3.24.2007

Motzai Shabbat sloth and guilt; my 100 favorite songs

It hits me almost every Saturday night that I don't have plans, and some Saturday night when I do. When I don't have actual fun, social plans, my default plan is to go to the gym and do a load of laundry, if one needs to be done, which it inevitably does. If there are leftover dishes from Shabbat, they also join the list.

On this particular Saturday night, my default plan was to go to the gym, do laundry, and start cleaning for Pesach. Specifically, going through the kitchen pantry from top to bottom, even though that does not need to be done before Pesach since we're closing it up and selling its contents. However, it is a task best done at least once a year, to toss or donate things we don't need or use, and it's a good thing to start with since it doesn't require restricting use of refrigerator shelves or the stove, oven, sink, microwave, or countertops.

All of this is besides the point, though, since here I am in bed in my flannel pajama pants and ringer T-shirt, blogging instead. Oh, is it raining outside? Then there's really no reason to leave my flannelly bed behind.

I don't know what it is. As soon as Shabbat ends, this combination of dread and exhaustion overtakes me. The exhaustion seems, paradoxically, to happen most often when I've slept through mincha, usually unintentionally, and thus had a rather lengthy nap. In recent weeks, I've been having a hard time falling asleep on Friday night, so I don't end Shabbat as rested as I normally would. This Shabbat and last, I've been battling a cold (I am, thank God, winning!), so there has been that dragging me down, as well. Also, this bone-tired feeling, this you-couldn't-convince-me-to-get-up-and-do-something-productive- for-any-amount-of-money feeling, has been happening more often than usual lately. It's usually only when I get home from work at 8 or 9 or 10 pm, but it also happens in the morning sometimes. For example, I was entirely planning on going to shul this morning but, instead, after I had breakfast and made a tasty bean salad for a potluck lunch, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, willing myself not to fall back asleep. I was just so tired. But I wanted to go to shul! Eventually, it got late enough that going to shul was an impossibility. Maybe I should go to the doctor. Or maybe I should go to the gym more.

That's the exhaustion. The dread comes from a specific place: All that stuff that I didn't need to think about and wasn't supposed to plan for because it was Shabbat now comes crashing down on me: pre-Pesach cleaning, organizing 2006 papers, taxes, cleaning up my room, the guilty siren call of the gym, etc. I think it was worse when I was in school and had the constant guilt/pressure of undone school work to contend with.

That's the down side of Shabbat. The up side is obvious: 25 care-free hours! Woo hoo!

Hmmm... This post is something of a downer. To balance it out with something happier, here is a list of what I have decided are my 100 favorite songs, as of right now, 11 pm on Saturday, March 24. The list could change by tomorrow. They're in alphabetical order because, well, I decided it would be more fun that way. And we all know that I am nothing if not fun!

