"All around me are familiar faces" December 26, 2020 7:09 PM   Subscribe

If you had to pick a song or two to accompany 2020 thus far, what would it be?

As with all yule posts, no fighting, wagering or acrobatics.
posted by clavdivs to MetaFilter-Related at 7:09 PM (74 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

"Everyone Knows" by Leonard Cohen, though I like the Concrete Blonde version too. The latter is more appropriately maudlin, but the original is notable for its more upbeat, yet sleazy tempo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:16 PM on December 26, 2020 [9 favorites]


Strange Days. Also: I'd Love It If We Made It.
posted by Alterscape at 7:28 PM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


"Grandma Got Run Over By A Covid"
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:45 PM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


Not exactly a look back, but this is pretty much my go to for New Year's: 100 Resolutions by The Lawrence Arms.

"This year, I'll try not to think too much
This year, I'll try to stand up for myself
This year, I'll live like I never lived before
This is my year for sure"

It's not nearly as uplifting as all that, but damn, it's a great song, all hopeful about all the things you know you want to do, but probably won't. Great damn stuff.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:01 PM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]






"I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams"
posted by NotTheRedBaron at 9:05 PM on December 26, 2020 [5 favorites]




Waiting For My Real Life To Begin by Colin Hay.
posted by Candleman at 9:20 PM on December 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


You Suffer
posted by prismatic7 at 9:45 PM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Stuck in the past
Where I'll be pulling that lever
It happened so fast
And then it happens forever.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:52 PM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Someday soon, we all will be together if the fates allow
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 10:07 PM on December 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


I am going to make it
through this year
if it kills me
by The Mountain Goats
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 10:30 PM on December 26, 2020 [18 favorites]


A guy I went to high school with is a pretty accomplished indie musician, and he wrote & performed this song called Christmas Quarantine years and years ago. It's a catchy tune, and it's clear evidence that he's psychic. It's not so much my song of the year as my song of this week.
posted by centrifugal at 10:47 PM on December 26, 2020


"Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day for the bad stuff, though I refuse to actually listen to it.

"In the Middle" by Jimmy Eat World, which has been my "you'll get through this" anthem since I was in high school.
posted by Kitchen Witch at 11:07 PM on December 26, 2020 [7 favorites]




This Year was my theme song for 2019, and it honestly felt like victory that I made it through to 2020. Then all of this hit, and honestly, it just didn't seem like it was enough anymore.

Recently, I've fallen in love with Misanthropic Drunken Loner by Days N Daze instead.

I want to hide away in the back of a cave
at the top of a mountain
where no one can hear me and no one can see me
so I don't have to deal with them
and they don't have to deal with me

posted by Ghidorah at 11:11 PM on December 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


Blankest Year by Nada Surf
I had the blankest year
I saw life turn into a T.V. show
It was totally weird
The person I knew I didn't really know

And I was lonely
Thank god the band's doing well
But you don't own me
I'd like to return this spell
Cause it's not my size
And your lies are so much bigger than my lies
And your ties are made of things that shouldn't make ties

Oh, fuck it (fuck it)
I'm gonna have a party...
posted by ChuraChura at 11:30 PM on December 26, 2020 [7 favorites]


way back at the beginning of things as Covid-19 was first becoming a "thing", I recall thinking, this is our current world's version of a monster movie -- the mysterious creature from the depths that will wreak havoc more or less randomly, but the worst craziness will end up being perpetrated by humans.

Anyway, the song that immediately came to mind was Blue Oyster Cult's Godzilla, kinda dumb, entirely relevant. And then this showed up -- Lock-down Godzilla.

And then there was election night, Nov-3 -- troubling for any human with even a half redeemed soul, the ominous shadow of another four fucking years with the current gang of misfits, loony tunes, squalid criminals suddenly palpable ... with their hands still on the nuclear codes.

Anyway, the song that sounded entirely right that night, through hemp fumes and strong beer (the outcome still very much in doubt, the future of all mankind hanging like an idiot in the wind) was Iggy's The Passenger. Just ride it out, he seemed to be saying, fasten your seat belt, take notes.
posted by philip-random at 11:34 PM on December 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Someday we'll be together
Yes we will, yes we will
Say, someday (some sweet day) we'll be together
I know, I know, I know, I know

Performed by The Supremes

I'm going starkers with this whole "alone alone alone" thing, while I do need time on my own, and plenty of it, I've got great friends and we hang together. Just to meet a friend for a cup of coffee, in a funky coffee shop, even something as simple as that, I just love it. Off the table since March.

