1819 Songs for Students Explained Part 2

This is the graphic made by Spotify for the list


Introduction to Part II:


Thanks for checking out the second half of my explanations for the songs on the 1819 Songs for Students playlist. This half starts off pretty strong with a song about not letting life knock you down.


The Middle Songs …

Higher The Score (Atlas)

“Scraped my knees, bruised my heart
It’s where you end, not where you start”

All my life
I have been fighting, I have been fighting for this
Dream in my soul
And I won’t let it go”

Strength to Believe (Epic Score)

Another song you could believe playing during a moment where all heck breaks loose in a situation.

Never Give Up on Your Dreams by Thomas Bergersen (Two Steps from Hell Unleashed)

Thomas Bergersen does some amazing movie trailer type music. I love the title of this one. There are a lot of fantasy themes in this piece. In this case, I like that it’s long. It’s kind of a miniature epic tale. It just makes you feel: wow, this might be hard but I can make it.

Revolution by The Score (Atlas)

Fear is a natural part of life, but don’t let it conquer you. I don’t know exactly what you’re dealing with, but odds are good that others have been where you are and can help you.

“Can’t let time keep passing me by
Run down what I’ve always been chasing
Black out every fear I’ve been facing”

The Insurgency by Henry Jackman (Uncharted: The Lost Legacy)

This is more a “hey, danger is coming” theme. Facing unknown dangers seems to be the prevailing message behind what’s here. It’s also just a fun song.

See What I’ve Become by Zach Hemsey (The Way)

This song offers a significant slow down from the previous one before moving into a rousing marching type section in the middle.


Climax Songs …

Light That Fire by Oh The Larceny

I really just discovered this band on Spotify. Much of their music sounds the same. There seems to be a good theme of not giving up in there. Not a fan of the word “ain’t” but it has its uses.

“If I am beaten, I’m not defeated
I fight back to the top
Ain’t backin’ down no, we goin’ big
Ain’t stoppin’ now, we get after it”

Free produced by Tommee Profitt (features Svrcina)

The singer’s amazing. Check out the 1718 list if you want to hear more of her.

“Secrets tell a million lies

But the night still has a thousand nights

And when the truth is brought to light

You and I

Will be free, free, free.”


Be honest with yourself and others.


End Songs …

Light is Green by Kazuma Jinnoichi (from Halo 5)

This song has a very slow build, but when you pass the midpoint, it turns into something filled with profound conviction. The last minute is gorgeous.

Wallrunner by Stephen Barton (Titanfall)

Never played any of these games, but the music is pretty. It works very well with the previous song. Sort of like the extended credits score.

Flight of the Silverbird by Thomas Bergersen (Two Steps from Hell; Battlecry)

A soft, moving way to end. This song promises that there’s more to come yet this portion has ended. Hopefully, we’ll all make it through to the end and come out triumphant. There are portions ~1:21 that speak of great victory and parts about a continuing fight (~1:45).



This list is definitely a work in progress. I’m happy with most of it, but there’s probably also undiscovered music. Every class has a character. I’m still getting to know the current batch of students, but if these music choices are any indication, I want to encourage them to not give up on finding their way in life.

Pacing Note:

I tried to mix in contemplative themes and upbeat ones. The few songs at the very end might be relocated because they were added very recently.

Associate links to follow…

(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 … not kidding, that’s basically it.)

Amazon Prime

The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents track down a kidnapped family. Kid friendly.

If fantasy’s more your thing, go Redeemer Chronicles. The first, Awakening, is available as an audiobook.

Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.

Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.


1819 Songs for Students Playlist Explained Part 1

This is the graphic that pops up when you see the spotify list


The tradition started last year. One of my friends got me into making Spotify lists, so it seemed natural to create a list for my current students. As we approach the end of the first quarter, I feel like I know them well enough to at least attempt putting the list together. It won’t be done until June 2019, but this is what’s currently here. The post is going to focus on the first 1/3 or ½, depending on how much I gotta say. I’m probably going to be adding random commentary as I go. The lyrics pasted in are my favorites. Sometimes, I include them because they just sound cool and sometimes, they have deep meaning.


Find the full list to the 1819 Songs for Students here.

(Links should go to Youtube. I will try to embed a few as well.)

Opening Songs …

Game of Survival by Ruelle (album = Madness)

Sometimes I pick songs for the lyrics, and other times, I go for the whole feel or even just the title. This song has a little bit of everything. Life in general is a game of survival. You’ve got to learn to balance work and play. Being a teenager’s not easy, and I definitely don’t envy those who have to grow up now.


Ready Set Let’s Go by Sam Tinnesz (from Ready Set Let’s Go)

I love this upbeat song. It could totally be used for a cheerleading squad’s routine.

