Starting tomorrow I’m paying attention more. To street signs. And traffic patterns. And potholes. And mood swings. And mercurial changes in weather and season that manifest themselves everyday. All of that important, profound, get-to-the-root-of-it-all stuff.
But most importantly, I’m going to pay attention to what I’m listening to. To gauge just what sort of reaction or 2-way interaction really takes place each time I sit down in the car to drive to work, or to home, or to the store, or what have you.
This idea came to me after reading an article about good songs to listen to whilst commuting to work. What surprised me wasn’t that it got me thinking of what my own list would look like as in fact I began cultivating one the moment I read the title; instead, what surprised me was the realization that I never really paid attention to how I felt after listening to any grouping of songs regardless of occasion or otherwise.
Good music– mood appropriate music rather– makes a noticeable impact on our daily mood and perspective, I’m told. So I begin to put this idea to the test.
8 Songs for a Better Commute (and Possibly a Better Day)
1. Good Old War – Over And Over
This song kicks off the drive at a good, rolling pace, but doesn’t over do it- perfect for getting into a refreshed, amiable morning mind even when contemplating a hard day’s work ahead.
2. Hall and Oates – You Make My Dreams
Every trailer for every decent romantic comedy in the last 20 years has employed this song in some way. And for good reason: it’s peppy, it’s flirty, and Hall’s vocals are immensely enjoyable to imitate. 3 of every 10 people dancing in their cars today are most likely listening to this song.
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born On The Bayou
A nice cooldown piece after the previous fireball, it never really lets you get too comfortable and keeps a diligent and steady pace that carries the charge. Moving you along even when your slog is stagnating. Another of the oft imitated ne’er duplicated vocal wonders, Fogerty’s lines are powerfully delivered, and the guitar / synth line underneath caps everything off with a perfectly brooding, bubbling sound.
4. The Avett Brothers – Hard Worker
Intermission act? Segue piece of the set? Maybe, but not a throw away piece either. These boys string together a devilishly cunning line. Keep this track in your back pocket like a portable extra dose of adrenaline and you too will believe that you could get up early each morn’ to sing, pray, and bang out hits like these guys.
5. Marvin Gaye – How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
This song is as sincere and earnest a love note as they get. Cut the pretense– and the phone lines– for a little while and let this one work over you while you ride in.
6. Farewell Milwaukee – Always Be Your Man
Keeping the peaceful, easy feeling going, this song weaves a truer story of faithfulness and love than many of the ones I’ve found lately that tread the same paths.
7. Steve Winwood – Higher Love
This song will come on just as you’re pulling into your destination, and you’ll sit in your car for the extra 3:12 and listen. And you’ll enjoy it, confound it.
8. Tommy James & The Shondells – Draggin’ The Line
This song is good at the beginning of the workday or at the end. It’s that calm, confident strut that comes with being in the right frame of mind to start the grind, or as the similarly calm, collected feeling of having made it through another busy day.