Last month I was lucky enough to spend my 39th
birthday in Chicago with my husband and friends. Of course,
dancing was one of the "musts" on my list, but the DJ wasn't taking
requests and the music was not very good. Such a bummer,
because it's such a miracle to be out for the night without kids,
and a few of my favorite songs would make the night complete.
In college my friends and I were so intent on hearing good
music, we would show up to fraternities and parties with our own
mixed tape (yes, this reference ages me…).
I have been known to hoard the jukebox, and even now, listening
to music in the car with my husband and children is a constant
negotiation. But I think most people feel similarly: it's a
gift to hear music that makes you happy.
So it got me thinking about my ideal play list for a night of
dancing (like the guy from High Fidelity, even though I
know this list would appall him), and I think I narrowed down my
top ten. These songs inspire me to move it-move it, but it's
eclectic to say the least, so hold onto your hat…
1. Alejandro - Lady Gaga
This could have been Bad Romance, Telephone, or Paparazzi, I
love every song off The Fame Monster, but if you drive by
me in my minivan, this is probably the song I'm singing. And
my 2 year old must agree, because I hear her singing to her dolls,
don't call my name, don't call my name….
2. Good Vibrations - Marky Mark and the Funky
I have always had a thing for Mark Wahlberg, so it's easy for me
to like this song, but it's also just a great classic dance
song. Everybody knows it and it makes you want to dance, run
or do step aerobics (another aging reference…)….come on come
on, feel it feel it…
3. Armageddon It - Def Leppard
Much to my Depeche Mode-loving roommate's dismay, I showed up at
college with my hair-band music collection (you are a good friend
Andrea…). But seriously, some of these hard rock songs are
still a lot of fun, especially the songs from Def Leppard's
Hysteria. While everyone else loved Pour Some Sugar
on Me, I enjoyed this one, and I have great memories of my friend
Lara and I playing it at opportune times…are you
getting it, a really getting it….
4. Good Beat/Groove is in the Heart -
These are the first two songs off The Very Best of
Deee-Lite, and as the title says, they have a good beat.
They are retro and catchy, and I've always been especially attached
to the lyrics…
Depending on how you see a thing
The ship is free, or is it sinking
Depending on how you see it
You cage your mind, or you free it
Depending on how you see the times
The world divides or it closely binds…..
5. Dynamite - Taio Cruz
Nothing deep about this song - the first words are actually
I came to dance dance dance dance…but I liked it
immediately and it puts me in a good mood. Not sure if this
song has staying power on this list, but right now, I can't get
enough of it.
6. Something Like That/I Like it, I Love it -
There is something about country music that really makes me
happy - most likely the authenticity and the great
storytelling. I want to grab my cowboy hat when I hear Tim
sing about his truck and heading out to the county fair - it feels
simple and fun.
7. 4 Minutes - Madonna and Justin
Easy pick because these are two of my favorite performers…and
because it's been known to cause dancing in my kitchen….tick
tock tick tock tick tock
8. Peace Frog - The Doors
My husband is a Doors fan so their music has become a part of my
life, and this song is by far my favorite. You put this song
on and people just start to move, even if it's just their head or
shoulders. Heavy lyrics, but the music is so light and
9. Complicated - Poi Dog Pondering
I only knew two songs when I went to my first Poi Dog concert,
but this Chicago band had so much energy and enthusiasm, I ended up
dancing as if I had been listening to them my whole life. To
this day I have never experienced anything like it, and this song
is a great anthem and reminder of my 20's..…I @$#% up so many
times in my life, I wanna get it right this time…..
10. Optimistic Thought - Blues Traveler
When I hear this song I see myself in my navy Alpha Phi
sweatshirt and baseball hat surrounded by my best friends,
dancing. Could be 2:00 in the afternoon or 2:00 in the
morning - it epitomizes the freedom and joy of college. And
how can you help but feel joy with words like these…..
Life I embrace you
I shall honor and disgrace you
Please forgive if I replace you
You see I'm going through some pain
But now I see clearly
And the dawn is coming nearly
And though I'm human and it's early
I swear I'll never forget again….
I know what you are thinking……there isn't a club or DJ in the
world that would play this list for me. So I guess on my
40th birthday, I'll just have to bring my own mixed
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.