Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Only Upside to Housework

What kind of music do you listen to when you're alone? I mean really alone and you can turn the music up as high as you want (sans headphones, natch) dance, wiggle the hips, shake the booty all through the house, join in, descant, sing chorus, take a bow to the (imagined) thunderous applause of an ecstatic audience and shout bravo or brava to your heart's content?

You don't?

Oh my, you don't know what you're missing.

You do? Please share the music with us.

OK I'll go first: I have a playlist called “Housework”.

I only play it when there is a long list of tasks inside the house to be accomplished. Some simple, some involving lots of chopping of veggies or baked stuff to prepare or cleaning up of messy kitchen and catastrophic bathroom, making up guest bedroom or other procrastinations. Company coming is the best reactive kick in the arse I need, along with this treasured playlist which never fails to motivate me.

I do not share this playlist with anyone else. And I do not play it in my car or at any other time. It is a reward I give myself for doing stuff I don't particularly want to do at that particular point in time (because I am still three years old when it comes to housework, OK?).

OK then. Onto my HOUSEWORK playlist which I did play today because I was a responsible grownup doing the stuff I normally put on the long finger. In no particular order as to incitement to frenetic activity, here they are:

I Love Rock 'N Roll – AC/DC
Get Back – The Beatles
Ma'Tit Fille – Buckwheat Zydeco
It Doesn't Matter Anymore – Buddy Holly
Turn, Turn Turn – The Byrds
You're So Vain – Carly Simon
Smackwater Jack – Carole King
Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater
Down on the Corner – Creedence Clearwater
Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills
Don't Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John and Kiki Dee
Marie's the Name – Elvis Presley
Burning Love – Elvis Presley
Roll Over Beethoven – John Fogerty
Locomotion – Little Eva
Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
Shambala – Three Dog Night
Dirty World – Travelling Wilburys
End of the Line – Travelling Wilburys
Cocaine – J.J. Cale
When – Kalen Twins
Closing Time – Leonard Cohen
Mama Can't Buy You Love – Elton John
The Lady is a Tramp – Ella Fitzgerald
Love Me or Leave Me – Nina Simone
Did She Mention My Name – Gordon Lightfoot
From Me to You – The Beatles
Bleecker Street – Simon & Garfunkle
Let it Roll – Little Feat
Fat Man – Little Feat
The Atholl Highlanders – Steeleye Span
Jigs – Steeleye Span
Vida – Del Castillo


  1. I don't listen to my favourite music for nearly as long or as loud as it should be... (partially due to being in a semi-detached house, and our new neighbours not being as deaf as our old one was)

    Amongst my loud 'n' bouncy pieces are:

    The Devil's Wedding; A Formidable Marinade; Ten Long Years in the Saddle; and Skeletons by Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen (a truly unique group from Oz; they have some of their music here: Not all of it is for the faint hearted or easily offended!)

    Queen - Seven Seas of Rye; Friends will be Friends; Bohemian Rhapsody

    Sinner's Lullaby; The Morrigan by Cauda Pavonis (a gothic rock band from the UK - very loud shouty music - I use this a lot when I'm going for a run as it's got a great beat to it)

    They Might Be Giants - most of their tracks...

    Tom Lehrer - All Go Together; The Hunting Song; The Elements Song (plus most of the rest of them...)

    Various Beethoven, Rossini and Mozart overtures :-)

  2. Great post and it got me thinking.

    It's rare nowadays but when I have a really big clean-up job to do I play Deeple Purple, Child in Time. It's crazy and I can work up a sweat.

    For ironing, which I hate, stuff like the Gypsy Kings so I can gyrate around the ironing board.

    I love Kletzmer music, the group Kroke....very soulful and this is my favourite for the quieter times when I'm alone as my OH hates it.

    Most things by Jean Luc Ponty can keep me going on mundane tasks whereas for a good singalong it has to be Leonard Cohen I'm your Man.

    The best for me in the solitary singing/dancing/performing for imaginary public has to be Rod Stewart's If you think Im' sexy. I first did it at a dramatherapy workshop - it left a lasting impression.

  3. My housework music has not changed over the years. it works for me , so why change it?

    I play a CD at a time, James Last, Glenn Miller, A Steel Band from the Carribean, American Swing and for belting it out....Shirley Bassey. I then cool down with my coffee and All My Love (19 Love duets from the shows). Better than going to the gym any day and free too!

