I saw this advert on TV for the first time Sunday and loved it. I thought that, with its fantastic boar in his suit and tie, prancing around to a funky tune, it would be the perfect way to begin my latest post.
I don’t actually listen to music that often anymore, because most of the time I’m either at work, reading, writing, watching movies or sleeping. Of course I do still listen to music when I get the chance, but I don’t consider it a staple part of my lifestyle.
However, there are a few select songs that I would never, ever turn down a listen to, for various reasons. I thought I would share fifteen songs that I could probably listen to solidly for a good year or two before I started to get sick of them. Okay, perhaps that’s slightly excessive, but I do really like them.
They’re not in any particular order. Have a little listen, because I think they’re great songs and are sure to brighten anyone’s day.
Song #1: ‘The Underdog’ – Spoon
I first heard this song in ’17 Again’ and, for some reason, struggled to find it for a while after seeing the film. I like the guitar and the brass in the background of the intro. I think this song goes well with a stroll along the seafront on a bitterly cold, but sunny, day, because it’s such a lively song that it’s sure to put a spring in your step. You may even end up clapping along during the chorus.
Song #2: ‘The Luckiest’ – Ben Folds
This song is on the soundtrack of ‘About Time’, which is one of my favourite films of its genre. The song has a slightly sad sound, but I think the lyrics are beautiful. There’s not a lot else I feel the need to say about this song, because I think it speaks for itself. I would pair this song with winding down to go to sleep, or simply when you’re relishing a bit of down time.
Song #3: Monsters Inc. Theme
I know it’s just the theme of a Pixar movie, but I could listen to this song on repeat for a very long time (and have done, believe me). I love the saxophone and the bouncy sound; it makes me smile every time I hear it. It also brings upon me the urge to learn how to play the saxophone and I’m slightly embarrassed (though not ashamed) to admit that I have been known to mime playing a sax along to this song. I think you’ll be happy to learn that I now know how to play the whole song very competently on my air saxophone. I recommend listening to this song….well, any time. All the time.
Song #4: ‘Farmer & His Gun’ – Charlie Simpson
The majority of people who know who Charlie Simpson is probably know him from his days in ‘Busted’, but he’s come a long way since then. Following Busted, he was in an alternative rock band called ‘Fightstar’, whose music is most certainly worth a listen if the genre is to your taste. But in 2010, Simpson went solo and released ‘Young Pilgrim’ the following year. On this album, and also released as a single, was ‘Farmer & His Gun’. I love the harmonica in the chorus and I will never tire of the sound of Charlie Simpson’s voice. I also really like the style of the animated music video and the upbeat sound of the song is perfect alongside something creative like painting or baking, or even- once the song gets going- if you’re on the treadmill at the gym or out for a run (the lyrics are certainly very apt).
This remix is, in my opinion, far better than the original 90s song by Corona, because of the saxophone that’s been added in the remix. I would certainly say that this song is probably the outcast of my playlist in that it’s such a different style and genre. I wouldn’t usually listen to music of this sort of ilk (as you can probably tell from the rest of the playlist). However, I just can’t get enough of the saxophone, I think it’s a perfect addition to the sound and actually makes this a song worth listening to (even if only to learn the part of the air saxophone). This song is perfect for summer time, because it’s bright and lively and great paired with a icy drink or ice cream on the beach or in the garden with a big group of friends or family.
Song #6: ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ – Frank Sinatra
An absolute classic, I couldn’t leave this one out. Frank Sinatra oozes class and nostalgia for a time when, in my opinion, popular music was far better than the popular music of now. Even if this type of music isn’t to your taste (are you mad!?), you can’t deny that Sinatra had the most fantastic voice. If I could travel in time, I would visit Sinatra’s era, just to afford myself the incredible opportunity of seeing and hearing such a musical legend sing live. This song is, of course, paired perfectly with a romantic dinner for two or a dance.
Probably recognised by many as being in the film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, ‘500 Days Of Summer’, I love this song because it makes me want to tap my feet or get up and dance. Watch the scene here. It’s got such a feel-good sound that it’s perfect for listening to pretty much any time. Also great for listening to through earphones whilst going for a walk on a sunny day (though I challenge you to try and stop yourself from dancing to it in public).
Song #8: ‘Spiegel Im Spiegel’ – Arvo Pärt
This is my favourite instrumental song of all time. Listening to it gives me goosebumps and makes me feel simultaneously content, calm, happy and sad. It really is a truly beautiful piece of music, the sound of which could easily send me off to sleep in a matter of minutes. As with song number two in my list, I first heard this piece of music in the film, ‘About Time’, and I fell in love with it straight away. It’s so peaceful and tranquil. Whilst listening to it, I urge you to close your eyes and relax for the whole duration of the piece. I’ll be very surprised if you don’t feel an aura of calmness after it’s finished, or the urge to listen to it all over again. Perfect through earphones on a spring walk through the woods or around a lake, whilst appreciating nature and the beautiful blue sky, the birds gliding peacefully through the air above your head and the leaves of the trees fluttering in the breeze. Also perfect through earphones or quietly through speakers when you’re winding down to go to sleep.
