During the day, I almost always have music playing. Whether I’m listening to a record, or have my earbuds in, or have the radio on, or I’m blasting music over bluetooth… I’m very rarely without music. Sometimes I’ll play stuff in my head. Sometimes I’ll whistle or sing to myself (ideally when there’s nobody around).
My taste in music has widened over the years as I’ve met new people and found out what they like. I think it’s safe to say that I like most kinds of music – some more than others of course, but I think I like most of it. I rarely listen to the lyrics to any song. I treat the vocals as another instrument, and I like picking songs apart and listening to what each instrument does and how they work together.
On rough days, music can help me stay afloat. If I feel really down or like there’s panic coming, I will crank up the music – nice and loud and upbeat.
Here are some songs that make me smile or help me see things differently when things aren’t going well.
“Get Over You” by The Undertones
This is my go-to song for almost any occasion. The best chorus in the best song by the best band on the planet. If you don’t like classic punk or think you’re going to hate this song, at least skip to 2:00 in the video and listen to the harmony in the chorus. Not bad for some kids out of Derry!
“Lydia The Tattooed Lady” by The Muppets
From the second episode of the first season of the original Muppet Show comes this gem. Supposedly, “Lydia The Tattooed Lady” was one of Jim Henson’s favourite songs, and the Muppet version of this song pretty much bursts at the seams with glee. This song made it onto my first “Videos That Make Me Smile” list.
“Mr. Blue Sky” by The Electric Light Orchestra
This song is… I don’t know what the best way to describe it would be. Somehow, ELO managed to perfectly package optimism in song format. I can’t listen to this song without tapping my toes or bouncing up and down.
“King Of The Road” by Roger Miller
This song is an exception to my “upbeat music” rule. Miller’s vocals are laid back and you can practically feel the swing. Everybody has heard this song, and most people can probably sing a few bars. There is nothing quite like listening to this song on a record player – pops and hisses and all.
“The Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss
This song has so many different meanings for me. It reminds me of the simpler times of childhood. It reminds me of HAL 9000 (one of my favourite movie characters). It makes me think of the grandiose and amazing things that humanity is capable of when we share a vision and work together.
BONUS: “The Blue Danube Hustle” by The Rice And Beans Orchestra
You know how every food tastes better when you deep-fry it? Well, every song sounds better when you, uh… “disco” it. Do the Hustle Waltz (whatever that means)!