This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
KTOM: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #325: Hey, Soul Sister by Train.
“Hey, Soul Sister” by “Train” is the #7 song on Leah’s list of her Top Ten songs of all-time. As is always the case with the songs on Leah’s list, “Hey, Soul Sister” is a song that holds personal meaning for her and makes her smile when she thinks about it. So, without further delay, here is the story of the song and why it is so special to Leah.
“Train” is a band that formed in the early 1990s in San Fransisco. The lead singer/songwriter is a man named Pat Monahan. He is joined by Hector Maldonado (bass), Jerry Becker (lead guitar/keyboards), Sakai Smith (backing vocals) and Matt Musty (on drums). “Train” have had several pop hits such as “Drops of Jupiter”, “Calling All Angels” and “Hey, Soul Sister”. They have been nominated for several Grammy Awards in the Pop category and won three times. The band has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. Today’s song, “Hey, Soul Sister” was the #1 selling download on iTunes in 2010 and the second-best selling song in the entire country. It was a #1 hit for the band and is, not surprisingly, one of their most popular songs when playing live.
In our home, my three girls (Keri, Leah and Sophie) all enjoy Pop songs. Consequently, all three enjoy singing aloud together, when the mood strikes. One of the songs that they all know the whole lyrics to is, “Hey Soul Sister” by “Train”. So, every now and again, I get treated to a private “Train” concert…..usually around our dining room table. I am lucky to be regaled so. That is not because I like “Train” (I don’t, actually) but, because we are the type of family that can sing together and hang out together and enjoy each other’s company. We are all blessed to like and care about each other which is, I suppose, a good definition for the word, “Family”. Thus, whenever Leah hears the song, “Hey, Soul Sister” by “Train”, it reminds her of good times with her family. And, that makes her smile.
The song, “Hey, Soul Sister” is not about sisterhood. It is based upon Monahan’s experience watching beautiful, scantily-clad women dancing at The Burning Man Festival in the desert. However, that hasn’t stopped Leah and Sophie from adopting the song as an anthem for their relationship as sisters. There was a time, a few short years ago, when the girls used to come home from school and watch a series of “Disney +” shows on TV. One of the shows was called, “Liv and Maddie”, which concerned two twin sisters who were pursuing their differing dreams while living at home with their family and supporting each other as sisters. They had a catch-phrase that went, “Sisters by chance. Friends by choice”. Leah and Sophie feel that way about each other, too. Although they are very much their own, individual human beings, the two sisters have become closer together as they grow up and are, arguably, each other’s truest friend. An example of this occurred when Leah had her last birthday in April. For her gift to Leah, Sophie went on-line and found someone on ETSY who designed acrylic plaques that looked like an MP3 players. On this plaque, she submitted a photo of Leah and herself, along with a song title that they both liked……Sophie opted for “Hey, Soul Sister”. This plaque hangs in Leah’s bedroom and serves to remind her that she has a sister who loves her and is there for her. Although Leah stated that she liked all of her birthday gifts, I think she, secretly, liked her plaque from Sophie, the best.
So, there you have it. One of the most popular, best-selling Pop songs in the last twenty years is, also, a symbol of Family and of Sisterhood in our home. Leah always picks songs that mean something to her heart and this one certainly fills that bill. Is there a special song that helps you and a sibling bond in a heartfelt manner? If so, feel free to let us know in the comments below. For now, here is “Hey, Soul Sister” by “Train”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Train can be found here.