Song Name, Artist, Composer, Album, Genre, Year
  1. Abide with Me, The London Philharmonic Orchestra And Choir, Hymns Triumphant, Vol 1, Religious, 1980
  2. Adelaide's Lament, Faith Prince, Frank Loesser, Guys and Dolls, Soundtrack, 1992
  3. Adon Olam (Faith), Mizmor Shir, Mizmor Shir: Six Days Working, Jewish A Capella, 2001
  4. Adon Olam (Master Of The World), Abayudaya, Abayudaya - Music From The Jewish People Of Uganda, Jewish / World, 2003
  5. After the Pain, Betty Wright, The Slow Jams Collection Volum, Blues
  6. Ain' Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round, SNCC Freedom Singers led by Cordell Reagon, Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement, Disc 2 (Ensembles), Folk
  7. Aishes Chayil, Mizrach (The Weinbergs), Mizrach, Jewish
  8. Amazing Grace, Mahalia Jackson, Gold Collection, Gospel/Spirituals
  9. Amazing Grace, Ray Charles, Folk
  10. Bad Day, Daniel Powter, Daniel Powter, Rock, 2005 [I know, I know, I'm embarrassed but I'm also honest, and dammit, I like this song.]
  11. Beautiful, Christina Aguilera, Stripped, Pop, 2002
  12. Bereshit, Moshav Band, Return Again, Jewish, 2002
  13. Blessed Be Your Name, Matt Redman, Blessed Be Your Name: The Songs of Matt Redman, Vol. 1, Inspirational, 2005 [This is a totally Christian song, but I love it anyway.]
  14. Boker, Achinoam Nini, Achinoam First Collection, Israeli Pop [For awhile, I set my stereo to wake me up to this song. It's a nice song to wake up to.]
  15. Boys Don't Cry, The Cure, Classic Rock
  16. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon, The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel, Folk, 1969
  17. Brown Eyed Girl, Bob Dylan, Folk
  18. By Way of Sorrow, Cry Cry Cry, Cry Cry Cry, Folk
  19. B'Yado, Debbie Friedman, Renewal Of Spirit, Jewish
  20. Chofshi Ze Legamrey Levad, Yehuda Poliker, Yehuda Poliker, HaMeytav (Disc 1), Israeli
  21. Day Is Done, Peter, Paul & Mary, Peter Yarrow, Peter, Paul And Mommy, Folk/Children's, 1969
  22. Devorah's Song, Mizmor Shir, Mizmor Shir: Six Days Working, Jewish A Capella, 2001
  23. Efer Ve'avak, Yehuda Poliker, Yehuda Poliker, HaMeytav (Disc 1), Israeli
  24. Entr'acte; Take Back Your Mink, Faith Prince & The Hot Box Girls, Frank Loesser, Guys and Dolls, Soundtrack, 1992
  25. Esa Einai: Quartet, Mizmor Shir, Shir Delight, Jewish A Capella, 1999
  26. Every Day I Have The Blues, Count Basie, Jazz
  27. Everybody Hurts Sometimes, REM, Rock
  28. Face Up And Sing, Ani DiFranco, Women in (E)motion Festival, Alt-Folk, 1994
  29. Feel Home, OAR (Of a Revolution), Folk
  30. Fever, Ray Charles & Natalie Cole, Cooley, Eddie & Davenport, John, Genius Loves Company, R & B, 2004
  31. Fight Fiercely, Tom Lehrer, Comedy
  32. Fighter, Christina Aguilera, Pop
  33. Galileo, Indigo Girls, Rites Of Passage, Alt-Folk
  34. Girls With Guitars, Wynona Judd, Country
  35. God Said No, Dan Bern, New American Language, Rock, 2001
  36. Hachayim Yafim, Achinoam Nini, Achinoam First Collection, Israeli Pop
  37. Hands Of God, Mahalia Jackson, Gold Collection, Gospel/Spirituals
  38. Happy Feet, Kermit And The Frog Chorus, The Muppets, Best Of The Muppets Featuring The Muppets Wizard Of Oz (VA), Children's, 2005
  39. Hashkifa, Kol Achai, Hashkifa, Jewish [A favorite song in high school. I went out and bought the CD to replace the ancient tape a year or two ago and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I still really liked this song.]
  40. Hey Girl, OAR (Of a Revolution), Folk
  41. Hit the Road Jack, Ray Charles, Davidoff, Jazz
  42. I Am A Rock, Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon, The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel, Folk, 1965
  43. I Am Not an Angry Girl, Indigo Girls & Ani Difranco, Alt-Folk
  44. I Feel Beautiful, Fantasia, Fantasia, R&B/Soul, 2006
  45. I Feel The Earth Move, Carole King, Tapestry, Folk
  46. I Want To Break Free, Queen, Greatest Hits, Disco
  47. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor, Rock
  48. If I Had a Hammer, Peter, Paul & Mary, Best Of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Folk
  49. I'll Be Your Shelter, Taylor Dane, Women for Women, Pop
  50. Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby, Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women, Broad Casting, Blues, 1990
  51. It Takes a Mighty Good Man, Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women, Ain't Gonna Hush!, Blues, 2001
  52. Kansas, Ashanti, The Muppets, Best Of The Muppets Featuring The Muppets Wizard Of Oz (VA), Pop, 2005
  53. Kapayim, Yehuda Poliker, Popular Greek, HaMeytav (Disc 1), Israeli
  54. Keep On Dancing, The Gentrys, Greatest Hits of the 60's, Oldies
  55. Learn To Fly, Foo Fighters, There Is Nothing Left To Lose, Alternative, 1999
  56. Liknot Lach Yahalom, Eyal Golan, Chayal Shel Ahavah, Israeli [I just listened to the actual words of this song for the first time last week, and it quickly became a new favorite. It was constantly playing on the bus one summer when I was in Israel.]
  57. Losing My Religion, REM, Blues
  58. Mi Adir, Aspaklaria (including Yoni Weinberg), Aspaklaria, Jewish
  59. Mi Shebeirach, Debbie Friedman, Renewal Of Spirit, Jewish
  60. Midabrim Basheket, Idan Raichel, Idan Raichel's Project, Israeli/World, 2002
  61. Muchrachim LaHa'amin, Rami Kleinstein, Kol Mah Shetirtzi, Israeli Rock
  62. New York City, They Might Be Giants, Alternative
  63. Not Gon' Cry, Mary J. Blige, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Reflections - A Retrospective, R&B/Soul, 2006
  64. Not Ready to Make Nice, Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way, Country, 2006
  65. Rainbow Connection, Kermit, The Muppets, Best Of The Muppets Featuring The Muppets Wizard Of Oz (VA), Children's, 2005
  66. Redemption Song, Indigo Girls, Alt-Folk
  67. Respect, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding/Ronnie Shannon, The Very Best, R & B, 1994
  68. Rosh Chodesh Sivan, Ben Dreyfus, Jewish
  69. She Moves in Mysterious Ways, U2, Rock
  70. Shirat HaSticker, HaDag Nachash, Chomer Mikomi, Israeli Hip Hop/Rap, 2004
  71. Sh'ma Koleinu, Debbie Friedman, Renewal Of Spirit, Jewish
  72. Silent All These Years, Tori Amos & Ani Difranco, Alternative
  73. Silver Threads And Golden Needles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Folk
  74. Some Days You Gotta Dance, Dixie Chicks, Marshall Morgan/Troy Johnson, Top of the World Tour Live, Country, 2003
  75. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, U2, Rock
  76. Song for the Dumped, Ben Folds Five, Whatever and Ever Amen (Remastered Edition), Alternative, 2005
  77. Strong Enough, Sheryl Crow, Sheryl Crow, Bill Bottrell, David Baerwald, Kevin Gilbert, David Ricketts, Brian MacLeod, Tuesday Night Music Club, Rock, 1993
  78. Superman, Five for Fighting, Pop
  79. Teach Your Children, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Folk
  80. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day), Louis Armstrong, Beasley Smith-Haven Gillespie, The Best Of Louis Armstrong: 20th Century Masters, Jazz, 1999
  81. The Book Report, Company (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Clark Gesner, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Soundtrack, 1999 [This is an absolute must-hear for anyone who has ever procrastinated doing academic work. It's the best song on the album, although there are other good ones as well.]
  82. The Pachelbel Canon, James Galway, Pachelbel, Greatest Hits, Classical, 1988
  83. The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-Ed, Dar Williams, Mortal City, Alt-Folk
  84. The Sadder But Wiser Girl, Robert Preston, The Music Man - Original Broadway Cast Recording, Soundtrack, 1958
  85. The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas, They Might Be Giants, Alternative
  86. There'll Come A Time, Betty Everett, There'll Come A Time, Blues
  87. These Boots Are Made for Walking, Indigo Girls, Full Metal Jacket, Soundtrack
  88. This Little Light of Mine, Betty Mae Fykes, Voices Of the Civil Rights Movement, Folk
  89. Tza'ir Lanetzach, Rami Kleinstein, Ha'osef, Israeli Rock, 1996
  90. Ve'Ayrastich, Kol Achai, Hashkifa, Jewish
  91. Walk On, U2, Rock
  92. We Shall Not Be Moved, SNCC Freedom Singers led by Rutha Harris, Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement, Disc 2 (Ensembles), Folk
  93. We Shall Overcome, SNCC Freedom Singers, Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement, Disc 2 (Ensembles), Folk
  94. When I Was A Boy, Dar Williams, Dar Williams, The Honesty Room, Alt-Folk, 1993
  95. Wide Open Spaces, Dixie Chicks, Susan Gibson, Top Of the World Tour-Live (Disc 2), Country, 2003
  96. Yihiyeh Tov, David Broza, Zilzul Elei, Israeli
  97. You Are Free, Indigo Girls, Alt-Folk
  98. You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban, Closer, Religious
  99. You'll Never Walk Alone, Elvis Presley, Gospel/Spirituals
  100. Your Racist Friend, They Might Be Giants, Alternative
As may be obvious, I have somewhat ecclectic taste in music. When people ask me what kind of music I like, I mostly say, "Um, I dunno, anything that isn't too loud?" It seems easier to define my tastes by what I don't like (i.e., music that hurts my ears, gives me a headache, or gives me cause to worry about hearing loss) than what I do like.

