Desert Island Songs

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Normally I write about baking, or traveling, or writing in this space.  But as one of my favourite writers said, “If music be the food of love, play on.” 

Duke Orsino (and William Shakespeare) had it right.  Music inspires my writing.  When I find an album I love, I listen to nothing else for months on end.  My family loves that about me.

So I decided to write about my Desert Island Songs – the music that, if I was stuck on a desert island with an iPod that held only ten songs, I couldn’t live without.

Here’s my list.  What’s on yours?

Ten (well, actually eleven) Desert Island Songs

1.  “Nobody Does it Better”, Carly Simon – If I’m ever with you near a karaoke machine, I will want to sing this song.  Don’t let me do it.

2.  “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”, Neil Young – Any top ten list that doesn’t feature at least one song by Neil Young is incomplete.

3.  “The Scientist”, Coldplay – It tells a story, and I love songs that tell a story.

4. “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”, The Police – Best.  Song.  Ever.

5. “With or Without You”, U2 – Because I love melancholy songs performed by a singer with a great voice.  See also #2 and #10.

6.  “September”, Earth, Wind & Fire – Even people living on a desert island have to dance sometimes.

7.  “My Best Friend’s Girl”, The Cars – This album got me through the worst summer job ever.  I still don’t understand the lyrics, but I love this song.

8.  “I Want You Back”, The Jackson 5 – And 8a is “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”, Jay-Z.

9.  “Singin’ in the Rain”, Gene Kelly – I couldn’t have a desert island list without a song from a musical, could I?

10.  “Racing Like a Pro”, The National – If it isn’t “Racing Like a Pro”, it would be “Start a War” or “Gospel”.  Usually, desert island songs should be at least five years old, to make sure they stand the test of time.  But I know I’ll be listening to this album (Boxer) for the rest of my life. 

25 comments:

Claudia said...

I hear music when I write. It comes spontaneously. Must be the muse.

Mimi said...

There is no way I could pick ten songs.
Mimi

Valerie said...

Great list, Beth! I ♥ Carly Simon's “Nobody Does it Better”. My dad was a James Bond fan and I always associate that song wit Roger Moore. :~)

Jennifurla said...

I love Porcelain by Moby

Barbara said...

How CAN you narrow it down??
I use Michael Jackson for exercising and constantly change my list for everything else! Heard something country in step class last week (I am not much of a country fan) and I will download it soon. I'm very eclectic.

Foodessa said...

Earth Wind and Fire is one of my favourite groups among a few more that you've mentioned.

My taste in music is vast and it really depends at what phase in my life I find myself in ;o)

Beth, thanks for sharing and have a great week,
Claudia

katerina said...

I know most of the songs you mention and are really beautiful. They show the sensitive part of you.

Grapefruit said...

Love the list and I'm with you on #4 and 5. Now I'm tempted to make my own desert island list but I don't think I would ever be decide on just 10 songs!

Beth said...

Valerie, there are some great James Bond songs but that one's the best!
I don't know Porcelain, Jennifurla, but I love the Bourne theme songs that Moby did.
Thanks for the compliment, Katerina. I am so moved by that music.
And Grapefruit, it was really tough narrowing it down to ten! There are at least five more songs that I hated to leave off.

Faith said...

There is no way for me to narrow it down either :) I love your list though. All of the songs you've mentioned are beautiful.

Dishesdone said...

Great list! Love the songs you chose! #1,2,7,8,9, would be on my list as well!

Katrina said...

Those are some great songs. It drives my kids nuts when I listen to the same CD over and over.

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Narrowing it down is hard... especially because I have some 8000 songs on my iPod...

Amie said...

That's a great list. A while ago my husband challenged my to narrow down my favourites to a number that would fit on one CD. It was agony! Did I keep the long song, knowing two shorter favourites would fit? I think after all the agonising was done, he was sorry he'd asked!

When I write, I usually listen to the same CD on loop. I think I condition myself, so that when I sit down at my desk and start those tracks, my brain knows what it's supposed to do!

(PS - have worked out how to comment from Vietnam, where Wordpress and OpenID and error messages in Vietnamese are foiling me. Google username!)

Beth said...

Thanks for persevering, Amie! That's true devotion. I love the idea of having a specific CD to write to. Maybe I'll give that a try!

'Dishesdone', you obviously have exquisite musical taste!

Katrina said...

Hey, Beth, I love and collect children's book, by the way, and was just wondering what books are yours. ;)

shaz said...

I'm with Mimi, no way could I pick just ten :) Quite a diverse list, but I'd rather pick 10 albums...is that allowed? I know Joni Mitchell would be on my list, and REM...and oh no, I'd better stop now :)

Beth said...

Hi Katrina, my books are Harley's Gift, The Next Step and (my newest) The Witch of Bloor Street. (All available on Amazon!)
Shaz, lots of my friends would pick Joni Mitchell. And Nightswimming by REM came so close to making the top ten!

LDH said...

Great post, Beth!

I like you list! I enjoy music and especially songs that encourage but sometimes music with energy or mood music.

I listen mostly to contemporary Christian and there have been a few songs that have really carried me through rough times.

Kristen said...

I couldn't narrow it down like that; too many genres, let along songs are on my favorites list!

Reeni said...

That's quite a wide array of music! Love it! You know what's weird - I am horrible with names of songs! I can never remember them and sometimes don't even know the band. It makes it hard for me to find music to put on my Ipod.

Cakelaw said...

"The Scientist" is one of my favourite songs ever - I have no idea why, because it is kind of sad, but the melody and the words are so poignant.

My Little Space said...

From your list, I'll choose song #4! Frankly, my favourites are Lady in red, Vincent, Hard to say I'm sorry, Tears in heaven.... just too many of them especially the 80's songs. haha...
kristy

My Little Space said...

And one of my favourite oldies collection was 'Sounds of music'! I love all the songs in there. It's a splendid classic.
Kristy

Ruth said...

I love top ten lists... that is a great one, and I would happily duet with you to Carly Simon. :)

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