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You May Be Awoken

One of the best things about Canberra is the late-night drive home from Monkey and Mattay’s house. It’s twenty minutes of quiet road, winking stars and blaring stereo. I drive too fast and sing loudly and badly. When I get back into town, I detour up random streets, just to squeeze in a few more numbers.

Whenever I get the coveted M&M invite I take great care to select some rockin’ CDs for drive home. On the weekend it was Bee Gees One Night Only (still in mourning) and some iTunes mixes: the original Rockin’ Car Songs, Rhi Rocks Out Volume II and Xmas Rockin’ Goodness.

The other night I was fumbling with the controls of our six stacker and searching for the best songs to belt out. The mood called for something robust. Layer upon layer of delicious harmonies, the stuff of sing-songs round a campfire. Don’t you just love harmonies? They are perfect for those not blessed with talent. You can start with the high bit then abruptly drop down when your shithouse chords start to die. Or you can start low in the verse then soar for the chorus. Or you can chop and change from one word to the next. Whatever you choose, you can always blend in somewhere over the din of the engine and think to yourself, “DAMN! I coulda been a Supreme!”

During And Your Bird Can Sing, I decided I would ask WNP visitors to tell me their favourite harmony-drenched tunes then use this precious information to create the ultimate mix CD and call it Let’s Go 2003 — Harmonic Highway Hitz! or something equally inane. But my plans were interrupted when an obnoxious white BMW swooped up to overtake me. I had just finished swearing and pounding the steering wheel when a kangaroo appeared out of the dark and streaked across the road in front of them.

BANG!

It was rather a spectacular sight. The ‘roo shot up into the air, you could almost see the moment when its whole body shattered. The head snapped back, legs and tail jerking, then the whole thing went limp and lifeless like someone had tossed some bagpipes across the highway. There was a little puff of dust when it sailed over the railing and hit the scrub.

The BMW barely flinched, but I slowed down and felt so bad for the poor bugger.

Anyway, be sure to tell me your favourite songs of harmonised goodness.

Dead ‘roo haiku:

broken kangaroo
shall no longer hop hop hop
in the morning dew

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! Iโ€™m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


66 thoughts on “You May Be Awoken

  1. jebus! That’s so scary…

    (coveted M&M invite… lol)

    It’s really sad, but I love that old song by en vogue, something about not letting go and losing control. Good harmonies. Not that I would listen to that crap. Alright I did, but I was 16. I didn’t know any better!

  2. It must be a bit different for guys…I always want to belt out “Highway to Hell” or some other AC/DC song (since they all sound the same)

    I was never that into them when I was a teenager but as I get older I find myself liking them more and more. Is this early onset altzheimers?

  3. Off the top of my head, “If You Could Only See” by Tonic is a song I personally enjoy the harmony on, and no CD is complete without a Who number, so I’d recommend “So Sad About Us” from the “A Quick One” album. Take care, sweetie!

  4. California Dreaming. Also good for making up alternate lyrics… such as “all the grass is brown, and the lake is grey”, etc.

  5. slack – no comment on the early onset alzheimers! hehe.

    row – BRILLIANT choice, probably the ultimate harmony song. i love M&P’s!

    tony – yes, great harmonies, just a pity that tonic suck ASS! ๐Ÿ˜›

    actually i recall you singing that very song in Adam & Eve in Fyshwick the other day.

    in the car the other night there was Wild Honey by U2, Sound of Sounds by Gomez, Blue by Jayhawks. Plenty o’ dorky harmonies in there.

    and of course the Bee Gees – Lonely Days! Lonely Nights! Where would I be without my woman? I am high and low and all over the shop when that one comes on.

  6. Haha! That was a good one!
    Anyways, nice to meet you, I got here through the bloggies thingie, which is totally crap and was pleased to find about your site. I’ll be visiting Australia in a few months. too bad you’re leaving. Ohh yeah, and I’m an Israeli with a German passport, life gets so ironic sometimes huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Well there’s Throw Your Arms Around Me, with that big atonal “ohhhh yeah” coda at the end. You don’t even have to sing to tune for that one.

