Okay, now I’m starting to sound like an advertisement and I’m not that devoted yet.
But I did have a wonderful time yesterday, when, infected with a certain glee, I went on a mad search for songs with the word “radio” in them. I’ve collected songs like that for a while, but this time I was inspired by a set of radio-themed songs I heard on WXPN (the greatest radio station ever) on the way back from Philadelphia, particularly one called “Radio Girl.” How could I not hunt that one down? And instead of just one, I found eight songs called “Radio Girl.” Fabulous. And dozens more with the word “radio.” That doesn’t even begin to include songs that are about the radio but don’t have the word in the title.
So I assembled a playlist with all of the new radio songs and the ones I already had, and I’ve been listening to it for two days now. Here are my favorites so far:
“Radio Girl” by John Hiatt (the song I heard on XPN)
“On the Radio” by Regina Spektor
“You Turn Me On I’m a Radio” by Joni Mitchell
“On the Radio” by Donna Summer
“Radio Girl” by the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
“Radio Ga Ga” by Queen
And now I’ve just done a search for “Alison,” which feels quite vain, but is so much fun. There are so many, and not all of them are remakes of Elvis Costello’s (which I certainly like but which so many people feel compelled to sing to me). There’s even a version of “Happy Birthday to You” in French (“Joyeux Anniversaire Alison”) . There’s a song by Chris Porro called “Pink Floyd and Alison,” although it doesn’t seem Alison is a source of joy in that one. There’s a punk song by the Huntingtons -- “Alison’s the Bomb” -- which I’ll definitely play when I need a self-esteem boost. There’s even a song called “Alison Waits (A Ghost Story),” the lyrics for which are deliciously spine-tingling. This is what it says on the band’s (Advent) web site:
An Edgar Allan Poe-inspired lyric ("Annabel Lee," according to Arthur Hoffman) served as the springboard for this tale of lovers separated by death and the obsession (or hauntings?) that follow. An atmospheric sea chantey, "Alison Waits" takes on the dimensions of a tone poem, with a lengthy instrumental development section that seems to have made the song an early favorite among those already familiar with Advent's repertoire.
Mmmmm. Fun. Good listening for the rest of the day.
It’s a strange sort of self-indulgence, but it makes me happy and keeps my ears warm.
And lest you think I am totally self-obsessed, I am happy to point out that I also downloaded vast amounts of music by Correo Aereo, whose “La Mariquita” is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I know; albums’ worth of songs by Linda Ronstadt (did you know her grandfather invented the flexible ice cube tray, an early toaster and the electric stove, according to Wikipedia?); and multiple versions of “Iko Iko” (I’m a fan of the Cyndi Lauper version but I like the Dixie Cups’ version nearly as much). And I’m slowly hunting down all those songs on my mixed tapes.
Which song would you download first?
* Okay, yeah, so no one was twisting my arm, I know.
** And now that reminds me that after all the hoops I had to jump through to get signed up, I never did go back and download that free song.