Saturday, March 9, 2013

Playing It By Earbuds

Music has always been very important to me, even though my own musical skills are rather limited.  When I was in college studying theatre I would often use music to get in the right mood for acting scenes, and when working on plays I would make a cassette (remember those?) of music suitable to the project I was working.  I also used to put together preshow and intermission music for shows that I was working on. In short, I enjoy making play lists.

After college I went on creating tapes for special occasions, like the one that played at our wedding, and as remembrances for people I had lost.  Often when I am parted from friends I would like to be with I will play songs I associate with them, and feel closer to them.

Recently I acquired an MP3 player that allowed me to created play lists.The one I used to have I just had to skip around looking for what I wanted.   I have created a favorites list, and a Celtic music play list so I am ready for next weekend, but the most important ones I have set up so far are my wake up and mellow out  play lists.

The Wake up is what I listen to on the bus going to work in the morning.  It helps me get my energy up for the day, and also puts me in a positive frame of mind.  Its also good for brisk walking.

Wake up Play list:
Revolution--The Beatles (the guitar riff alone can make you jump 10 feet)
Roll Over Beethoven/Rock and Roll/Johnny B Good--Chuck Berry
Mack the Knife--Bobby Darrin
Help/A Hard Days Night--The Beatles
If I had a Hammer--Peter, Paul and Mary
Twist and Shout--The Beatles (actually most early Beatles music is energizing, but Twist and Shout may be the very best. By the time Mr Lennon gets done shredding his vocal cords, I'm ready for the days work.)

The Mellow out play list is what I listen to on the way home from work.  One of the benefits of commuting by bus it that I have a 20 minute break between the workday stress and the home front.  The Mellow out ritual is what allows me to arrive home a mostly normal and attentive mom.

Mellow Out Play list:
Imagine--John Lennon (I don't listen to the same things every night of course, but this is almost always where I start, No other song brings me such a sense of peace and well being.)
Wasted on the Way--Crosby, Stills and Nash (When I need to be reminded that its never too late to make things right)
Let it Be--The Beatles
Into the West--Annie Lennox
Old Friend (Bookends)--Simon and Garfunkel
Circles (Harry Chapin)
Bridge over Troubled Water--Simon and Garfunkel
In My Life-- The Beatles (This is actually my all rime favorite song)
For My Lady--The Moody Blues
Stand By Me--John Lennon (I know, Ben E King, but I like John's version)

And here's one more, Meg's Super Moody Wallow in Your Depression and
Regrets Play list. For when you need to get down so you can get back up.

Piece of my Heart--Janis Joplin (It doesn't get more simultaneously down and out and empowering at the same time than this)
500 Miles--Peter, Paul and Mary
Empty Chairs--Don McLean
Mother--John Lennon (Primal scream therapy, anyone?)
At Seventeen--Janis Ian (Return to those thrilling days of high school depression and abuse, and survival)
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables--Les Miserables
The Sound of Silence--Simon and Garfunkel
The Parting Glass--The Clancy Bros and Tommy Makem

I got a bunch more of these, but it should be enough to give you an idea.

So how about you? Do you make special purpose play lists?  Do you have certain songs for when you want to achieve certain moods? What songs pick you up when you are down?

I'm hanging out this weekend on yeah write's Moonshine Grid with a lot of other great bloggers.  You should join us.


  1. Great lists! I have to admit to falling off the music bandwagon once I moved in with my now husband. He had fancy music equipment, so my vinyl was packed up, my tapes were crated, and even my CDs were shelved to make way for iTunes and iPods and stuff I just didn't have a desire to figure out. Now it's mainly the car that provides me with music. And the kitchen radio.

    I think I need to revisit this arrangement. I so miss making a good mixed tape!

    1. Thanks Kristin. Sometimes you just need to have the right tunes in the right place, and not have to rely on a DJ to know what you want to hear.

  2. I don't have specific playlists, never been that organized, but after reading this, it sounds very cool. I do have specific songs that always are on my iPod. Heavy on Paul Simon and Tom Petty. I've had the Beatles off for a while, after reading this I'll have to put some back on.

    1. As you can see, the Beatles loom large in all my playlists, they have something for all occasions. I don't own a lot of Tom Petty or solo Paul Simon, will have to work on that.

  3. You and I totally have the same taste in music! x

    1. Another crazed musical eclectic out there...I love it. Thanks for stopping by Steph.

  4. Ah, cassette tapes. I go back to 8-tracks! I don't listen to a lot of music - not sure why. My husband puts it on all the time so maybe that's why I don't really think about it.

    1. I have 8 tracks too. And lots of vinyl. You know that line in Men in Black when K says "this is going to revolutionize the music industry and Im going to have to buy the White Album again". That's me.

  5. I think I've only made one playlist on iTunes and that's of cool (to me) music that I've heard on TV shows (mostly BBC's Luther). Believe it or not, Chicago has awful radio stations (my fave is CD 101 in Columbus, OH) so I mostly listen to the classical station here, which I also love. But I learn about new music from TV shows. Kinda lame, I guess.

    1. Thats a great idea for a playlist Bee. I have one good oldies station we listen too, but the kids have mostly taken that over so I must resort to headphones.

  6. Great lists. I love a lot of classic rock. I am really getting into Jack White right now though. I usually make a new playlist of things I love but haven't heard in a while whenever I need some extra motivation to work out. Some songs I've been playing lately: "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet, "Lonely Boy" by the Black Keys, "Danse Caribe" by Andrew Bird, "Night Flight" by Led Zeppelin, "Pick Up the Pieces" by the Average White Band, "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train.

    1. I like "hey soul sister" too. One day I played "Kyrie Eleison" for my kids so they would know who Mr Mister was.

  7. Ah, yes. I remember recording songs off the radio onto cassette. Since that technology has gone the way of the dinosaur, I haven't managed to catch up. I don't burn music onto CDs, still don't know exactly what an MP3 player is and have no device that requires use of earbuds.
    I like your playlists. Maybe if I weren't a technophobe in this respect, I would follow your lead.