Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Last week, Noel Murray of the Onion A.V. Club wrote about the phenomenon where somebody wants to play their iPod on shuffle, only they press the buttons too quickly and their iPod begins to play their entire catalogue in alphabetical order. Invariably, the first alphabetical song in your iPod is something you would normally only play in a specific context, and wouldn't want to have batting in the lead-off spot as you start your day. Thus, the expression "shuf-fail" was born.

On my first iPod, that song was the sad-bastard 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me," which, let's face it, is not starting your day off on the right foot.

But I played with my catalogue a little bit when I got my new iPod, and now my first alphabetical song is "Mamma Mia." But not ABBA's 1974 classic, but rather, the A-Teens' cover from their 1999 cover album "the ABBA Generation".

All of this raises the question: what would be the best song to have first alphabetically in your iPod catalogue, for you to listen to before you realize you've made a mistake and change the setting to shuffle? It would have to be a song that you won't get tired of, but also a 'song for all seasons,' that you can listen to when you're happy, when you're depressed, when you're running late, and when you don't have a care in the world and just want to strut down Brooklyn's 5th Avenue because you can.

What song would you pick? What song fits that description for you? Extra credit if the name of either the song or the artist begins with the letter "A," and double-extra credit if it begins with a number or a punctuation mark.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

The first song on my iPod by song name is The Pipettes' "ABC"; by artist it's A.C. Newman's "The Heartbreak Rides." Former has more potential than the latter, but neither are right.

As for what song I'd pick for my, for lack of a better term, walk-up song for life: Even though it doesn't have the saunter tempo, I've listened to M. Ward's "Vincent O'Brien" when I was in all of those moods, and more, and it hasn't let me down so far.