And plus I've got a bunch of people who I'm not as close to as I am my best friends but I still care about them, and love to see them, find out what's going on in their lives, a joke maybe -- off the table since March.

I have pretty much looped the loop over here, loony-toons time. Yes, Netflix is great, reading is great, yes, I am used to being alone perhaps more than the average bear. But being alone does *not* equal being lonely, in the course of my life as normally lived. But I am damn sure lonely now

At least there is now a right parenthesis to this thing, there is an end time in view, just have to hold out. It's like the vaccination(s) are doing Sam and Dave: "Hold on / I'm coming / Hold on / I'm coming"
posted by dancestoblue at 11:43 PM on December 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


All Will Be Well by the Gabe Dixon band. I actually started listening to it in 2019 , which was for me an even worse year than 2020, but the smidgen of hope was enough to help carry me through this year too.
posted by forza at 12:02 AM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


And I couldn't tell
If anyone here was feeling the way I do
But I'm lonely now
And I don't know how
To get it back to good

Back 2 Good by Matchbox Twenty
posted by smangosbubbles at 12:11 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


The Who, 1921.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-who-1921-tommy-1105117/

Got a feeling '21 is gonna be a good year...
posted by AugustWest at 12:18 AM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


Where's the Revolution?
posted by pompomtom at 1:51 AM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


The Golden Seals, The Year Things Fell Apart

With apologies to Pink Floyd:

We could use some education
We could use some thought control
To help us pull ourselves out of this hole

posted by armeowda at 2:26 AM on December 27, 2020


I stand by my post.
posted by JanetLand at 6:17 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


I've had a playlist of encouraging, pep-talk kind of songs for a while now, and this year I added two songs.

* All through 2019 I was in a terrible, terrible job that I was trying to stick out so I could pay down debt. One of the awful things about the job was my one co-worker being a dickbag; however, he did have decent taste in music, which he would listen to while working. And that's where I first heard Lizzo's "Good As Hell", and her message of self-love and going after better things kind of finally sunk in and I got the hell out in December. I took another gig which ultimately didn't work out - and then in late February I got the job I am in now, with a March 2nd start date. It was the day before I was due to leave on a pre-planned trip to New Orleans - the last real Big Good Time before the pandemic started. I'd planned it because I turned 50 on Mardi Gras. And - I spent the morning marching along with the St. Anne Walking Krewe, wandering along in my handmade t-shirt proclaiming it to be my birthday alongside a crowd of far more elaborately-costumed strangers. And at some point, someone who'd rigged up a whole stereo-and-speakers on a wheelbarrow so they could be a walking DJ put on "Good as Hell," and I ran over and started grooving along to it, dancing with a woman dressed as a pink fairy and three guys in day-glo neon wigs. "Boss up and change your life, You can have it all, no sacrifice...Baby how you feelin'? Good as hell!"

* I know I'd heard Foo Fighters' "Times Like These" in the past, but the performance they gave on Saturday Night Live in November, the day we'd heard that Biden finally won, was arresting. I hadn't really paid it much attention in its original high-intensity version; eh, it was a Foo Fighters song, cool. But that version was stripped down for the first few verses - just a spectral synth drone underneath Dave Grohl singing, full-throated, that "it's times like these you learn to live again." And then a huge and victorious rip into the original pacing and style right at the end. We had been through a ton of shit, we hurt, but - we finally, finally had one win come out of it. It felt like finally we had started to turn a corner.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on December 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


Ode to Donny (revised)

You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy

(You'll get away free)

Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee

(And set us all free)
posted by mule98J at 7:42 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


We have several house diaries including one for earworms. I think the last year of it played sequentially would ... damage something essential.



Are you level?
How's your trim?
Do you rotate, eddy, or spin?

Are you game?
What's your trick?
Do you vibrate, bounce, or tick?

What's your cut?
Are you correct?
Do you detour, bend, or stretch?

We're milling through the grinder
Grinding through the mill
If this is not an exercise
Could it be a...


Drill?

posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:56 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


For me, the main theme of the year was of people, in positions of power, seeing bad shit happening, or about to happen, and either doing nothing or actively working to make it all worse. And then having large chunks of the population cheer them for it. So I'll go with Over (Gus Gus).

