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Theme Songs for Mothers, Children, Writing and Life

October 7, 2010

It’s Thursday, past hump day.

Things have been a bit tough on the home front.

Let’s have some fun and talk about theme songs.

 If anyone is around my age, you watched the popular show, Allie McBeal, which only confirmed your absolute certainty that dating and men were crap, and Mr. Right will always screw you in the end. Even with the cool theme music at the end by the talented Vonda Shepherd, single women were basically depressed. We at least felt in good company when Allie suffered.

In one episode, Allie and her girlfriends had to pick a theme song . Picking a theme song is extremely personal and gives a glimpse into a character or at least a summary of where this character is in his/her life. Barry White was the ultimate musician and they used his songs to portray the characters in the show.

Let’s play.

Rules are simple: think of your life and then pick a song that will best describe where you are or what you believe right now. Theme songs change as life changes. For example, a close friend of mine is balancing a new baby, an active 3 year old and a full time job. She is stressed and tired all the time, and her spouse is like a ship that passes in the night between shifts.  Immediately, I term her theme song as Carly Simon’s, Coming Around Again.  Caught up with household and baby chores, sometimes you lose sight of your husband. I believe this is temporary and will lift and one day you will recognize the person you decided to spend your life with.  I lived that theme song myself a few times. Gotta love Carly.

When I was dating, my own theme song was from Queen, Another One Bites the Dust. No explanation needed there. I couldn’t get a relationship to get off the ground with a rocketship – everything just bit the dust. It was actually my entrance song at my wedding.  Joshua loves it too, he calls it the “pirate” song and sings the words around the house, having no idea what the words mean. Hysterical. At least he’s not lip syncing with Britney.

Another girlfriend of mine is going through a chaotic time in her life. Work stress, family stress, and personal stress. She is walking the tightrope and trying to keep positive. What’s her theme song? I told her straight out at lunch: Mary J Blige – No More Drama.

When my son was first born, before the post-partum depression struck, I was completely delirious with the experience of giving birth. I thought it was the coolest, craziest thing I had ever done in my life. After all, I fainted at the sight of needles and never rode a roller coaster. In 26 long hard hours, I had reached the pinnacle of pain, received the biggest needle ever known to man in my spine, and birthed a watermelon. For some reason, Creed’s song, Arms Wide Open just resonated with me.  I had a son, and I had all these intense dreams of him experiencing everything in life I could possibly give him. I wanted him to be open and not afraid. That was my theme song. I hope to dance with him at his wedding one day to that – if my future daughter in law will let me.

Let’s talk writing and characters. Picking a theme song is a fun exercise and can really help delve into your character. Music is such an integral passion in life – why not use it to create a better character? Just thinking of personality may help pinpoint a certain trait or experience to help in your writing.

When I was writing my book, All the Way, I constantly replayed Jan Arden’s song Insensitive. I had the image of my heroine’s last encounter with the hero after an intimate moment, and she realizes he is going to leave her. This was a turning point in their past relationship. I used this song as her theme song and deepened her motivations for why she couldn’t trust him.

And my theme song right now? Well, it’s the one that is constant – unchanging – and always playing in my head.


Just hearing the pounding notes makes me realize I can survive. I can do better than survive. I can triumph.

Here are a few suggestions and some of my personal favorites to fit my journey in life:

Mary J Blige – No More Drama

Carly Simon – Coming Around Again

TLC – No More Scrubs

Queen – Another One Bites the Dust

Barry Manilow – I Made It Through the Rain (no comments please. Barry rocks.)

Jan Arden – Insensitive

Creed – Arms Wide Open

Irene Cara – Fame

Chantal Kreviazulk–Feels like Home (my wedding song.)

Bruno Mars – I want to be a Millionairre

Daniel Powter – You Had a Bad Day

Pink – You Make Me Sick (good for dating and problem husbands)

Bette Midler – Baby of Mine (played all the time when my boys were babies)

What’s your theme song?

❤️ Leave a comment → 


  1. Paige Morgan says:

    David Bowie – Changes
    David Allan Poe – Take This Job and Shove It
    Travie McCoy – Billionaire
    Sinatra – Just the Way You Look Tonight (my wedding song)

  2. jennifer121 says:

    LOVE the list! Sinatra is the absolute best – good wedding song. I forgot I am now living Take This Job and Shove it. Will dowload to the Ipod.

  3. Wendy Marcus says:

    I have to admit, I love music, all types. But I’m terrible with song titles and artists. I am a huge James Taylor fan my faves You’ve Got a Friend, and Whenever I See Your Smiling Face. And right now it’s bugging the crap out of me that my brain will not allow me to retrieve any other song titles. Sorry.

    • jennifer121 says:

      Wendy, you crack me up – I do not want to stress you out! BUT I think you can say most of James Taylor’s hits put a huge array of themes on every part of life so you have it covered!

  4. All You Need is Love
    Good Day Sunshine
    I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends–The Beatles

    Welcome to the Freak Show–Ani DiFranco

    Wild World–Cat Stevens

    Thanks for the blog post and the inspiration!

  5. Love music from classical to hard rock. Lately Swan Lake and Beethoven’s Fifth ahve been pounding while I write.

  6. Liz says:

    My recent one is Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti (spelling?).
    It will keep me going thru the cold, dark days of winter. Sighhhh.

    Love the pic of you and the boys!

  7. Kimberly says:

    OMG what a can of worms you opened for me. lol
    The last few years has made me assign many a theme song for what was going on in my life (of course the fact that I owned the CD’s encouraged that) and the scenes are as follows:
    The last year of a troubled marriage – Mindy Smith “Raggedy Ann” and Beyonces “Listen”
    As she is leaving the marriage – Sara Evans “I learned that from you” and Rascal Flatts “I feel bad”
    The first year after she left – Sara Evans “A little bit stronger” and Jodee Messina “Bring on the rain”
    The second year after she left – Christina Aguilera – “Fighter” , Jodee Messina “My give a damn’s busted” and Rascall Flatts “Stand”
    How she feels now about the ex after 4 years of healing – Rascall Flatts – “My Wish”
    And finally about where I am now – Diana Ross “It’s my turn”
    Of course my own personal experiences were different than the one’s in these songs but the sentiments where right on. So there’s my list just remember you asked. lol

  8. 19th Nervous Breakdown

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