This post is a bit anticlimactic now, but throughout the presidential campaign, election, and pre-inauguration time I kept hearing songs appropriate to the events which stuck in my head or songs would inspirationally pop into my head and I would sing them in the shower or to the dogs.
On the way down to the beach I started to make a list of them, thinking I would put them up on here when I got back and ask for additional suggestions. Well... we can all see that didn't happen. I did, however, manage to pull together two rather lengthy CDs full for the inauguration party. There were so many people in the house though that I doubt anyone could hear/notice that music was playing.
So... in case you've been thinking "Gee, I'd really like a couple of playlists full of completely random, yet inspirational and/or bouncy music to remind me of the past year" here are my suggestions. At this point some are beyond obvious and borderline cliche, but I like them anyway. Enjoy. And... thanks to the magic of YouTube - I've linked them so you can go listen/watch for yourself.
1. YES WE CAN - Will I Am and friends
This was adapted from Obama's concession speech after the New Hampshire primary. It was one of the most moving things I'd ever heard and if I hadn't already decided I was voting for him long before that - I would have decided to that night. I don't normally enjoy celebrity-endorsed public service-type things, but this is good and I'm so glad someone did something like this with it.
2. HIGHER GROUND - Stevie Wonder
3. HEAVENLY DAY - Patty Griffin
In my next life I want to be able to sing like this woman. Plus, she supposedly wrote this song about her dog. How great is that?
4. IF YOU WANT TO SING OUT, SING OUT - Cat Stevens
5. WHAT'S GOING ON - Marvin Gaye
6. WHERE IS THE LOVE? - Black Eyed Peas
7. ONE - Mary J. Blige & U2
My love of U2 goes without saying - but that Mary J. Blige. I'd listen to her sing the phone book. And such a cool combination with him and for that song.
8. AMERICA - Simon & Garfunkel
9. WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS - Ben Harper
10. SHED A LITTLE LIGHT - James Taylor
11. THE RISING - Bruce Springsteen
I've always had a healthy respect for Bruce, but he's never been anyone I've gone out of my way to listen to. Until this song. And this specific performance of it, actually. I get almost evangelical when I hear this song. I said almost...
12. THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE - Odetta
13. SHINING STAR - Earth, Wind & Fire
14. LOVE & HAPPINESS - Al Green
This is one of my all-time favorite songs ever for any reason or occasion.
15. PINK HOUSES - John Mellencamp
16. HAMMER AND A NAIL - Indigo Girls
17. SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED - Stevie Wonder
1. A CHANGE IS GONNA COME - Sam Cooke
Everyone else and their cat is on YouTube singing this song, but I couldn't find one of him actually singing that didn't involve a really awful montage of some sort.
2. BEAUTIFUL DAY - U2
3. EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING - Lauren Hill
I just always feel a little cooler / less dorky when I listen to Lauren Hill.
4. I JUST WANT TO CELEBRATE - Rare Earth
5. TOUCH THE SKY - Kanye West
Dude is such a colossal jack-ass, but he puts together a good tune.
6. LOVE TRAIN - The O'Jays
7. JOY TO THE WORLD - Three Dog Night
8. EVERYDAY PEOPLE - Sly & the Family Stone
9. PEOPLE GET READY - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions
10. WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD - Willie Nelson
11. LOVE & HOPE - Ozomatli
12. IF I HAD A HAMMER - Peter, Paul & Mary
I always feel a lot less cool / more dorky when I listen to Peter, Paul & Mary, but that's OK...
13. BRAND NEW DAY - Van Morrison
Not on YouTube. Tragic. It's a really pretty song.
14. I NEED TO WAKE UP - Melissa Etheridge
It's the song from Inconvenient Truth. I like it on it's own, but I also knew I needed a little tribute to Al in here somewhere.
15. THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN' - Bob Dylan
16. PEACE, LOVE & UNDERSTANDING - Elvis Costello
17. AT LAST - Etta James
Although, after seeing Beyonce's performance of this at the first inaugural ball and her interview after, I feel like I should have included her version too. She was too cute.
Enough? Probably more than. I would have liked to have included something by Johnny Cash. He did a great spoken-word song/poem thing about "I am America." It's pretty cool, but odd at the same time. Other things missing - Dixie Chicks and John Legend and my mother had a request for Aretha Franklin that did make the final cut either.
Part of me also wanted to include the quintessential anti-Bush tirade - Green Day's "American Idiot" but I tried to keep it all as positive as possible. I'll just have to be happy doing what I normally do, which is leave it in the CD changer in the car and turn it up to 11 when I'm sitting next to a Hummer at a traffic light.
Perhaps our new president can inspire me enough to grow up and stop doing petty crap like that. But I think he'll need a second term. Ooo... then I can make two more playlists...