As we wonder why, why we didn't try, we didn't try this time
We didn't even try, try to make things right this time

posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:58 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


No Surprises
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:03 AM on December 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


the main theme of the year was of people, in positions of power, seeing bad shit happening, or about to happen, and either doing nothing or actively working to make it all worse. And then having large chunks of the population cheer them for it.

Agreed.
posted by flabdablet at 9:44 AM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


At the beginning of this whole pandemageddon business, I found the song and the accompanying video for Muse's Dig Down to be unexpectedly motivating and encouraging. It's definitely better on headphones or a good sound system.
posted by FishBike at 9:53 AM on December 27, 2020


At the start of the pandemic my go-to “walk around the neighborhood” song was R.E.M.’s “These Days”, which was for me more aspirational about doing what we can for each other to get to the other side.

All the people gather
Fly to carry each his burden
We are young despite the years
We are concerned
We are hope despite the times
All of a sudden
These days
Happy throngs
Take this joy
Wherever, wherever


I stand by it.
posted by bixfrankonis at 10:02 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


There were definitely some "Dead Flag Blues" moments this year.
posted by LionIndex at 10:14 AM on December 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


(If you've never heard it and go looking for it: content warning applies)
posted by LionIndex at 10:15 AM on December 27, 2020


If this is not an exercise
Could it be a...


Drill?


because nothing says zeitgeist like a 1985 call to ... whatever it's about. I've never quite got to the bottom of any Wire lyric, which makes it easy to keep digging.
posted by philip-random at 11:20 AM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


A friend and I were having this same conversation, and he suggested “Lonely Lyle” by Big Business for a Covid anthem.

But he still has his arms
He still has his legs
Nowhere to walk to
And nothing to hold


I had “Michigan Hammers” by Protomartyr on repeat all summer. I guess it worked.
posted by hototogisu at 12:01 PM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


I need people to sing to me, and spend a lot of time singing to myself, and while they are often a little more Christian-themed than I prefer I return to the Avett Brothers again and again. They have no enemies.

(I saw them live in June 2019 on Willie Nelson's Outlaw tour and they won my eternal devotion, I've never seen a band pour their hearts out like that.)
posted by wellred at 12:37 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Delta Rae's Hands Dirty has been echoing through my head without much in the way of pause since late 2019.

I get my hands dirty
I show up so early
They show me no mercy
So I just keep working
Maybe God could save me
Or my boss might pay me
Am I so unworthy?
Or are their hands just dirty, dirty, dirty?


More recently, their song Scared has been living in my head more or less rent free:

Are we ever gonna be OK?
When you say you love me (I'm scared)
Are we ever really gonna feel safe?
When you say you love me (I'm scared)
Is there something I can say?
When you say you love me (I'm scared)
Is it better if I walk away?


this is fine.
posted by sciatrix at 1:14 PM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


I had “Michigan Hammers” by Protomartyr on repeat all summer. I guess it worked.

That album was alarmingly prescient and a very strange thing to see performed in the couple of days between "uh oh" and lockdown.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:31 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


I have a lot of these, often when I'm driving around listening to music I think about how the lyrics apply to this or that and a lot of songs have taken on new significance in the past few months lol.

A bunch of bands new like Arcade Fire & Modest Mouse suddenly seemed like they have been writing about this exact situation for the last 20 years. Like the entirety of The Moon and Antarctica even down to the album title. But if I can only choose 1 it's:
Bury Me With It
Well sure as planets come, I know that they end.
And if I'm here when that happens, will you promise me this my friend?
Please bury me with it!
I just don't need none of that Mad Max bullshit.

Well we moved to the left and moved to the right.
And sure as hell we stayed out almost every single night.
But if the party's over, if the fun has to end,
could you do this for me my friend?
Would you just please bury me with it?
Please bury me with it!


Good news for people who love bad news.
We've lost the plot and we just can't choose.
We are hummingbirds who are just not willing to move.
And there's good news for people who love bad news.
We are hummingbirds who've lost the plot and we will not move.
We have good news for anyone who loves bad news.


We were aiming for the moon. We were shooting at the stars.
But the kids were just shooting at the busses and the cars.
So don't drink the water, don't you breathe the air.
If it's gotten to that point then I have to declare:
That you please bury me with it!
Please bury me with it!



