The Stone Roses :: My Top 10 Favorite Songs
The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut album came around to me during the Summer of my 20th year. I played it near non-stop that entire Summer. I blasted it while I drove up and down the coast with friends, I kept it on a lower volume while I spent time in bed with my boyfriend at the time, or while we talked about (and argued over) books and music, and through ear phones while I sat in a mathematics lab on my college campus, switching out music cassettes instead of the tutorial read-along’s.
Said boy wrote “I adore you” across my fogged up car back window one late night. We had been down by the ocean, sitting on the sand for hours, talking, and not talking. It would be one of our better nights together, one of those rare moments when our differences didn’t overtake our sames. We listened to his copy of the album on our way there, still singing-a-long to each other after the music had ended. Our love of music was the glue that kept us together long past our relationship’s suggested expiration date.
The boy and I were meant to see The Stone Roses play at a Hollywood High School, a show that was unfortunately part of a cancelled tour.
I used to write in composition books. Stacks and stacks were filled with stories, poetry and favorite song lyrics. I would give each book a title, usually inspired by a song or band/artist that I was loving at the time. One of those books from that particular Summer was titled “The Summer of Stone Roses and Stolen Kisses“.
A few years later, a very pregnant me could be found dancing around to Elephant Stone, from the B-Sides collection Turns Into Stone. The baby daughter that was born during the Turns Into Stone time now loves the band, wearing their band tee shirts and playing Love Spreads and I Am the Resurrection (her favorites) – loudly – whilst debating with me on which album is better, the self-titled, or Second Coming.
The Stone Roses impact carries on and on.
Following are my top 10 favorite songs:
“It takes all these things,
and all that time,
till my sugar spun sister’s happy,
with this love of mine.”
I wore pony tales tied high on my head that Summer, a vintage early 60’s look I was stealing at the time. When we would sing-a-long to this, my head bopping back and forth, he would play at grabbing my hair until finally catching it in his grip. We would kiss and half-smile and half-laugh, with this song still singing in the background, caught in the moment in the throes of a Summertime love.
“Don’t waste your words I don’t need anything from you.
I don’t care where you’ve been,
or what you plan to do.”
We came from two different backgrounds, differing families and friends who would most likely not speak to each other at a party. He took in all of my reality, seemingly thriving off the poorer existence, the “weird” friends and styles, the Hollywood club life, and the more open minds. That said, he kept me from all his life, every part and parcel of where he was from, giving me nothing in exchange for my each and everything I shared with him.
“When the storm outside is raging,
and the dogs they howl your name,
lay down and sleep ,
I’ll kiss you.
You’re star will shine again.”
Years pass and another Summer comes to mind, this time spent on the opposite coast with a boy who promised to give me his everything. We sat outside of an over-air conditioned motel room and talked about everything, Our past had the same ghosts, the same pitfalls and passions, and that Summer all our shared hopes were as high as the stars.
“It seems like there’s a hole,
in my dreams.”
There are a handful, or should I say two-sides of a cassette full, of songs that I played miles more than often while I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. I was a young Mother-to-be dealing with a lot of realities, above and beyond pending Motherhood, that weighed heavy on me. Music was my solace, my savior, my anchor, and this song was part of what was saving me.
“A girl consumed by fire,
we all know her desire,
from the plans that she has made.”
The world spun madly, and I was in love with the spinning. For a good long while my life got good, and I had all the expectations built sky high that this start of my twenties wild happy days would last. All things that go up crash down eventually, but at that time, in those moments, I felt like I had found “my one true life” I had waited and wished for.
“Chimes sing Sunday morn,
today’s the day she’s sworn,
to steal what she never could own,
and race from this hole she calls home.”
This one he said reminded him of me, the girl who was always running, talking to fast, tripping over herself in all the rushing to get away from a home that was never a home. He said once to me, with sad eyes, “I will never run fast enough to keep up with you.”
“I hear my song begin to say,
kiss me where the sun don’t shine.
The past was yours,
but the future’s mine.”
She had drums in her bedroom, they took up half the space, the other half filled with discarded clothing, both of ours, from all our trading of outfits and getting readys to go out. I always thought we’d move to some far away city, start a girl rock band, see the world together. Boys and babies got in the way, though the latter would be the gift in it all, but we kept connected, even when the drums and countless nights out were over.
“Join my tears,
allay my fears,
sent to me from heaven,
you are my world.”
I have always had a love of songs with girl’s names in them. For me, I cannot help but want to paint in the missing pieces of each girl, creating a story for them that goes on long past the song’s end. I have written a few stories about the Sally Cinnamon I imagine.
2. Love Spreads
“Let me put you in the picture,
let me show you what I mean.
The messiah is my sister,
ain’t no king man,
she’s my queen.”
On really stressful days I like to blast this one on high and scream-sing-a-long with the song. It is an explosion of sound, of sentiment, of emotion, that rises and falls like the ebb and flow of the ocean, and like the circles and drops of a roller coaster. By the end of the song I am on my way to feeling better.
“I don’t have to sell my soul,
he’s already in me.”
This may be the obvious choice, but I don’t mind being obvious. The honesty here in the sentiment is universal, collective and true. Don’t we all want to be adored?