Spotify changed their interface recently, throwing off my whole songlist system, so that it is no longer so easy to see at a glance whether I have already used a song on a past playlist. So, before I revamp my whole system accordingly, I have decided to post annotated lists of the songs I have starred right now on spotify. My old system was that I ‘starred’ a song only if I included it on one of my 20-song playlists on ravenmount.com, so all of these songs are ones I thought worthy of particular attention. I suppose this is somewhat of a response to seeing all the great songs that another bubbler has been highlighting from her itunes. With the way I scout for music for my blog, I don’t really have a good way to keep track of favorites by how much I listen to them (especially since before I moved I went to live shows for many of my favorites).
Anyway, here is the first chunk of my spotify Starred playlist, the first 15 songs. Yes, there are some holiday songs in this set, but after all, Christmas in July, July 25th, is not too far away 😉
- The Pogues – “Fairytale of New York” – This song is set at Christmas, and is certainly a popular song at Christmas, especially in Britain and Ireland, but just as with Jona Lewie’s “Stop the Cavalry”, this Pogues song is really a tune that transcends the holiday season.
- Band Aid – “Do They Know It’s Christmas” – According to wikipedia, a report on BBC in October 1984 about the famine in Ethiopia inspired Irish singer Bob Geldof to raise money to help. Along with Midge Ure, from the band Ultravox (the band that the Russian scientist on the submarine in a recent Dr. Who episode was crazy about) co-wrote this song. It was performed by Band Aid, a band Geldof threw together for this song, made up of popular singers who wanted to help. It worked spectacularly, and after this success Geldof was further inspired to set up the huge concert event Live Aid (1985), followed by other similar huge relief efforts.
- Mary Byrne – “I Who Have Nothing” – Mary was one of those housewifey dowdy-looking people who turned up at a talent scouting show (X-Factor) and surprised everyone with her lovely voice.
- Mumford & Sons – “Timshel” – My littlest sister is much more into the current top-40 artists than I am, and she occasionally makes me listen to the currently-popular stuff. This British band is of course such a band, though the songs they are best known for are not my favorites. I really like this one. Chanele McGuinness does a nice cover of this song, too, though hers is not on spotify of course. (link for Chanele’s cover on youtube –http://youtu.be/1j_z7e99VUQ)
- La Rossignol – “Quanno Nascette Ninno” – I was in a college choir while I was putting these songs together for their original blog playlist, and we were singing an English arrangement of an “Italian carol” that was proving very tough to learn from the sheet-music. This is the Italian carol, actually Napolitano, not Italian, and it illustrates why the song was tough to learn- the harmonies are all a bit flattened to my modern ear, since the song is in an older traditional key that follows the bagpipes that are the traditional accompaniment. Once you get used to it, this song sounds pretty cool.
- Malachi Cush – “County Tyrone” – I am a Celtic Thunder fan, and Ryan Kelly is from the county Tyrone, on Northern Ireland, so this song caught my eye. Actually Malachi Cush is just about the same age as Ryan, and from almost the same place, with a very similar history, only Ryan joined Celtic Thunder and Malachi didn’t. And, Malachi Cush will be performing for the upcoming cruise that former Celtic Thunder singer Paul Byrom recently announced he will be perfroming for.
- Thea Gilmore – “As I Went Out One Morning” – My music blog started out as a Celtic Thunder blog, with random other posts about other Celtic performers I liked. (Actually before that it was a book blog.) Thea Gilmore is a British singer I found while I was sticking to just British and Irish musicians. She’s really really good, and I am surprised more people in the US don’t listen to her.
- Steeleye Span – “Dogs and Ferrets” – An old boyfriend introduced me to the music of Steeleye Span back in college, and I’ve been a fan ever since. This cool old English song sounds like something that should be echoing in a great hall of some drafty Welsh castle.
- White Lion – “When the Children Cry” – Apparently the lead singer from White Lion is now in Colorado and has a regular gig at a bar in Greeley playing solo original music. I almost wish I lived in Greeley (a smelly cattle processing town I really don’t like) just so I could see his solo show. I hope folks up there know how fortunate they are to have a musician like him around as a local.
- Young Dubliners – “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” – This is the first band on this playlist that I have met, though I met them a while after I started making blog playlists (and Keith was VERY drunk, not the best night for meeting the band). They are actually not from Ireland, at least as a band, but they do great Celtic rock music anyway.
- They Might Be Giants – “Road Movie to Berlin” – When I started making playlists I imagined that I would have LOTS of TMBG songs on my lists, but so far I haven’t featured them very often. Once I got started there was so much great music I was discovering that these old favorites from my high school years didn’t always make the list after all. This is one of my favorite TMBG tunes, though.
- Tim McGraw – “When the Stars Go Blue” – In 2006 I discovered modern country music, after saying for all my life that I HATE country music. Once I got into modern country I eventually worked my way into the core of country, too, but this modern stuff is a potent gateway drug for those who think they hate country music. This song is one I fell for during that era, before I got into local music and Celtic music.
- Sting – “Shape Of My Heart” – My absolute favorite Sting song, and he’s made a lot of really gorgeous music.
- Sara Evans – “Imagine That” – Another modern country song from my ‘country music discovery’ phase.
- Reba McEntire – “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” – And, the beginning of that slide from modern country into earlier periods of that genre. I’ve always been a sucker for a great ballad, after all.
My Starred playlist is available at http://open.spotify.com/user/128264634/starred if you want to listen to all 1676 tracks. I’ll post another 15-song chunk whenever I get the itch to write a new post. 🙂 Happy Listening!