And for my second choice:
The Decemberists Everything is Awful


Oh yeah and the entire soundtrack of the Spongebob Squarepants musical which has really nice songs that are all about what's going on right now.
posted by bleep at 3:21 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Spoon's "I Summon You" was playing in the last bar I went to, in March, maybe a day or two before things shut down here, and it's been stuck in my head quite a bit since then:

Remember the weight of the world
it's the sound that we used to buy
on cassette and 45.
And now this little girl
she says, "Will we make it at all?"

posted by unknowncommand at 4:02 PM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


This year belonged to Leonard Cohen:
You Want It Darker

Dreadzone, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Dolly Parton helped.
posted by runincircles at 4:12 PM on December 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


Julien Baker's "Go Home." I'm tired of washing my hands, God, I wanna go home
posted by ferret branca at 4:54 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Fifth Harmony: Work From Home (2016)

Vera Lynn: We’ll Meet Again (1939)
posted by mbrubeck at 5:47 PM on December 27, 2020


I Wanna be Sedated
It's a Beautiful World (cw for some dark imagery in that video)
posted by brookeb at 6:01 PM on December 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


Metal Machine Music
posted by otters walk among us at 6:37 PM on December 27, 2020


Rootless Tree
posted by vers at 7:25 PM on December 27, 2020


I can’t believe nobody has suggested Punch Em in the Dick.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:53 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


For US politics, This is the world we made and I'm going down fighting have both been helping.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:17 PM on December 27, 2020


Brak sums up the experience of working from home, and not going out except for essentials, pretty well.

What day is it?
posted by pdb at 8:43 PM on December 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, Bob Dylan
posted by Oyéah at 9:10 PM on December 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Arlo Guthrie does a great, live version of this.
posted by Oyéah at 9:11 PM on December 27, 2020


I somehow managed to not hear the Waitresses' Christmas Wrapping until this year, so now I have a stone cold pop classic to add to the Christmas repertoire, but the Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas...think I'll miss this one this year resonated, as did the Get this winter over with!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:38 PM on December 27, 2020


Turn, Turn, Turn (Byrds): "A time to break down ... a time to mourn ... a time to refrain from embracing."

Panic (Smiths): "There's panic on the streets of London."

Heartache Tonight (Eagles): "Somebody's gonna hurt someone / Before the night is through / Somebody's gonna come undone / There's nothin' we can do / Everybody wants to touch somebody / If it takes all night / Everybody wants to take a little chance / Make it come out right."

Reasons I Drink (Alanis): "And these are the reasons I don't even think I would quit / And these are the reasons I can't even see straight / And these are the ones whom I know it so deeply affects / And I am left wondering how I would function without it."

Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd): self-explanatory. Link is to Miley's cover of it from the first SNL show back, which I found really poignant, actually.

Fuck You (Allen): written towards Dubya, but the entirety's redirectable to Moscow Mitch and the Orange Pucker.

For the Damaged Coda (Blonde Redhead): just, instrumentally, seems to encompass 2020. Actually first heard in a Rick & Morty fadeout.

And to close the comment out on some humor: Baby Yoda (Floating in a Pod) (same dude who wrote 'Buffy' theme): "The world has gone insane / and you don't know what is right / you got to keep on keepin' on / get on that blurrg and hold on tii-iiiiiiiiiiight!"
posted by metabaroque at 11:30 PM on December 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


Sitting here in limbo
But I know it won’t be long
Sitting here in limbo
Like a bird without a song

Sitting here in limbo
Waiting for the dice to roll
Sitting here in limbo
Got some time to search my soul...
posted by aihal at 8:30 AM on December 28, 2020


First thing that came to mind was "Christo Redemptor" by Charlie Musselwhite. #mood
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:14 AM on December 28, 2020


Fine, Mike Shinoda
posted by joycehealy at 12:57 PM on December 28, 2020


'Someday We'll Be Together,' but it's the live version from the 1970 show where Diana Ross announced she's leaving the group.
posted by box at 3:08 PM on December 28, 2020


We're in agreement that we're all having very different experiences of 2020 right? Because up until December it was going to go down as one of the best years of my life...

