Give Love. #PlagueSongs, no. 31

David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” (1981) has long been a favorite. I chose it for this (eventually ending) series of plague songs because it expresses such vulnerability, and because it calls us all to love. Given the extraordinary talent of the original performers (and of the Karen O – Willie Nelson cover, wow!), I’m…

Still worthwhile. #PlagueSongs, no. 30

The music — written by Charlie Chaplin himself — first appears in Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936). Eighteen years later, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics. That version was a big hit for Nat King Cole in 1954. It’s since been recorded by Tony Bennett, Janelle Monae, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Durante, Elvis Costello, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean…

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Dear Linda, You’ll already have a card and physical iteration of one of the musical compilations (below), but I thought you might want a more portable version (via Spotify), and I didn’t make CD mixes of the other two — though I can, if you would like them. I also thought that others might enjoy the…

Don’t run. #PlagueSongs, no. 28

Surf rock in the middle of winter? And how is “Walk, Don’t Run” a plague song? Excellent questions. To answer the second one first, I might say that its title evokes the slow pace of the vaccine roll-out. I want speed, but instead must endure this andante stumble. Or I might point out that the…

I’m lucky to be here. #PlagueSongs, no. 27

This song is a personal favorite of mine, and one I’ve long considered recording for this Plague Songs series. However, in an effort to keep the mood more upbeat, I have — up until now — chosen more uptempo selections. But, as coronavirus deaths in the U.S. surpass 350,000 (and 1.85 million worldwide), it’s time for…

I got the medicine. So, you should keep your eyes on the ball. #PlagueSongs, no. 26

“Dynamite” is cheerful, bright, and contagious — but in a good way. That’s one reason I decided to record a version of it. We could all use a little joy, and this song is full of joy. I also like the ESL poetry of the lyrics — a series of common English-language phrases, many of them encouraging…

What’s that sound? #PlagueSongs, no. 24

This one’s for U.S. Election Day 2020, in which we address two key questions. Will the U.S. continue down the path of autocracy? Or will it commit to the work of rebuilding democracy? When 21-year-old Stephen Stills wrote (and his band, the Buffalo Springfield recorded) “For What It’s Worth” in 1966, America was in tumult….

This Mix Kills Fascists

I am posting to inspire those fighting for democracy in the United States, and anywhere else where liberty is in peril. It has two parts: Part I: This Mix Kills Fascists Part II: 3 Quotations to Keep You Fighting Part I: This Mix Kills Fascists Here is my annual “RESIST!” mix, featuring many genres of…