Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Songs for Frodo

Though there is always a lot of music in my life, I've found I tend to turn to it most in the most emotional or difficult times.  I have always enjoyed making mixtapes, or mix CDs, or now, apparently, YouTube/Spotify playlists, for myself or friends... the art of finding just the right songs, with just the right lyrics, in just the right order has been well-documented by many, not the least of which, of course, being Rob Gordon in "High Fidelity."


So, one of the first things I started doing after Frodo died was listening to music, finding some songs of solace for my broken heart.  Many of them weren't particularly dog-specific, but many were, so I decided to make a little (virtual) Dog Mixtape for myself.  There's some good stuff on here, so I thought I'd share it.  And until I can find some more words to write about him, this is a good substitute.  Thanks to all who sent me song suggestions!

(I know I should probably feel bad for using Spotify and YouTube for this, both of which probably pay songwriters actual pennies for using their work, so I promise I'll tip my local musician a little extra to make up for the bad karma.  If you enjoy this, you should do the same.)


Your Adorable Beast -- Bobby Bare, Jr.
This is the song I keep coming back to. Frodo looked so, so cute at the end of my leash.
"Obedient and true, loyal through and through, a fuzzy reflection of you."


Make Me the Man (My Dog Thinks I Am) -- Jimmy Scott
"If I was the man my dog thinks I am, I could do anything.... he must think my name's Superman"

I Love My Dog -- Cat Stevens
"All he asks from me is the food to give him strength
All he ever needs is love and that he knows he'll get....
All the pay I need comes shining through his eyes"

Ghost of a Dog -- Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
A little morbid, but once you get past the fact that they ran over their dog, it's actually quite sweet.

Everything Reminds Me of My Dog -- Jane Siberry
So perfect, so true. Best line: "If you remind me of my dog, we'll probably get along"

My Dog Ben -- Anuradha Javeri
A cute little ditty from a kids TV show. "He's my dog and my best friend"

Heavenly Day -- Patty Griffin
"The smile on your face I live only to see
It's enough for me, baby, it's enough for me...
Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here's a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few"

Good Friends -- Livingston Taylor
I feel like I should have known James Taylor had a singing brother.
"I'll stick by you through thick and thin, give you comfort, be your friend"

One Friend -- Keb' Mo'
I've loved Keb' Mo' for a long time, even before he sung that lovely version of "America the Beautiful" at President Santos's inauguration. This song just seals the deal.
"All I need is one friend, to get me through the day.
One friend, that never goes away."

Dog Dreams -- The Story
A pretty great description of what a lot of dogs probably dream about.

A Dog's Life -- Nina Nastasia
"It's a dog's life. I wanna lead a dog's life"

My Dog & Me -- John Hiatt & The Goners
"Buddy i coulda gone that extra mile, for an extra bark or an extra smile.
'Cause i never felt so free. It was just my dog and me"

Also noteworthy in a great song, "How many times can one dog pee?"

The Promise -- Tracy Chapman
"If you think of me, if you miss me once in awhile
Then I'll return to you, I'll return and fill that space in your heart"

I Would've Loved You Anyway -- Trisha Yearwood
Yes, I know it's Trisha Yearwood, I don't care.  It's a really sweet song.
"Not a second I would change, not a touch that I would trade
Had I known my heart would break, I would've loved you anyway"


Hard-working Dog -- Sesame Street/Xtatik & Machel Montano
On the Spotify version of this playlist, there's a much different version.  The one below is from Sesame Street apparently.  The other one is worth a listen too, if for no other reason than to make up for the Trisha Yearwood.

"Now some dogs can fetch a stick, other dogs will shake your hand, I even heard of a dog that can roll over"


One Friend -- Dan Seals
"If I had only one friend left, I'd want it to be you."

Cracker Jack -- Dolly Parton
"Cracker Jack would run to meet me after school each day
He'd jump and wag his tail and look at me as if to say 
'I love you and I've missed you and I'm glad you're home again'"

Old King -- Neil Young
"Was the best old hound dog I ever did know."

Old Shep -- Elvis Presley
You have to overlook the fact that he shoots Old Shep.
 "Old Shep he has gone where the good doggies go
And no more with old Shep will I roam
But if dogs have a heaven there's one thing I know
Old Shep has a wonderful home"

Old Blue -- The Byrds
I've always wanted to write a country song for Frodo called "I'd Jump In Front of a Possum For You" inspired by the time I had to intervene in a 3am stand-off in my backyard. Maybe soon.
"Blue chased a possum up a holler limb
The possum growled, Blue whined at him"

Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine -- Tom T. Hall
"Ain't but three things in this world worth a solitary dime:
old dogs, and children, and watermelon wine."

Little Red Dot -- Eef Barzelay 
"Don't worry and don't be afraid
don't worry, your beauty shall never fade

This is the last picture I took of Frodo, just a few days before he died.  He was sweet and loving and photogenic until the end.  

Frodo Baggins LeDuke Hamilton, Sometime in 2001-August 17, 2013

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