(musical) love in the time of corona


nick with mask.jpg

we (the whole fucking world that is), have been social distancing at home for about three weeks.  and these songs just keep popping up in my mind, they have been for a few days now. call me cynical but don’t call me kitschy – i just can’t help it… my muses chose these 20 plus 1 songs:

1.in a sentimental mood – John Coltrane

this song got me into jazz a long time ago.  it’s one of those expressive songs that can be so universally self-explanatory.  sad but also hopeful.

2. the weeping song – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

the good son isn’t my favourite Nick Cave ATBS’s album but this song remains timeless.  love the video too.  rowing into an unknown with a mate, embracing the situation.  it’s saying – i’m pathetically sad and it feels good!

3.  it’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine) – REM

perfect follow up to the weeping song, following the same ethos.  pump up the volume

4. it seemed the better way – Leonard Cohen

a song I devote to social distancing and isolation.  i am fortunate to be with my family but a lot of people are alone.  as social beings, this can be very hard. the video choice is a conscious one

5. who wants to live forever – Queen

what makes life valuable is death.  and whether we like it or not we are living in times when many will succumb to this bitch of a virus.

6. dust in the wind – Kansas

another blast from the past but like the aforementioned, it shows how insignificant life can be if we don’t value our time on earth.

7. karma police – Radiohead

probably don’t need to say much here.  it has numerous meanings of course, but right now, for me, it shows how we are building structures as we move along, learning along the way, knowing that any mistakes made might cost lives; trying to establish social grounds that seem absolutely necessary despite our urge for agency…

8. transatlantisism – Death Cab for Cutie

how we emerge from this is scary if we look at past pandemics.  we must come out of this united across the globe and not turn inwards.  the world was at a bad place before this pandemic, so i hope for the best. this song consists of that faith. a faith based on global connections.

9. the great gig in the sky – Pink Floyd

a corona virus outbreak was inevitable.  experts warned it would come and all the modulations showed it.  why weren’t we ready?  and now the world, like the song, cries.

10. wish you were here – Pink Floyd

more Pink Floyd.  this time it’s wishing we were with those who are not with us.

“And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?”

11. the outsiders – REM

another REM masterclass.  what a political and market failure fuck up.  big pharma could have invested more and policy measures should have forced them to do so.

12. the last carnival – Bruce Springsteen

sad, like what we are going through.  so sad

13. brothers in arms – Dire Straits

the war narrative in all of this seems disturbing but appropriate.  there are similarities no doubt, but in this world war, we are all losing, we are all humbled. we win this one by trusting in scientists and health care workers, not soldiers and weapons.

14. wind of change – Scorpions

there is no doubt we come out of this changed.  hopefully it’s change for the better.  rethinking the neoliberal policies that have brought us here would be a start.  universal basic income, health care for all, helping weaker countries when they need it. helping neighbours when they need it. taking care of the planet.

15. dream on – Aerosmith

everyone has their own cross to carry

“The past is gone it went by like dusk to dawn”

…but we all dream on

16. fade to black – Metallica

some days are like this.

17. one – U2

“it’s too late to drag the past up”. let’s think of how we get out of this fucking mess

18. pain – The War on Drugs

there’s a comment on this youtube video that says, “this music gives me memories I don’t have”

19. little faith – The National 

listening to this song at a time when its meaning has changed entirely.  it’s for all megacities out there

20. hollywood – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

if you have not lost someone, go plant a mustard seed

20+1. hallelujah – Leonard Cohen

if your faith is intact, listen to this song.  if it isn’t, listen harder.

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