  8. SOUND OF SOUNDS!

    I clicked on this just to write that exact song.

    I give up all hope of beautiful chord structure to just yell,

    “…the sound of sounds aint light ning…”

    Was I censored in the last set of comments Shauny?

  9. yeah i did scotty, but that was wrong of me. would you mind reposting?

    is it really ‘sound of sounds AIN’T lightning’?

    and hello ohad! nice to meet you!

  10. I tend to remember singing a variation of California Dreamin’ whilst standing on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin and a small naked boy kept running around and chasing things. Anyway. A song I always enjoy is “We Want a Rock” by They Might Be Giants, or “Women & Men” is good too. Hell, ANY TMBG is good in my book, heh heh.

  11. Ah, a question after my own heart. One of the things I miss about driving is the singing along, the drumming on the wheel, the mocking laughter of my fellow drivers.

    Well, obviously, you got yer Beach Boys, which can get a little saccharine and tired but still, I mean “Good Vibrations” is the ultimate There’s-No-One-Around-For-A-Million-Miles-So-I’ll-Just-Have-To-Sing-All-The-Parts experience.

    Also: ELO. Volkswagen commercials notwithstanding. And although Wayne and Garth kinda took the pleasure out of “Bohemian Rhapsody” singalongs, there’s always the choral stuff in “Somebody to Love” or “Bicycle Race.”

    Extra-super-cheese can be obtained by singing along with classic Journey, a la “Feelin’ that Way” but this is very dangerous to the arteries, and besides makes you so desperately uncool that you might wind up feeling more shame than pleasure.

    As for newish bands with good harmonies, I strongly recommend The New Pornographers album “Mass Romantic” — lots of catchy singalongable power-pop, with some of it male/female harmonizing, which is always welcome. Also, Sloan has some nice vocal harmonies as well.

    Oh, and Sly and the Family Stone!

    OK, now I feel really self-conscious…

  12. Oh, no! I like kangaroos, so am saddened by that episode. Poor kangaroo.

    I once hit a badger. It didn’t fly up into the air, but it did spend a short time sort of turning round in circles in the middle of the road before dying. It was horrible.

    But anyway, I used to love just driving along and singing along to whatever I was listening to. I would drive just so that I could do that, with no need of an excuse or pretext for driving.

    Oh, and you don’t need harmonies to already be there in the song – just add your own! ๐Ÿ˜€ That’s what I like to do sometimes. It’s fun to experiment that way, seeing if you can discover harmonies that’ll fit, or seeing just how awful they are if they don’t fit at all. Fun’n’games with singing along in cars.

    One time, some friends and I sang Queen and Pink Floyd in the back of a minibus full of Christians, completely unaccompanied by tapes or CDs or anything (or guitars with rainbow straps, for that matter). It had that good ‘singin’ round the campfire’ flavour that you mention. And, um, before we started singing, there was much chatting in the minibus, but not once we were having our singalong.

    When Tim the Musician asked why, someone said that it was because they’d rather listen to us singing than chat amongs themselves, as we were more entertaining – and we’d never intended to be singing for an audience! I think, perhaps, by ‘entertaining’, they didn’t necessarily mean we were any good – it could’ve been (and probably was) that we were entertainingly awful – but it was fun, and that’s what counted.

    But anyway, adding to BT’s mentions of some Queen songs, I do have to say that Queen are always good for harmonies – even during Brian May’s guitar ‘solo’s (but as he likes to orchestrate and overlay and stuff, they’re not really solos, are they?).

    And talking of singing, how are the sining lessons coming along?

  13. I look like a toss, luckily so few people have cottoned onto how great Gomez are and wouldn’t know any better anyway.

    I checked back with the same site which said it was ‘aint lightening’, to find they’d changed it to ‘enlightening’, which would make more sense to me.

    Gomez, liner lyrics, PLEASE.

