Music for You

Watching films and taking walks. Emailing, FaceTiming, and Skyping friends, family, and whoever. Helping neighbors and joining mutual aid efforts. Cogitating about what is needed and how to attain it. These all make sense for long days and sleepless nights.

We will likely also have considerable opportunity to listen to music that entertains, emotes, and motivates us, and especially to music that helps us comprehend our current situation and seek better.

But what will we listen to? And how will we arrange it? Everyone has their own musical tastes. Sometimes our taste goes all over the soundscape. Many more times our taste emanates from and stays near our roots in time, culture, and commitments.

Here is a playlist that I hope may help productively pass ten hours for at least some folks. Many entries are old because I am old. Many entries are overtly political, angry, and seeking because I am overtly political, angry, and seeking. The list is not all music from all times for all people. It is some music, from some times, for whoever finds it helpful.

I think most entries will be highly familiar for baby boomers who are still young at heart, and maybe for the next generation, and perhaps beyond that all,the way to currently young folks too. I have not comparably covered every decade or every emotion. I have hopefully provided excellent highly listenable music well suited to these horrible times.

I tried to give the list a cadence and flow, considerable emotional clout, and political/social relevance throughout. Some entries describe what’s wrong with society – or, if you listen closely, with us. Some call forth fighting for what’s right. Some provoke a smile. Some elicit tears. Some are dark. Some light. Some are mellow. Some raucous. Each song occupies a bit of a sequence parroting, extending, or even countering one another – at least to my mind.

If you don’t like something, no problem, skip or remove it. If you want something else on your own list, add it. If you prefer a different order, rearrange it. If you don’t like my linkages from song to song, shuffle it. If you like shorter lists that you can complete in a sitting, make it into ten lists. If you don’t like anything about it, that too is not a problem. Assemble your own list. But if you think you might like to listen to this list as it is, save for sometimes skipping a tune that grates on you, or pausing and later taking it up again, try here

The point is, unless music just isn’t your thing, listening to whatever moves, informs, and also pleases you ear may aid living better in all times and especially in our times. So here are the titles, in playlist order…at least until someone recommends some good improvements!


Listen to the list here.

Read the list:

Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

Leonard Cohen, Everybody Knows

Otis Redding, Dock of the Bay

Mamas and Papas, California Dreamin’

Ray Charles, Georgia In My Mind

Kinks, Waterloo Sunset

The Clash, London Calling

Chambers Brothers, People Get Ready

Sam Cooke, A Change Is Gonna Come

Rolling Stones, Satisfaction

Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run

The Animals, Gotta Get Out of this Place

Ani DeFranco, Not A Pretty Girl

Lady Gaga, Born This Way

The Band, I Shall Be Released

Hurray for the Riff Raff, Pa’lante

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising

Odetta, This Little Light of Mine

Clash, Spanish Bombs

Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now

Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock

Hank Williams, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry

Beatles, Help

Jackson Brown, Doctor My Eyes

Bob Dylan, Knocking on Heavens Door

Bee Gees, Staying Alive

Simon and Garfunkel, Sounds of Silence

Indigo Girls, Go

Valerie June, Workin Woman Blues

Bruce Springsteen, The Rising

Beatles, Hey Jude

Richard and Mimi Farina, Bold Marauder

Jackson Browne, The Pretender

Shannon Labrie, American Dream

Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit

Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit

Jimi Hendrix, All Along the Watchtower

Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On

Stevie Wonder, Superstition

Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth

Woody Guthrie, I Ain’t Got No Home

Ben E. King, Stand By Me

Ruthie Foster, Lord Remember Me

Bob Marley and The Wailers, Get Up, Stand Up

Tom Morello, Let Freedom Ring

Nina Simone, I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

The Beatles, Here Comes the Sun

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son

Jimmy Cliff, The Harder They Come

Bob Dylan, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue

Shannon Labrie, It’s Political

The Tokens, The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Nine Simone, Mississippi Goddam

The Neville Brothers, Sister Rosa

Bruce Springsteen, Youngstown

Bob Dylan, Maggie’s Farm

John Lennon, Working Class Hero

The Rolling Stones, Brown Sugar

Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine

The Beatles, Dear Prudence

Tom Morello, Which Side Are You On

Jimmy Cliff, Sitting in Limbo

Paul Simon, The Boxer

Donovan, Catch the Wind

Jimmy Cliff, You Can Get It If You Really Want

Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA

Leonard Cohen, Democracy

Louis Armstrong, What a Wonderful World

Paul Robeson, No More Auction Block

The Band, Blind Willie McTell

Aretha Franklin, Respect

Bob Marly and the Wailers, Redemption Song

Rolling Stones, Street Fighting Man

Thunderclap Newman, Something in the Air

Gil Scott-Heron, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Iris DeMent, Wasteland of the Free

Jackson Brown, Before the Deluge

Joan Baez, Farewell Angelina

The Clash, The Call Up

Peter Gabriel, Biko

Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

Pink Floyd, Another Brick in the Wall

Woody Guthrie, Deportees

Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

Donovan, To Try for the Sun

Rhiannon Giddens, Freedom Highway

Cream, I Feel Free

John Lennon, Imagine

Rolling Stones, You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Dolly Parton, Butterfly of Love

Phil Ochs, Cops of the World

Amy Rae, Laramie

Randy Newman, Political Science

Phil Ochs, Ringing of Revolution

Bob Dylan, It’s Alright Ma

The Eagles, Hotel California

Bruce Springsteen, Badlands

The Chambers Brothers, Time Has Come Today

Jefferson Airplane, Crown of Creation

Bob Dylan, Times They Are A-Changin’

Fairport Convention, Meet On The Ledge

The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man

Grateful Dead, Till the Morning Comes

Ella Fitzgerald, Silent Night

Elvis Presley, Don’t Be Cruel

Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter

Bob Dylan, Shelter from the Storm

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Who’ll Stop the Rain

Clash, Washington Bullets

Bob Dylan, Masters of War

Grandmaster Flash, The Message

The Band, This Wheel’s on Fire

Randy Newman, Sail Away

Bob Dylan, Desolation Row

Ella Fitzgerald, Summertime

Harry Belafonte, Day-O

Ian and Silvia, Four Strong Winds

Elvis Presley, Are You Lonesome Tonight

Johnny Cash, I Walk the Line

Beatles, Let It Be

Nirvana, Fight the Power

The Doors, Five to One

Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers

Beatles, With a Little Help from my Friends

Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee

Stevie Wonder, Pastime Paradise

The Modern Jazz Quartet, Precious Joy

Bob Dylan, Not Dark Yet

Buddy Holly, Not Fade Away

Van Morrison, Into the Mystic

Jefferson Airplane, We Can Be Together

Ry Cooder, Taxes on the Farmer Feeds Us All

John Lennon, Stand By Me

The Band, The Weight

The Neville Brothers, Fallin’ Rain

Phil Ochs, Changes

Richard and Mimi Farina, Reflections in a Crystal Wind

Billie Holiday, God Bless the Child

Robbie Robertson, Night Parade

The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil

Bob Dylan, Chimes of Freedom

Simon and Garfunkel, Homeward Bound

Tom Morello, This Land Is Your Land

The Neville Brothers, A Change Is Gonna Come

The Beatles, A Day in the Life

Bob Dylan, When the Ship Comes In

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