10 of My Favorite Stimmy Songs
It’s Thanksgiving here in the US, so for the holiday, I’m giving you a quick list of ten of my favorite stimmy songs. Now, most of my life revolves around music – I’m a dancer, my mind can’t be allowed to run around unsupervised – there are lots of reasons my life demands a soundtrack. And different pieces of music do different things for me, so I have LOTS of songs that I love for lots of different reasons. So, for the record, the following is not a complete list. Enjoy!
- Right out of the gate, I’m giving you my number one favorite stimmy song! This track from the Legend soundtrack is simply called “Cottage”. It’s got a beautiful cyclical form that I wish would keep going indefinitely and the tones instantly make me take a deep breath and relax my neck and shoulders. I routinely replay this multiple times before I can move on from it.
- Next, here’s one of my favorite classical pieces, Copland’s “Appalachian Spring”, Section 7. I really love the way it starts with a simple theme and then builds and builds into a wall of sound before tapering off on the final note. I’m pretty sure there’s a term for that musical structure, but I don’t know enough music theory to know it. This is one of those pieces that paints an entire story in my head every time I listen to it.
- Another song that I could listen to on a loop for hours – Aurelio Voltaire’s cover of “Lovesong”. There are so many great elements to this arrangement – the strings, the vocals, the bass line (omg, the bass line!) – all layered and working together so beautifully, it’s pure sensory joy to listen to. In my opinion, this cover is better than the original (I know, that’s goth blasphemy, but I stand by it)!
- Speaking of voices I absolutely love, let’s talk about Rufus Wainwright. There are zillions of versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, but Wainwright’s is my all-time favorite. Don’t think I don’t like the original – I love the full lyric, and I think it makes the song better to include all the verses – but Wainwright’s voice on that up-and-down, rise-and-fall melody has just the perfect effect. It’s almost like steady breathing, very calming.
- I’m very drawn to those sort of swaying, undulating melodies. Here’s another one I love, “Gaelic Song” by Old Blind Dogs. The fact that it’s in Gaelic makes it even more soothing for me because I don’t have to listen for any words. It lets me relax my brain and not engage those language circuits that like to glitch out on me when I’m stressed.
- Here’s another song I listen to just for the sound, instead of the words: “Secrets” from One Republic. I first encountered this song in the movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, played on Tesla coils, and that’s still the way I hear it. I sort of know the lyrics at this point, but I hear them more as sounds than as words, so this is another restful song for me.
- “I’m Only Sleeping” is a great stimmy song for me for a couple of reasons. First, the melody perfectly encapsulates being half-awake and not wanting to get up. Second, it has this weird, drawn out finish that feels like dragging myself out of bed and muttering incoherently into my coffee. Gotta love a song that sounds exactly like I feel in the mornings!
- I have happy stimmy songs, too! One of my favorites that has a great repetition built into it is “Whaur Will We Gang?” by Battlefield Band. Not only is it funny, but like so many traditional Celtic tunes, it has a great rhythm that bounces and makes me want to dance! The harmonies are exceptionally lovely to boot.
- Most of my stimmy songs make me want to dance. Without question, one of the best is “Get Down” from the musical Six. If you don’t know the whole show, you really should (please check out the British version, though, the American production loses something in translation), because it’s freaking fantastic. This song is pure fun for me, I must dance to it and dancing is my favorite stim, so it’s kind of perfect.
- And lastly, speaking of perfect – it is my considered opinion that Queen’s “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy” is a perfect song. I can find no fault with it at all. It’s bright, cheerful, it drops out from under you and then climbs back up only to drop again. It’s the very best of Freddie Mercury’s flirtatious voice with a coy, strutting beat. I have never been able to listen to this without getting very happy.
And I think that’s a great point to end on. Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating, and everyone please stay safe and healthy!
What are your favorite stimmy songs? Do you have songs that you listen to for sounds, for lyrics, for rhythm? Do you feel your stimmy songs in other ways that can be hard to explain?