    Still, it could be worse, we could be trying to decipher the words to “Blinded By The Light”

    Just for the record, that is:
    “Blinded by the light,
    wrapped up like a deuce,
    another runner in the night.”

    What the fuck?

    Now, in typical style, Ed is going to take us through every word of every verse and chorus of Don McLeans “American Pie” with clift notes and all.

    By the way BT, the Beach Boys “I Can Hear Music” is an understated classic.

  14. God, I never even thought about smashing a roo with your car. On American television they’re always hopping majestically towards a sunset, accompanied by some evocative music. We like our Aussie images romanticized, I guess.

    Here, if you hit a deer, or god forbid an elk, your car just stops. The elk may walk away.

  15. Poor Kangaroo!

    Too many songs to list, Shauny! I’ve always loved to sing along to Radiohead songs. No particular song really, pretty much any of them will do. They’re always fun.

    Powderfinger has a bunch of good ones too, as do Badly Drawn Boy.

    Ugh, I’m no good at picking specific songs.

  16. a sing-a-long favourite of mine…
    lover, lover, lover,
    you don’t treat me no good no more,
    no good no more, more, more woaaooaoaoo!

    but, the album would NOT be complete without 4nonblondes what’s up!

  17. oh, Tony is our Tony? I didn’t know. God I’m a moron. Hi Tonester, hope they’re giving you good drugs!

    Graham said Throw your arms around me, and I agree, but I like the way the Doug Anthony Allstars do it better. Did. *sob*

    Shauny, let me get my grubby mitts on your source code. I’ll get the remember button working, no worries at all.

  18. yet another animal mown down by a bastard rushing to get nowhere in particular!
    joni mitchell’s “case of you”. i’m going to look like such a loser here, but they utilise it so well in “practical magic” where nicole kidman is driving and it turns from day to night behind her. it just sums up the joy and melancholy of drving by yourself with the radio up loud.

  19. ok here we go… what about the beatles – twist and shout… “ahhh…ahhh…ahhhh…ahhhh” that is the best part to really make people want to run away from you screaming!

    and the other one i thought of was that “boys who like girls who like girls who like boys… always should be someone you really love” what the heck was the name of that one-hit-wonder band? oh yeah and anything by the violent femmes.

  20. Got another couple:
    Crowded House’s “You’d Better Be Home Soon” and “Four Seasons In One Day”. In fact a whole lot of Neil Finn’s songs.

  21. OH, and “Boys and Girls” was by Blur, who I think have had a few more hits than that one, such as that “Woo-hoo!” song.

  22. i always thought roos destroyed any cars they were hit by. sounds like the bastard white bmw had a lucky escape!

    i like blur’s “country house”

  23. “Catch a Wave”and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys.

    “Jump Start” by the Hang-Ups.

    “And Your Bird Can Sing” by the Beatles.

    “So Young” by the Corrs.

  24. That is so true SJ.

    One early morning on the way to Mt. Raineer a big old elk jumped out in front of our car. We slammed on the breaks, slammed into the Elk hard enough to put him up on the hood in an explosion of White fur tufts (I guess their white butts are designed to do that) He rolled off, and took off running across a field seemingly unhurt by the whole experience, unlike our Datsun’s hood and front grill. We found white fur all over that car for the next year.

  25. kangaroo haiku
    he will never bounce again
    who wants a sausage?

    (I thought I was the only one who arrived at my destination only to keep driving so I can get to the end of singing along to my cd!)

  26. well miss s. i think i would have to say :
    gina jeffries – creep (my current mp3 download)
    diana krall – the look of love
    vaness amorrosi – heros live forever
    kylie – can’t get you out my head
    dido – here with me
    heather small – proud
    lighthouse family – lost in space
    jamiroquai – corner of the earth
    lisa stansfield – never never gonna give you up
    m people – testify
    macy gray – relating to a psychopath
    madonna – nothing really matters
    natalie imbruglia – wrong impression
    pastel vespa – anarchy in the uk
    pastel vespa – i was made for lovin’ you
    paul mac – just the thing
    paul mac – stay
    swing out sister – making the right move
    tina arena – symphony of life
    ulta natรฉ – free

  27. andrewf has provided you with quite the playlist there. although, that said, gina jeffries deserved to be drowned in a sack like the yowling cat she is.

    you need some doof, and what better than “the sound of violence” by cassius. not only is the bass booming and dirty, but you can sing along.

