My iTunes App. Is Suffering From A.D.D.

I’ve been reading a very interesting blog that I’ve recently added to my blogroll: Auto Tunes. Two friends collaborate on posts about the music they each hear while driving in their cars. The writing is sharp and their musical tastes are quite varied. I thought to myself recently that I could never write such a blog–my commute after all is about 7 minutes.

So I created a playlist on my iTunes and burned it to a disc for MY style of commute. I call the disc “The Two Minute Drill.” It consists of the best songs from my iTunes that run between 1:00 and 2:00 minutes. I crammed 42 songs on the disc and can listen to a bunch on the way to work (even more if I hang in the parking lot for awhile, too!

After looking at the demographics of the playlist, I’ve reached some conclusions on songs running a buck and some change:

1) Of the heavily represented genres in my music collection, blues, country and punk crop up the most. Rancid, Hank Williams and Elizabeth Cotten have more short songs than any other groups.

2) Songs this short are often very funny. Little Feat “Don’t Bogart That Joint”, The Presidents of the United States of America “We’re Not Going To Make It” (“we don’t have the talent/ we don’t have the time/ we don’t have the patience/ and we don’t know how to rhyme”) “Walter’s Theme” from R.E.M. (an ode to their favorite greasy spoon) and “Ingrid Bergman” with music by Billy Bragg and incredibly raunchy lyrics by Woodie Guthrie are some favorites.

3) Back in the day, songs like this were big hits. “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons and “The Letter” by the Box Tops were #1 hits. “Walkin’ To New Orleans” by Fats Domino made it to #6.

4) I love The Clash, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and Warren Zevon– I own a large portion of their recorded output. My favorite song from each of these artists is also a song less than 2 minutes (check out the YouTube clips):

The Clash “White Riot”

Elvis Costello “Mystery Dance”

Bob Dylan “Gospel Plow”

No YouTube clip for the obscure Warren Zevon song “Bill Lee” (off the album Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School.) So here are the lyrics. I sing them a capella in the shower:

Bill Lee by Warren Zevon

You’re supposed to sit on your ass and nod at stupid things
Man, that’s hard to do
And if you don’t, they’ll screw you
And if you do, they’ll screw you, too

When I’m standing in the middle of the diamond all alone
I always play to win
When it comes to skin and bone

And sometimes I say things I shouldn’t
And sometimes I say things I shouldn’t


3 thoughts on “My iTunes App. Is Suffering From A.D.D.

Add yours

  1. Awww–thanks for the kind shout-out, faithful reader! We blush. And we look forward to more of your always brilliant comments.


  2. I’m ten minutes late to this two-minute party, but I keep thinking about your Woody Guthrie comment. Every time I listen to “Ingrid Bergman,” I feel like maybe I should take a shower. And then I wonder: Do you suppose there’s a reason Woody kept these songs locked up and didn’t do anything with them? Do you think he’d be horrified to know they made it into the public sphere? It’s as if someone found your notebook from tenth-grade science class, the one with all the scribbles and doodles, and decided to make an art exhibit out of them. Shudder.


  3. Thanks again to both thegirlontheswing and mamakitt for their Autotunes blog–which I found through’s tag surfer function for all Springsteen references!

    I remember reading the biography “Woodie Guthrie–A Life” because Bruce Springsteen told us we should in the intro. to his version of “This Land Is Your Land” on the Live 75-85 box set (and yes, I usually do what Bruce tells me to.)

    I seem to recall that both the incessant nervousness that resulted in lines that sound like gibberish (see Hoodoo Voodoo lyrics from Mermaid Ave.) and hypersexuality were both the result of his battle with Huntington’s chorea.


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