Playlist Swap (ft. Rebekkah @ Blue Pail Blogs)

In blogging, as in life, it's always fun to meet new people, and when a new acquaintance, Rebekkah from Blue Pail Blogs, suggested that we do a playlist swap, I said yes, and quickly found that you can learn a lot from swapping playlists with someone! We brainstormed twenty-one song categories (for the end of 2021!) and each picked a song in each category, so today I'm reacting to her choices in this post, and she's reacting to mine on her blog! Make sure you go over and check it out...

And without further ado, my reaction to the songs she chose! 

A song that you can't help but sing along with
How Far I'll Go//Alessia Cara

My Thoughts: I really like "How Far I'll Go"! It's the song of people everywhere who don't feel satisfied with the status quo, and want to change the world. This particular version isn't my favorite ever--I don't love everything that Alessia Cara does with her voice--but I do agree that it's a very sing-along-able song (even if I didn't end up singing along. :)).

A cover
Kiss the Girl//Stellar Kart

My Thoughts: This wasn't a way I'd ever heard the song--it's a rock version--but I really loved it! It felt like such a natural choice for a song to cover as a rock song, and the instrumentation was perfection. And honestly, I thought there was a certain humor to it: "yes, we are covering a weird Disney love song as a rock song" that the artists were conscious of, and it added something--almost meta-humor? 

(A) favorite Love Song 
One Call Away//Charlie Puth

My Thoughts: This one was really sweet! The boy is saying that he will be there whenever the girl needs him, no matter what, even when things get hard, and that she'll never be alone. It wasn't sappy, it was upbeat enough but not too upbeat, and the tone was just right! It did make me laugh, though, that Puth makes "me" rhyme with "day" and "away", by pronouncing it "may". XD 

Song with a color or number in the title
Blue Ain't Your Color//Keith Urban

My Thoughts: This isn't the type of thing I'd usually find myself listening to, but I like the way the singer plays with metaphor, especially around color--blue as a color and a mood, black and white as colors contrasted with blue, but also obviousness. So clever! And the music itself was laid-back and relaxing. 

A recent discovery
Promises//Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

My Thoughts: The message of this song was good--God always keeps His promises, especially through Jesus--but I did feel like it was a little too repetitive...and it didn't really touch me deeply in the same way that my favorite Christian artists--like Audrey Assad and Andrew Peterson--do. But it might just be because the theme wasn't what I needed at this moment. I did really like the lyric "You will be our God, we will be Your people", though, and how that was sung.

Favorite comedic song
Eat It//Weird Al Yankovic

My Thoughts: Weird Al is always so much fun (I actually gave Rebekkah a Weird Al song for this category, too)! I think I would have enjoyed it more if I knew the song it was based on (which I don't) but it was still funny! It definitely spoke to everyone who has ever tried to get a child to eat something they don't want to...which I have done. 

Least favorite song from your favorite group/artist
American Noise//Skillet

My Thoughts: I actually thought this one was quite profound--more so than I was expecting! The line "let Love cut through the American Noise" especially. We're surrounded by so much noise these days--social media, the news, TV, the radio, our phones, &c--and sometimes we just have to sing our own song to cut through that, or just sit in silence for a while. So, while the artists' vocal technique was not the best ever, I really enjoyed this song!

Favorite Christmas song
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel//John Berry

My Thoughts: This is a good favorite! I generally think of it more as an Advent song (Advent being the four weeks leading up to Christmas, basically, a time of prayer and preparation), but I do love it very much! This wasn't my favorite version ever, for two reasons: one, the singer pronounced Emmanuel strangely (yes, I am a little shallow, lol); two: the words to verses two and three were changed, those to verse three specifically to be "inclusive", which is one of my least favorite things that happens to Christian songs. XD 

Favorite Easter song
Christ the Lord is Risen Today//David & Noel Music

My Thoughts: This is a tune that I know, but the words have been changed, which I normally wouldn't like, except they've basically been changed completely, in a Biblical-ish way? So, I was expecting to dislike it, based on the first two lines, but I actually liked it quite a bit!

Favorite hymn
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus//Lauren Daigle

My Thoughts: Many of my friends at the Newman Center really like Lauren Daigle, so I was interested to hear another of her songs. But for some reason, the mood of this song felt off? Maybe it was the way it was sung? So, I think I liked the lyrics, I just thought that the music itself was not quite right for the lyrics. It felt weirdly...flippant? But that might just be a me thing--Christian music is not usually my thing, with a few notable exceptions. XD

Favorite a capella song
O Holy Night//Peter Hollens

My Thoughts: I really like both this song and Peter Hollens, and I thought he did a great job with it! I had never heard an a capella version of O Holy Night, I don't think, so it was fun to hear what he did with his own voice underneath to hold up the melody.

Favorite country song
All Your Life//The Band Perry

My Thoughts: This one was kind of sad, honestly. It's about a girl who just wants to be loved by this one specific man to the point where she's obsessed with him (not healthy) but he won't notice him. The song is catchy and sounds weirdly upbeat for the lyrics...I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one!

