e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


more on lists

As promised, my mom's top ten. One of the writers over at Stylus did this a few years back. Well, actually what she did was to have her mom actually make the list. And the Stylus list was cool for a lot of reasons, but mainly for highlighting how the thin the line between hipster and geek really is. The Stylus piece essentially said, here's my mom's definitive list of cool songs, and in doing so illustrated how completely awesome self-indulgent writing can be (a point Geoffrey Sirc makes in his article about Kurt Cobain's journals and the teaching of writing). Here's what I take to be my mom's top picks, with commentary:

--"Good Morning, Good Morning" by Judy Garland. Mom camps it up with a little Judy Garland. This has got to be first on the list, if for no other reason than the countless times she's probably sung it (only in the morning of course).
--"Walking After Midnight" by Patsy Cline. It's just a fine song.
--"We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister. Again with the androgyny. I don't know why this song has always resonated with mom. Maybe the "Animal House"-riffing video? Maybe the timeless theme of the lyrics?
--"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by REM. Wow. Four for four on the andorgynous singer trend so far. As Rory Cochrane says of Martha Washington in Dazed and Confused, "She's a hip, hip lady." Same can be said of mom.
--"Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" by Louis Jordan. I've read Jordan was one controversial dude, what with some of his racier ditties and his wild stageshow. Mom's all about the controversial!
--"Beans and Cornbread" also by Louis Jordan. Gotta have one food-oriented song on the list, and she and my dad both dig this one.
--"Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma. Campy songs about the morning? She loves 'em.
--"King of the Road" by Roger Williams. Folky standard.
--"Guadalajara" by International Mariachi America. When I went to school in Arizona, my mom used to love to come visit and hit the local mariachi scene. Guadalajara's a good choice, but you could subtitute any of the other standards.
--"Ya Ya" by Buckwheat Zydeco. I can't explain her affinity for zydeco music, but she digs it. This is a good closer, too.

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