Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tunes in the Time of Covid-19

On the morning  of March 14, Tony Neely sent me a link to this playlist. Seventeen days ago seems like years ago in Pandemic Time. As soon as I saw the list, as soon as I started listening, I realized how perfect this was for imperfect times, how Pandemic Playlists would be a lifeline for these strange days. From now on, this comprehensive Covid 19 playlist is the defining self-isolation playlist.

Seeing Tony’s list made me want to see everyone’s quarantine survival kit of sound. The playlist is the mixtape of this moment, articulating the feelings that everyone is feeling. Hopefully you will listen to this and all future installments of this “pandemic playlist project.” Send us your playlist, too. We have time to listen! A.W.S.

Tunes in the Time of Covid-19: An Annotated Playlist by Anthony D. Neely, Ph.D.

Music has always been my escape. More than an escape…music has offered a place of solace. For every moment of my life, whether joyful or morose, there has been an accompanying melody.

When my son was born, I played “Here Comes the Sun” (The Beatles) because that was the first song I wanted him to hear upon his triumphant entrance into this broken world. And I wept with pride.

My father abandoned our family, not once but twice, while I was in high school. We lost our home as a result. All memorialized to the tune of Jars of Clay’s Tea and Sympathy.

A song for every turn and every experience.

In March of this year, it became evident that Covid-19 was not merely the gone-tomorrow-flu that the media had led us to believe. As a school teacher, I saw the writing on the wall that I would likely not be returning to my classroom for quite a while…if at all during this school year. Again, music became a coping mechanism.

I decided to compile a playlist.

That playlist is titled aptly titled, Coronacation Playlist.

The obvious first song to add, as I’m sure will be a theme across most Covid-19 related playlists, was R.E.M.’s It’s The End of The World As We Know It. I chose this song as the opening track because it represents the cognitive dissonance that I, and so many others, are experiencing during this time as we simultaneously bask in a slower pace to life while watching the world’s social and economic structures crumble in front of us. It’s all just mumbled words in a major key.

As a Christian, however, I am not hopeless during this time. My faith helps me to believe that nothing happens without God’s foreknowledge. There is peace in knowing that I am not in control. Thematically, this aligned with the second track of the playlist, Sky Falls Down by Third Day.

After choosing the first two tracks, the playlist honestly became a form of mental exercise; a flexing of my music nerd muscles, if you will, to see how many songs I could pull from memory that fit within various themes related to Covid-19.

Illness: Down with Disease (Phish), Down with the Sickness (Disturbed), Sick as a Dog (Aerosmith)

Fever: Fever (Peggy Lee). Cold Sweat (James Brown), Feeling Hot Hot Hot (Bad Influence)

Contagiousness: And It Spread (The Avett Brothers), U Can’t Touch This (MC Hammer), Don’t Touch Me (Etta James)

Social Distancing: Don’t Stand So Close to Me (The Police), Keep Your Hands to Yourself (Georgia Satellites), Quarantined (At the Drive In)

Hospitals: In the Hospital (Friendly Fires), Hospital Beds (Cold War Kids), Hospital (The Lemonheads)

Death: Death with Dignity (Sufjan Stevens), Don’t Fear the Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult), Die Die Die (The Avett Brothers)

Breathing Issues: Lungs (Townes Van Zandt), Harder to Breathe (Maroon 5), Pneumonia Blues (Lightnin Hopkins)

Armageddon: End of the World Party (Medeski, Martin, and Wood), The End of The World (The Cure), The Earth Died Screaming (Tom Waits)

Hope: Hope in a Hopeless World (Widespread Panic), Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python), Touch of Grey (The Grateful Dead)

More and more themes emerged as I worked on the playlist. Examples included hygiene, medicine, ambulances, healthcare professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses), school, and hysteria, to name a few.

Knowing the first cases of Covid-19 had emerged in November 2019, I was also curious if any songs had been published specifically about the virus. I found several that I decided to include such as The Coronavirus Cruise (Oscar Shorts).

The playlist, as it exists now, consists of 132 songs and lasts 8 hours 19 minutes.

An ever growing soundtrack to this catastrophically calm time of my life.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

This Is Not The End (TOTR 384)

"TOTR 384 - This Is Not The End" aired on WTTU 88.5FM in Cookeville, TN on Monday, March 9, 2020.

Jason Isbell - What’ve I Done to Help
Judah & the Lion - Best is Yet to Come
Dawes - A Little Bit Of Everything
Mandy Moore - I’d Rather Lose
Mandy Moore - Forgiveness
Maria McKee - Let Me Forget
Lone Justice - Dixie Storms
Sara Bareilles et. al. - Could We Start Again, Please?
Sara Bareilles et. al. - Everything’s Alright
U2 - Running To Stand Still
U2 - Moment Of Surrender
Grateful Dead - Brokedown Palace
Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors with The Lone Bellow - Dragons
Pacific Gold - Shall We Gather at the River?
A New Liturgy - For the Beauty of the Earth
Mike Farris - The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow

Gungor - This Is Not The End

You can listen to the audio archive of this entire show here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Walk The Line (TOTR 383)

"TOTR 383 - Walk The Line" aired on WTTU 88.5FM in Cookeville, TN on Monday, March 2, 2020.