A song that's weird, but you love for some reason
Tear In My Heart//Twenty One Pilots

My Thoughts: I agree that it's a bit of a strange song, but I like it, too! The lyric that "Sometimes you've got to bleed to know/That you're alive and have a soul" hit deeply! And then the chorus takes that metaphor and runs with it, and it's so clever! And I love the part in the middle about her falling asleep in his sweet! I would 10/10 read a short story based on this song. 

Favorite rock song
Open Wounds//Skillet

My Thoughts: Hardcore rock music isn't really my thing--I'm especially not a fan of the scream-singing. And I feel like the singer is emotionally manipulating the person he's singing to, which I'm not a fan of, either. This one is not my favorite.

A song that inspires you
Leave A Light On//Tom Walker

My Thoughts: This song was all about the singer "leaving a light on" to guide his friend home to a "house on the hill" from the dark places where he (or she?) had lost himself, and it was SO SWEET, I loved it! The singer did do a bit of borderline scream-singing, but it was spare enough that I'm not going to complain about it. I liked this song!

Favorite instrumental
Counting Stars//One Republic (cover by Alison Sparrow)

My Thoughts: This was a really nice instrumental! Somehow, it sounded a little more melancholy and introspective than the original, and I appreciated that. (I am a sucker for melancholy and introspective.)

A song that you wish was a book
Don't Hold Me//Dean Lewis

My Thoughts: I WANT THIS TO BE A BOOK, TOO! I need to know what the mistakes are that he's running from, how she found him, and how he ended up loving her so much that he can let her go like that, so she won't get hurt! This song was SO sweet! <3

Favorite sad song
I miss you//Hollyn 

My Thoughts: That was short and simple, but it hits hard--this woman is simply missing her ex-boyfriend from all the little things that they used to do together and describing her grief in brief ways that feel like little bullets...and she's trying to convince herself that she did the right thing. But did she? There's complexity below the surface.

A song you find yourself singing randomly while doing other things
Mahna Mahna...m//The Muppets

My Thoughts: Why are the Muppets so weird? XD XD That was hilarious, especially the end, but the question do you sing that all by yourself? I'm now quite curious. 

A song that made you tear up
Eustace Scrubb//Sarah Sparks

My Thoughts: Why was that SO beautiful?? It perfectly captured Eustace's journey in a song, something that I was skeptical anything could do. I now want to go listen to everything else this artist has done, which, believe me, is not a common reaction that I have to music. I see why this made you tear up! It has a melancholy tiredness to it that's just perfect, but at the end there is also hope. Lovely.

Favorite song from a musical
God Help the Outcasts//Heidi Mollenhauer

My Thoughts: I really love this song--it might be my favorite in The Hunchback of Notre Dame! There's so much pathos and even irony built in, with Esmerelda wondering if Jesus was ever an outcast (hint: that's a big ol' yes) and the townspeople praying for wealth and power, while all Esmerelda wants is God's help, and the assurance that she's a child of God. <3 The music supports the words perfectly--I love the melody and the orchestration!

What's your favorite a capella song? What's your worst musical pet peeve? Have you ever done a playlist swap? Heard any of these songs?


  1. I'm not familiar with very many of these! I think "God Help the Outcasts" is the only moment from The Hunchback of Notre Dame which would make me ever, ever want to watch that movie again. (I was...scandalized by it as a teen.) (....but then again, I'm not a teen anymore, so maybe I wouldn't be scandalized? maybe it'd be my new favorite Disney movie?)

    The first a capella song that comes to mind is Pentatonix's "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Of which I am a fan. That song always makes me think of A Christmas Carol. Even when it's sung in jazzy a capella. XD

    My worst musical pet peeve country songs? Shallow lyrics? Although sometimes lyrics that strike me as shallow at first turn out to be pretty thought-provoking when you give 'em a chance, so. I also really hate that sound effect they always use in rap that sounds like a monkey screaming? REALLY hate it. Talk about nails on chalk board. I cannot bear it. ...Except in "The Ten Duel Commandments" from Hamilton. Hamilton can do no wrong. XD

    1. I definitely get being scandalized by Hunchback! I don't think I ever did...but maybe because I watched it when I was an older teen, not when I was a young teen. It's definitely not a movie I'd show to little kids. (I do think you might like it more now? But it also depends on whether you've read the book or not, haha.)

      Oh, I really like that one! (Did you know it's in the 2018 Grinch? They actually put the Pentatonix "God Rest Ye" in a Grinch movie, and I LOVE it.)

      That's true, lyrics that seem shallow at first can definitely have a lot of depth once they're given time. One reason why I listen to music over and over again AND get so worried when I share it with people the first time--I worry that they're going to think it's shallow and not want to listen anymore.
      Hamilton can, indeed, do no wrong, even when utilizing screaming monkeys. XD

  2. My musical pet peeve is when my old a capella choir would shift keys accidentally, and it made me irritated, because I'm the only person who can sense it (I'm imperfect perfect pitch, as I like to call it)


    1. Oh yeah, that would drive me crazy, too! (Maybe I have imperfect perfect pitch as well...or maybe that's just a trained ear. ;))

  3. I've heard of all of these. *Blinks innocently*

    Hiya! Thank you so, so much for swapping playlists with me! I've learned a lot too and found some new favorite songs!

