Good Evening TXK

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a law officially declaring “The Star Spangled Banner” our country’s national anthem. That’s how March 3rd officially became National Anthem Day—a day that observes not only our anthem, but the songs nations around the world have adopted and chosen to represent their national identity. I love that National Anthem Day isn’t just about our culture. It’s a true reflection of how music has this neat little way of bringing us all together. Iconic is an understatement when you’re describing our national anthem.

As I pondered on the thought of our United States anthem, and how well it reflects our country’s core values, I got to thinking about what my personal anthems are. We all have those songs that describe our life somehow, or maybe a song that has absolutely no biographical ties to your reality, but you still feel like it speaks to you in some way. I decided to pick five songs I felt represented me as my anthems.

“Tik Tok” by Ke$ha

Ah, the party anthem of all my middle school peers! I was 13 years old when I heard this BOP for the very first time in the Richmond Road Dollar Tree parking lot, and my life was changed forever. True story. “The party don’t start ‘til I walk in” describes me perfectly. I love to party and have a good time! I love to make my friends laugh, love to bring everyone’s mood up, and love to let loose after a long week. Ke$ha was the embodiment of what kids my age at the time wanted to be—wild, rebellious, and free. She didn’t care what anyone thought about her, she just wanted to have a good time.

“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield

You are straight lying through your teeth if, one—you say you hate this song, or two—you say that it’s not a seriously motivational BANGER. I have a theory that if someone listened to this song at least once every single day, they would never need a motivational speech or self-help book again… A little dramatic, yes, but I just think we all have moments in our life where we look at our story and wish we could have rewritten some things. We convince ourselves that there is no way to turn things around now, we can’t fix our past mistakes, but that’s why “staring at the blank page before you” sounds so liberating in this song. We CAN’T go back and do it all over again, but we CAN look at the blank page in front of us and change the narrative TODAY because while we may have made some regretful decisions in the past, the REST of your story is still unwritten, and only YOU can write it!

“On The Altar” by Upperroom

When you are touched by the riches of Jesus’s mercy and abundant grace for the very first time, you have no choice but to be wonderstruck and in awe of a love so deep that you cannot not give everything to Him. Every word of this song is my heart cry to my Heavenly Father. “I will live on the altar, you are worth what you ask for.” I went into last year proclaiming that this would be my life’s anthem. What God asks of us is not always easy, but He is worth what He asks for, and not only that, but He asks us to sacrifice out of love for us because He knows it’s what’s best for us as humans, and that truly is the most beautiful part to me. He doesn’t ask us to love Him body, soul, and mind just because He says so. He asks us to love Him because He knows that our willing sacrifice is the only thing we can do to be truly fulfilled at our core. This song will always give me chills everywhere; it has to be one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, and I pray the more I sing it, the more I mean it.

“Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift

I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a Swiftie, but there is no argument for me that Taylor Swift is one of the most incredibly talented songwriters of our generation because she writes lyrics so profoundly personal that you would think you wrote them yourself. “Anti-Hero” is an amazing example of that. While I don’t think we should keep songs about our own faults and self-doubts on repeat because it’s not conducive to our growth as humans, I do think it’s important that we have moments of self-reflection. I would consider myself a highly self-aware person, and that’s why I feel like this song resonates with me so much. You’ve heard the infamous, “It’s me! Hi! I’m the problem, it’s me!,” and I don’t know about you, but I have definitely been the problem sometimes too! There’s something refreshing and freeing about sitting back and admitting when you are the one in the wrong, when you’ve messed up, when people’s criticisms of you might ring true. This beautiful song sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts for eight consecutive weeks, so I can’t be the only person in the world who can relate to occasionally being the drama.

“Who You Are” by Jessie J

Perhaps the most impactful song on this list that resonates with me on more levels than just one, I actually performed “Who You Are” my ninth grade year at my school talent show (and subsequently peaked in ninth grade by winning said talent show), because this song struck such a deep chord with me. Jessie J said her goal when writing this song went hand and hand with her mission to, “write songs that could heal the world.” I was 14 when I first heard the song and felt ashamed at the time of who I was as a person. I was always deemed too loud, too effeminate, too crazy, too wild, too different by others. Hearing Jessie J sing “there’s nothing wrong with who you are” was the medicine for me, and I’ve kept the song close to me ever since. Just because the world sometimes may be afraid of who you are, it doesn’t mean you should ever change yourself to fit into someone else’s box. I wasted a lot of time trying to fit in places I was never meant to be, and I’m so thankful for artists like Jessie J and songs like “Who You Are” to remind me when I forget that I am fearfully and wonderfully made just the way that I am!


March 4
Jurassic Park in Concert
Perot Theatre, 7 pm

March 9
UAHT 16th Annual Beads, Bags, and Bangles Kids’ College Fundraiser
Hempstead Hall, 6-9 pm

March 10
Downtown Live
Downtown Texarkana, 6-9 pm

March 11
5th Annual Wagons for Veterans
Four States Fairgrounds, 10:30 am

March 18
Tough Kookie Foundation Sock Hop
Crossties, 6 pm

through March 25
TAAC’s 21st Annual Regional Celebration of African American artists Exhibit
Regional Arts Center, 10 am-4 pm

March 25
Texarkana Home and Garden Show
Crossties, 9 am-7 pm

March 25
Free Female
Self-Defense Course
Eternal Beauty Parking Lot, 11 am

March 25
St. James Day School Gala
Silvermoon, 7 pm

March 30
Pitch It Texarkana
Crossties, 4 pm

March 31-April 9
78th Annual Four States Fair and Rodeo
Four States Fairgrounds

March 31
17th Annual Wine and Jazz Gala
Silvermoon on Broad, 7 pm

March 31
World Ballet Series Cinderella
Sullivan Performing Arts Center, 7 pm


March 4
The Crue
Fat Jacks, 8 pm

March 10
Lee Mathis & the Brutally Handsome
Whiskey River, 10 pm

March 24
Tailgate Poets Live
67 Landing, 7:30 pm

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