Driving Music

Jimmy Fallon gave a credible performance of "Old Man" as and with Neil Young.
Jimmy Fallon gave a credible performance of “Old Man” as and with Neil Young.

See the clip here

Yesterday and today I was in the car for between seven and eight hours, driving down to Cranbrook and back. I was there to participate with the pastors and leaders of our churches in the Great Southern and had a really nice time with them. Our topic was “Spiritual Formation as the Task of the Church.” Perhaps I will blog about it sometime. These pastors and leaders are doing a wonderful and important job in their small town churches.

At times on a long drive I have listened to audio books or even lectures. This time, though, I followed my usual practice of choosing some music. My choice always depends on the kind of mood I am in. This time, I think I was in a folky kind of mood. This is what I chose:

1. The Essential Simon & Garfunkel – Probably not the best for long distance driving, but some great classics here, as well as some very mellow folk-poetry. Favourite track: I am a Rock.

2. George Harrison, Let it Roll – a posthumous collection of his post-Beatles work, except for three live renditions of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes the Sun, and my favourite track, Something. Shame it didn’t have a few of his Wilbury contributions.

3. Les Miserables, The Original London Cast – It still grabs me everytime. This most powerful of musicals is an artistic rendition of divine grace embodied. I think that is what Hugo intended, and the songwriters have done his literary masterpiece justice with this musical-dramatic masterpiece. Favourite track: sorry, can’t choose just one; I Dreamed a Dream and Bring Him Home for pathos and beauty, and One Day More for dramatic and creative mastery.

4. Bob Dylan, Tempest – From the beautiful voices of the London cast to Dylan, who can’t sing to save his life, and never could. Now, after five decades of abusing his screech, it’s worse than ever, but I still love his work. This 2012 album continued his late-career renaissance, and includes his 14-minute tribute to the loss of the Titanic, and a poignant tribute to John Lennon. Favourite track: Tempest, with Duquesne Whistle a close second.

5. Neil Young, Harvest – The 1972 classic blues-rock album bristles with amazing tracks. My favourite? Why choose just one? Today is was probably Heart of God, but could just as easily have been Alabama or Out on the Weekend or Harvest or Old Man or…

6. And as I made it back to the city – Creedence Clearwater Revival, 25th Anniversary Collection  only got to about track 10 before I made it home, but more blues-rock, this time more upbeat. Favourite track: Someday Never Comes.

Next time I have a long drive on my own, I am thinking I might pull out Rolling Stone’s Top Ten Albums of all time. Or maybe better, my own Top Ten… I wonder what would be on that list? Beggars Banquet, IV (Led Zepellin), Beatles for Sale (Rubber Soul? Hard call, this one; just about everyone says Sgt Pepper is the greatest album of all time; … nah), Highway 61 Revisited (or Blood on the Tracks?), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Hotel CaliforniaTapestrySongs in the Key of Life?

What would be on your list?


2 thoughts on “Driving Music

  1. That’s a great driving list – seems just right for driving through the wheatbelt. Creedence especially; for better and worse, when I put them on in the car, I do feel like I’m the Dude in the Big Lebowski. As you already know, you haven’t heard of any of the albums in my all time top ten. 🙂

  2. I think Simon & Garfunkel was a bit quiet, actually. I don’t want to be lulled off to sleep while I am driving! Possibly more Creedence-like music next time. I was eight or nine years old when I heard my first Creedence track (“Green River” on Top of the Pops 1969). I was much more impressed by Elvis’ “In the Ghetto”!

    No, I don’t know your young people’s music!

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