Good Morning: The Playlist

If you’re like me, there’s one thing that you dread every night when you go to sleep. You have to wake up in the morning. As I try to wake up earlier so I can exercise, I find that this is getting especially difficult. Waking up at 5:30 a.m. just is not what my body wants to do naturally. Nevertheless, I’m giving it the old college try, and I find that I feel better on the days that I do get up and at it instead of laying around till 6:30 or 7:00 like a sloth. And when I do sleep in, I only sleep till 9:00 a.m. (Ok, 10:30 a.m. if I had a particularly rough night).

But the knowledge that I’m going to feel better at 10:00 a.m. isn’t always enough to get me out of bed at four and a half hours earlier. That’s why I made this “Good Morning!” playlist. It’s a collection of bouncy, mostly easy listening songs that help me ease into the day.

Here’s a bit about some of my favorite songs on the playlist:

Feist-Mushaboom

First up, there is “Mushaboom” by Feist. Since I was introduced to her in college, Leslie Feist has been one of my favorite singer-songwriters. This single from her sophomore album Let It Die is one of my favorites of hers. I strongly recommend checking out the music video as well.

Kings of Convenience-I’d Rather Dance With You

“I’d Rather Dance With You” is another bouncy song from Norwegian folk-pop duo Kings of Convenience off their second album Riot on an Empty Street. The album features two collaborations with Feist, and the music video for the song always brings a smile to my face.

Nina Simone-I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free

I love Nina Simone and this song. “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” is from her Silk & Soul album, but is actually a cover of a Billy Taylor song. It always reminds me of a run through a meadow filled with flowers until I listen to the lyrics. That juxtaposition of words and music is part of what makes the song so powerful.

Saint Motel-My Type

“My Type” by Saint Motel is another music video favorite of mine. It’s set in some kind of late 1960s or early 1970s party where everyone is making eyes at someone making eyes at someone else. The video is uproarious. Also, I’m pretty sure an Xbox One version of FIFA 2015 introduced me to this song.

The Zombies-This Will Be Our Year/Can’t Nobody Love You

I think I first listened to The Zombies on a Wes Anderson movie soundtrack (maybe The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). “This Will Be Our Year” is off their 1968 album Odyssey and Oracle recorded at Abbey Road. It’s a lovely little piece of music driven forward by a strong, simple piano rhythm. “Can’t Nobody Love You” is a quintessential love song, full of loss, remorse and professions of deep love accompanied by an electric guitar.

Iris DeMent-Let The Mystery Be

“Let the Mystery Be” by Iris DeMent is one of my favorite songs of hers. This version was the theme song to the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers, based on the Tom Perrotta novel. I was first introduced to DeMent by work she did with John Prine on the song “In Spite of Ourselves.” It was a duet that Prine wrote for the 2001 Billy Bob Thornton flick Daddy and Them. Her voice is haunting and reminds me of my grandmother and her sister’s singing gospel in church as a kid. I’m sure I will develop some issues around its use as a theme song for a television show about the ostensible Rapture. If you love Iris DeMent as much as I do, you should also check out this revealing 2015 Fresh Air episode in which she is interviewed by Terry Gross. It covers her childhood, her relationship with God and her family, and her new music.

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There are a lot more great songs on this playlist. Make sure you listen along here on Spotify for those days when you just need some help waking up:

Feeling blue? Check out my previous playlist: A Melancholy Playlist for a Rainy Stretch of Highway

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