January earworm roundup

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Sometimes they fade quickly, other times they last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me doubt my own sanity. They come from all genres. I can never figure out what triggered them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and good music never goes out of style.
Here’s a roundup of my January earworms; a bit longer than usual because over the Christmas break we spent some time on planes and in airports, so my mind wandered more than usual. I admit, many of the songs that stuck in my head as I traveled had probably played on my iPod as I dozed and they’re definitely attached to points in my past.
There was a lot of country in my childhood, and there are a lot of country earworms today.
Every so often a song from one of my mom’s old K-Tel records and Reader’s Digest compilations pops into my head. 
I also grew up in the long musical shadow of the 60s so it’s no surprise those songs are archived in my head.
I may have been in the shadow of the 60s, but I was a kid in the 70s and these songs were part of that soundtrack.
I went through puberty and all the associated hormonal stuff in the 80s. There was music involved. 
I left home and started my adult life in the 90s. These are adult earworms. 
The music still continues, and the earworms still go on. 

These are your marching songs

I will be participating in a sister version of the Woman’s March on Washington today. I attend in solidarity with all the power minority groups in America (not just the women), and because there are pseudo conservative politicians in Canada that are parroting Trump style hatred, and I won’t sit back and let anyone erode my rights or the rights of anyone else.  

On the train heading there I will have my ‘I am woman’ playlist on my iPod. Below is a sample of some of the songs on that playlist. Songs to march to, songs to stand firm to, songs to sing and dance and celebrate progress that cannot be stopped.

  1. Helen Reddy – I Am Woman  (I am woman, hear me roar, In numbers too big to ignore)

  2. Dolly Parton – Just Because I’m A Woman  (Just let me tell you this, Then we’ll both know where we stand, My mistakes are no worse than yours, Just because I’m a woman)

  3. Lesley Gore – You Don’t Own Me (I don’t tell you what to say, Oh, don’t tell you what to do, So just let me be myself, That’s all I ask of you)

  4. Loretta Lynn – The Pill  (There’s a gonna be some changes made, Right here on nursery hill)

  5. Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out  (The time has come for me, To break out of the shell, I have to shout, That I’m coming out)

  6. Lyn Collins – You Can’t Love Me If You Don’t Respect Me (Why dontcha, Step back and set me free, Because you can’t love me if you don’t respect me)

  7. Dolly Parton – I’m Fed Up With You  (I’m fed up with you and the way that you do, I used to love you now I change my mind, And I’m fed up with you feedin’ me a line)

  8.  Dolly Parton – Working Girl (Some find her to aggressive, she don’t know how to stop, Cause she’s the kind that don’t look down until it’s from the top, She’s elegant and stylish, French perfume and a fur, Designer clothes by Halston and Diane Von Furstenburg, And she’s a working girl)

  9. Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Are Made for Walkin’  (You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing, And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burnt,hah)

  10. Eurythmics, Aretha Franklin – Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves  (Now this is a song to celebrate, The conscious liberation of the female state!)

  11. Aretha Franklin – Respect  (All I’m askin’, Is for a little respect when you come home)

  12. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl (When she talks, I hear the revolution, In her hips, there’s revolutions)

  13. Sarah Jones – Your Revolution (Your revolution will not happen between these thighs)

  14. Nellie McKay – Mother of Pearl (Feminists don’t have a sense of humor)

  15. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive (I used to cry, But now I hold my head up high and you see me)

  16. Destiny’s Child – Survivor (You thought that I’d be weak without you, but I’m stronger)

  17. Chiwoniso – Rebel Woman (I know the freedom’s been hard won, It’s been so hard won, But as you weep, rebel woman, Remember you were strong)

  18. X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage Up Yours ! (Oh bondage up yours, oh bondage no more)

  19. Sleater-Kinney – #1 Must Have (Now I’m spending all my days at girlpower.com)

  20. Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y.  (And nothing good gonna come to ya til you do right by me, Brother you wait and see)

  21. Salt ‘n Pepa – None of Your Business (How many rules am I to break before you understand, That your double-standards don’t mean shit to me?)

  22. Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (I’ve never been afraid of any deviation, An’ I don’t really care, If ya think I’m strange, I ain’t gonna change)

  23. Fugazi – Suggestion  (Why can’t I walk down a street free of suggestion? Is my body the only trait in the eye’s of men?)

  24. Sonic Youth – Flower  (Support the power of women)

  25. Destiny’s Child – Independent Women, Pt. I  (Try to control me boy, you get dismissed)

  26. Deap Vally – Woman Of Intention (You think you pull the strings, But I can see through your stains, You think your methods are gentle, But baby, they’re just mental)

  27. Selena Gomez – Who Says (Who says you’re not star potential? Who says you’re not presidential?)

  28. Meredith Brooks – Bitch (I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother, I’m a sinner, I’m a saint, I do not feel ashamed)

  29. Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Some boys take a beautiful girl, And hide her away from the rest of the world, I want to be the one to walk in the sun)

  30. Lady Gaga – Hair (I just wanna be myself, And I want you to love me for who I am)

  31. Pink – F**kin’ Perfect (Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood, Miss No-Way-It’s-All-Good, It didn’t slow me down.)

