My younger half-sister Katie is nearly 13 years my junior so growing up we didn't overlap much at home. Naturally I love her but we never had that bond I had hoped for and I served more as a babysitter than anything. When I was a senior in high school I picked her up from pre-school after I got out of classes to give you an idea of the difference. When I went off to college the gap widened and I would try to find ways to connect when I returned to visit.
On one such return the two of us were driving around listening to music when the song Walkin' on the Sun by Smash Mouth came on and she immediately responded by dancing in her seat and waving her arms around really getting into it. Encouraged I went through the reset of my CD collection trying to find music she liked with some additional hits but nothing seemed to strike her fancy like that song.
I stopped into a music store the next week and purchased the album with that song and wrapped it up as a gift for her. The next time I saw her I gave it to her and was rewarded with a big hug. A couple of days later I got call from my parents asking me "what the hell were you thinking?" This is when I learned that the radio edit of songs are often more toned down and the album versions hold no bars with the swearing. Sure it had the "Parental Advisory" sticker but nearly every (good) album did and I figured it was for the one "hell" in the radio version. Additionally other songs on the CD (that I didn't listen to) had themes that were a little too mature for her age. I had to apologize when I saw her and got her a Disney princess sing a long CD instead but honestly never noticed her listening to it.
Red Dirt Road by Brooks & Dunn
I've covered my love of older country music here extensively. There is just something about this song that speaks to me and as an added bonus Bridget loves it too.
Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell
This is an example of the influence from my grandma as she loved this song. This was also one of the first additions to my vinyl collection. It has such a 70s feel that I find amusing.
Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Lots of country so far on this list but I make no apologies for Johnny Cash. He has such a commanding voice and this is one my whole family can (and has) belted out on road trips.
The River by Garth Brooks
Would you believe I used to hate Garth Brooks because when he burst onto the county music scene I felt he stole CMA awards from my favorites like Alan Jackson. I've come to realize how truly amazing he is and now he ranks among my favorites. Unfortunately finding his music on YouTube is very difficult so this live version was the best I could do. If you have Amazon Music a better version can be heard here.
Roar by Katie Perry
A well directed music video and a great anthem for my daughters looking to become strong women. We use to sing this one a lot in the car with Phaedra and Bridget proudly leading.
Rockstar by Nickelback
Yes I know it's Nickelback but this song is still pretty fun to sing. Dave really liked it when he was younger especially the line "a bathroom big enough to play baseball in". lol
Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler) by Alabama
One of my favorite bands as a kid was Alabama. I owned some of their vinyl records and they were the first concert I ever attended (along with the Beach Boys). I listened to their greatest hits on a loop for months on end.
Royals by Lorde
I remember hearing this on the radio constantly and being a little confused as to why it had a name that matched my hometown baseball team. I looked into it (there is a connection there) but loving the chord progression of the song.
Say Hey I Love You by Michael Franti & Spearhead
Ever since I first discovered music outside Country I've been open to a wired array but in my late 20s I really sought out new music. Michael Franti was one of my big discoveries and I love his messages of inclusion and love.
Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
The perpetual loop of the video and the simple but hooked sound of the drum line makes this an earworm for sure.