Because I like folk music, clearly, and Israeli music, some Jewish music, some rock, showtunes, indie, gospel/spirituals. I attribute the outrageous number of Debbie Friedman songs on this list to the fact that I never, ever heard any of her music until I was about twenty-four, so I have no youthful/youth group associations with it or with her. I just really like some of her songs. (This is one of those things that makes you realize how culturally bifurcated the Jewish people are in terms of the music that their children listen to. I listened to a lot more Uncle Moishy and 613 Torah Avenue than my non-Orthodox friends did as children, and I think that some of their music was pretty good, too! But it would never go onto a list of favorite songs as an adult.)

I also like jazz and some classical music, although I don't think any jazz or classical is included on this list, which was created by exporting all of my "five star" songs from iTunes and many of my "four star" songs. When I'm listening to my iPod, and I hear a song I really like, I give it a four or a five. That doesn't really happen to me when I listen to jazz or classical music, which is probably mostly indicative of my still somewhat undeveloped taste in/knowledge of jazz and classical music.

I was originally (like, over a year ago) planning on writing extensively about each of these songs--what it means to me, what I associate it with, why I like it--but, you know, that motzai Shabbat sloth is overtaking me. So...uh...maybe another time.

1 comment:

BZ said...

Wow! Thanks for the shouts-out to Rosh Chodesh Sivan and Mizmor Shir.

I attribute the outrageous number of Debbie Friedman songs on this list to the fact that I never, ever heard any of her music until I was about twenty-four, so I have no youthful/youth group associations with it or with her. I just really like some of her songs.

Also, the DF songs on your list are all from her more "adult" material -- it's not what we were singing at camp at age 9.