  32. Britney Spears – Stronger (I’ve had enough, I’m not your property as from today, baby, You might think that I won’t make it on my own, But now I’m, Stronger than yesterday)

  33. Christina Aguilera – Can’t Hold Us Down (So what am I not supposed to have an opinion, Should I keep quiet just because I’m a women)

  34. Mary Chapin Carpenter – He Thinks He’ll Keep Her (The safest place you’ll ever find, At least until you change your mind)

  35. Shawn Colvin – Sunny Came Home  (She’s out there on her own and she’s alright)

  36. Janet Jackson – Nasty (I’m not a prude (no), I just want some respect (that’s right))

  37. Lily Allen – Fuck You  (Look inside your tiny mind, Now look a bit harder, Cause we’re so uninspired, So sick and tired of all the, Hatred you harbor)

There were many more songs but these were ones that come from my personal experiences of music and of life. I excluded some that spoke to experiences I have no first hand first hand knowledge of (like Four Women by Nina Simone). I recognize that they tell a story that has to be told, but I thought they’d be better left to those who can understand their lyrics first hand.

Feature image courtesy of Refinery29

Arts Intersecting – Cultural Infidels

What I love about the arts is how they inspire each other, borrow from each other, and learn from each other. No art form is unadulterated, no artist completely faithful to her own art form. There are arts for each of our senses, and muses are shared.

This blog is about music. Music frequently tips its collective hat to the other arts and other artists. I thought that would make an interesting blog series.

One of the things that I believe the arts do in common is to serve as a challenge to complacency and status quo. Paintings like Picasso’s Guernica, books like Machiavelli’s The Prince, plays like Václav Havel’s The Memo and songs like One Tin Soldier all elevate the challenge of injustice to an art. They all do it.

So to start out an ongoing, but occasional series of blogs about musical homages and references to the other arts, beginning here with the song Cultural Infidel (lyrics here) by Jimmy Buffet because it ties into my point above point.

Cultural Infidel by Jimmy Buffett (lyrics here)

This song contains a hat-tip to Picasso, Manet, Hemingway, The Rolling Stones, George Bernard Shaw (St. Joan), and more.

And as an extra bonus:

Frenchman for the Night by Jimmy Buffett (lyrics here)

The song contains a reference to Monet.

There are many more examples of music referencing and paying tribute to other arts and artists. This won’t be the last blog about it.



Women classical composers – the January edition

Like most things historical, women are underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them, a few women wrote some exceptional classical music that survives to the present day. They deserve more exposure. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are some female classical composers I have on my iPod right now, with song links for each.


Ester Mägi (image source)
Ester Mägi
(image source)

Ester Mägi (Jan 10, 1922)

Her work is work has been inspired by folk music from her home country of Estonia.

Piano Concerto (1953)

Symphony No. 1 (1968)





Vítězslava Kaprálová in 1935.
Vítězslava Kaprálová in 1935. (image source)


Vítězslava Kaprálová (Jan 24, 1915)

She died at 25, just after having married.

Piano Concerto (1935)

Dubnová preludia (April preludes) op.13 (1937)


Classical composers – the January edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I stumbled upon by accident. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music. And that’s a shame. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are 31 works of classical music composed by artists born in January whose works I have enjoyed – one for each day of the month – and master works by two very famous composers born in January, Mozart and Schubert.


MOzart: Posthumous painting by Barbara Krafft in 1819
Mozart: Posthumous painting by Barbara Krafft in 1819

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Jan 27, 1756)

Mozart was an important composer in the Classical era who remains influetial today. He showed great ability from childhood, and composed from the age of five.

Oil painting of Franz Schubert by Wilhelm August Rieder.
Oil painting of Franz Schubert by Wilhelm August Rieder.

Franz Schubert (Jan 1, 1797)

Schubert was one the greatest composers in the late Classical and early Romantic eras. He died at 31, but was prolific in his lifetime.





František Brixi (Jan 2, 1732 )

Portrait of Henri Herz in 1832.
Portrait of Henri Herz in 1832.

Ernst Mahle (Jan 3, 1929)

Josef Suk (Jan 4, 1874) married Dvořák’s daughter.

José de Nebra (Jan 6, 1702)

Xaver Scharwenka
Xaver Scharwenka

Henri Herz (Jan 6, 1803)

Max Bruch (Jan 6, 1838)

Xaver Scharwenka (Jan 6, 1850)

Giuseppe Martucci (Jan 6, 1856)

Giuseppe Martucci
Giuseppe Martucci

Vittorio Monti (Jan 6, 1868)

Alexander Scriabin (Jan 6, 1872)

Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin
Alexander Scriabin

Jaromír Weinberger (Jan 8, 1896)

John Knowles Paine (Jan 9, 1839)

Christian Sinding (Jan 11, 1856)

Vasily Kalinnikov (Jan 13, 1866)

Henri Büsser (Jan 16, 1872)

Christian Sinding
Christian Sinding

Johann Gottfried Müthel (Jan 17, 1728)

Henri Büsser, 1895, Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Henri Büsser, 1895, Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Ede Reményi (Jan 17, 1828 – year disputed)

Alexander Taneyev (Jan 17, 1850)

Wilhelm Kienzl (Jan 17, 1857)

César Cui (Jan 18, 1835)

Ferdinand Laub (Jan 19, 1832)

Friedrich Dotzauer (Jan 20, 1783)

Muzio Clementi
Muzio Clementi

Alexander Tcherepnin (Jan 21, 1899)

Muzio Clementi (Jan 23, 1752)

Juventino Rosas 1894
Juventino Rosas 1894

Norman Dello Joio (Jan 24, 1913)

Juventino Rosas (Jan 25, 1868)

Édouard Lalo (Jan 27, 1823)

Daniel Auber (Jan 29, 1782)

F. Delius, aged 45, photographed in 1907
F. Delius, aged 45, photographed in 1907

Frederick Delius (Jan 29, 1862 )

Charles Martin Loeffler (Jan 30, 1861)

François Devienne (Jan 31, 1759)