”.

Option 3.  Pick a song that illustrates the person through your OWN eyes.  Instead of picking a trait, or situation, or occurence that everyone can agree would definitely be associated with the subject, go with the way you see the person.  I’m sure there’s something you see in a friend that other people do not.  Think of someone you know, that everyone seems to like.  That person might have several positive superlatives describing them.  On the outside everything looks like peas and carrots.  But on the inside, you know that person feels fake, hollow even.  They feel like they can’t be themselves, but have to put on the facade to please the proverbial people.  Instead of some happy theme song everyone can agree on, maybe The Wreckers’ “Stand Still, Look Pretty” would make more sense through your eyes.

If someone were to ask me to pick a theme song for them, I’d carefully consult my three different options.  Then I would immediately throw out Option 1.  I’d probably at first lean on Option 2 because it is much easier to find a song everyone can agree on that would describe a person.  After thinking about it a bit longer, I would be forced to throw out Option 2 as well.  The way I look at it, this person (in my hypothetical situation) has asked ME to pick out a theme song for them.  In a way, they want to know what I think about them, or rather how I see them as a person.  Option 3 is very similar to having a caricature drawn of yourself.  You have the artist do his “impression” of you.  Much in the same manner, if someone were to write a poem about somebody, it would certainly include the poet’s impressions of said somebody.  So as far as I’m concerned the only “actual” option that is available would be Option 3.  The only people that would choose Options 1 or 2 would be those that lack any type of artistic/creative flair and/or view snails to be their intellectual equals.

As you’ve probably guessed by now.  Someone has commissioned me to pick a theme song for them.  After some careful consideration I had picked out a song, and I thought it was a good song.  It described the person’s life situation as I saw it.  The song I picked was a bit dreary, but I still think it would have fit.  After thinking about it longer though, I noticed that even though this person could be down in the dumps from time to time, he or she would tend to try to make the best of a situation.  

I thought further on this and, in fact, I had stumbled upon a much better song, one that left things open for the potential of goodness.  The song I chose still references periods of confusion in one’s life and acknowledges past mistakes and indiscretions, but again it sheds a bright light on the future.

So, for the person that asked me to assist them with picking a theme song, and you know who you are, the preceding is my explanation and thought process.  Also, it has a mandolin in it, which I thought you would like…  For the rest of you, you mostly just wasted your time reading this.  

Your theme song is Eddie Vedder’s “Rise Up”.

Ry

ps…Thanks to all of you who have read my blogs over the past two plus years.  As of “press” time, there have been a total of 62 blog posts (not including this one, which is 63), 5077 blog views, 260 comments, and 79 kudos (of which nobody still seems to know what the hell these are, besides the tasty snacks we all had in our brown lunch bags…)

pps…Holy Shit!  I didn’t cuss one time!

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