Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life

Music. It's been there with us from the beginning — sometimes in the background, sometimes centerstage. We listen. We sing. We play along. We compose. We remember.

We are a species deep into music. And the music is deep into us — especially those of us at NPR, where music is an essential element of everyday existence.

Lilty lullaby, whimsical folktune, heartfelt ballad, raunchy rock anthem, uplifting hymn, darkest dirge. These are some of the songs that add fullness and volume (Sometimes too much volume: Turn that music down!) to life on Earth.

Everybody has a playlist — songs you carry in your head and in your heart that remind you of sometime or someplace or someone. You hear the song; you remember. You remember; you hear the song. Like an optical illusion, two memories braided together in your soul.

If you could tell your life story — chronologically, up to now — in six songs, what would they be?

To help us get the hang of it, Digital News Producer April Fehling has pulled together a sextet of songs that, when stitched together, suggest what the soundtrack, the playlist of A Life in America might sound like.

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Click to hear the soundtrack of one life.

The songs in our sextet:

Brahms' Lullaby, Fisher Price; Sesame Street Theme, Gladys Knight & The Pips; Pomp and Circumstance, Accept; Jazz Wedding March, The Beau Hunks; It was a Very Good Year, Ray Charles and Willie Nelson; Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, Op. 11, Leonard Bernstein Orchestra, New York Philharmonic

Now please fill out this handy form or simply send your personal soundtrack — a list of six songs, along with a brief explanation of why each song is important to you — to, along with your name, age and place of residence.

If this #6songs experiment works, we will feature some of the playlists in a future post.

Thank you.

The Protojournalist: A sandbox for reportorial innovation. @NPRtpj



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