iTunes makes it very easy to do a word search of your entire collection. First I tried “birthday.” The results were ‘Unhappy Birthday’ by The Smiths, which is both an inappropriate sentiment and a repeat artist (which I’ve vowed not to do until absolutely necessary); and ‘Birthday’ by The Beatles, which is an OK song, but do I really want to blow my Beatles selection on that? I don’t think so.
Next I tried “sister.” Plenty more to choose from here, including tracks by 10,000 Maniacs, Elvis Costello, Sting, Elton John, Spoon, The Smiths (again) and Bob Dylan. But again, the songs were either a poor fit or a waste of a good artist.
So then I went with her name, “Amy.” Got three returns. Counting Crows — already did ’em. Ryan Adams — already did him.
Dana Gallup. Aha!
Dana Gallup might not be the best-known artist in my collection, but he’s definitely a personal favorite. He’s a piano bard in the Billy Joel vein who had a minor hit in the 80s (‘Keep Your Money’). And he has a great song called ‘Amy’ that feels like it was written with my sister in mind.
Happy Birthday, Amy!