I do believe great admiration for music is genetically leaked into my blood, I can’t imagine my life without music, and not being able to hear the gift of song in various ways. I am quite lucky to be musically cultured and I have my mother to thank for that. She sang in our church choir while growing up, as did my sister and I. My father played guitar, and my sister and I took up piano for a bit. A family event of ours is not complete without some booty shaking music. Afterall, I am a proud Maritimer, and we are known for our kitchen parties, which seem to always involve some singing, or dancing, foot tapping, a fiddle player or perhaps, a Newfoundland ugly stick. My passion for music goes beyond that though, and as I mentioned, my mother is the one to thank for that. I’ve met people who have said they could care less about music, and others who do not see the value in an excellent film score or the effect of music in dramatic theatre. I can’t imagine; so much of life is connected to music from first moments, to the film industry, to personal events, like weddings and funerals. Certain songs can make you feel happy and then rough all over again, it is incredible. Songs can empower, and instill confidence in a person. Songs can provide a sense of mental comfort and peace of mind…and that’s why today, I write to you about musical aid for COVID-19. Keep your bluetooth speakers charged people, and if your ears aren’t tuned in elsewhere, keep that playlist going! It’s hard being isolated for these long periods, but people have proven to be keeping busy through cleaning, crafting, and taking up new skills. And the best company to do all that with is music! Here’s some of my suggestions for your musical aid and why I love them, add them to your playlist, and hit play!
This is America – Childish Gambino – This first suggestion of mine actually comes from appreciation for the music video and social concept of the song, so in order to understand this, you’ll have to watch the music video first. Once you watch it, you’ll get it. I also adore Donald Glover’s abs and dance moves in this video, always a bonus, right?
Your Song – Elton John – This favourite of mine is quite magical in the Moulin Rouge version by Ewan McGregor, and I often listen to that version. And when I break out in song singing this, it’s most often to the Moulin Rouge version. That said, we must give solid credit to Sir Elton John for his original version, composing this song himself and bringing forth the magic!
All of Me – John Legend – This song is so beautifully written, the lyrics are on point! Lines such as, “What’s going on in that beautiful mind? I’m on your magical mystery ride’ and ‘You’re my end and my beginning, even when I lose, I’m winning.’ make this song! I really do admire John Legend as a musical artist, he’s very talented, and proved that with this song, even though he didn’t have to! This song was the first dance wedding song of my sister and her husband. Their interethnic wedding joined together two people from two different backgrounds, and they had the song half in English, and half in Portuguese, which made it even more heart melting – simply gorgeous!
Bad Liar – Imagine Dragons – This is probably my favourite Imagine Dragons song, I love the line that says, ‘It’s been a loveless year, I’m a man of three fears, integrity, faith and crocodile tears.’ I have a greater knowledge and respect for the lead singer of Imagine Dragons, I learned quite a bit about him on CNN’s United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. Dan Reynolds is a devout mormon, and has suffered from an autoimmune disease since his youth. He is an excellent advocate for children and youth of the LGBTQ2+ community, specifically those that are mormon. He has achieved incredible shelter and outreach work for mormon youth of the LGBTQ2+ community, and speaks of the importance of outreach in maintaining the mental health of these youth. In his segment with United Shades of America, he talks about the division between the mormon church and LGBTQ2+ community, and gives some very interesting perspectives on this topic. Sadly (I do believe) due to the pandemic, CNN has been taken over by everything COVID-19, and I was unable to find an airing of United Shades of America for at least a week. W. Kamau Bell is a well educated, funny American man of colour and his show, United Shades of America is worth a watch for anyone. You can find it on youtube, and search his episodes for a topic that really interests you!
Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen – It’s just a fun song, fun to sing to and dance to, so put it on your list. I’d also love to mention the Queen film, Bohemian Rhapsody is ten stars out of five, and worth a viewing for sure! – I learned SO many things about this band and Freddie Mercury that I never knew!
Cry to Me – Solomon Burke – Full of rhythm, love it!
Truth Hurts – Lizzo – I enjoy many Lizzo songs, I find them catchy, sassy and fierce- and I like that! Lizzo’s reputation for being full of sass and confidence shines through her songs, and then I guess her love for little clothing shines through her videos, lots of booty shaking!
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion – Oh my goodness, Jack and Rose! I can’t believe I haven’t watched them during this pandemic yet! Dirty Dancing, Grease, Footloose and Titanic are all masterpieces of their time and still are today. And often people will gravitate towards one, even though they like them all; one will be their absolute heart throb film. For my sister, it’s Dirty Dancing, and for me, it’s Titanic. So, hearing this song, man it’s powerful, and I can picture every scene of the film.
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys – I had to throw some 90’s hits in there, really a bit of this and Spice Girls should be on the list. You never know til you try, turn it on, and rock your body, alright!
If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys – No good music list would be complete without the beautiful Alicia Keys. Now listen, people go on and on about Beyonce, and she’s queen bee, and she’s this and that. Let me be clear, she has nothing on Alicia. Alicia is beautiful inside and out, and does not have the need to flaunt her body to portray her talent. She’s a natural vocalist and musician, her piano skills are out of this world! She’s soulful, and unique, she has it all! Personally I think young girls aspiring to be like Beyonce should be aspiring to be like Alicia keys instead, she’s the girl on fire!
Tomorrow – Chris Young – This man’s voice, man. Him and Brett Young have remarkable deep voices, and voices that are so rustic and unique to the modern country world, they are simply good at what they do. Also, take note, despite their last name being the same and their equally as good incredible talent, these men have no relation whatsoever. As for Brett Young, Mercy would be one of my most favourites by him. I’d recommend getting to know both of these guys, and watch out, their voices may make your loins ache!
Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield – One of my all time favourites, and then when Glee did their performance of Jessie’s girl, it made me love it even more. Finn’s performance was not stellar but it was fun because it was Glee and because it was Finn, you know? It’s sad now thinking back on that, as he, Canadian actor Corey Monteith has passed, and he left the world far too young.
Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake – This is such a fun, positive song; I have a fond memory of this song when my cousins all got together and choreographed a dance to this song for my aunt and uncle’s anniversary party, it was awesome! And don’t we all just love J.T? If you’re not a J.T fan don’t worry Ellen Degeneres will make up for it, I love the friendship between the two of them. I’d also like to mention this song is from the Dreamworks film Trolls, which is super cute, and worth seeing while you are in isolation/quarantine.