How many times has this happened to you? You’re in the middle of the city somewhere, in traffic. And if you’re me, that means you’ve got the stereo on, and you’re singing along really loud. And then suddenly, you hear a siren. And you start looking around from window to window, mirror to mirror, peering up and down the streets trying to figure out where the siren’s coming from. Where’s the fire? Where’s the accident? Who’s in trouble? Am I in the way?! AAAAAH! Where’s that siren coming from?!
This happened to me this week. Twice. I’m sort of reluctant to admit that it happened twice. You’ll see why.
So there I am, in the left lane at an intersection, which is almost about to give me the green light when I hear a siren. I look around, and I see nothing. No red and blue lights. No speeding ambulance. No firetruck barreling through intersections. No cops on the way to something really really important. So where’s the siren? I turn down the music to see if I can better determine which way the siren’s coming from so I’ll know how to proceed…turn left, pull over, stay where I am…
And then I realize that the siren is coming from my stereo.
Yes. Twice this week I was listening to Cee-Lo Green’s “Bright Lights Big City” and I was fooled by the siren imbedded in the tune. Gaaah. Which got me to thinking about all the other songs I’ve known in my life that I was momentarily fooled by, that got me craning my neck frantically looking for the emergency vehicles.
There’s not a lot of them; at least not a lot that aren’t full-on gangsta rap. And I made a promise to myself a long time ago that the Mistress of the Mix absolutely will not subject you to that (…and you’re welcome). So the first half of today’s playlist contains music with actual sirens in the song. The second half is my slightly pathetic attempt to create a well rounded listening experience by adding songs about sirens (real and mythological), including two of my very favorites: the Siren Song from the brilliant Cohen Brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and This Mortal Coil’s Song To The Siren.
As always, you can click on the play arrow below to stream today’s Siren playlist, or you can visit the playlist directly on the Grooveshark website.
- Bright Lights Bigger City – Cee-Lo Green
- Step On – Happy Mondays
- The Greatest Man That Ever Lived – Weezer
- How I Learned To Love The Boot Boys – The Auteurs
- Rainin’ In Paradise – Manu Chao
- Sound of Siren – Major Lazer feat. M.I.A. & Busy Signal
- London Bridge – Fergie
- Fireman – Lil Wayne
- Slight Work – Wale feat. Big Sean
- Siren – Emancipator
- Song To The Siren – This Mortal Coil
- Siren Song – Alison Kraus, Emmylou Harris & Gillian Welch
- The Siren Songs – Red Riders
- Siren – Tori Amos
- Siren – Theatre of Tragedy
She’s often spotted driving around town singing at the top of her lungs to new wave hits from the 80’s, but at work Valerie hosts the afternoon classical show Siskiyou Music Hall (at 90.9 FM in Shasta County or streaming at ijpr.org).