January to end of October 2020
The Beatles - The Inner Light

December 2020
The Beatles - Nowhere Man
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 3:34 PM on December 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


Metal Machine Music?
posted by kevinbelt at 6:39 PM on December 28, 2020


Bob Dylan -- Desolation Row

A song of which, believe me, there is no shortage of versions on YouTube...
posted by y2karl at 8:52 PM on December 28, 2020


Oh, yeah, there's also:

If It Ain't Broke.
posted by pompomtom at 2:49 AM on December 29, 2020


Sinatra: Over and Over (The World We Knew)
posted by Rash at 10:48 AM on December 29, 2020


WTF 2020?! by Whitney Avalon
posted by creepygirl at 11:30 AM on December 29, 2020


During a couple of dark moments this year I’ve reverted frequently to:

We’re In this together - Nine Inch Nails

I've become impossible holding on to when
When everything seemed to matter more
The two of us
All used and beaten up
Watching fate as it flow down the path we
Have chose
You and me
We're in this together now
None of them can stop us now
We will make it through somehow
You and me
If the world should break in two
Until the very end of me
Until the very end of you


And Survival - Muse

And I choose to survive
Whatever it takes
You won't pull ahead
I'll keep up the pace
And I'll reveal my strength
To the whole human race
Yes, I am prepared
To stay alive
I won't forgive, the vengeance is mine
And I won't give in
Because I choose to thrive
Yeah, I'm gonna win!

posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:31 PM on December 29, 2020


Nico’s These Days has been with me a lot this year. It seems to mold itself around whatever I’ve been feeling: melancholy, resign, optimism, introspection, duty, vulnerability, willfulness, self-judgment, peace, the enormity of it all, quiet, distrustfulness, gratefulness, despair, desire, simplicity, a keen sense of real change either for good or bad, apprehension, solitude, wistfulness, tired frustration, and so on.

I've been out walking
I don't do too much talking
These days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to

I've stopped my rambling
I don't do too much gambling
These days, these days
These days I seem to think about
How all the changes came about my ways
And I wonder if I'd see another highway

I had a lover
I don't think I'll risk another
These days, these days
And if I seem to be afraid
To live the life that I have made in song
It's just that I've been losing so long

I've stopped my dreaming
I won't do too much scheming
These days, these days
These days I sit on corner stones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten

Please don't confront me with my failures
I had not forgotten them

posted by functionequalsform at 5:38 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


That is a great song -- which was written by a then seventeen year old Jackson Browne, who did not record it himself until many years later.
posted by y2karl at 11:56 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


tUnE-yArDs, Time of Dark

Living in a time of dark
And I don't dare to look very far
The map, she's just a whisper
Step too loud, the sound of the ground will just eclipse her
I leave all my thoughts behind
I'll give up my sight, I'll clear it out so I can see the signs
My steps are small, walking blind
Screaming to the clouds, hoping I don't choke on all the truth that they bring

Sing me over the mountain (I know you carry me under a blanket of coal)
Sing me over the mountain, yeah (I know you carry me under a blanket of coal)
If you sing me through the darkest time, there'll never be a mountain that I cannot climb
Sing me over the mountain (I know you carry me under a blanket of coal)

posted by eirias at 7:36 PM on December 30, 2020


Perfect song for 2020: "Everything's Not Awesome".
posted by metabaroque at 4:30 PM on December 31, 2020 [2 favorites]


Alicia Keys.
We Are Here
posted by abuckamoon at 6:16 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]



"Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
(I) just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son, " he said "Grab your things,
I've come to take you home."
To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho' my life was in a rut
"Till I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" he said "Grab your things
I've come to take you home."
Back home
When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" I said "You can keep my things,
They've come to take me home.""

-Peter Gabriel.

posted by clavdivs at 7:46 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


...oddly coinciding not with this second song on his first solo record, clavdivs, but the first, which I mentioned in my early request for a list of tunes appropriate to these times:

Oh, Mother! It's eating out my soul
Destroying law and order
I'm going to lose control
What can I do to stop this plague
Spread by sight alone?
Just a glimpse and then a quiver
Then they shiver to the bone

This thing's outrageous, I tell you on the level
It's really so contagious, must be the work of the devil
You better go now, pick up the pipers
And tell them to play
Seems the music keeps them quiet
There is no other way

I close the doors!

"We've tried potions and waxen dolls
But none of us could find any cures"
Mother please, is it just a disease
That has them breaking all my laws?
Check if you can disconnect the effect
And I'll go after the cause...

posted by Rash at 8:22 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


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