“We’re death defyin’
Coming in like lightnin’
Look out, we’re strikin’
Ready set, ready set, let’s go”

Stand Strong, Stand Together by Christopher Lennertz (from Mass Effect 3)

A beautiful and sweeping score that conveys the idea of solidarity. Some people might discount or dislike video game music, but in the past few decades, some of the most moving themes have been featured on games. You don’t have to play the games to appreciate the emotions being conveyed. I forget where exactly this song pops up in ME3. I think it’s near the very end before you head into the final confrontation. Video games are rather violent in many cases. Ones like this usually reach a do or die moment where winning is the only option.

Still Breathing by Veridia (Still Breathing)

Some events in life hit harder than others. If you’re still breathing, you can make it through to a better moment in time. Life’s full of darkness and light, but you are never truly alone in any of your struggles. I hope you remember that.

“Every moment every day is a gift you gave

And I can’t believe I’m still breathing.”


“Let the monsters come

Not gonna be afraid

Cause I know that I’m not alone

I’ve got giants on my side.”


Unstoppable by The Score

The basic message of the song is great: always strive for the very best. As mentioned previously, there are things in life that hit you very hard, but in the end, you’re unstoppable (if you don’t give up.)

“Keep your silver, give me that gold
You’ll remember when I say
We can be heroes everywhere we go
Keeping us down is impossible
Cause we’re unstoppable”


First Class by Henry Jackman (X-Men: First Class)

Another score that conveys ideas of solidarity and drawing together to face hardship. My class is NOT hardship, but there are times where I expect you to work together to overcome the challenges you’re faced with.


Elements by Lindsey Stirling

This woman has one of the most unique sound qualities I’ve ever heard. Besides, how could I turn down the opportunity to insert a song with such a fitting title for us in chemistry? It’s also lovely, if a tad on the long side. It would make a great soundtrack to viewing something at the microscopic/atomic level. The geometric shapes you’d see if you got down that small would be amazing. There’s order to matter, but chemical reactions and matter interactions have a chaotic quality to them.


Never Give Up by Sia (from “Lion” Soundtrack)

Probably not most of our stories, but the sentiments in the song ring true. I really don’t expect bad things to happen right now, but that’s just the nature of some of life’s nasty surprises. Never give up is a pretty straightforward message. You can overcome anything. I also like that this song is all about finding one’s way home. Family can be a huge support and comfort in all times.

“I’ll keep gettin’ up when I hit the ground
Oh, never give up, no, never give up no, no, oh”


Never Going Back by The Score

“I’ve already hit the low, oh, oh, oh, oh
I’ve already felt the cold, oh, oh, oh, oh
So I’m never giving up, never gonna crack
Never giving in, never going back”


Taking a Stand by Henry Jackman (given the cover, I’m gonna guess it’s from Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Score time. Never give up on your friends. Certainly, don’t let them lead you down a dark path, but stand by them when you can. Cap doesn’t give up on Bucky.


Can’t Stop Me Now by Oh the Larceny

This song is so clear with its message it actually comes across as arrogant. Not sure I agree with quite everything here, but the sentiment of never stopping is still applicable.

“Ain’t afraid to bare my soul, ain’t afraid to walk on coals
Hear the thunder when I step, you know where to place your bet”


Take Flight by Lindsey Stirling

Parts of this song soar high while others dip. There’s a lot of movement here. Like Elements, this music feels like a great representation of what we do. Chemistry is about studying matter and its interactions. There’s a great deal of mystery and excitement. Ha, I can tell I haven’t convinced you all of that quite yet, but maybe one day.

Conclusion to Part I:

That’s as good a stopping point as any. Lindsey’s a gem. Lots more to come. To get the full effect, hear the whole list start to finish. The placement of each song was something I messed with for quite some time.



Associate links to follow…

(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 … not kidding, that’s basically it.)

Amazon Prime

The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents track down a kidnapped family. Kid friendly.

If fantasy’s more your thing, go Redeemer Chronicles. The first, Awakening, is available as an audiobook.

Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.

Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.


Into the Future: Songs for 2018


Last quarter of 2017 a friend of mine randomly sent me a Spotify list with songs that corresponded to one of my books. She’d sent me other lists over the years, but this time, the idea intrigued me. Anyway, long story short, I got sucked into buying the Spotify upgrade to avoid those crappy Christmas commercials. And I love it (Spotify premium, not the idiotic commercials). Guess my friend is rubbing off on me because I am not making playlists.

Link to the whole list.

I would say it can be played in most any order, but the order I put the first 23 is roughly the journey. It probably makes zero “musical flow” sense.

23 Songs for 2018 and (Some of) What they Mean to Me:

Put it on the Altar by Jessica Reedy

Really, it’s more about leaving the previous year (and all burdens) behind. Surrendering what weighs you down.

Creation of Earth by Thomas Bergersen

A beautiful, powerful song about creation and remaking. Once the burdens are laid down, it’s time to reform and grow.

