Mistress of the Mix: Where’s The Fire?!

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.

  1. Bright Lights Bigger City - Cee-Lo Green
  2. Step On - Happy Mondays
  3. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived - Weezer
  4. How I Learned To Love The Boot Boys - The Auteurs
  5. Rainin' In Paradise - Manu Chao
  6. Sound of Siren - Major Lazer feat. M.I.A. & Busy Signal
  7. London Bridge - Fergie
  8. Fireman - Lil Wayne
  9. Slight Work - Wale feat. Big Sean
  10. Siren - Emancipator
  11. Song To The Siren - This Mortal Coil
  12. Siren Song - Alison Kraus, Emmylou Harris & Gillian Welch
  13. The Siren Songs - Red Riders
  14. Siren - Tori Amos
  15. Siren - Theatre of Tragedy

Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for over a decade, and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She's the mother of a teenage daughter and an adorable West Highland Terrier, and can't imagine life without them or music. 

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). 

Valerie Ing
Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for 14 years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She and her husband are parents to a couple of college students and a pair of West Highland Terriers, and Valerie can’t imagine life without them or music. The Mistress of the Mix wakes up every day with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

5 Responses

  1. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    "Indiana Wants Me," R. Dean Taylor

    "Police on My Back," The Clash

  2. Matt Grigsby says:

    The Siren Song from "O Brother Where Art Thou" is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever. I could listen to those harmonies forever.

  3. `AJacoby `AJacoby says:

    And the first one that came to my mind: We Didn't Light the Fire, Billy Joel , , , but maybe that's not the name of the song. Maybe that's just the first line of the chorus. Love the song from OBW. Love that sound track.

  4. name says:

    Thanks for the Manu Chau mention – he is a very good musician that is relatively unknown in this country…

  5. Valerie Ing-Miller says:

    Manu Chao is great! This Manu Chao song isn't even my favorite….that would be King Kong, which I'll have to include in a "Monsters Ball" playlist someday, along with Godzilla!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *