1. "Don't Pull it Down," from the Hair soundtrack. A song about how hippies can be patriots too: crazy for the red, blue and white.
2. "Polythene Pam," The Beatles. Hmm, a costume idea. Jackboot and kilt . . . it's weird to listen to this track by itself, because on the album (Abbey Road) it segues seamlessly into "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window."
3. "Loaded Gun in the Closet," Drive-By Truckers. The closing track of the album Decoration Day, a hymn of praise to the simple, quiet life lived by a lot of people city-dwellers never see.
Most women today would say she was a disgrace.
Most men would say she wasn’t much to look at.
And they all would say she’d be a lot better off
if she cared a little more about what they all think.
She could have a life of her own if she had a little pride,
some silicone implants, and another man on the side.
But she’s got a loaded gun in the closet.
And it’s there anytime she wants it.
The people in this song are my neighbors. I'd miss them if I moved.
4. "Rock Island Line," The Knitters. Huh. After the Drive-By Truckers, the Knitters — a roots-country tribute band formed by members of X, plus Dave Alvin — sound self-conscious and even a little precious. Context is everything.
5. "A Hazy Shade of Winter," Simon & Garfunkel. A perfect track for the day. The sky is a hazy shade of winter. If your hopes should pass away, simply pretend that you can build them again — oh, and don't forget to change the clocks tonight.