    “feel like i wanna be/inside of you/when the sun goes down, yeah!”

    quality lyrics, those.

    oh. and lots of ani difranco, for the angsty teenager within.

    i also adore the drive from m&m’s. particularly when the luscious mistress shauny shaunissima is with me (stupid stuffed radio…)

  28. ummm…”tie me kangaroo down sport” that would seem a fitting car tune but if you try to use the wokka (sp?) board whilst driving it could get hairy

    Anything by Evan Dando is a good singalong with those nice low notes that we can all hit – Down About It or anything early off the Hate Your Friends album because there is a lot of yelling and angst

    Ben Lee because he writes fantastic songs but has a terrible voice so you always sound better

  29. and what’s wrong with my playlist? i think it’s very respectable for a young 30-something gay man with massive amounts of good taste and culture. okay shauny, where are those pics of the naked muscle gods again?

  30. I remember when I only had two tapes. One had ‘Spirit in the Sky’ on it and the other had “Brimful of Asha” by Cornershop. This was all they had. I think I got them for free at a gas station. Oh…I grew to love those songs. Then…I moved and gave my car away and forgot to clean it out and I never heard those songs again.

    Sniff…

    I don’t know about harmonies. I like certain music because it makes me feel cool and tough after a hard day’s work being a wimpy lackey…like: Jane’s Addiction or Rage Against the Machine. I put on my leather jacket, crank up the stereo and think: If only they KNEW! Boy, would they be scared.

  31. I don’t want this to degenerate into a Forrest Gump soundtrack production meeting, but Three Dog Night’s…

    ‘Jeremiah was a Bullfrog.”

    …has got to be a crowd favourite.

    *listens to the sound of many readers nodding in agreement*

    Oh, and Shauny, BRAND SPANKING NEW eMac arrives tomorrow!

  32. “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys.

    “Stormy Weather” by the Spaniels.

    “Eight Miles High” by Husker Du.

    Anything by the Dubliners, given enough whiskey. (Enough whiskey?)

    Anything by anybody, given enough whiskey. (That would be enough whiskey, yes.)

  33. For harmonies, I can only think of Billy Joel’s ‘For the longest time’ at the moment… or some old skool doo-wop. I have two 50’s doo-wop CDs that have excellent songs on them to harmonise in and out with, and I have heaps of cheesy 50’s music featuring harmonies. Oooh and The Drifters, The Platters, The Four Seasons are excellent for car singing – not that I have a car, but if I did… I equate it with good dishwashing sing-a-longs and singing in the shower.

    Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is an irresistable car song for all the family. In fact, Queen’s Greatest Hits would be perfect.

    Musicals are great too. eg. West Side Story. Hair. Grease 2 (those songs are so bad you’ve just got to join in).

    60s girl groups – v.good.

    Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Etta James, Ray Charles, Lyn Collins are not neccessarily harmonisers, but are all *excellent* to belt out a song with and would be perfect for car singing. Except if I was driving I’d probably get so carried away I’d almost certainly smash the car.

    I can’t think of any newer stuff, although I am sure heaps will come to me later. NSync and Destiny’s Child don’t mind a bit of harmonising…

    I once did a singing class and we had to harmonise a version of Amazing Grace and I had to do the bass note and I was *terrible*. I could sing my part now, but as soon as I hear the others singing, I get distracted with their notes and go all over the place with them. Which is pretty much what happens now when I sing along during cleaning – pity my poor neighbours

  34. I guess i’ll add to this ๐Ÿ™‚ my fave belt-your-heart-out tunes are red hot chilli peppers – other side and pulp – disco 2000. there are more but i don’t feel like list making.

