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Music has been the background of our lives since the caveman first stretched a piece of Brontosaurus skin between two stones and thwacked it with a stick. (My grasp of music history is fuzzy and approximate.) Think about all the ways in which music pervades our lives: there are songs to mark special days like weddings and funerals, graduations and birthdays. Everyone has a favorite love song, breakup song, feel-good song, or a song to get the tears flowing. Songs are on in the background at restaurants, banks, retail stores. If it wasn’t for music, we might not know how to feel during any given scene in a Bruce Willis movie. You hear a song and think, This is meant especially for me. Songs represent our elation, our heartbreak, our ennui. I’m listening to music as I write this post.

We’ve reached the point in the music life cycle where there seems to be a song for every situation imaginable. No way, says you – not possible. To prove it to you, I’ve made you a virtual mixtape. This mixtape is a small snippet of the types of everyday situations in which you might find yourself and for which only the perfect song will do.



Music For When….

You Need to Instruct Someone on Where to Place an Object

Put It There – Paul McCartney

This song refers especially to heavy objects.


You’re Considering Selling Your Body

You Don’t Have to Be a Prostitute – Flight of the Conchords

C’mon. You have other skills.


You’ve Run Out of Bacon

My World Is Empty Without You by The Supremes

This also works for when you’ve run out of chocolate.


You’re Trying To Remember the Spices You Need for that Chicken Recipe

Scarborough Faire – Simon and Garfunkel

This song also helpfully mentions something about making shirts.


You Need to Give a Response to that Clay Head in Hello/Is It Me You’re Looking For

Who Are You – The Who

Seriously, was that clay head supposed to be Lionel Richie?


You Need Help Describing that Groin Rash to Your Doctor

Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

Just tell your doctor it was caused by this.


You See a Baby Holding Candy

Gimme Some – Nina Simone

No judgment from me – I’m right there with you.


You Want to Take Revenge on a Fish

Barracuda – Heart

Fish. Think they own everything!


You Need a Reminder of What a Heartbeat Sounds Like

Albatross – Fleetwood Mac

If your heart doesn’t beat in time to this song, you might have arrhythmia.


You’ve Made Poison Out of A Bean and You’re Relying on Jesse to Kill Gus

Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles

But of course Jesse will let you down, yo. That little bitch.


You’re Trying to Remember Your Vowels

Aeiou Sometimes Y – EBN/OZN

Make an anagram of the above title: Aim Eye Tissue Moo. I don’t know if this will help you – it’s just fun.


You Need Help with Your Arithmetic

It Takes Two – Rob Base

You have my sympathies trying to figure out this one, though.


You’re Trying to Remember How You Woke Up With Eddie Money in Your Bed

Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money

It happens to the best of us.


You’re Sitting Opposite Your Lover in a Boat While Floating in a Leafy Lagoon

Gymnopedie (No. 1) – Erik Satie

If you can’t imagine this, then you haven’t worn enough corsets in your fantasies.


Your Favorite Skinny Jeans Have Cut Off Oxygen To Your Brain and You Start Seeing Everything in Sepia Tones

Feel It All Around – Washed Out

Its lesser-known title is “Instagram, the Song.”


You’re Trying to Learn the Art of Applying a Protective Zinc Coating to Steel or Iron in Order to Prevent Rusting

Galvanize – Chemical Brothers

Hey, it could happen.


You’re Throwing a Party Honoring Feminist Photographers

Girls on Film – Duran Duran

I don’t know why they didn’t call this “Girls’ Thoughts on Film,” but I’m no musician!


You Can’t Remember What To Do Upon Meeting a Grizzly Bear in the Woods

Run Like Hell – Pink Floyd

Good luck.


You Need the Most Ironic Song Ever

Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode

Are you paying attention, Alanis?


You Need Confirmation That The World Has Indeed Gone Insane

Baby Monkey

Just get on that pig and ride.


What are some of your favorite songs for everyday situations?