Tag Archives: London playlist

You gotta have a playlist

22 Feb

Spotting a Londoner is pretty easy. Londoners don’t talk, are normally reading a free paper, book, Kindle or their phones, and have speakers in their ears. Somehow in a city of so many people where you’re constantly surrounded by crowds, we try to make a bubble around ourselves. And the first step is blocking out the sound with your own choice of background music.

I find I’m lost without a commuting soundtrack –  so here’s my essential playlist for Monday to Friday

1. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton

‘Jump in the shower 
And the blood starts pumpin’ 
Out on the streets 
The traffic starts jumpin’ 
With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5′

Forgive me but no commuter’s soundtrack would be complete with this tune. The lyrics ring true for anyone and the beat is a march well-suited to pounding pavements and jumping on trains.

2. Badlands – Bruce Springsteen

‘Workin’ in the fields till you get your back burned
Workin’ ‘neath the wheel till you get your facts learned
Baby I got my facts learned real good right now
You better get it straight darling
Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
And a king ain’t satisfied till he rules everything’

Fans of The Boss know he captures the struggles of working-class life so well in music, and this angry yet uplifting song ‘spits in the face’ of those days when the grind gets you down.

3. All The Small Things – Blink-182

‘Late night, come home
Work sucks, I know’

When me and my friends started working, this became our theme tune on the dance floor on a Friday night.

4. Under Pressure – Queen, David Bowie

‘Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for’

Under pressure – ’nuff said when you work on a weekly magazine. The music video is pretty awesome, too.

5. Against The Wind-Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

‘Well those drifters days are past me now
I’ve got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out’

This song normally comes on as I round the corner with my office in sight and nostalgic it also reminds me that some days though you have responsibilities, you just gotta be young and strong and run against the wind.

6. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

‘When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun’

Yeah, it’s the ultimate girls night out track, but it’s also the best tune to leave the building to and head out for post-work drinks, bag over your shoulder and no looking back.

7. Run – Gnarls Barkley

‘You better move.
I said move!’

Okay, so Mr Barkley was perhaps meaning we should be scared of the arrival of himself, but I find those two lines above also serve the purpose of clearing tourists at Tube entrances in rush hour.

8. Time To Pretend – MGMT

‘Yeah, it’s overwhelming
But what else can we do?
Get jobs in offices
And wake up for the morning commute?’

The irony of this song always makes me smile, especially while reading about the latest celeb exploits over someone’s shoulder while on the morning commute. And that the tune was inspired by a praying mantis…

9. Living For The City – Stevie Wonder

‘Living just enough                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just enough for the city’

Stevie was obviously making an angry comment about social injustices, but somedays after work when I flop on the bed at home only to start all over again at 6am I feel I’m living just for the city.

10. Let The River Run – Carly Simon

‘Silver cities rise,
the morning lights
the streets that meet them,
and sirens call them on
with a song’

Just like Dolly’s 9 to 5, no playlist about work would be complete without this soaring hit from (one of my favourite flicks) Working Girl. No apologies for the cheese – on some weekdays you need a double serving of it.