Is there really anything so mistaken with being a “One Hit Wonder”? Or, is it actually crucially important to constantly churn out “Number Ones” and remain at the top of the charts?
There are the artists who have become household names, who have songbooks that are in competition with the amount of cookbooks and regular books I have on my shelf. I can’t think of just one song with these names, I think of five, ten, or fifteen. I can’t think of just one song to play, because if I play one, I’ll play two, or three, or four until someone tells me to turn it off.
A few weeks ago, I thought about the song “Alone” by Heart. I thought about how each time I hear it, regardless of who is singing it, it always, no pun intended, “chills me to the bone.” It’s memorable, it’s meaningful, and it conjures up the same emotion every single time. Then, who can forget “What About Love?” and “These Dreams”, also number ones, off one album?
I can’t tell you what you’re feeling inside
I can’t sell you what you don’t want to buy
Something’s missing and you’ve got to
look back on your life
Heart isn’t even a band I listen to all that often, and you’ll find an entirely different collection of songs and artists (like Madonna, Carrie Underwood, some Christian artists, country music, and more) on my iPod other than Heart. It’s just that Heart, here, proves a point.
On the flip side, there are also the artists we can barely remember and their one song we’ll never forget. Thank you very much: “She’s Like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze.
When it comes to the people in our lives, I find these phrases “One Hit Wonder” and “Number Ones” hold quite true.
If someone is a One Hit Wonder, they’ve made a significant imprint on our hearts, or in our lives, but that’s it. There’s not a lack of appreciation for them, but their significance isn’t lasting. We might remember them in one moment, or from time to time, and fondly (or not so fondly, depending on the impact), but - to borrow the analogy - other than that one dance at the High School prom, you might not hear “She’s Like the Wind” for awhile.
If someone is a Number One, they’re still making an impact on your life. They’re encouraging you to change and grow (for the better), while also supporting who you already are. You find yourself, much like that artist with all those Number Ones, where you can’t play just one song, unable to forget them or let their playlist remain unplayed. In reality, you’ll find yourself coming up with not one, but two, or three, or four different moments in which they influenced you, occasions to bring them up in conversation, and reasons to communicate with them. The next thing you know, you’re reciprocating, without even trying, and you’re encouraging them, supporting them, and won’t let yourself be forgotten.
What’s that song lyric from “Alone”?
‘Til now, I always got by on my own.
I never really cared until I met you.
The thing is, we can still get by on our own, we just don’t want to. Imagine your iPod without that playlist. Imagine if it were your life without that person.
It’s easy to be a One Hit Wonder, but those artists who have the Number Ones, they work hard, make mistakes, come back, and do it again.
Look for the Number Ones in your life, and then, do the work, show up, be faithful and encouraging, use God as your guide, and maybe you’ll be someone’s Number One, too.