This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

**

Friday, March 15, 2019

This Is Me ( #BOTB ) ( #AtoZ Theme Reveal )


When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me


                                        ---Songwriters: Justin Paul / Benj Pasek



#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary Blogging Theme Reveal

The official A to Z Theme Reveal begins on March 18-28--that's when the sign up list opens.  

My Theme:  This Is Me

         Since this will be the 10th annual Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I thought it might be appropriate to do a retrospective look at my life especially as it is related to my blogging.  Also it will be a time to consider my dreams and my hopes for the next few years. There will be some memoir material as well as ruminations about what's been on my mind of late as well as whatever might pop into my mind as I write.

          Over my years of blogging I've accumulated a number of ideas for the April Challenge, but those have been again put on hold in favor of the theme I have chosen for 2019--This Is Me.  Some of you might recognize this title as the Oscar nominated song from the 2017 film The Greatest Showman.  And that is exactly where my inspiration came from.

           I first saw The Greatest Showman this past September after renting it from Netflix.  The film blew me away to the extent that I purchased a copy for my home video library--something that I rarely do these days.  Since that purchase I have watched the film numerous times--again something that I rarely do--and touted the merits of the film to anyone who lent me their ears.  You might say that I've become Greatest Showman obsessed.

           This movie has literally become a life-changing experience for me.  Every time I watch it I feel exhilarated and uplifted.  The film speaks to me in its message as well as its stylistic approach. The musical score has become ingrained in my mind not in an earworm way, but as a touchstone for my hopes and dreams for my future.

           If you haven't seen the film yet, I urge you to see it.  However, seeing the film is not a prerequisite to reading my A to Z posts.  The movie is merely my personal inspiration and what I write will not specifically have anything to do with the movie.  My April posts will not be the story of my life, but hopefully they will create an impression of who I am and where I am at this point of my life.

         This is me...   



Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


This Is Me

         Just one of many great songs in The Greatest Showman "This Is Me" received an Oscar nomination for Best Song in 2018, but lost to the pretty ditty from Coco "Remember Me".  That song is a nice tune to listen to, but I found it rather insipid and not particularly inspiring whereas I believe that "This Is Me" is one of the best movie songs of recent years.  It's a powerful anthem of self-acceptance that would seem to be the type of song that Hollywood would embrace.  I suspect there was something behind the Hollywood snub of Greatest Showman as a Best Picture nominee as well as not giving "This Is Me" the Best Song award.

           Using "This Is Me" as my song for Battle this round is an obvious tie-in to my A to Z theme so it makes a lot of sense for me to use it.   Perusing through YouTube I found so many fantastic versions of the song, but decided to go with a couple of contrasting interpretations that are different from the original movie version which you can hear HERE.  Just don't vote on that one!  Here are your voting choices...


Haley Klinkhammer  "This Is Me"  (2019)

        This artist comes out of Wisconsin, but her name might have told us that.  Looking at her tour schedule on her website her shows are mostly concentrated in the Wisconsin area so I guess I'll have to catch her performances on YouTube.  I like her style.  What do you think?









Mylou   "This Is Me"   (2018)

        I didn't find much specific information about this band.  Their Twitter account says they're from Jakarta Indonesia.  My assessment is maybe they could use some better marketing or maybe they are staying low for a reason.  Whatever the case, I listened to two of their YouTube videos--both to my liking--and this is one of them...








Time to Vote!

     Though both very different, I think both are quite good.  But I'm going to vote for one of these as my favorite.  What about you?--Vote for your favorite version!   Have some fun with us.   What's your favorite between these two choices?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.




Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday March 22nd
          
            There will be no posts before then because of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  Oh, wait, that's the way I've been doing it, but seriously I'd better rest up and get ready for April. No matter what though, definitely come back to see who won this Battle.  And be sure to vote in the comment section! 

          Have you ever seen a movie that you would consider to have been "life-changing" for you?  Do you enjoy uplifting songs with a positive message?   What song almost always makes you feel better when you hear it?



74 comments:

  1. I appreciate a good acoustic, but I liked the fuller sound of Mylou better.
    I don't think I've seen a life changing movie. Pivotal ones, like Star Wars and The Matrix, but those more for how they changed the way we experience movies. My life changing moment came when I accepted Jesus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, accepting Jesus is an ultimate life changing event.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Oh, and first vote goes to...

      Mylou

      Delete
  2. Better music on the Indonesian group, better vocals on the first. Haley for me. And that sounds like a great a to z plan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CW, I hope readers will enjoy my A to Z self-indulgence.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  3. I like the second one better.