  35. Okay, guilty secret time.

    I absolutely FUCKING LOVE Cliff Richard’s ‘Wired for Sound’.

    A – M – F – M, I feel so ecstatic, NOW!
    It’s music I’ve found, and I’m wiiiired for souuuund!

  36. Categories! Genius!

    Oh, if we’re going for daggy 80s singles, “Moonlight Shadow” deserves a gong.

  37. To hell with “American Pie” or Morrissey, post-Smiths. Here’s the real deal for the road:

    Natural Calamity, “As You Know” (Dust Brothers Remix)

    John Kongos, “Jubilee Cloud”

    Army of Lovers, “Carry Mu Urn to Ukraine”

    Happy Mondays, “Wrote for Luck”

    Fugazi, “Waiting Room”

    The Kinks, “Harry Rag”

    Momus, “Finnegan the Folk Hero of HTML”

    The Beautiful South, “Don’t Marry Her”

    Eggstone, “Water”

    Minor Threat, “Guilty of Being White”

    Doves, “Here It Comes”

    Ladytron, “He Took Her To A Movie”

    Marhsall Crenshaw, “Someday Someway”

  38. poor roo.

    t-bone and i used to sing george michael in our bathroom (acoustics, darling), duet-style. our favourites were ‘father figure’ and ‘careless whisper’.

    ‘and i’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet have got no rhythm … ‘

    it was a beautiful thing.

    my other favourite songs to sing out loud are ‘joy to the world’ and the ‘we are one but we are many’ australia song.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Tonic suck ASS???

    …I beg your pardon.

    I don’t remember the question being “suggest songs with harmonies unless I don’t like the band”!

    Also, might I suggest “The Boxer”, by Simon and Garfunkel, unless of course Artie makes you want to retch…

    All sarcasm aside, lurve ya Shauners!!!

  40. In olden times “harmonised goodness” was defined by the Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas, and my very favorite Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) 1969-70 version. The song “Wooden Ships” STILL gives me chills. “Southern Cross” is another very good CSNY song, and is approriate for your hemisphere.

    Oh yea, the aforementioned Beatles were pretty damn good also.

  41. great choices dave! ๐Ÿ™‚

    tony – of course you can suggest bands that i don’t like. i just reserve the right to declare their shithouse-ness right here in my own blog. NYAH ๐Ÿ˜›

    and I love The Boxer! Any song with the word “whores” in it has to be good.

  42. Ooh, yeah Dave, how could I have left out CSNY? So many great harmony singalongs — my fave was always “Carry On” — a song that never made much sense to me, but always sounded really, you know, urgent and portentous.

  43. For harmonies, check out the “return of the Grievous Angel” tribute-to-Gram Parsons CD by the likes of the Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou Harris, Beck etc. Dripping with ’em. I recommend “Juanita”, “She” and “Sin City”.
    There are also some good ones on the soundrack CD to O Brother Where art Thou – Try “I fly Away” and “Angel Band”

  44. Crosby Stills Nash & Young – Either “Carry On” or “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”

    Their harmonies are like honey pouring over you…honey from aging stoners, that is.

  45. I agree with the O brother where art thou- I’m in a choir of women who can’t sing so we do gospel and its easy. The Grevious Angel is Fab also. The Exciters had a hit with “Tell Him” try that one. “Only you” by lots of people and of course Abba.

  46. I agree with the O brother where art thou- I’m in a choir of women who can’t sing so we do gospel and its easy. The Grevious Angel is Fab also. The Exciters had a hit with “Tell Him” try that one. “Only you” by lots of people and of course Abba.

  47. Mustn’t have been a very big roo, otherwise it woulda done through your windshield…. you hit a red roo from up here, in a 4WD, and you can definetly feel it.

    Anyway, songs- “Throw Your Arms Around Me”, and most of the Crowded House songs, like “Better Be Home Soon”, “Don’t Dream its Over”. Maybe some of Robin Williamsons music….

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