The music of life

Music is a huge part of my life so before I set out for Spain and the great unknown I made a playlist of songs I thought would help me along the road to Santiago.  My Camino  playlist is now complete (with a little help from my friends) and covers everything from Metal to Disney (kinda like my normal music collection), it started off as 10 songs but then went on to 15 and finally finished at 20.  I have only doubled up on one artist though several artists featured frequently in my playlist, with all the rest I have just included the most applicable song – enjoy

  1.  I’m on my way (well I had to didn’t I!) by The Proclaimers; Completely essential in my opinion and I set out from Sarria on my very first day with it coming through my headphones – because I was!
  2. I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) – also by The Proclaimers;  also completely essential for any longer distance walking or even a visit to the pub/tapas bar a little later on when (I imagine) the drunker Australians and Brits arrive and loudly join in with the chorus (and then mumble their way through the versus) – well they do at home so I’m assuming the Camino is no different.
  3. Catch my disease – Ben Lee; I started many days with this song because the beat is good for walking, it is also cheeky, cute and uplifting.  Ben Lee is also a comedian so it can be hard to imagine someone from that area singing but he actually does a pretty decent job of it – the song is a few years old and I have no idea if he’s done much recently and no, I don’t think the song is actually about communicable diseases…
  4. China – Sparkadia; I love this song it is beautiful so it was really quite fitting that it accompanied one of the most significant moments of my Camino.  I first heard of this band when they played on Adam Hills’s program ‘Live in Gordon St Tonight’ and was completely blown away by the song.  Since then it has been one of my favourites.  I haven’t added the video because it’s on my last post.
  5. I want to break free – Queen; Pretty self-explanatory really!  I think most people walk the Camino to get away from the demands of their daily life amongst whatever other reasons they may have and traveling to Spain to walk 800km or however far you chose is a pretty good way to achieve that!
  6. Down with the Sickness – Disturbed; Perfect for when you need just need to put your head down, shut your brain off and bully your feet into getting up that tough hill – or shut out the incessant prattling of a tour group.
  7. The Cave – Mumford and sons;  I saw Mumford and Sons in Hyde Park (London) after leaving Spain and it was amazing,  I’ve never been to an outdoor concert with quite so many people in one place – it was similar to the Australian ‘Big Day Out’ but for only one stage.  I really liked the band before the concert but now I love them even more.  I hadn’t heard of them before their song ‘Little Lion Man’ came number one in the Tripe J hottest 100 in 2010 – I then found that my brother loved them so listened to his collection of their music (he is often my source of ‘new’ music as I tend to listen to my own playlists or Triple M which plays Rock music and not often new Rock music).
  8. The river of dreams – Billy Joel;  The man, the legend!  I was so sad when i missed him in concert when he was last in Australia and I will be lining up overnight if necessary to see him if he comes back.
  9. The Greatest love of all – Whitney Houston; Well you have to really don’t you because if you don’t find love inside yourself along the way you’re going to be pretty sore and miserable by the end (not that you wont be sore anyway but if you can’t find love in yourself you’re not really going to listen to or appreciate your body as much as you could be).
  10. Burn your name – Powderfinger;  There will always be a place in my heart for this legendary Australian band and for this song in particular.  I absolutely love it and it’s great to help you forget your aching feet and how many kilometres you have to go and just let yourself go with the music.  I saw their final farewell tour last year in Melbourne and will never forget it.
  11. If I ever leave this world alive – Flogging Molly;  Irish music has a great beat and uplifting sound that is just as appropriate for hiking as jumping around a pub with a pint in your hand and this song is no exception but the version on the ‘PS I love you’ soundtrack is a bit better than this youtube clip
  12. Blame it on the boogie – The Jacksons; This is a great song to bring out the hiking pole accompaniment for.  As I danced my way through the outskirts of Melide I did feel a little concerned that anyone trying to pass me would end up with a stick in the face as I acted out my customary dance moves for ‘sunshine’, ‘moonlight’, ‘good times’ and ‘boogie’ but fortunately nobody was trying to at the time.  There are some songs that are timeless and I believe this is one that can get any generation on the dance floor (or tapping out the rhythm on The Way)
  13. F**k you – Cee Lo Green; most appropriate for a tough stretch when you just need to stick it to the man (or hill, or whatever) and keep moving so you can get where you need to be.  On a more personal note, I am a huge fan of all the Cee Lo songs I have heard, I think he has a fantastic voice and gift for music that is (i believe) rare in the modern top 40 where a lot of it is electronically altered to within an inch of its life or just plain crap.  It seems to be rare to have a male African American artist who can not only sing well but isn’t trying anything along the lines of rap (which I don’t tend to understand) and whatever Usher, Akon and Chris Brown call what they’re doing.
  14. Born this way – Lady Gaga;  Ok, I confess, I do actually quite like a lot of lady Gaga’s music – no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to don 10 inch platform shoes and put cans in my hair or whatever and join the screeching masses at one of her concerts (although it would be interesting).  I do think that a lot of her songs have musical merit, they are simple and catchy and a few of them even have moral messages – not that some over protective mothers would believe their children should be listening to someone who wears dresses made of meat or occasionally very little coupled with big hair and bigger shoes but hey, a song that says I’m beautiful in my way ’cause God makes no mistakes (etc) even if you don’t believe in God (which I don’t) has got to be a good thing for the self esteem of impressionable young people and it is certainly uplifting to hear your mp3 player telling you were completely awesome and perfect when you were born and still are when you’re already congratulating yourself for being on the home stretch of a 115km hike.
  15. Don’t Rain On My Parade – Barbara Streisand;  A song from a famous musical sung by Barbara, yes I know that’s what she does and she does it well but this one is special.  It’s completely relevant to the playlist – it’s all about independence and determination.  Don’t tell me not to do something because I have to, I am the one taking risks not you and I am the one deciding that these risks are worth taking so don’t try and talk me out of it and don’t put my decision down – so there!  This had been a rather recurring scenario during the planning phase of my trip – and then of course there was the real rain…
  16. Higher than hope – Daryl Braithwaite; Another amazing Australian talent and even though his time was 10 years ago his songs still echo in the hearts of the generations who were lucky enough to hear them
  17. What a wonderful world (and I think to myself); Well I don’t think it’s possible to walk any of the Camino without coming to the conclusion that the world we live in is a very special and wonderful place and that there are some amazing people in it.  So if you need an excuse to gain some perspective, get away a bit, reaffirm the love within yourself and with the world around you, look no further than the Camino de Santiago – it will change your world
  18. The Bare necessities – The Jungle Book; Courtesy of Mars – because all you need on the Camino are the bare necessities.  You carry your life on your back and anything superfluous quickly gets left behind.
  19. Dock of the bay – I know there are probably more appropriate songs to sing at a place of such spiritual and historic significance like Finisterre but this was what came to my mind – whistling and all.  Though it is hard to whistle when you’re freezing cold and the weather is rather windy even if you are viewing one of the most spectacular sunsets of your life (made even more so by its significance.
  20. It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine) – REM; If you journey on to Finisterre from Santiago you really are at the end of the world – well, where the ancient Roman’s believed the end of the world was so the song naturally occurred to our minds and of course then we had to sing it (well the chorus at any rate – does anyone actually know all the lyrics to this song?!)…

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