Show and TellMy Blogoversary Contest is over! We have two winners! Congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone who entered!

The first one came easily, but it required an extra round of guessing to get the second winner — I think the title of the second winning song scared some people off. I’ll reveal their prizes at next week’s Show and Tell. In the meantime, here are the identities of the winners as well as the winning selections.

First, honorable mentions to S for pointing out a lyric I never noticed in Neon Bible:

A vial of hope and a vial of pain,
In the light they both looked the same.

…and to Kristen for guessing My Body Is A Cage. Yeah, that would seem like a logical choice for my IF anthem (as Rebecca pointed out in her comment, too obvious?), but not as much as the winning songs. It is a damn fine song, though. Haunting and evocative; the organ really amplifies the chord structure. Good stuff.

Second prize goes to Lori from Weebles Wobblog. I swear, it’s not fixed. It’s not some conspiracy to make her the #1 collector of my pottery. Yes, she won a little vase in my very first contest and I also brought her a little dish when I visited her house. But Lori won because she wasn’t afraid to guess (Antichrist Television Blues). Most of the song is not infertility-related — in fact, apparently the song is about Jessica Simpson’s father — but one part literally screams IF to me:

Dear G-d, would you send me a child?
Oh! G-d, would you send me a child?

Lord, would you send me a sign?
’cause i just gotta know if I’m wastin’ my time!

Take a listen — that section is at the 3-minute mark (cued up if you click through rather than watching the embedded video below).

I think that many infertiles have asked the universe to send us a sign because we just want to know if we’re wasting our time.

First prize goes to Birdless, who delurked just for the contest. Through her careful reading of the lyrics, she correctly guessed that the Arcade Fire song which most speaks to my infertile heart is Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles).

I am waitin’ ’til I don’t know when,
cause I’m sure it’s gonna happen then.

The ideas of waiting (and waiting and waiting) and of not knowing when is very familiar to those of us who have struggled with family-building. There’s also an explicit reference to unborn children in the song:

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids,
but my heart keeps watchin’ through the skin of my eyelids.

Here is my very favorite section of the song, both lyrically and musically. More than anything else I’ve ever seen, it truly sums up my seven years of infertility. Waiting, then not paying attention to waiting, then waiting more, then showing patience, only to see that patience get me nowhere:

They say a watched pot won’t ever boil,
well I closed my eyes and nothin’ changed,
just some water getting hotter in the flames.
[interspersed with marvelous swelling orchestration]

Oh, the orchestration. You really need the album version to hear the orchestration. Go to 1 minute 55 seconds.

And finally, a call for true patience. Not patience as in pretending that you’re not paying attention but really you’re peeking with one eye open, but truly believing in the good things to come.

Just like a seed down in the soil you gotta give it time.

Partly I wanted to hold this Blogoversary Contest because it’s fun to hold contests and give out pottery, but I also wanted to share these songs with all of you. When you’ve finished shoveling your car out of the snow and you’re driving to the RE at the crack of dawn for the 5th time that week, these songs make the trip a little easier. Trust me.

See what the rest of the class has to Show and Tell.

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Blogoversary Contest

July 27, 2009

Last week I talked about different contests I’ve won and held, and the odds of winning. I promised a contest to celebrate my first blogoversary, featuring 2 in 21 odds.

Here we go!

There are two ways you can participate in this contest. You can go through each of the options, carefully reading the song lyrics and trying to select the best one (don’t worry, only a couple of songs are in French). Or, you can randomly pick one.

I’ve posted at various times about songs and bands that I like, especially when songs speak to me on an emotional level. I haven’t yet mentioned one of my favorite bands, Arcade Fire, nor my favorite of their songs. That song speaks to me more than any other on an emotional level, specifically about infertility.

Your job: figure out which song it is.

I’ve listed all of the songs on their two studio albums, with links to the lyrics and videos if you’d like to make an informed choice. They have quite a few other great songs on EPs, B-sides, etc., but I’ll be nice to you and stick with the albums.

First prize will go to the person who selects the song that sums up many of my feelings about infertility. Pottery prize.

Second prize will go to the person who selects the other song that has some strong infertility content for me. Different pottery prize.

One guess per person.

Edited to add: To help you avoid repeating others’ guesses, I’ll cross out the numbers of songs that have been guessed by someone else. Wow, you people really prefer Funeral to Neon Bible. Hint: The two winning songs are on different albums.

Funeral (read all lyrics; for music/video, click on each song title)
A1 “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”
A2 “Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)”
A3 “Une année sans lumière”
A4 “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”
A5 “Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)”
A6 “Crown of Love”
A7 “Wake Up”
A8 “Haïti”
A9 “Rebellion (Lies)”
A10 “In the Backseat”

Neon Bible (read all lyrics; for music/video, click on each song title)
B1 “Black Mirror”
B2 “Keep the Car Running”
B3 “Neon Bible”
B4 “Intervention”
B5 “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”
B6 “Ocean of Noise”
B7 “The Well and the Lighthouse”
B8 “(Antichrist Television Blues)”
B9 “Windowsill”
B10 “No Cars Go”
B11 “My Body Is a Cage”

Have fun!