those song that give you goosebumps

*Warning – Expletives used in this post (to emphasise the emotion)*

There has been a lot of hate in this world lately, I’ve been inspired by One Love Manchester to create a list of songs that give you goosebumps – those that make you feel… The joy of music is that it makes you feel.

U2 – With or Without You

So everybody probably knows this song. I associate it with my teenage angst and the novel turned movie, Looking For Alibrandi. A tale of searching for who you are – who are you?

“If I could be anything but what I am, I would be tomorrow. If I could be what my father wants me to be, then maybe I could stay for that, too. If I could be what you want me to be, I’d want to stay. But I am what I am, and all I want is freedom.”

This takes me back to my English HSC exam in 2006. This was my chosen related text for “journeys”, you know – the journey you take to find yourself or whatever it is you need to find. I will never forget writing this quote in my essay about journeys – in the end, you find yourself with or without whoever it is you think they may be… I digress… This song shaped so many generations. I’m the last one to laud U2 but this fucking song is everything. It means hope, it means despair, it means ultimate sadness and ultimate happiness… I don’t know – it just makes me feel.

Bon Iver – Calgary 

This FUCKING song. I just don’t even know where to begin. I know I’ve waxed lyrical about this bloody song so many times. I cannot emphasise how important this song is to me – it got me through my first ever university exams. I passed with flying colours and won a Scholarship to Georgetown University thanks to this song (and fucking hard work) This song is about a place you’ve never been, or somebody from a place you’ve never been. I don’t know. It just KILLS me every single time. A musical masterpiece from one of my favourite bands ever to exist, Bon Iver, I often fall back on its dulcet tones in my hours of despair. What can I say? it makes me feel.

Coldplay – Fix You

I’m the first to admit that I haven’t been a massive fan of Coldplay since their first album, but FUCK, this song could elicit tears from a stone.

“lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
and I will try to fix you” 

If you can honestly tell me this song doesn’t give you the feels then I really don’t know what’s wrong with you – are you a robot? this song is the With or Without You of the 00’s (don’t quote me on that).

Fleetwood Mac – Landslide

“well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
’cause I’ve built my life around you
but time makes you bolder
even children get older
and I’m getting older, too”

There’s those themes again – growth and change. Two of the most terrifying concepts for adults… I’ve always had a soft spot for Stevie and the rest of Fleetwood Mac but this song encapsulates what it is to grow older, feel the burden of caring (almost too much) and realising that hey – it happens to those of us who are lucky enough to keep our lives.

Again, it’s a song that reminds me of my dad – through thick and thin, we’re the original duo.

Bon Iver – I Can’t Make You Love Me/Nick of Time (Bonnie Raitt cover)

Yes this is a cover but fuck me, what a ridiculously incredible cover. Last year at Vivid Sydney, I was lucky to see Bon Iver for the 3rd time… To my utter delight and my heart’s demise, Justin played this song with Sean Carey… A tale about not being able to win the heart of someone you can’t live without… but with a twist at the end and you find something in the nick of time… If this song doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re a cold hearted son of a gun. Who can go past Justin’s voice in the first place?

“cos I can’t make you love me
if you don’t.
you can’t make your heart feel
something it won’t.
here in the dark
in these final hours,
I will lay down my heart
and I’ll feel the power;
but you won’t.
no, you won’t.
I can’t make you love me
if you don’t.”

The Temptations – My Girl

This song will forever remind me of driving around in the back of my father’s Merc when I was a little girl – singing and enjoying our time together.

I have always sworn that the father-daughter dance at my wedding (if that ever happens) will be this song- Dad used to sing this to me – I was (and still am) HIS girl. There’s a bond that will never break between us. My father is serious, intelligent, forgiving, supportive and above all loving.

Band of Horses – No One’s Gonna Love You 

“and anything to make you smile
it is a better side of you to admire
but they should never take so long
just to be over then back to another one
and no one is ever gonna love you more than I do
no one’s gonna love you more than I do”

This song reminds me of my sister (in-law) and the love my brother has for her. At their wedding, I remarked, “I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather be the wife of my beloved Nicky” Kate is literally the glue that holds everything together when shit gets real, but Nick is the person who would do anything to make her smile. I get tears in my eyes thinking about them and their love for each other – it’s remarkable, humbling, enviable and pure.

Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over


This is one of the songs most Australian kids were brought up listening to – indeed much of Crowded House’s backlog. This is a quintessential Aussie/Kiwi song musing the disheveled place our world has become. No truer words sung when this was first written than sung now. It’s multi-faceted, about love, the world and you. I guess the message from the lyrics just speaks for themselves,

“Hey now, hey now
Don’t dream it’s over
Hey now, hey now
When the world comes in
They come, they come
To build a wall between us
We know they won’t win
Now I’m walking again to the beat of a drum
And I’m counting the steps to the door of your heart
Only shadows ahead barely clearing the roof
Get to know the feeling of liberation and release”



I could write for days about songs and their way of making me feel such raw emotion. I could hardly encapsulate all of those songs and their vivid beauty in one post. For now, my heart is full and I am content.

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