    I just got around to publishing my half, I'm so sorry!

    I absolutely loved reading your thoughts on what are some of my favorite songs. It's so cool to see them from a different perspective. And yes, I would LOVE a short story based on Tear In My Heart!

    And you sing Mahna Mahna by singing just the chorus (mah na na na, du doodu du) eighteen times. ��

    1. What? I'm shocked. XD

      Hello! You're very welcome! I had a lovely time, so thank you for suggesting it.

      No problem! I tend to publish my posts Very Early, so it didn't faze me that you hadn't put yours up yet. :)

      I'm so glad you liked reading my thoughts! I really enjoyed your different perspective on my songs, too (I'm gonna go comment on your post in a minute! Or when I have time. A comment will be commented, I promise.) It's just a very short-story-able song!

      Ah. Okay. Wow, I can only imagine how much the rest of your family loves that. XD

  4. This is suuuuuch a cool idea, I love it!

    "Eat It" I knew was a "Beat It" parody the second I saw the title, and even before I listened to it I started coming up with lines of my own. That's a really fun one.

    I've heard about Sarah Sparks' Narnia music for years, and still never got around to listening to it. When I started the Eustace song it was like oh, this is nice but not really my style...and then by the end I was so in love. That was gorgeous.

    I didn't get a chance to listen to it yet, but I love "Kiss the Girl" (don't ask why, I just do) and I NEVER KNEW HOW MUCH I NEEDED A ROCK COVER OF IT IN MY LIFE. I will be listening to this ASAP.

    My favorite a cappella song is the four-part O Holy Night arrangement my sister and I wrote two Christmases ago. I don't care if that's conceited. It's a gorgeous song and we did a great job. XD

    I don't know what my WORST musical pet peeve is, but I hate when singers close down on their R's halfway through a syllable. And when modern artists cover Christmas carols and boring-ify the melodies. And when there's a gorgeous choir with a soloist singing over it and I JUST WANT TO HEAR THE CHOIR, TURN THE SOLOIST'S MIC DOWN A SMIDGE. And certain kinds of twang in country music. And horribly obviously autotuned rap. And rap in general because I'm an old person in a young person's body. And I should really stop now, I have a lot more musical pet peeves than I realized, eeesh. XD

    Also I think the link to Rebekkah's blog isn't working right??? It just took me to my Blogger feed...

    1. Hi! Here's a link to my blog, hopefully it works :).

    2. Or you can click on the name of the blogger on the comment (Right before the comment) and be shown what their blog(s) is/are.

    3. It is a cool idea! I'd never considered it, but now I kind of want to do more...

      I did go listen to some of the other music, and it didn't speak to me quite as much, but I'm wondering if that's just because I didn't have the lyrics in front of me like I did for Eustace? But the Eustace one was GORGEOUS.

      Ooh, I BADLY want to hear your and your sister's O Holy Night arrangement!

      Oh man, all of those are good (bad?) musical pet peeves! Especially the boring-ifying of Christmas carols. Or worse: when they change the LYRICS of Christmas carols to make them boring/politically correct/whatever, and it TAKES ALL THE MEANING OUT OF IT. Gah. Yeah, I don't do rap either, other than Hamilton, because I am also an old person in a young person's body. Or something. XD

      The link should be fixed now! Thanks for letting me know!

  5. This is such a interesting idea for a post! I was really curious how it would work because I feel like music taste is harder to match someone with because some songs are just 'I like this' and someone else hates it but then that's kind of the same for everything so I don't know why I'm as surprised that it worked out as well as it did.

    1. Well, I did find it takes a certain amount of work to *figure out* why I like or dislike a song, so that was a really useful exercise for me within this post, for sure! But I never thought about it like that--in retrospect, I'm rather surprised it worked out, too.

  6. "Tear in My Heart" is a weird but sweet song. :) I am kind of partial to most Twenty-One Pilots though.
    I love the Muppets. I grew up watching the original show and movies, so it's very nostalgic. There are some pretty fantastic moments and songs in there. It is really weird. ;)
    I discovered the Narnia inspired Sarah Sparks album last year (I think) and I love it! I had never heard any of her music before. The Eustace Scrubb song is definitely one of my favorites on the album.
    I ADORE The Hunchback of Notre Dame, though "God Help the Outcasts" isn't my favorite song. I really love "Out There". All the music is so beautiful.

    1. Indeed. :) I haven't listened to much TOP (they're musical style isn't always my favorite) but they always have really thought-provoking lyrics!

      The Muppets are always so fun! I didn't watch the movie(s) until I was a little older (because my younger siblings were scared of them, go figure) but they're definitely ones that I can see myself revisiting and still enjoying even now!

      From what I've listened to of the others, I definitely think Eustace Scrubb is one of my favorite songs on that album, too.

      It's such a wonderful movie! It would never be made nowadays, which I think is part of its charm. I don't know if I remember "Out There"...I'm going to have to go listen to it!

  7. This is such a great idea! I loved the reactions. I want to try this now!

    1. It was a really fun time, so I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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