I've been listening to the podcast archives of the BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young. Each ep has a celebrity guest who submits 8 songs they would take to a Desert Island, & I'm obsessed with it, because music is something I find so powerful & revelatory of self. Which makes it a bit scary to post this, but: these are mine.
  1. Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor (Étude on the Bombardment of Warsaw) - Fryderyk Chopin
    I tend to struggle with purely instrumental music, but there's a park in Warsaw - Łazienki - that has a Chopin monument, and every Sunday from May-September, there are Chopin concerts around the monument. I have no idea if I ever heard this song there, but it reminds me of sitting in the park & it reminds me of Warsaw. & I don't know anything about classical music other than I like the songs that make me feel things, & this one does that. https://open.spotify.com/track/2Wggm6ZACJJAwbMGG388H
  2. I Wanna Dance With Somebody - Fay Wolf
    I feel a twinge of guilt for not taking the original, but the thing is... Fay is one of my favorite musical artists, ever, and I just kind of...favor this version above all others. I still remember where I was when I first heard this; it gave me chills then & continues to do it now. It's a version that's perfect for any mood. And the fact that with one line, Fay made this a song with bi visibility will never not make my heart swell. https://open.spotify.com/track/0hXIuHaz9Z2YYbiowNuMYD
  3. I Vow to Thee My Country - Choir of Kings College, Cambridge
    I stole this pick from Chris Hadfield (who was on the program last month), but I used to listen to Charlotte Church's version of this for hours when I was younger. To paraphrase Chris, this song has all the elements of greatness: the tune stays with you, the song sends chills up your back, & the words mean something. I'd take this choral version so I could learn all the parts. https://open.spotify.com/track/6tHTdavBkgOzeKIa2FMfNo
  4. São Paulo - Guillemots
    I've rambled on here before about this song, but basically it's my most favorite song by my most favorite band, and every time I listen to it a different part of it jumps out at me, and I just don't think I'll ever get tired of it. https://open.spotify.com/track/3QPwiTeryUm0WlG18s9mZf
  5. Space Oddity - Chris Hadfield
    Ohhh man, I have so many feelings about this song. I have so many feelings about space, & astronauts in pop culture, & Chris Hadfield, & the video he and his son made for this song, which are now associated with this song in general. This song and those feelings send me outside of myself, make me feel larger & simultaneously smaller, connected with everyone & everything, & that's like quintessentially what music should be? & it's the best. https://open.spotify.com/track/5kBAk4dSQX4aXbTqjaPvF6
  6. Trapeze Swinger - Iron & Wine
    I saw Sam open for The Swell Season in Dallas, & when he played this song, the whole room went completely still, and I could hardly breathe for how beautiful it was. I've heard a lot of beautiful music live, before & since, but those minutes, hearing Sam play this song, remain very near the top of best experiences. Every time I hear this song I'm back in that room. https://open.spotify.com/track/7f1rzHP8aCGTHjTq9CIYqo
  7. Valjean Quartet (Bring Him Home) - Les Miserables - 25th Anniversary Concert
    When I was a kid we were only allowed to listen to Christian music & musicals (& I guess war protest songs; idk either). We had the Les Mis 10th Anniversary Concert on VHS & I loved it so much. It's maybe my favorite musical, & I almost put the 10th Anniversary version of One Day More here, but ultimately I had to choose this, bc it's just - everything. Chills every time. (+ I could use it to train myself to be a tenor, which is a[n admittedly-weird] dream I have.) https://youtu.be/z-ypIhY42-o
  8. Where Have All the Flowers Gone? - Peter, Paul, & Mary
    My grandma used to sing us to sleep when she would watch us on nights when my mom was gone, and this was one of the songs she'd always sing. It's hard to find a bad version of this song (Pete Seeger's is obviously great, & both Marlene Dietrich's & Joan Baez's German covers are 😍), but I love this particular version because it's the arrangement my grandma sang, & PP&M have a very special place in my heart, so their presence is essential. https://open.spotify.com/track/1V8BSBe2fB5Np30sXmUCNU