Songs That Got You Through

“Taking it all the right way
Keeping it in the back
Taking it all the right way
Never no turning back”

David Bowie

I feel that music is in our souls. It’s in our heartbeat, the air we breathe, and our dreams. I have to take a moment to pay tribute to the songs that got me through the hard times over the years. I hope this makes you think of the songs that have helped you, as well.

Teenage Heartbreak

I thought for sure I was going to marry my high school sweetheart. Nope, it didn’t happen (thankfully)! He broke up with me and left me heartbroken, confused and embarrassed.

What helped me heal? The Fabulous Poodles’ one hit wonder, Mirror Star! Actually, I don’t know anyone else who has ever heard of this band or their song.

Mirror Star is a song about overcoming humiliation and succeeding in life, despite your beginnings. It’s a song about realizing your dream and having confidence in yourself.

In The Navy

I think if you’d ask people in my graduating class who was the least likely to join the military, it would be me. This was never on my radar. I was timid and afraid to venture far from my comfort zone.

But in 1982, on a whim, I enlisted in the Navy, and never turned back.

Boot camp was a bit of a struggle, in the physical sense. Mentally, I was all in. The yelling of the company commanders could never compete with being raised by a spitfire Sicilian/American mother and an intimidating father.

But running on the grinder every afternoon in 100-degree Florida heat was a challenge, and I owe my success to David Bowie’s Right from the Young American album. This was a song that churned in my brain all through the rigorous workouts, helping me through boot camp.

Bump in the Road

In the late 1990s music kept me sane through a period of mental challenges.

Luckily, one of my favorite bands at the the time, Cake, helped me deal with anger and confusion with their cover of I Will Survive.

This song is a powerful anthem that helped me regain clarity, self-confidence and poise.

Move to Northern NY

After retirement from the Navy and relocation to northern New York State I can look back on all the songs that got me here with a smile in my heart.

I have now lived on the St. Lawrence River for nearly 20 years and I mainly listen to instrumental smooth jazz. Some might call it elevator music, but I call it happy music!

Also, I’m loving anything by John Batiste. I find his music to be spiritual and uplifting, which fits nicey with my peaceful and joyous lifestyle.

This is just a tiny sampling of the music that has helped me cope over the years. If music has been an important part of your story, like it has been for mine, please let me know the songs that have helped you along the way.

Thank you for reading! – Barb, the River Blogger (Btrb)

Feel free to reblog anything I post. I welcome all comments and discussion.

A dapper looking gent!


  1. Great post!

    Two songs played continuously when I secretly left a cult I’d been involved with for thirty years.

    “What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson and “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield.

    It was very hard for me to walk away from everything I’d ever known. I’d left once a few years earlier but then came back. In retrospect, I realized I’d had what most people call a nervous breakdown…I needed to escape in order to survive. But I believed in the philosophy and I returned a couple of months later…promising myself to never allow myself to push my sanity to the extreme again. Several years in, I found myself back in that sanity stealing situation and knew I had to leave again. This time for good. I felt very much like a failure but my sanity was more important and I knew that I had survived leaving once and could do it again. The first song gave me the determination to stay the course.

    As I walked away, my phone ringing off the hook as my angry boss was searching for me, I listened to the screaming message, turned off the phone and continued walking down side streets I’d never been on…staying off the more populated routes. With each step, my heart fluttered and tingled. I felt free…and scared at the same time. The second song expanded that freedom feeling, giving me hope for a beautiful future. As I walked into the unknown…I knew I had a better life ahead of me.

  2. I love your post on music that got you through. You have an interesting set for sure. I have not heard of the first you as you indicated. I will have to check it out. Seems like you are living in a beautiful spot! Love the dog!

  3. I love this post! There are so many songs that are part of my DNA, I think. Pretty much anything that folk singer songwriters Carly Simon, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Carol King, Billy Joel and so many others have written – and many country artists as well. When we listen to the words of their songs that were written 50+ years ago, it feels like they were written today – still so relevant. If I had to pick one song, I think it would have to be You’re So Vain by Carly Simon. It empowered me to believe in my own worth.

  4. Great read. All the decades from 1960s have thrown so, so many songs of importance my way. As a musician it doesn’t interfere with accepting a song that touches emotionally. I don’t listen analytically or try to work out it’s chord structure. Certain songs are always there in belonging to your own personal Nirvana. Music and aroma both chase down and bring about memories regarding the personal specifics that exist in one’s life. That’s priceless. All the best and thanks.

    • I do find myself working out notes and chords, visualizing how I would play songs on my piano, flute or mandolin. That is why it is so refreshing to find those songs that transcend beyond analysis and speak directly to our souls.

  5. ‘Crimson and Clover’ by Tommy James, (my heartbreak song), Phil Collins, ‘In The Air Tonight, ‘Alone’ by Heart, Bon Jovi, ‘It’s My Life’, ‘Hallaulah’ (or anything) by the Pantatonics,….too many to mention, but they all touch my soul in a special way. I haven’t heard of many of your songs, but that’s the beauty of music – it is individual to the listener, and what speaks to you may just be background to me. What a gift – nothing marks the passage of time like music.

  6. “We are family” ….I got all my sisters and me…right now I feel like I could keep singing it- in my head
    A song of triumph and solidarity for ny family through good times(weddings, births) and bad , family deaths, illnesses etc

    • Great song for sure! I have three sisters and no brothers. Twenty years ago all four of us danced arm-in-arm at my niece’s wedding to this song. Sadly since then, we’ve all grown apart. But we had that one day…💕👯‍♀️👯‍♀️ 💕

  7. “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen got my family through every PCS.

    “Rooster” by Alice and Change” got me through many a dark drive home in the Mojave Desert, west of Death Valley.

    But that’s not the “Rooster” story you were thinking of. 😜

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s