By Mandi Bierly
May 24, 2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Today, in honor of Jordin Sparks having to forever associate “This is My Now” with the night of her American Idol win, let’s share the ballads (inspirational and/or cheesy) that have marked moments in our lives (good and/or bad). As always, I offer a couple to get you thinking:

• Picture it: Syracuse. Fall of 1993. It’s my first night in a college dorm. My roommate and I discover we both liked Aladdin. We put on the soundtrack. And sing along to “A Whole New World.” I can’t remember if it was the movie version or the Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle cutShudder. We’ll never know because I can’t go back there.

• Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.” In 2000, I was stuck in a miserable job with an even more miserable commute home each night. This song was in radio rotation at the time — and I never changed the station. Also, a friend of mine — and it really was a friend — had just gone through a bad breakup and burst into tears when this song came on at a diner. To quote Truvy (Dolly Parton) from Steel Magnolias: “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

addCredit(“Princess Jasmine: Everett Collection”)