So I've been having a lot of trouble putting together a list of my favourite songs this year. Not because there hasn't been a lot of good songs released this year, because there seriously has. But for me there was only one song that mattered this year, and it wasn't released in 2008 but in 2004.
At the start of this year my mother passed away very suddenly. She went to bed feeling fine, and just didn't wake up in the morning. Which would be a blessing if she'd been 80, but she was only 49. And I found my self incapable of listening to music. You have to understand, since I got my first cassette tape player back when I was eight (with 'Spice World' and the Lion King Soundtrack, oh yes) I haven't gone a day without music. I love music. But those months following my mum's death were months of awful, awful silence. Happy music made me feel angry, sad music made me feel worse. Only a music lover can understand how much this distressed me.
And then, there was this song. I would have ranked it as one my least favourite Mountain Goats songs, if I even remembered to rank it at all. But one rainy afternoon when I was fitfully skipping through my iTunes library trying to find something, anything, to let go to, it came on. And I let it play though. Then I played it again. For a solid month I listened to nothing but this song. I clung to it, I depended upon it. It was the only song in the world that made me feel just a little bit better, and I'm not exaggerating when I say I don't think I would have made it through this year without it.
For me, 2008 will always be the year I lost my mum, and the year of this song:
Your Belgian Things - the Mountain Goats