music

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

American columnist Erma Bombeck said of her career writing about the quirks of her home life “there is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt” and it is true in most cases that the bigger the laugh, the deeper the well of despair that it echoed out of.

There have been, and will continue to be, many tributes to Robin Williams. I have many, many memories of his films resonating with me, none more so than Dead Poets Society. I still can’t think “Oh Captain, my captain” without getting a lump in my throat. Today especially.

But for all of the roles he played, it was perhaps his appearance in Bobby McFerrin’s video for Don’t Worry, Be Happy that most sums up all the thoughts I’ve had since hearing the news this morning. Legend has it McFerrin wrote the lyrics while suicidal, a note to himself to push through the pain. How terribly sad if that story is true.

I too fight a sometimes daily battle with the more sinister side of my brain, and I too choose humour to pull myself out of that black hole. It’s a lucky person who doesn’t understand that the biggest laughs come from the darkest places. Sometimes the melancholia feels like it will never leave. Continue to seek help, continue to find laughter, continue to try not to worry, continue to try to be happy.

We owe it to Robin.

LIFE PLAYLIST

100 songs that most transport me, in no particular order:

 

1. Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel

2. Jolene – Dolly Parton

3. Thankyou For Being A Friend – Theme From The Golden Girls

4. Cry Me A River – Julie London

5. Tiny Dancer – Elton John

6. The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

7. Po Karekare Ana – Kiri Te Kanawa

8. Flying Over Africa – Out of Africa Soundtrack

9. Drop The Pilot – Joan Armatrading

10. You’ve Changed – Sia

11. Another Piece of My Heart – Erma Franklin

12. I Don’t Feel Like Dancing – Scissor Sisters

13. Linger – The Cranberries

14. Too Funky – George Michael

15. Love Cats – The Cure

16. Proud Mary – Tina Turner

17. On A Night Like This – Kylie Minogue

18. Rock The Casbah – The Clash

19. I Don’t Wanna Talk About It – Rod Stewart

20. Empire State of Mind – Alicia Keys & Jay-Z

21. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant – Billy Joel

22. Something To Talk About – Bonnie Raitt

23. I Remember You – Bette Midler & James Caan

24. Young Hearts Run Free – Kim Mazelle

25. Fire & Rain – Marcia Hines

26. So Far Away – Carole King

27. Hallelujah – kd lang

28. Physical – Olivia Newton-John

29. Crazy – Gnarls Barkley

30. Superstition – Stevie Wonder

31. Somebody To Love Me – Mark Ronson feat. Boy George

32. Son Of A Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield

33. Six Months In A Leaky Boat – Split Enz

34. Scar – Missy Higgins

35. Into Temptation – Renee Geyer

36. Annie’s Song – John Denver

37. Hold On My Heart – Sarah Blasko

38. Mickey – Toni Basil

39. She Bop – Cyndi Lauper

40. How Will I Know – Whitney Houston

41. Anywhere Is – Enya

42. Flashdance – Irene Cara

43. Learning To Fly – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

44. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

45. Walking On Broken Glass – Annie Lennox

46. Heart Of Glass – Blondie

47. Brass In Pocket – The Pretenders

48. Teardrops – Womack & Womack

49. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Kiki Dee & Elton John

50. The Beat Goes On – Sonny & Cher

51. Rooms On Fire – Stevie Nicks

52. Paper Aeroplane – Angus & Julia Stone

53. Bring Him Home – Les Miserables Soundtrack

54. Let’s Dance To Joy Division – The Wombats

55. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

56. Take On Me – A-ha

57. Dance The Way I Feel – Ou Est Le Swimming Pool

58. Chasing Pavements – ADELE

59. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

60. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse

61. Kids – MGMT

62. I Say A Little Prayer – Dianne Warwick

63. Kiss – Tom Jones

64. One Crowded Hour – Augie March

65. Flame Trees – The Sacred Heart School Choir

66. Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles

67. Head Over Feet – Alanis Morissette

68. Cecilia – James Last

69. Puff The Magic Dragon – Peter Paul & Mary

70. Cherry Cherry – Neil Diamond

71. Wish You Well – Bernard Fanning

72. Beast Of Burden – Bette Midler

73. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

74. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson

75. You’re So Vain – Carly Simon

76. Arthur’s Theme – Christopher Cross

77. Don’t Pay The Ferryman – Chris De Burgh

78. My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone

79. Tainted Love – Soft Cell

80. You’re My Best Friend – Queen

81. Mr Bojangles – Robbie Williams

82. Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry

83. Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones

84. Anything You Want – Roy Orbison

85. Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna

86. I Just Wanna Make Love To You – Etta James

87. The Promise – Tracy Chapman

88. Handle With Care – The Travelling Wilburies

89. You Gotta Love This City – The Whitlams

90. What’s Up – 4 Non Blondes

91. I’m Your Man – Wham

92. Bright Side Of The Road – Van Morrison

93. Sweat (Aha La La La Long) – Inner Circle

94. I Try – Macy Gray

95. Sway – Bic Runga

96. One Night In Heaven – M People

97. Perfect Day – Lou Reed

98. Stay (I Missed You) – Lisa Loeb

99. Smile – Lily Allen

100. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing – Leo Sayer

People’s taste in music says a lot about them. When I look at this list, I remember the people and places who impacted on me. Some of those people, I know, will recognise themselves in this list.