The Playlist: Perfect Songs for May Days
10 tunes worth adding to your playlist this month.
1. For May Day (May 1)
“Help!” by The Beatles (Click Here To Listen)
The distress signal preferred by pilots, ship captains and other daring sorts can also be expressed in song-as aptly demonstrated by the Fab Four and their sweet, harmony-drenched pop number about feeling lost in the world.
2. For World Press Freedom Day (May 3)
“Party for the Fight to Write” by Atmosphere (Click Here To Listen)
In many parts of the world, journalists whose work runs afoul of the parties in power are swiftly muzzled-or worse. This groove-oriented jam by hip-hop artist Atmosphere pays tribute to the importance of free speech, a right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. For Star Wars Day (May 4)
“A New Hope” by Blink-182 (Click Here To Listen)
May the Fourth, uh Force, be with you. Celebrate sci-fi’s enduring franchise with this fast-paced pop-punk tribute to the Rebel Alliance’s bun-headed muse, Princess Leia.
4. For Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
“Cinco de Mayo” by Liz Phair (Click Here To Listen)
In Mexico, the fifth of May marks the country’s triumph over the French army in 1862. This “Cinco de Mayo,” a slightly sardonic song about self-destructive characters exiting a go-nowhere relationship, is decidedly apolitical, but it’s a fun snapshot of small-scale, less noble battles.
5. For No Socks Day (May 8)
“Popsicle Toes” by Diana Krall (Click Here To Listen)
It takes a brave soul-or at least one with great circulation-to go sockless in Canada before June. Krall’s sultry interpretation of this smooth jazz number will have you dancing barefoot, weather be damned.
6. For Mother’s Day (May 12)
“Hey Mama” by Kanye West (Click Here To Listen)
Regardless of how you feel about the outré rapper and producer, the guy loved his late mother more than anything, and this heartfelt song says it all.
7. For Victoria Day (May 20)
“Queen Victoria” by Leonard Cohen (Click Here To Listen)
A national treasure pays po-faced tribute to an international figurehead. Not necessarily the soundtrack you want for your May 2-4 weekend, but worthwhile all the same.
8. For Lucky Penny Day (May 23)
“Lucky Penny” by Regina Spektor (Click Here To Listen)
Now that Canada has pulled the plug on shiny new coppers, future generations will miss out on the thrill of spotting a filthy penny on the sidewalk (it’s good luck-really!). Unlike the one-centers, this whimsical song by pop’s esoteric piano pounder will live on.
9. For National Macaroon Day (May 31)
“Cookie Day” by Shonen Knife (Click Here To Listen)
Sugar-crusted, jittery and insanely sweet, this paean to baked goods by a food-obsessed Japanese pop duo is as close to sweet and chewy macaroons as you can get in musical form.