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.
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.
Helen Reddy – I Am Woman (I am woman, hear me roar, In numbers too big to ignore)
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)
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)
Loretta Lynn – The Pill (There’s a gonna be some changes made, Right here on nursery hill)
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)
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)
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)
Janet Jackson – Nasty(I’m not a prude (no), I just want some respect (that’s right))
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.
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.
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 (Jan 10, 1922)
Her work is work has been inspired by folk music from her home country of Estonia.
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.