Welcome to Pop Music Survival Kit: The Perfect Songs for Every Occasion
Like many people in New York City, I’m currently holed up in my apartment, surrounded by flashlights and bottled water, praying that Hurricane Sandy doesn’t knock out the cable before tonight’s episode of RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race. It’s still almost an hour before the wind hits the fan, so at the moment, it’s all about anticipation.
Of course, Sandy has already hit many areas. If you’re in the midst of the storm (and you still have enough electricity and internet access to read this), then I hope you’re safe. If, like me, you’re waiting for the big girl to blow through, then I hope we all have luck. And if you’re in some dry, calm state, then do think of you soggy fellow citizens.
And no matter who you are, it’s time for a hurricane anthem. We might not be able to stop the wind, but at least we can defiantly sing at it! Sandy will not break our spirits! Here are three songs that might at least help us feel better as the weather does its thing.
(1) “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia
They’ve announced they’re breaking up, but DJ collective Swedish House Mafia is leaving on the highest possible note. Their song “Don’t You Worry Child” (featuring raggedly soulful vocals by John Martin) is killer, sporting a titanic beat and evocative lyrics about a guy getting his heart broken near a lake and his father telling him not to worry about it because “heaven’s got a plan” for him.
On a day like today, it’s nice to be told not to worry, right? Credit heaven or something else, but it’s comforting to remember that things typically work out.
(2) “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood
A little on the nose? Perhaps. But Carrie Underwood’s anthem about the cleansing power of a storm (both emotional and meteorological) also has a massive chorus that’s incredibly fun to shout at the darkening sky. Sure, Carrie’s character is singing specifically about an abusive parent whom she lets die in a tornado, but the rebellious spirit is universal.
(3) “Rain” by Madonna
Once the storm has passed, why not have a sensual experience in rain in it leaves behind? This spectacular ballad has always been one of my favorite Madonna songs, and if it hadn’t been released at the height of the controversy about her book Sex—which I had a weird experience with—it probably would’ve been a bigger hit. (It peaked at a lowly #14.) The video is also gorgeous, and it includes a gentle comment on the early-90s fear that the Japanese were going to take over America with their technological prowess. Is the video mocking that fear? Urging it on? Simply noting it? I’ve never been sure, but it’s still beautiful to look at.
Mark Blankenship bought extra cereal, just in case. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.