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…

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…

Banish sadness and strife. #PlagueSongs, no. 22

Bringing you the words of Buddy DeSylva and the music of Jerome Kern to — as the song says — “banish sadness and strife.” Written in 1919, this is the earliest in my Plague Songs series and the last regular weekly Plague Song. Appropriately, perhaps, this song dates to the pandemic of a century ago. Written for…

Mann, wer hätte das gedacht, dass es einmal soweit kommt #PlagueSongs, no. 21

The balloons are not red, and there is no toy shop. The narrator doesn’t dream of red balloons either. But, like its English-language counterpart (“99 Red Balloons”) Nena’s “99 Luftballons” (1983) is about an accidental, apocalyptic war triggered by 99 balloons. Luft means air, and ballon means balloon. So, literally, a luftballon is an air…