Playlist #46: Romeo and Juliet

So this weekend, I was listening to an album by pianist Alan Clark. He played with Dire Straits back in the ’80s (as well as acts like Bob Dylan), and it was an album of solo piano versions of mostly Dire Straits songs. One of them was the song “Romeo and Juliet,” which is a tune I absolutely adore, and so I decided to put together a playlist this week built around that pair of star-crossed lovers. Also remember that I do have a Patreon, and I’m working on not one but two versions of March’s song!

  1. Dire Straits, “Romeo and Juliet”: “Finds a streetlight/Steps out of the shade and says somethin’ like/You and me, babe, how ’bout it?” is just one of the best lines in any song anywhere ever. And that guitar figure Knopfler picks out on what sounds like a resonator? Gorgeous.
  2. Tom Waits, “Romeo is Bleeding”: Alas, poor Romeo, he got shot while knifing a cop and is slowly dying while everyone around him remains oblivious.
  3. The Buzzcocks, “Ever Fallen In Love?” “Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t fallen in love with?” they snarl, and if that ain’t Romeo and Juliet, I don’t know what is.
  4. Duke Ellington, “The Star-Crossed Lovers (aka Pretty Girl)”: Yes, switching from the punky Buzzcocks to the jazzy Duke Ellington is a bit of tonal whiplash, but I think that’s why I like it so much.
  5. You + Me, “Love Gone Wrong”: We all know Romeo and Juliet isn’t really a love story, right? It’s about a couple of pubescent teens dumbstruck with infatuation who end up destroying both of their families (and themselves) in the process.
  6. M. Ward, “Poison Cup”: Sure, Hamlet was the play with the poison cup in it, but poison plays a major role in the final scene of this one, too, remember.
  7. Mates of State, “A Duel Will Settle This”: Mercutio vs. Tybalt is one hell of a fight, though I’m not sure it settled anything beyond that Mercutio will even use his own death to be the sassiest mofo ever.
  8. Cutting Crew, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”: What could match the overdramatic reaction of Romeo and Juliet? An ’80s song!
  9. Indigo Girls, “Romeo and Juliet”: A cover of the Dire Straits song we started the playlist with. Almost as good as the original.
  10. Ben Harper, “Verona”: Slow, bluesy slide guitar is always some of my favorite, and it’s such a quiet, sweet song to end on.

Playlist #5

Monday was our friend Lauren’s birthday, so here’s a Lauren-centric playlist to help her celebrate!

  1. Sarah Donner, “With Pride”: A song about acceptance and unicorns (or Pegasi, which I’m pretty sure is the plural of Pegasus).
  2. Waxahatchee, “Sparks Fly”: I like the simplicity of their arrangements. And the lyrics. And I think Lauren might be the only other person I know who listens to them.
  3. Cyndi Lauper, “She Bop”: I originally chose “The Goonies Are Good Enough,” but I feel Lauren would approve of this choice more.
  4. Indigo Girls, “Closer to Fine”: This one also goes on my Philosophy Playlist, which I’ll hopefully someday find more than four songs for (current list includes this song, that one Edie Brickell song, the Ben Folds Five’s “Philosphy,” and the Monty Python song about drunk philosophers).
  5. k.d. lang, “Constant Craving”: Did you know the Rolling Stones totally ripped this song off for their song “Has Anybody Seen My Baby”? It’s true! And also not as good a song as this one.
  6. The Doubleclicks, “Sensitive Badass”: Because Lauren is sensitive and she is a badass.
  7. Velvet Underground, “Candy Says”: I’m not super-familiar with the Velvet Underground, but this is a mellow tune and it’s probably about drugs. Or sex. Or sex and drugs.
  8. Dresden Dolls, “Shores of California”: There aren’t many songs that reference Oklahoma, let alone in their chorus. This one does, though.
  9. Lizzo, “Good As Hell”: I dare you to listen to this song and not want to sing along. I defy you to not dance to it. You can’t not dance to this song. This song is, in fact, good as hell.
  10. Bikini Kill, “Rebel Girl”: A thrashy, punky middle finger to the establishment and a lesbian love song for the ages. I think Lauren would approve.