(All songs by Johnny Cash unless otherwise noted)

Folsom Prison Blues
Cry, Cry, Cry
Jackson (with June Carter Cash)
I Walk The Line
Long Black Veil
The Ballad of Ira Hayes
Five Feet High and Rising
with Bob Dylan - Girl From The North Country
with Bob Dylan - Wanted Man
with Bob Dylan - Ring of Fire
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Jackson
Brandi Carlile - Folsom Prison Blues
Grateful Dead - Big River
U2 - The Wanderer
Man in Black
The Man Comes Around
I Hung My Head
God’s Gonna Cut You Down
The Kneeling Drunkard’s Plea
Sunday Morning Coming Down
I Came To Believe
It Was Jesus
Do Lord
The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago
No Earthly Good
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Personal Jesus
In My Life

You can listen to the audio archive of this entire show here:

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Loser (TOTR 382)

Loser (TOTR 382)

"TOTR 382 - Loser" aired on WTTU 88.5FM in Cookeville, TN on Monday, February 24, 2020.

(All songs by Grateful Dead unless otherwise noted)
Mountains of the Moon
China Cat Sunflower 
Jerry Garcia - Run for the Roses
Jerry Garcia - It Must Have Been The Roses
Box of Rain
Brokedown Palace
Scarlet Begonias
Terrapin Station
Cumberland Blues
Fire on the Mountain
Dead & Company - Help On The Way
John Lennon & Yoko Ono - Power To The People
Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts Now
Tracy Chapman - Talkin’ About A Revolution 

You can listen to the audio archive of this entire show here:

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Deep In Love (TOTR 381)

This show originally aired on WTTU on Monday, February 17, 2020

Bonny Light Horsemen - Mountain Rain
Kurt Vile & the Violators with J Mascis - Box of Rain
Drive By Truckers - Babies in Cages 
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit - Be Afraid
Drive By Truckers - Heroin Again
Green Day - Junkies on a High
Pearl Jam - Dance of the Clairvoyants
Saul Williams - Dance
Tiana Clark - Ode To Blackness
Nina Simone - Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Maria McKee - Page Of Cups
The Lone Bellow - Just Enough To Get By
Delta Rae with The McCrary Sisters - From One Woman To Another
Leon Bridges & Kruangbin - Texas Sun 
John Legend - Conversations in the Dark
The Wood Brothers - Little Bit Sweet
The Collection - Your Own Business
The Lone Bellow - Count On Me
Bonny Light Horseman - Deep In Love
Cold War Kids - Waiting For Your Love
Andy Shauf - Clove Cigarette
Cold War Kids - Freedom
Rev. Yolanda - Wade Guru
Nathaniel Rateliff - Expecting To Lose
The Wood Brothers - Little Bit Broken
Nathaniel Rateliff - And It’s Still Alright

You can listen to the audio archive of this entire show here: https://soundcloud.com/teacherontheradio/totr-381-deep-in-love

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Heroes (TOTR 380)

Originally aired on WTTU on Monday, February 3, 2020

Heroes (TOTR 380)

Songs from Perks of Being A Wallflower
The Samples - Could It Be Another Change
Dexys Midnight Runners - Come On Eileen
Fleetwood Mac - Landslide
David Bowie - Heroes
Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot
Cracker - Low
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit 
The Moody Blues - Nights In White Satin 
Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Marc Cohn - Waking in Memphis
The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Rainbow - Long Live Rock N Roll
Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Songs from Wild 
Simon & Garfunkel - If I Could 
First Aid Kid - Walk Unafraid
Wings - Let ‘Em In
The Shangri-Las - I Can Never Go Home Anymore
Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
Free - Be My Friend
Lucinda Williams - Something About What Happens When We Talk
Bruce Springsteen - Tougher Than the Rest
The Hollies - The Air That I Breathe
Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound
Grateful Dead - Ripple 

You can listen to the audio archive of this entire show here: https://soundcloud.com/teacherontheradio/totr-380-heroes

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Rock Around The Clock (TOTR 379)

Originally aired on WTTU on Monday, February 3, 2020

Bill Haley & The Comets - (We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
Johnny Maestro - 16 Candles
Del Shannon - Runaway
Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers - Why Do Fools Fall In Love
Buddy Holly & the Crickets - That’ll Be The Day
Buster Brown - Fannie Mae
Danny & The Juniors - At The Hop
The Tempos - See You In September
The Beach Boys - Surfin Safari
The Fleetwoods - (He’s) The Great Imposter
Chuck Berry - Almost Grown
The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Diamonds - Little Darlin
Joey Dee & The Starliters - Peppermint Twist, Pt. 1
The Monotones - Book Of Love
Buddy Holly & the Crickets - Maybe Baby
Lee Dorsey - Ya Ya
Fats Domino - Ain’t That A Shame?
Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode
The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
The Silhouettes - Get A Job
The Five Satins - To The Aisle
Bobby Freeman - Do You Wanna Dance
Buddy Knox - Party Doll
The Del-Vikings - Come Go With Me
Johnny Burnette - You’re Sixteen, You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine)
The Clovers - Love Potion No, 9
The Skyliners - Since I Don’t Have You
The Big Bopper - Chantilly Lace
Mark Dinning - Teen Angel
A Heart Beats - A Thousand Miles Away
The Cleftones - Heart And Soul
Booker T & the MGs - Green Onions
The Platters - Only You (And You Alone)
The Spaniels - Goodnite, It’s Time to Go (Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight)

The Beach Boys - All Summer Long
You can listen to the audio archive of this entire show here: