The Playlist


Do they bug you? Baaahahahahaaaaa!!!

I get one almost every morning, a song that starts playing in my head, repeating lightly in the transom between conscious thoughts and brushing teeth. How fascinating! Apparently for some people it’s annoying, even distressing, but I like it, especially when it inspires me to dance a little. Music makes me happy.

Duran Duran was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, woohoooooo! If you have not already, I highly recommend listening to John Taylor’s memoir, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran, which he reads himself. It’s poignant and honest, funny and endearing, and for us 80s kids, a window into our music heroes’ lives. “Ordinary World” plays as I type now, and when “Rio”, “Union of the Snake”, or “The Reflex” come on I’m 14 again, walking the halls of AHS. There is just something about music from adolescence that we internalize, that vibrates as deeply as anything else from our most formative years.

More often over time, I’m adding ‘oldies’ to my Spotify Liked Songs list, including classics by Bryan Adams, Kenny Loggins, Journey, Gin Blossoms, and Eric Clapton. When Maverick came out I added “Danger Zone” and the Top Gun Anthem. When I was very young, my parents played John Denver, Johnny Cash, and Sonny and Cher. OMG the nostalgia, it’s so powerful. Each of these songs evokes something unique… something warm, comforting, utterly limbic and visceral; ineffable and yet completely tangible.

And remember Band Aid? I still love their single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” In sixth grade we learned “We Are the World” in sign language and performed it for our parents. Many of you likely recall these songs. What you may not know is that pop singers in Taiwan also did a similar project, “明天會更好”, “Tomorrow will be even better.” This one makes me especially emotional because Ma and Ba had always played the individual artists’ songs in our house. Tsai Chin‘s voice is especially distinctive and recognizable, and thus nostalgic for our whole family. All of these collaborative songs, but the Chinese one in particular, evoked a sense of being part of something bigger–something global–decades before the internet led us to take that feeling for granted. They still do this for me, in a deeper way.

Thanks to my kids, I also discover new (to me) music every week. Daughter has introduced me to K-pop, so my playlist now includes BTS and Blackpink. She and I are big fans of Oscar Isaac; did you know he sings, too? I added at least 5 songs from the To All the Boys soundtrack, and I liked the movie, too. I discovered One Voice Children’s Choir’s version of “Memories”, then Son/Daughter showed me the original by Maroon 5; they’re both great!

*sigh* I so love my playlist. It’s eclectic, personal, and joyful. I play it shuffled, so I never know what’s coming next, and it always makes me happy. Other drivers may often see me bopping along Lake Shore Drive…

When I write, I like instrumentals. My go-tos are the soundtrack for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, selections from The Hobbit soundtrack, and my favorites from December by George Winston. Sometimes I just play a single song on repeat, which feels meditative and inspiring. Recent tracks include “Variations on the Kanon”, “Hallelujah” by The Canadian Tenors, and “Lean On Me” by The Tenors.

Music. Such a phenomenal thing. Thanks to iheart11 over at Passion…Unbridled, once again, for inspiring another of my 30 posts for November. I hope you have clicked on some of the artists/songs above and found uplift today. Life is too short to not hear something good every day, whenever possible.

9 thoughts on “The Playlist

  1. And then I read about earworms and then strange pronunciation and then… (Internet Rabbit Hole. Much worse than an earworms!)
    I now play inner songs that initiate from the sounds of wind or equipment. Otherwise my mind does Buddhist chanting, all without permission. It no longer bothers me, if I keep my mind busy I can get things done without being interrupted.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea John Taylor published the memoir – so I may just have to check it out. I was pretty big into DD in HS also – sketching song titles and some of their album art on my school folders. The songs you mention are classics. I am curious if you ever played them for your kids and what they thought.

    I can’t say that K-Pop is much to my liking – but you hit other familiar names – George Winston – December another true classic. If you like instrumentals, a bit of a shift from Winston is Passion by Peter Gabriel – the soundtrack from Passion of the Christ is amazing. Well, all Peter Gabriel is amazing, but this soundtrack is really good.

    Lately my earworms have all been from July Talk – a really terrific band from Canada with a dynamic set of voices that make every song like a conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

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