30 Day Challenge - Pt 3

Part 1 here. Part 2 here. Original post on Pluspora here.

Day 19 A song that makes you think about life

Here's a mild-sounding ballad about the exploitation by capital of the world and all its people.


Day 20 A song that reminds you of your mom

The YouTube comments on this were all about how people’s grandmas used to sing this to them. Way to make me feel old, YouTube.


Day 21 A favorite song with a person’s name in the title

You can read about the havoc this phone number has wrought, and still wreaks occasionally, here.


After his music career as the leader of Tommy Tutone, Tom Heath became a pretty good VB and C# programmer. He and I worked together at an HR software firm in the 1990s.

Day 22 A song that motivates you


Apologies for not elaborating on this, but if I start writing now about how this song has interacted with my inner life I will be late for work, in four hours.

Day 23 A song that you think everybody should listen to

If they will actually listen to it…


Not actually an anthem for the sort of people who shout “USA! USA!” when the Norwegian player gets injured at a US-Norway hockey game. You know, the ones that make me ashamed to have been born here.

It’s more about what really happens to you after you choose to serve your country… wait wait let me fix that… after crushing poverty due to rampant income inequality forces you to risk your life for the benefit of oil companies.

Day 24 A song by a band/group you wish were still together


or this even-more-fun cover


This song came out four years before Rapper’s Delight and I consider it the first mainstream rap record.

Day 25 A song by an artist no longer living

A lot of these to choose from, too. But only one serious contender, for me.


The total control she has of this track, just by slapping her thigh, is amazing.

Day 26 A song that makes you want to fall in love


The way they look is always the best when filtered through love

Day 27 A song that breaks your heart


A couple things about this piece. One is, it’s a really sad and cautionary story. You have to follow the whole arc of the narrative. Praying for the end of time, indeed.

Another is, a possibly apocryphal story about Phil Rizzuto. He was given the baseball play-by-play script to read without knowing the context in which it would be set on the final recording. When he heard the whole song, he was a little angry He thought he’d been dragooned into promoting underage sex. But the release he had signed was solid and he had no recourse.

Then the royalty checks started to come in.

Later in his life, he would say about it (and you can hear this, in Scooter’s voice), Holy cow! I made a lotta money from that song!

Day 28 A song by an artist with a voice that you love


The video linked is the entirety of what many call the greatest rock concert ever. So enjoy! The bookmark in the link takes you to a masterful turn of Freddie’s amazing voice. And his mastery of the crowd.

Ah, Freddie.

Day 29 A song that you remember from your childhood


Possibly the most-played record in my home when I was a small child - early to mid 1960’s - was this Allan Sherman LP, My Son the Folk Singer. It consists of traditional and contemporary folk music parodies. This track is taken from a Harry Belafonte album that had come out a few years earlier, but the song is older than that. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matilda_(song)

The problem for many people with Allan Sherman today is that his humor is firmly grounded in a very specific culture: not-overly-religious American Ashkenazic Jewish of the mid-20th century. Which is, of course, the culture I grew up in. Therefore, I automatically “get” all the jokes. (My Scottish-descended Protestant Midwestern wife, not so much, but she’s OK with that.) So I share this piece with you, but if you don’t quite “get it”, I will understand. Hope you’re OK with it, too.

Day 30 A song that reminds you of yourself


I do often feel like I am tilting at windmills. Like a preacher, or a prophet.

So that's it, third and final installment, covering days 19-30. Take the graphic at the top and try this yourself! It's an interesting experience that may tell you things you did not realize about the role of music in your life.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F