    Heavy Metal changed me in that I aspired to be Taarna for many years. I admired her sacrifice. Sometimes I feel I've obtained that with my publishing company. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. L.Diane, a movie probably influences us most when we find some kind of application to our own lives

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  4. I loved The Greatest Showman. My children showed me this movie. It's great. I liked Haley's rendition best. Enjoy your weekend, Lee!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victoria, seeing some nieces enjoying the film captured my attention to the extent that I watched it later and loved it. I bought copies of the DVD for my kids so their families could enjoy it.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  5. First, I give my Vote to Haley who has a great voice and carried it well. The other group, they sounded like many other bands and I just didn't care for their rendition..it fell flat for me. Now, I hang my head low because I have it saved to watch the film and I have yet to see it but, you know what? I will watch it tonight! I love musicals and Hugh Jackman and I think, this movie was robbed and especially this song because it is much, much better than the whiny blahs who actually won. Of course, It's A Wonderful Life changed me...made me feel strong in the face of adversity. By the time I saw this film I was so bullied and beaten down that I believed what they said. This movie gave me strength. I will also state that musicals, Astaire and Rogers films and Gene Kelly made me forget the nastiness of the world and I could disappear and pretend I was dancing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birgit, please let me know what you think of the film. I've heard a number of responses good and bad, but I still want to hear more. Musicals uplift me a lot and those old films like Astaire's are fantastic. I watch musicals quite frequently these days.

      Again, Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  6. Howdy, LEE ~

    Well, I would describe Haley's style as just "basic acoustic-guitar singer-songwriter Folk" music. Which has never really been my mug o' beer (unless it was Dylan with his trend-setting lyrics). I always feel that the music is too sparse. In other words, just a lone acoustic guitar doesn't usually cut it for me.

    If this recording is a valid indication, then it would seem that MYLOU is essentially trying to be Indonesia's version of U2. However, I'd probably rather listen to them than to U2.

    I'll go with MYLOU, for the bigger, punchier sound which leaves a stronger impression.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STMcC, Haley is "basic acoustic-guitar singer songwriter" style music, but I think it is very well done. There are many in this genre who I enjoy hearing and many of those are far better singers than Dylan. But he's good so don't get me wrong about that.

      More impressive: Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  7. "The Greatest Showman" is an excellent movie and definitely underrated. Your A to Z theme sounds interesting! I'll be sure to check in here and there. Congratulation on your 10th anniversary! ☺ As for the contest, my choice is Haley Klinkhammer. It was smoother and more pleasing to the ears.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie D, I'll miss your A to Z posts. But if you visit now and then I'll be pleased.

      Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. Thanks for that, Lee. I did it 4 years running but can't handle that daily blogging grind anymore.

      Delete
  8. No contest ...my choice is Haley. 'Looking forward to your upcoming posts, Lee. I think it might be fitting to consider doing the same, albeit privately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myra, I'm hoping that if I write about certain things they will be clarified in my mind.

      Another vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  9. I've not seen The Greatest Showman, but I have heard many good things about it.

    Mylou felt a little rushed and I enjoyed Haley's vocals. My vote is for Haley.

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle
    Literary Gold

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I encourage you to see the film and then get back to us about your thoughts on it.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  10. Mylou was really impressive. Let's go with that for me, please, Sir.

    Both versions are quite enjoyable, and listening to each was time well spent.

    Happy Ides of March, Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, Happy Ides to you as well.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. Hayley gets my vote I liked her vocals better, Mylou did have an interesting take on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike, I like Mylou's sound from the cuts I've heard.

      Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  12. I think Haley has a very nice voice and her version is quite good, but I am voting for the Indonesian kids. I still have not seen The Greatest Showman, but in my defense I have only watched ONE movie of any kind in the last three months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-Gun, I've watched considerably more movies than you of late but what I view doesn't seem to compare with others.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  13. I preferred Mylou. loved the song and words.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lee, your This is Me... theme for the A to Z challenge is a wonderful idea. If we all did that (even if in our secret journals instead of online), we might learn a lot about our own selves. You've given me food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patricia, businesses do inventory so we shouldn't we as individuals. Sorting out ourselves can be a very productive thing to do.

      Lee

      Delete
  15. This is going to be a hard challenge to vote on! I liked both of them. I liked her earnestness and the bands tight sound. Hmmm. I'm also trying to figure out how to do the blog theme announcement thing? Okay, I guess I'm going to vote for... Haley. Only because I think the band might get more votes for a more polished sound. I did like them both, and now I'm going to have to see the Greatest Showman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, I'm having a difficult time settling on a favorite as I like both. Please see Greatest Showman and then tell me what you thought.

