Playlist #85

It’s Monday. We had to put my cat to sleep late last week, so expect most of this particular playlist to be more than a bit maudlin.

  1. Joey Purp, “Elastic”: This song has been used recently in an ad for Chromebooks. An ad that plays before and during two out of every three videos I’ve watched on Youtube in the past few weeks. It is ridiculously catchy.
  2. My Politic, “What A Life”: A folky Missouri duo (actually based out of Nashville, TN) who sing with longing and bittersweet sadness about life back home. It hits all the right spots.
  3. Hozier featuring Mavis Staples, “Nina Cried Power”: A tribute not just to Nina Simone, but Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Mavis Staples (who contributes amazing backing vocals and an excellent bridge), James Brown, and so many other giants of the R&B and blues world.
  4. Stevie Nicks, “Edge of Seventeen”: Just like the one-winged dove, indeed.
  5. The Head And The Heart, “Rivers And Roads”: These folks always seem to remind me of home, even though (1) none of them are from Oklahoma and (2) they do not, strictly speaking, play a musical style reminiscent of Oklahoma. Something in their singing and lyrics, though, evokes my home state something fierce.
  6. Jakob Dylan, “Everybody’s Hurting”: “We’ve hunted these hills dry/We’ve long outlasted the winter and our last wood pile/Only one thing is certain/That’s everybody/Everybody’s hurting.”
  7. Donovan Woods, “‘Cause the last time I saw you/Was the last time I saw you,” is such a heartbreaking line to me. You never really know when the last time you’ll see someone is.
  8. George Harrison, “All Things Must Pass”: Is this one too obvious? I don’t care. George has brought me comfort in dark times, and this song continues to do so.
  9. Sean Watkins, “Let It Fall”: I’ve probably mentioned before with this song, but it always strikes me as the sort of song that plays at the end of the movie, as we fade to black and the credits start to roll. There’s a sort of finality to it that sits with me long after the song has ended.
  10. Tom Petty, “Wake Up Time”: The closer from Petty’s best album, Wildflowers, really sums up things very well. “Well, if he gets lucky, a boy finds a girl/To help him to shoulder the pain in this world.” Sometimes we do get lucky, and we ought to cherish those we walk these roads with.

Playlist #70: Death At A Funeral

We spent the weekend up in New York, attending a funeral for my wife’s grandfather who passed suddenly late last week. It got me thinking about things like when I die and, me being me, the music I’d like played at my own funeral. This list is by no means exhaustive; a true funerary playlist would have to be at least three times this long. But these are the top ten songs I’d like played when I die.

  1. Iron & Wine, “Hard Times Come Again No More”: Funerals are often somber affairs. They don’t have to be, but they often are. This song carries that tone well.
  2. The Beatles, “Let It Be”: Preferably one of the versions with a George Harrison guitar solo, because I like George Harrison guitar solos.
  3. Harry Nilsson, “Many Rivers To Cross”: Sure, Nick Hornby may prefer the Jimmy Cliff version, but this is the one for me.
  4. Van Morrison, “Caravan (Live)”: Again, much like Nick Hornby, I love the live version of this song from the Too Late To Stop Now double live album, even if it does have the unfortunate circumstances of including band introductions halfway through. But all those guys will probably be dead by the time I die, and I’m willing to share the spotlight a bit.
  5. Bob Dylan, “I Shall Be Released”: I mean, it’s more about getting out of jail than getting out of this life, but I think it still works.
  6. Sean Watkins, “Let It Fall”: This song always felt like it belong over the closing credits to some heartfelt romantic drama. Or the end of one’s life.
  7. George Harrison, “All Things Must Pass”: No one does the transitory nature of existence better than George Harrison.
  8. Gin Blossoms, “Pieces Of The Night”: Life could just be one long night at the bar, trying to find someone, anyone, to spend just a moment with, a moment that might mean something. Or maybe I’ve already had too much gin.
  9. The National, “Gospel”: “Hang your holiday rainbow lights in the garden.”
  10. Wilco, “What Light”: This song is very simple. Many Wilco songs are. But it’s also transcendent. And I think it’d be nice to have a choir of my friends sing it.