Won’t He Do It by Koryn Hawthorne

The song’s a promise about God’s strength and provision. “I got mountains to climb/But the enemy can’t stop me/cause there’s a calling on my life”

Resurrection Blood by Cody Carnes

Another powerful song about why we can stand strong in the midst of everything. “All my fears went running from the Holy Ghost”

Down to the River to Pray by Alison Krauss

A reminder that prayers for everybody in all situations.

Be Still by Rivers & Robots

Beautiful and peaceful instrumental piece.

I Feel His Love by Laura Hackett

Heard this song a while ago. Another song about freedom and assurance about the perfect love of Christ.

Show Me by GAWVI

Another song about knowing God better. “I want to know you more” … “All I know is that/that I’m desperate for you”

Tremble by Mosaic

“Jesus, you make the darkness tremble”

Deeper by Svrcina

(Her last name is roughly pronounced – “Ser seen ah”; pretty much I can’t ever spell it right either.) This is probably the only song I am still struggling to make heads or tails of the lyrics. Still, it’s beautiful, and I like the sentiment of going deeper with God this year.

New Heart by Mosaic

“I’m on my way to your heart, Lord/ Show me your heart.”

I Don’t Belong to You by Crystal Nicole

This song’s about overcoming the things people can say against you. I don’t have a problem with feeling ugly or inadequate, but I work in a school and I’m pretty sure those emotions are rampant in that environment. The song’s pretty empowering. It has several wonderful reminders. “You can’t control what you don’t own and baby, I don’t belong to you.” Also, “took what you meant to discourage and I flipped it around to encourage my life.”

Fire – Paris Blohm remix by 3LAU

Lovely, upbeat song. Certain sections have background pieces that feel like a video game. It’s a really interesting mix. “I feel the fire./ It’s burning inside of me.” It’s a great song for feeling bright passion about a cause.

Heart of Courage by Thomas Bergersen

Instrumental song that is a nice followup to Fire. More of a movie soundtrack sort of inspirational theme. After getting pumped and feeling the fire, this one’s more about carrying on in hard times, having a heart of courage in the midst of trials.

Stix and Stones by HillaryJane

This one goes along with “I don’t belong to you.” I especially love this line: “take ’em home, clean ’em off, dress ’em up/ turn the other cheek/when they strike you sing ’em love.” That last part resonates very strongly with where I’m at. Anybody who knows my teaching situation this year knows that I have a more challenging group than last year. It’s taken a while, but my hearts breaking for them. This song articulates some of what I feel.

Jericho by Livre’, A$ap Ferg

Song made me cry. I’m holding on to this one as a promise of what 2018 holds. “The walls got to come down.”

My Domain by Tommee Profitt, Svrcina

Hands down, one of my new favorite songs. First ran across this song in the Spirit’s Bane playlist mentioned earlier. Upon first listen, I actually had it pegged for a good bad guy theme because it starts out kind of dark, but a look at the lyrics and a few emails with my friend convinced me it’s actually a great theme for one of the angels of Light near the end of the book. Basically, a song of declaration that the enemy (Satan) has no power in “my domain.”

Aside: The Spirit’s Bane ebook is free this year.


Worth Fighting For by CASS

My three favorite lines:

“I ain’t striving for greatness/cause it ain’t my style.”

“Let me see what you see in me/ Let me be who you want me to be”

“You see a life worth fighting for”

Steady Me by Hollyn, Aaron Cole

Another favorite. 3 favorite lines:

“I just need to step out and step into your flow”

“Ready my heart for everything that’s coming my way.”

“Help me trust that you’re ahead of me. Going before my feet with every step I take”

Born to Bring the Light by Cameron James

Beautiful new song. I don’t think it’s for sale wide until the middle of January. Released yesterday or so on Spotify and Youtube. Love this woman’s voice. “I can feel the fear leaving.”

Kyrie Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy) sung by Keith and Kristyn Getty (Chris Tomlin song)

Nice reminder and lovely melody. “Fan the fire of compassion once again.”

“Lord renew our vision to be Christ where we live/ To reach out in mercy to the lost.”

Ever Be – Reyer & Retain Remix by Reyer, Retain

Reminder to praise always.

Til the End of Time by Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe

Contemplative, moving song once again about moving closer and growing deeper with God.

“My heart is yours/ til the end of time”

“Your name is my safe house, my refuge/Savior, my anchor/ I run to you”

“I’m safe and sound in your sanctuary.”


Bonus 1 – Beautiful Songs:

He Lives in You by Karliene

Baba Yetu by Supernova


Bonus 2 – Some of My Favorite Hymns

Before the Throne of God Above Lou Fellingham

Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy

What Wondrous Love is This


2017 wasn’t bad, but near the end I grew a little fed up with what the world’s telling me about how to be a “successful” writer. There’s a shift in me. I think I’m finally ready to get out of God’s way and let Him work through me.