      AS far as the blog theme announcement, just put up your post telling about your theme and then when the list is made available on Monday (at the A to Z site) add your link to that announcement post. At least I'm thinking that's what's happening. The A to Z Team is handling everything and I'm kind of on the periphery this year. So far they're doing a far better job than I would have done.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  16. A vote for Mylou, I just wish the vocals were a little clearer. I haven't seen the Greatest Showman but I guess it's time. Looking forward to your A to Z theme, Arlee. Thanks for keeping it going for 10 years! I'll be there too, hopefully I can get it together in time!

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    Replies
    1. Janet, you have to see it and then report back to me please. I've heard good and bad, but I really liked it.

      You'll make it! You can always wing it if you have to.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  17. I liked both of them, but I liked the second one better. The first was kind of generic sounding, nothing unique. The second one I sensed more feeling in the singer's voice and I liked the backup band. My vote goes to #2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jade Li, valid explanation I think. Style is also important.

      A vote for Mylou

      Lee

      Delete
  18. They were both good in their own way, but I'm going with Ms. Klinkhammer, because she has one hell of a voice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John, I don't mind listening to either version because they are both good.

      Again it's Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  19. Mylou edged it for me as there were more layers - fuller Alex called it.

    As for movies that were 'life-changing' I'd have to start with 'A Matter of Life and Death'(1946) - released in the United States under the title 'Stairway to Heaven'. The film artfully blended themes, elements and realities in a way that was memorable and something every storyteller/film-maker should strive for. I had the VHS and now have the DVD as I try to watch it regularly. Great cast too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, I guess Mylou had more layers because they had more musicians. Though we can't see who is behind Haley.

      I will have to watch for that film. Reading the synopsis it does sound kind of familiar, but I'm not sure that I've seen it. Sounds like something that would interest me.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
    2. A classic that I'd recommend, Lee as I suspect it will appeal to you.

      Delete
  20. Hi Lee - enjoy the A-Z ... it's been a wonderful idea - sadly I won't be doing it this year ... just enjoy and I'll check in occasionally. Sounds like you'll be clearing your head a little via your posts.

    I prefer Haley ... and I've yet to see the film - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, I know your meticulously researched and highly educational posts will be missed this year. I can use some "head cleaning" or at least some sorting out.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  21. A Facebook vote from my cousin Tom...

    Haley.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  22. My vote would be to Mylou :) Thanks for the A to Z Challenge! Wishing you a happy A to Z 10th Anniversary and I can't wait to dig into your posts this April :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shalini, and likewise with your posts. I hope I can keep up okay this year.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  23. Tenth year is beyond epic. Thank you, and congratulations for creating the A-Z. I'm so looking forward to April.

    I liked both, Haley for the simplicity of the rendition, Mylou for the more layered and polished music. My vote goes to Haley because I liked her vocals, the lyrics shine through, whereas in the other version the instruments overshadow the words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nilanjana, Thank you for being such a strong supporter of A to Z! Hope you enjoy this year's Challenge.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  24. I haven't seen Greatest Showman yet, but now I definitely have to! :) I have heard the song, though, and it's great. Happy Theme Reveal! :)

    The Multicolored Diary

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    Replies
    1. Csenge, I think Greatest Showman is one of the most uplifting films I've seen. I'd like to hear your perspective after you see it. The music is outstanding and I think its popularity throughout the world attests to that.

      Lee

      Delete
  25. That movie was very empowering. And the song is amazing. I bet your A to Z this year is going to be amazing. I'm excited for it. Enjoy your journey to self discovery.

    My Pinterest blogging board has a bunch of stuff that might help you with this. https://www.pinterest.com/jlennidorner/blog-tips-and-such/ If you need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. J, I perused through the blog tips but will have to go back to hone it. Excellent looking blogging board though.

      Lee

      Delete
  26. Great theme, looking forward to getting to know you better - even though we have been A-Z buddies for a couple of years.

    As for the music challenge, my vote goes to MYLOU's version!

    https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/2019/03/2019-z-blogging-challenge-theme-reveal.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamara, you have been a mainstay in the Blogging Challenge for the past many years. Good to have you back.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  27. Lee,

    Before I jump in on today's post, I wanted you to know that you came to mind this weekend while we were in Maryville looking at (drive by only) properties. After viewing two homes on Riverview Drive, we decided to definitely include the Maryville/Alcoa areas in our search. :)

    Your A2Z theme sounds furtastic and I can't wait to read your posts. I know they'll be pAwesome and I'll get to know you all the better with each daily share.