  4. Not all dancing music but some of my favorite stuff:
    Anything by Van Morrison
    Beatles early stuff
    Lucinda Williams
    Fly Like a Bird Boz Scaggs
    Lucinda Williams
    Little Feat
    Susan Teduchi
    Ray LaMontagne
    The Felice Brothers
    Tracy Chapman

  5. WOW - that's a lorra housework, WWW! I do the bare minumum these days - life's too short and getting shorter. ;-) Two or three tracks at one time would be enough for me. My mother would have a fit if she were still around! Bathroom and kitchen get cleaned as I go, and floors all through at one vac-ing/mopping. I don't dance, I just get it done ASAP.

    Let's see...well, I often play music while drafting posts or reading online - at present I have a cd compiled for me by Himself with 7 or 8 versions of Concierto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo - love it! I listen the tracks one after the other, never tire of it.

    And kd lang's cd Hymns of the 49th Parallel -every track is great, but not a lively dance set.

    Joe Cocker can get me moving a bit, Waylon Jennings too. John Denver singing Rocky Mountain High gets me singing along... pitchily.
    Beatles Day in the Life, and Paperback Writer....

  6. Oh - you have some good ones Wise!! Thanks - I tunes, here I come! Here are some of mine.
    Also - While doing housework I become "Maria the Italian Cleaning Lady" with lots of thoughts about Luigie [sp?],the kids and the old country .... OR I pretend the Queen is coming to visit and will be here within 2 hours ... I like the Queen!

    Valencia - Mario Lanza - because I used to roller skate to it
    Slippin and Slidin - Little Richard
    Cry me a River, Julie London - for my ex husband, long dead and probably forgiven
    They can't take that away from me, Peggy Lee - for an old love
    Missed the Saturday Dance, Duke Ellington - because I did
    Call on Me, Big Brother and the Holding Company
    What a friend we have in Jesus, Ray Price - a favourite of my fathers
    The old Lamplighter, - another of my father's favorites
    Oh My My - by Jill Barber - a new discovery and I love her!
    Me and Bobby McGee,Janis Joplin - she sang so hard! and I lived at the Chelsea Hotel
    Closing Time & Sisters of Mercy, Leonard Cohen - who also lived at the Chelsea
    Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
    Hallelujah - K.D. Lang - Oh that white suit and those bare feet and that voice!
    Bring Back my Bonnie to me - Laura Smith
    The Green Grass of Home - Merle Haggard
    Don't come Home adrinkin - Loretta Lynn
    Fiddler Must be Paid - Ian Tyson
    He's got the Whole Wide World in His Hands - Mahalia Jackson -
    So Long its been Good to Know You - Woodie Guthrie
    Rock of Ages, Jo Stafford - reminds me of my grandmother playing it on the piano
    Another One Bites the Dust - Queen

  7. That is an impressive list and I wish that I could hear and see you simultaneously when you are in your zone! My taste is eclectic and increasingly preferring Indian classical music which is more to listen to than to dance to. Not that I can dance anyway!

  8. ha! My playlist is called "Cleaning House" and includes several foot stomping tunes by EmmyLou Harris; Walking the Blues by Johnny Cash, and a rash of jivin tunes by Eric Cpaton and JJ Cale. I dance with the broom and mop, sing into the vacuum hose, and spin about with the feather duster. Otherwise, how boring it would be to clean house!

    Other times I play through my whole music library, an eclectic assortment of rock and roll, classical and contemporary. There's even a few show-tune selections after which I have to find time to re-watch the movie. Ah music!


    In the middle, I'd add


  10. Love these lists! WWW - you have a lot of my faves on your list. I'd add "We Will Rock You" by Queen and "Mashed Potato Time" by Dee Dee Sharp. Another one that's not a dance tune but a great singalong is "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Ingrid Michaelson, my most favorite version of this song.

    Thanks for the lift!

  11. What music I choose to listen to depends on my mood. Give me jazz (not Dixieland), blues - instrumental and vocals - Shirley Bassey, Mel Torme to name a couple; big bands like Ellington, Stan Kenton, others; orchestral sounds of classical and semi-classical. Select pop tunes from the rock era i.e. Sounds of Silence with Simon and Garfukel, Pink Floyd's Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

  12. Current favourites in rotation while cooking or doing dishes are entire CDs, particularly so I can dance and/or sing along:

    Colin James and His Big Band

    Melody Gardot,

    Diana Krall, Love Songs

    Music I love makes these daily chores a pleasure.

  13. A great post, indeed. I always turn the music up when I'm alone at home, especially when I'm cleaning. It really helps me relax and motivates me to work.


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