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Cheering-up music?

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Yesterday in the car, I was a little grumpy, and I thought to myself: "I have a choice here: I can either nurse this grumpy mood all evening, or I can play some music that'll cheer me up." So I poked through the music that was easily accessible on my iPhone (connected to the car stereo system) and listened to Talisman's rendition of "Baba Yetu" (the Civilization IV song) and by the time I got to Kam's I was grinning.

There are other songs that always improve my mood, too, such as Talisman's "Hombe," and Lui Collins's "Wildflower Song" and her rendition of "Red Red Robin."

So what music cheers you up or otherwise lifts your mood?

And, optional bonus question: what in particular about that music cheers you up?

(If you'd rather talk about books or movies or food or something else that cheers you up, that's fine too, but I'm particularly curious about music.)

5 Comments

For starters...

"Walking on Sunshine," Katrina and the Waves
"Baby Likes to Rock It," the Tractors
"Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?" Rockapella
"3 Small Words," Josie and the Pussycats
"Fahrende Musikanten," Nina and Mike
"King of Spain," Moxy Fruvous
Almost anything by Aqua


Shmuel: how could I not have known that Moxy had videos on der YoubenTuben? *happy sigh* My Baby Loves A Bunch Of Authors filmed in a bookstore! Splatter Splatter with a cool guitar solo! Michigan Militia during a fundraising telethon with lots of Punjabi names scrolling across the bottom of the screen!

If you really enjoy a particular YouTube video, you can use the free, open source video podcast catcher Miro to download it to your computer (Mac, Windows, or Linux). That way you can watch it whenever you want, even if YouTube's taken it down, or you're offline.

Any version or cover of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" or the Super Mario theme usually makes me smile.

Jonathan Coulton's classic "Re: Your Brains" or "Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance," Barcelona's "Paging System Operator" and "I Have the Password to Your Shell Account" (off their album Zero, One, Infinity, "Terrestrial Minds" and "Get Around" from Leonard's Omne Animal Triste, and "Superstar" and the spam songs and bonus song from Leonard's album After School Special usually make me smile.

There are little silly made-up songs that Leonard and I sing to each other, or that Nandini and I sing to each other, that usually make us laugh.


I am filled with shame at my oddly appropriate failure to close the parentheses after naming the Barcelona album. Alackaday.


I know this will never be a complete list, but I'd like to add the fan-made commercial for Trader Joe's, TMBG's "Never Go To Work" animation, and (at least this week) Autotune The News #5.

Your bonus question asks: what in particular about that music cheers you up? Each of these works carries for me a sense of playfulness and inventive creativity, and often does something lovely with another place or work or theme or idea that I already found familiar. Now that I think about it, they make me feel like part of a community: the creators, other listeners, and I are all humans of the same type, with the same wiring, the same reference points, finding the same connections elegant and beautiful.


Anything by ABBA. :)
Beethoven's 9th, Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture, The New World Symphony, Vivaldi's The 4 Seasons.
And a lot of 1980's pop music.

What cheers me up about these: The pop music is just upbeat, goofy, reminder of a simpler time. The symphonic pieces are the kind that pick you up and give you cathartic tears, when the brass kicks in and the drums pick up and the voices swell...


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