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.
Honourable Mention Song #10: Patience by Guns n’ Roses.
I am willing to bet all of the money that I currently have in my wallet that if you were to poll school teachers and ask them what is the best thing about their job, the vast majority…in fact, almost all of them, would say it was the kids. The kids are what makes being a Teacher so special. It is a statement that is true for me, beyond even the hint of a doubt. I have always enjoyed being around children. Their energy, their enthusiasm, their honesty and innocence, their curiosity and their loyalty are all just some of what they bring to the classroom table each school day. Over the course of my thirty year career, I can say with much confidence that children are capable of so much more than they are given credit for by most adults. I loved being part of their world. It was an honour, actually. Luckily for me, this thing called Social Media came to be, just as my career was winding down and, as a result of them reaching out to me or me reaching out to them, I have managed to stay in touch with many of my favourite students over the years and, by extension, their families. It is sooooooo satisfying to see them growing up, hitting their milestone moments such as graduations, weddings, parenthood, new jobs, travelling the world and so much more. So, with that having been said, please allow me to introduce Olivia Day.
In my mind, I call Olivia my final “favourite student”. I first met Olivia when she was in Grade One at the last school I taught at before retiring a few years ago, if you can believe it. Now she has high school in her sights; in fact, she is hoping to be accepted into the same International Baccalaureate Programme that my eldest daughter, Leah, is currently enrolled in. If she gets in, I know that Olivia will do well. She is a good kid and a hard worker and has a good family support system in place at home; all things that go into being successful in a challenging programme. Anyway, this post is not about writing a new report card for Olivia. It is about music. As I have gotten to be a fly on the wall of Olivia’s life, via Facebook, one of the biggest connections we have come to share is music. She has frequently commented on songs that I have posted but, more than that, she has also shared posts of herself playing hit songs on her piano, some of her favourite rock n’ roll songs (all of which are good rockin’ tunes, if I do say so myself) and, perhaps the biggest ongoing news in her life, that he father and two uncles have formed a terrific sounding band named Nitetime Drive and are about to release their first album and start playing live gigs, now that the pandemic restrictions are lifting. All in all, Olivia is obviously not just a good kid but a very cool kid, as well. Kudos to her family for exposing her to the musical influences that you all have.
Olivia’s song choice was “Patience” by the band, Guns n’ Roses. “Patience” came from their second album, “GN’R Lies”, which was their follow-up album to the monster debut, “Appetite for Destruction”. For album #2, the boys in the band opted to dial it down a bit and went acoustic for this song that was written primarily by lead singer, Axel Rose, about his girlfriend at the time, Erin Everly (daughter of Don Everly of The Everly Brothers). The message of the song is straight-forward enough. It is about exercising patience when in pursuit of something special and knowing that good things in life are worth working for and waiting for. When I first asked Olivia why this song meant something other, she replied that with our world the way it is…..with wars and pandemic issues and so on, we all….all of us, everywhere…..could stand to use a little more patience in how we deal with each other and resolve our differences. I believe that she is correct. Olivia also said that because “Patience” is an acoustic song, there is less noise to distract the listener from the sound of the voices of the guys in the band. Again, she is correct. While Guns n’ Roses did a few more power ballad-type songs before breaking up, “Patience” was the first time they went acoustic and as such, it gave fans a fresh perspective on their talent and musicianship.
So, in conclusion, I want to thank Olivia for being a good kid, a hard worker, a cool music lover and a wise young woman. I was fortunate to have been her teacher when she was a wee one and now, I remain fortunate to still know her as she grows up into the fine young lady she is becoming. Thanks, Olivia, for all of your comments and stories shared throughout this musical journey of ours. You have made things better and I am most appreciative that you sought to take part.
So, without further delay, here are the toned down, stripped down rockers of Guns n’ Roses, with the song, “Patience”. Enjoy.
The link to the video for the song, “Patience” by Guns n’ Roses, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Guns n’ Roses, can be found here.
The link to the video for Olivia’s Dad’s band, Nitetime Drive, can be found here.