Soundtrack of My Life

If your life were a movie, what would be the soundtrack? What music, song, artist, band, score or composer have you heard playing in your head during life’s big moments — when you fell in love, became a parent, graduated from college, moved to a new location, met your best friend, experienced a significant loss, traveled overseas for the first time? What makes up your top 10 and why? Here’s one reader’s track list. Email yours to

1. Home | Daughtry: I heard this song for the first time just after an awful misunderstanding with the man I loved. I came home one day to find all of his things gone and a simple note on my pillow. I was devastated. I drove to see him and we talked things through, realizing what had gone wrong and renewing the promises we’d made to each other when we’d first met. In the car on the way back, this song came on the radio and it couldn’t have been more appropriate. As Daughtry sang about returning to a place where he belonged, I couldn’t help but be thankful that the love of my own life was coming home to me, with absolutely no regrets.

2. Suavemente | Elvis Crespo: My kids have a lot of Dominican friends. One night they were all hanging out at our house and this song came on in the middle of a mix CD. I loved it, to say the least, and my daughter’s friend and I made up our own dance on the spot. His family invites my family to a huge annual New Year’s Eve party and every year I ask the DJ to play this song just so we can do our dance. His family is always very impressed. And me, well, I feel like a total diva.

3. This I Promise You | *NSYNC: I heard this song when I left my veterinarian’s office just after my beloved 18-year-old cat Samantha — Sammy Sam — had passed away. Sammy’s health had been failing for a while and she had suffered a stroke that morning. I rushed her to the animal hospital but there was nothing the vet could do. An assistant brought her to me wrapped in a yellow blanket and I just held her in my arms for what seemed like forever. Crying my eyes out as I pulled away from the parking lot, I heard this song on the radio and the words took on a new significance. The void Sammy left was unbearable, but I took comfort in the knowledge that she wouldn’t hurt any longer.

4. Summer of ’69 | Bryan Adams: Every time I hear this song, it takes me back to my teenage years — doing stupid stuff with the neighborhood kids, getting into trouble and partying in the cemetery (yes, the cemetery). I remember hanging out with my best guy friend, who lived next door. Through all the dramas of teenage life, he made me laugh more than anyone. I treasure those times and the fact that we are still friends today.

5. I’ll Stand By You | The Pretenders: One of my best friends endured years of hardship with her husband. He was an addict, and through all of his struggles, successes and setbacks, she stood by his side and never deserted him. Good times, bad times, she stayed and supported him. When he passed away at far too young an age, I was keeping my friend company when this song came on. We looked at each other and didn’t say a word. We just cried.

6. Dance Bailalo | Kat Deluna: I was with my family on vacation in Florida, driving from one coast to the other. We were all having a great time, enjoying our first getaway in several years. Flipping from one radio station to the next, I landed on this song. It was so upbeat I just wanted to dance in the car. Now every time I hear it, I just want to get in the car and go.

7. Your Song | Elton John: When I was 13, my older brother bought an old upright Lester piano for a hundred bucks. He’d taught himself to play when he was away at college and wanted to continue practicing while he was home for the summer. He loved Elton John and this was the first song he’d learned. He offered to teach me to play it and we tried it as a duet, with him playing the left side of the keyboard while I was on the right. We were quite a duo, let me tell you, and this will always be “our” song.

8. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree | Brenda Lee: This song takes me way back to my childhood when we had one of those silver Christmas trees that changed colors with the help of a spinning color light wheel. The tree was set up in our living room and I used to put my favorite 45 on the turntable of our console stereo, lie under the tree and stare into the Christmas ornaments as this song played and the tree turned from red to blue to green to gold. Every time I hear it, I’m right there again, under that old aluminum tree.

9. Over You | Daughtry: My first marriage ended in divorce after 25 years, but that’s okay. Well, it’s okay now. Through all the ups and downs, and everyone telling me that everything would work out, I truly wondered if it ever would. Flash forward several years and I am happily remarried to a wonderful man. I listen to this song and I can say that, yes, things do work out. I never thought I would pull through, but I did, and I am so much better for having gone through it.

10. Open Arms | Journey: This song makes me think of melting into the love of my life’s arms and hiding nothing, happy to know that we connect on so many levels. It also reminds me that when you are truly in love with someone, it’s not always what you say that matters; sometimes, it’s what you don’t have to say that matters more.

Kathleen Tortu-Bowles is inspired by all types of music, as long as she can dance to it. She loves animals, runs her own pet care service and has done a great deal of rescue work over the years.


  1. Hi Kathy…This is way cool! I love “Home” too. I saw the Pretenders at the House of Blues in Vegas a couple yrs ago..they still rock!

    • Thanks, Maureen. I’m glad you get inspired by that song as well. It seems to hold a lot of meaning for so many people.

  2. Hi Jacquie,
    Thanks so much for commenting on my article. I am a huge Daughtry fan also, and writing about this song meant a lot to me. I am so happy that listening to it has made you appreciate all your loved ones and realize just how important they are in your life.

  3. Hey, my friend, you know how I love the Daughtry song “Home.” Just listening to it again makes me grateful for the people I have in my life and I thank you for sharing your life with me in this way. It was awesome : )

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