Another song that makes me want to dance and smile down the street if I listen to it through earphones. I love the story told in the music video, too. The harmonies, the sound of the beat and the ukulele all combined makes for a sunny song that’s wonderful for any kind of day; perfect for sunny summer barbecues or great to brighten up a grey wintry day. It’s worth checking out Walk off the Earth on their YouTube channel too, as they’ve done some great covers.
Song #10: ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ – Toploader
This is always, always the song I request to be played at parties. If I was told I could only listen to one last song, this would certainly be high in the running for my choice. Listening to it makes me want to dance around a campfire, stars twinkling in the sky and the flames of the fire licking skewers of browning marshmallows whilst everyone keeps themselves warm in tasseled blankets with cups of hot cocoa. You can tell that the song paints very romantic and unrealistic images in my mind- one of the reasons I love it so much. Toploader are also from Eastbourne, which is very close to my hometown, therefore making them feel even closer to my heart.
Song #11: ‘Hard To Handle’ – Otis Redding
I first heard this song on the playlist at work, and I found out what it was as soon as I could. The best word to describe this song is ‘sass’. It sounds so funky and you can certainly tell that it’s from the late 1960’s, because the overall sound is so fresh and smooth. It really makes me want to stick on some orange flares and strut my stuff down the pavement, and that’s saying something. Best to listen to when you’re cooking and you want to fill the kitchen with some funky music so that you can chop and groove at the same time.
Song #12: ‘The Entertainer’ – Scott Joplin
I simply could not resist putting this on the list. I love this melody and the piano. It makes me feel as though I’m paying the local saloon a visit of an evening, to play some dice games and have a few whiskies(!). How I long to be able to play piano, so that I can learn how to play this piece of music. It transports me back to a time far before I was born. If I had a time machine, I would visit the late 1800’s just to spend a day there and hear this music played live in its original time period and surroundings. Listen and enjoy, whenever you feel like traveling in time.
Song #13: ‘Send Me On My Way’ – Rusted Root
This song always reminds me of ‘Matilda’, which is probably where I first heard it, when I was a lot younger- the film came out the year after I was born! This song therefore puts me right in the mood to get up and make some American pancakes! Anyone who has seen ‘Matilda’ will know exactly the reason why. Watch the scene here. This is the strongest competitor with ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ for my choice if I had to choose one last song to listen to. ‘Send Me On My Way’ always puts me in a really good mood, and whenever I listen to it, I have to replay it at least once. It makes me want to dance and share the joy of all of the instruments and musical magic of Rusted Root’s fantastic creation. Possibly my all time favourite song, I won’t lie. Listen to this song on Pancake Day next week- you must!
This song really is perfect to listen to in the morning. I often hear it on the radio if I’m in the car on my way to work, and that first line alone puts me in a good mood. I love the slightly crackly quality of the recording and the classic 50’s singing tone. This song makes me think of A-line dresses and puffy petticoats swirling to the swing of the music at a dance, paired with shiny shoes, combed back hair and jackets swishing through the air. Also, I do love scrambled eggs for breakfast, and I would never object to having a kiss on the side. This song is, of course, absolutely perfect paired with making breakfast! An egg-cellent choice of song for the morning time, I must say! (And I’m not even remotely sorry for the use of such a poor pun!)
You can’t go wrong with a bit of jazz. The smooth voice of Nina Simone and the toe-tapping beat make for a delicious sound. This song gets me bobbing my head and shrugging my shoulders to the beat, I can’t deny it. I think this song is a fantastic accompaniment to a rainy afternoon spent indoors being lazy, the rain pattering against the panes outside, whilst you’re cosied up with a cup of tea, a chocolate biscuit or two and a blanket, playing scrabble or simply just enjoying the company of a like-minded person.
And that brings me to the end of my playlist!
I hope you’ve clicked on those links and had a good listen to my favourite sounds. I think there’s a song perfectly suited to any and every occasion amongst these. Though I said at the start that music isn’t a staple part of my lifestyle, really I suppose it is. You can’t put a foot wrong with a bit of background music to accompany your everyday goings-on. I think that music enriches almost every experience and can really make a change to the mood of the day.
Thank you for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to a few songs that you may, or may not, have heard before, and that perhaps I may even have introduced you to a new favourite song of your own.
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And seeing as it’s Pancake Day in a week’s time, here’s a bonus song to listen to whilst you flip those bad boys in the pan. It’s always been one of my favourites.
The Cosy Onion