Wrap it Up

The Year in Music: The Titular Playlist

And so we come to the end of another year (and for some, who may struggle with counting, a decade). For me, this was a year in which stark terror–and near paralysis–gave way to blessed relief.

We all need things to keep us going when times get hard. For me, those things have always been books and music, my first friends. My actual living, breathing friends are even more precious and they, and my family, are why I’m able to sit here typing before dawn instead of slobbering in a corner somewhere. I’m blessed.

This year’s playlist leans heavily on the 1980s, though I’m not sure why. I hope you give a listen and that among the two and a half hours or so of tunes you find something you like. Or maybe something to read among the books.

I leave you with a thought I share constantly with my kids: Life is a precious gift, enjoy every minute of it.


1. Crazy Mixed-Up Kid—The Smithereens, 1986
2. Born to be Wild—Steppenwolf, 1968
3. El Paso—Marty Robbins, 1958
4. When the Circus Comes—Los Lobos, 1992
5. The Future’s so Bright—Timbuk 3, 1986
6. I’m Not the Man I Used to Be—Fine Young Cannibals, 1988
7. Call Mr. Lee—Television, 1992
8. Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song—B.J. Thomas, 1975
9. Subway Train—Johnny Thunders, 1979
10. Grazing in the Grass—Hugh Masakela, 1968
11. Long Time Gone—Darrell Scott & Tim O’Brien, 2000
12. Chicago—Frank Sinatra, 1957
13. Destination Moon—Dinah Washington, 1962
14. Don’t Worry About the Government—Talking Heads, 1977
15. Up Jumped Spring—Abbey Lincoln & Stan Getz, 1991
16. With a Little Luck—Wings, 1978
17. I Predict—Sparks, 1982
18. A Design for Life—Manic Street Preachers, 1996
19. I Can’t Stand Losing You—The Police 1978
20. Substitute—The Who, 1966
21. Long, Strong and Consecutive—Catherine Russell, 2010
22. Gimme Some Truth—John Lennon, 1971
23. This Changing World–The Glenn Miller Orchestra, 1939
24. The Wanderer—Dion, 1961
25. Swamp Music—Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1974
26. Orange Amber—The Vines, 2008
27. Happy?—Public Image Limited, 1989
28. Barbecue—Robert Earl Keen, 2013
29. Front Line—Stevie Wonder, 1982
30. Blasphemous Rumors—Depeche Mode, 1984
31. From Brighton Beach to Santa Monica—The Clientele, 2007
32. In God’s Country—U2, 1987
33. Sugar Magnolia—Grateful Dead, 1970
34. If I Only Had a Brain—Ray Bolger, Judy Garland, 1939
35. Big Time Operator—The LeRoi Brothers, 1983
36. Let My People Go-Go—The Rainmakers, 1986
37. My Back Pages—The Byrds, 1967
38. Wandering—James Taylor, 1975
39. If I had a Boat—Lyle Lovett, 1987
40. Karma Hunters—The Pinker Tones, 2006
41. Love Stinks—J. Geils Band, 1981
42. Do They Know it’s Christmas—Band Aid, 1985
43. Wrap it Up—Sam and Dave, 1968


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