Samara’s Mix-tape Submission

Happy Birthday, Samara!

For my pick in your birthday mix-tape, I selected (the below modified version of) Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender.”  The pounding rhythm of the song reminds me of your writing: a driving force that cannot be ignored.  The refrain easily stands in for your show-no-mercy posts.  You tackle sentimental and poignant topics in equal and measured strides, mixing current cultural issues with the experiences of your life.  This song resonates with me in so many ways, from the progression to the content, and for some reason I’m certain it resonates with you as well.  Plus, you are a Boss, too.

I hope you have a wonderful day.


She busted out of class, had to get away from those fools.
She learned more from a three minute record than she ever learned in school.
Tonight she hears the neighborhood drummer sound,
She can feel her heart begin to pound,
She’ll never say she’s tired and never close her eyes to follow her dreams down.

She made a promise she swore she’d always remember:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.
Like soldiers in the winter’s night with a vow to defend:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.

Now young faces grow sad and old and hearts of fire grow cold.
You swore blood curses against the wind.
You’re ready to grow young again,
And hear your brother’s voice calling you home across broken projects.
Well maybe you could cut someplace of your own,
With your words and their effects.

‘Cause you made a promise you swore you’d always remember:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.
Truth writer in the stormy night with a vow to defend:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.

Now on the ‘sphere tonight the lights grow dim.
The walls of your room are closing in.
There’s a war outside still raging,
you say it ain’t ours anymore to win.
You want to sleep beneath peaceful skies in your lover’s bed,
With a wide open country in your eyes,
And these romantic dreams in your head.

Because you made a promise you swore you’d always remember:
No retreat, baby, no surrender.
Blood poet in the stormy night with a vow to defend:
No retreat, baby, no surrender,
No retreat, baby, no surrender.


And here’s the original version for your listening pleasure:

it’s the beat

Initially I was going to share a story about one of the first times I stepped behind the decks to spin at a club: the songs I selected, the feeling of being there, the energy from the crowd, etc…  But then thinking about that I decided that it would be more fun to share the various songs that have shaped who I am over the years and what I associate with them now.

What follows is a list of emotions and situations and the song I pair with them automatically in my mind:

When I’m happy:

Bruce Springsteen – No Surrender

When I’m sad:

Gary Jules and Michael Andres – Mad World

When I’m angry:

Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade

When I’m lost:

Tiesto – Just Be

When I’m driving in the mountains:

Crystal Method – High Roller

When I’m nostalgic:

Simon and Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence

When I’m feeling romantic:

U2 – With or Without You

When I’m feeling heart-broken:

Foo Fighters – Best of You

When I’m getting ready to exercise:

Blink-182 – Go

When I’m tired:

Green Day – Brain Stew

When I think of music:

Solar Stone – Seven Cities

Obviously not a complete list… I didn’t even pull any Johnny Cash, any Offspring, any Mozart, any Insane Clowne Posse, any No Doubt…

So, put me in a situation, give me an emotion (in the comments), and I’ll tell you the song I put with it.


Put together as a thank you to Not a Punk Rocker for helping me reach this major milestone.   She requested/said: “You can write about music, good or bad, too.”

Well, how did I do?


Are you a faithful kingdomite?  Do you have a request?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can put together for you.  (And for all those who already have their requests in, don’t worry, I have them all written down and I’m already working on them.  Your posts are coming.)

Daily Prompt: My circle(s) of influence

Another day and another interesting Daily Prompt.  That’s three in a row I’ve done this week.  It’s getting to be a habit.

I did some research (consisting of a Google search) and it seems that the quote the daily prompt is referring to came from Jim Rohn.  Which is neither here nor there, but interesting all the same.  Then again, maybe he stole it from someone else.  It’s that kind of world.

Anyway, on to the heart of this post: I can definitely see how I am the average of the five people I spend the most time with.  I talk like them, I think like them, I enjoy the same activities; and that all makes sense, really, as we’ve grown together over the years, each of us influencing the other.  I’m happy with that.  I’m happy with who I am.

But, if I wanted to change-up my key 5 and interact with different people to become a different person, then who would I pick?  I’m going to cheat a bit and put together a couple different lists. 

It’s not like you could stop me anyway. 


List the First:

All of these are authors who’s writing styles or stories have influenced my own writing styles and who I aspire to be like (in terms of what they have been able to achieve through their works).  If I’ve been influenced as much as I have by them simply through reading their stories, imagine how much I could learn if I could interact with them on a more personal basis. 

1.1 – Stephen King
1.2 – William Shakespeare
1.3 – Terry Pratchett
1.4 – George R.R. Martin
1.5 – Margaret Weiss

What if I could kick back in Maine with Stephen King and share ideas over a beer, or in London with the Bard and a pint for that matter?  What if I could swap jokes with Terry Pratchett?  What if I could spend hours working with Martin on storyboarding and plot outlining?  What if I could come up with new fantastical characters and worlds with Weiss?


List the Second:

I’m a sucker for sports, but I thoroughly enjoy playing and watching pretty much all varieties of them; but I lacked the drive and the skill to really advance to a high level in any of them.  But, if I could have surrounded myself with some of the following, would that have turned out differently?

2.1 – Karch Kiraly
2.2 – Michael Phelps
2.3 – Ryan Giggs
2.4 – Phil Mickelson
2.5 – Mia Hamm

Each of these athletes exudes passion, skill, and determination.  They’ve all risen to the very highest levels while also balancing other aspects of life.  They may have been surrounded by others who helped them get to the top, but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it?  If I’d had them coaching me, offering advice, training with me, then maybe I could have found my own inner drive to excel at the sports I love.  If Karch had taught me how to pass?  If Phelps had taught me how to train?  If Giggs had taught we how to handle pressure?  If Phil had taught me how to drive?  If Mia had taught me how to shoot?  (Yes, two soccer references, that’s just the way it is.)


List the Third:

Music, music, music, music, music.  I guess if I boil down the things in life I am most passionate about they are (aside from my family and camping/backpacking – which we’ve already removed for the purposes of this exercise) writing, sports, and music.  I learned a couple instruments when I was younger and had aspirations of being in a band at one time, but I never really sought after that dream and eventually it got pushed to the side.  If I’d had these people in my life that would have been different for sure:

3.1 – Bruce Springsteen
3.2 – Bob Dylan
3.3 – Tijs Verwest (Tiesto)
3.4 – Billie Joe Armstrong
3.5 – Dave Grohl

Consistency and quality have marked all of these artists’ careers.  They’ve produced chart topper after chart topper and have continued to perform for decades with zero sign of their own passion or creativity declining.  If I’d had these people in my life that dream of being in a band would have been realized because they would have helped push me along that path, with Springsteen and Dylan helping me write songs, Billie Joe teaching me all about stage presence, Dave Grohl helping me learning pretty much every instrument ever used to produce a song, and Tiesto guiding the production side of everything.


So, to recap, I love my life.  But, if I’d had the people from the above lists to interact with on a regular basis then I would be even more amazing than I already am, right?  Right?