The Soundtrack of My Life: Courtney Mary Andrews

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The first song I remember hearing
was “Tomorrow”, from Annie

“I grew up as an only child with a single mother. I spent a lot of time alone, so I remember really resonating with the idea of an orphan who feels a lot of sadness, but also hopes that the cobwebs will dissipate.”

The first song I fell in love with

Leanne Rimes — “Blue”

“I think I treated heartbreak songs earlier than real love songs. My first love was for the guy who lived across the street from me, and I remember thinking: “Why can’t you love me too?”

The first album I ever bought

Collision – “London is calling”

“When I was a kid, I didn’t have a lot of money, so I was late buying an album. I came across it because I started watching [music channels] MTV and Fuse and became more interested in alternative music. And my first little punk boyfriend, the mohawk guy I used to [help style with] Elmer’s glue, told me I should listen to Clash. So I went and bought The Clash.”

The first concert I went to

AC/DC cover band – Marquee Theater in Phoenix, Arizona, early 2000s.

“I was about 14. It was wild. At that time I didn’t know what a cover band was, so for a while I thought it was AC/DC, until I realized it wasn’t AC/DC! I just remember being absolutely thrilled at the thought of going to a concert. I remember there were a lot of really drunk older people, and the guitar solos were very inspiring. And at that age, I’ve never seen that happen. So I immediately went home and tried to learn to play the guitar better.”

A song that reminds me of home

Terry Wolf and Black Porch Swing — “Arizona”

“I went to this small town, Bisbee, Arizona, a long time ago, and there lived a wonderful woman named Terry Wolf. She has since passed away, but she was the character who lived in the middle of the desert, owned wild wolves and bred them, and also wrote songs. She wrote this song called “Arizona”. It’s as good as any Willie Nelson song. In fact, no one knows about it.”

A song I would like to write

Joni Mitchell — “Both Sides Now”

“This is the perfect song that covers all the complexities of life and love. If you could say everything about the world and how little we know and how much we think we know, then it would be a song. That says it all.”

The song I perform in karaoke

Aretha Franklin — “A Natural Woman”

“I love karaoke. I usually always had a few drinks, and it’s usually a very theatrical performance. I consider karaoke a kind of continuation of the theater. I think it should be outlandish and wild, and I try to always sing it with as much fervor as possible.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

The Everly Brothers — “Love Hurts”

“There is a great version from Graham Parsons and Emmylou Harris. I just love this song. The melody, as well as the simple straightforwardness of the song, mixed with the metaphor: “Love, like an oven, burns when it’s hot.” It’s such a beautiful line. There is a kind of mysterious mystery and at the same time bravado in this. It’s very charming.”

The song I want to play at my funeral

Tom Waits — “Come to the House”

“I’m not a religious person, but I think if we’re going to use religious terms, I’d say this is what looks like heaven to me. All your friends come to the house and all go to rest. It’s a kind of shelter, it’s a safe place, you know? Everyone sings songs and does all the things you do in situations like this.”

The song that makes me dance

B-52 — “Love Hut”

“This is my favorite dance group. They’re so stupid, and I love them. Am I a good dancer? It depends on the night. Dancing is like bowling: some nights you show your good result, and other nights it’s nothing but dirty balls. But I think it’s relative. Some people might find my clumsy dirty ball dance quite charming.”

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