    Now to your battle song which is a purrfect choice. My first thought going into this showdown is female vs male vocals and generally I prefer a man's voice to a woman's everytime. Contender #1 I thought was a bit sharp sounding at times which isn't all that uncommon for a woman's voice but the thing I loved about her cover is the simplisty of her delivery - just her and her guitar. #2 opening captured my attention right off the bat with their beautiful instruments playing. Unfortunately, the lead singer has a style that wasn't most appealing to my ears. I call it lazy singing because it sounds like like...well lazy as if the vocalist doesn't have much interest in enunciating the words fully. True he's not as bad as some but this drives me nuts. Please give HALEY KLINKHAMMER my vote!


    BTW, my Theme Reveal is up and I joined the list this morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, Maryville is a nice place to live and I miss it. Hope you find your dream home.

      I think Mylou's vocalist is singing in a language unfamiliar to him. I can hear an accent or mispronunciation of certain words, but I still like his sound. However the lyrics are not overly intelligible.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  28. There have been films which instantly made me passionate fans of the actors, directors, or screenwriters, and films which deeply moved me, but I'm not sure I've ever seen any which particularly changed my life. Maybe The Inner Circle (1991), based on the memoirs of Stalin's film projectionist. It was a huge inspiration when I was getting back to working on my first Russian historical in autumn 1996, and I watched it so many times, back when the History Channel still had Movies in Time. I taped it in spring '97 and proceeded to watch the VHS many times too.

    I prefer Mylou's version.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrie-Anne, there have been a number of films that made me a big fan. Fellini's Roma is an example--after seeing it I started seeking out anything by the director I could find. Far easier to do now than it was back in the 1970's.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  29. Can’t wait to follow your A to Z this April.

    Also, my vote is gonna go toward Mylou just because I liked the sound from the start.

    Haley was amazing as well but it took a few cords for me to connect.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dani, April always looks more intimidating to me from this time of year.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  30. Nice battle, Lee! I have to give my ONE AND ONLY VOTE to MYLOU. Seriously though, I did like both...I'd have the two on a playlist, for sure.

    My life changing moment was when I met my husband. Not planned, didn't want to marry, if I had stopped by my friend's house two minutes earlier or later, our paths would have never crossed. But I'm one of those gals who thinks that their family is their life, and he is definitely the center of it. And that may be more about my belief in a merciful, benevolent God that in the luck of timing.

    Thanks!
    Cherdo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cherdo, nice family story. Meeting all 3 of my spouses over the past 40 some years were all life changing moments for sure. Life has many moments.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  31. I'm celebrating my 10th blogging anniversary in April of this year - what a coincidence that A to Z has its anniversary also. I'll love to learn more about you and your 10 years of A to Z. That's awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alana, so we started blogging about the same time. I'm a few months into my 10th year of blogging. What a road!

      Lee

      Delete
  32. Dude, sometimes you just gotta be you. You and I are not so far apart in age, but I think I am experiencing some of your "life change" right now. I also seem to be finally letting my true self experience life. Guess we all reach an age where we don't feel as self conscious as we used to - when we were younger and had so many people to impress, or be role models for.

    I like your A-Z theme. Very nice, and I can't wait to read some of your posts. I'm not participating, as usual; but I remember when the A-Z got its start. Been that long ago?? Wow. It has sure grown and gotten out of control - as most love children do, lol.

    I really do love Haley. She has a great voice. And MyLou also sounds really really good. Both songs are inspiring, well done.

    I'm voting for Haley though; her voice and emotion carry this song, the background band is incidental to her singing. MyLou, however, has an awesome, loud band, and I'm not sure the singer would be able to carry the tune without them.

    Good luck in April Lee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dolorah, I guess I'd still like to impress people, but not in the same way I used to feel about it. Now it's kind of a take me as I am or go your own way attitude. Might as well spend the declining years feeling positive about who I am which is how we all should be.

      A vote for Haley.

      Lee

      Delete
  33. I haven't seen the movie, but you make it sound like I should. Looking forward to your A-Z.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristin, if you haven't seen Greatest Showman then I'd recommend it as long as you can at least tolerate musicals and don't have some kind of irrational fear or dislike of circuses. It's a fun positive film.

      Lee

      Delete
  34. Well, I hate to be negative but I didn't really like the vocals on either one so I'm voting based on the instrumental portion and on that I preferred Mylou.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LD, I wouldn't say it's being negative to say what you like and don't like--it's just your opinion and that's what BOTB is all about. I thank you for voting...

      Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  35. Mylou has more energy and feels committed. But didn't really like either very much. It is hard to compete Keala Settle. She burst that song wide open.

    What changed my life? God changed my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan K, the version from the movie is so great.

      God keeps changing my life and it's always for the good.

      A vote for Mylou.

      Lee

      Delete
  36. I haven't seen the movie but I know the song you mean and I love it. A great inspiration for a theme
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie, the song's theme inspired my A to Z theme because I've been listening to that soundtrack a lot lately.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee