Saturday, August 12, 2017

27 1/2 Songs For Your Solar Eclipse Playlist

The August 21st solar eclipse will soon be here and I am preparing for it in a variety of ways. My camera and eye protection (including solar binoculars) are all ready and I'm just finishing up on one final thing, my somewhat eccentric music playlist to get ready for the eclipse.

Since it has been far too long since I've made a blog post, I thought I'd post it here, along with a few comments for each song.

1) We start off with Heaven and Hell by Vangelis. This was the theme music for Carl Sagan's classic TV series Cosmos. It always makes me think of voyaging through space and time.

2) Solar eclipses are all about an alignment of the Sun and Moon and clear weather is essential to see and enjoy the experience. On the day of the eclipse I'll be getting an early start and Bruce Springsteen's Waitin' on a Sunny Day is a good title for what I'm hoping to have.

3) I follow that up with Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles:

4) While the eclipse is a pretty unique event, I'm keeping the Sun and clear skies theme going, so I follow it up with Another Day of Sun from the La La Land soundtrack:

5) That brings me back to The Beatles and Good Day Sunshine, as the song captures exactly the kind of emotions I hope to have during the eclipse:

6) One more from The Beatles, I'll Follow the Sun:

7) Here's the first of two Carly Simon songs (I'll bet you can guess the other one), Touched by the Sun:

8) Sticking with some more pre-eclipse references to the Sun, next up is Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me:

9) Eclipses are not just about the Sun. The Moon ultimately plays a central role in blocking the Sun's rays, an event the has for centuries been steeped in fear and superstition. In spite of its reference to "nasty weather," Bad Moon Rising by Credence Clearwater Revival makes my list:

10) Jonothon Coulton's Always the Moon is a beautiful creation myth song about love and the Moon:

11) Keeping the 'Moon' theme going, the next piece is an instrumental one, William Ackerman's Conferring With the Moon:

12) Solar eclipses can only occur when the Moon is in its "new" phase. This year's solar eclipse happens on a Monday, so Duran Duran's New Moon on Monday is a natural choice:

13) Another 'new moon' song, New Blue Moon by the Traveling Wilburys:

14) Moving toward the actual eclipse,and the music to celebrate it, we come to the grandmother of eclipse songs, Carly Simon's You're So Vain:

15) It gets dark during a total solar eclipse and in the past many people wondered if the Sun really was going away, so Neil Diamond's The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore is an appropriate choice:

16) Bill Withers wonderful Ain't No Sunshine keeps that idea going:

17) I follow that up with Invisible Sun by The Police:

18) Invisible Sun is a dark song, but total solar eclipses should be celebrated, so I begin the celebration with Moondance by Van Morrison:

19) and follow that up with another song by Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark:

20) There wont be any light from the Moon during the eclipse, but this still works for me, Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest:


21) That's followed up by a song that's actually about stargazing, Tom Petty's The Dark of the Sun:

22) I'm not sure if this is a great fit or not, but next up is Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden:

23) Love it or hate it, Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart has to be played at least one for the solar eclipse, doesn't it?

23 1/2) Actually, I prefer this version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, as it is actually about eclipses (and since it is the same song, it's the 1/2 song in the title of this post):

24) Another almost required choice, Pink Floyd's Eclipse from their Dark Side of the Moon album:

25) Okay, this is what used to be called a "deep cut." The Moon's A Window to Heaven from the soundtrack to Star Trek V. Yes, really.

26) If all goes well with your eclipse viewing at the end of the event you'll be overjoyed. I am hoping that Katrina & The Waves' Walking on Sunshine accurately describes how I'll be feeling at the end of the solar eclipse:

27) After the solar eclipse is over the Moon will leave it's new phase and soon return as a thin sliver in the evening skies, so I'll end this with KT Tunstall's Crescent Moon:

There are lots of other songs about the Sun and Moon that I could have included and maybe I missed some obvious choices, but