By Daniel Ford
During our recent podcast at Brookline Booksmith with a foursome of horror authors, Sean Tuohy asked an intriguing question:
Can writers talk about happy things?
Sure, authors spend a lot of time torturing main characters—both emotionally and physically—but they must be able to unplug and enjoy things like a bouquet of puppies or a surprisingly warm review from The New York Times, right?
To find the answer to Sean’s question, I compiled five songs that just might melt your brooding writer façade. Feel free to add your own happy tunes in the comments section or tweet us @WritersBone.
“Take It Slow” by The Mallett Brothers Band
Key lyrics: You can't slow down/You can't sit still/But the morning comes like they always will/When the sun comes up you gotta fill that cup /And your flat tire runs on the ground/And you're getting real low cause you're hanging round/Baby, can't you see/You gotta let it be
Maybe those pages kicked your ass today. Maybe you got some bad news from a literary agent or publisher. Maybe you’re screaming at your blinking cursor as if it’s the root cause of all your subpar ideas.
Your motor may always be running, but you can’t let it overheat. Take The Mallett Brothers Band’s advice: Take it slow for a couple minutes and “just let it slide.”
“Hold On” by Alabama Shakes
Key lyrics: You got to come on up/You got to hold on.
When Brittany Howard tells you to get on up, you do it!
“You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra
Key lyrics: The moment that you speak/I wanna go play hide-and-seek/I wanna go and bounce the moon/Just like a toy balloon
Obligatory Frank Sinatra song. But seriously, you can’t feel anything but young, fresh, and in love when you listen to this tune. You’ll also want to run through the park like Phoebe from “Friends.”
“This Magic Moment” by The Drifters
Key lyrics: Sweeter than wine/Softer than the summer night/Everything I want I have/Whenever I hold you tight
Yeah, I know, this song is used every time the boy finds the girl, kisses the girl, or wins the girl in any movie or television show set in the 1960s. You know why? Because this song never fucking gets old. You’d have to be heartless to find any fault with it. Plus, Michael “Squints” Palledorous…
“How Bad We Need Each Other” by Marc Scibilia
Key lyrics: You know I can get so high on myself sometimes/I keep on drifting a million miles from this planet/But what a shame it would be to look back on our life/And realize that I've taken you and me for granted/Not gonna do it now
Boy, do we badly need the sentiments found in Marc Scibilia’s exuberant, hopeful lyrics or what? The world is a mess, which is all the more reason we should find ways to stick together and stay positive rather than shrink from the gruesome news and divide ourselves.