Lucas Center Blog

My Covid Playlist, vol. 2: Melancholia Edition

April 02, 2020  / Bill Reynolds, PhD  / Tags: music, diversion, playlist, sadness, youtube, covid, melancholy

Songs this week skew toward the ‘80s and have a distinctly pensive, even wistful, vibe. All I can think is that the Reagan-Bush era must have bummed me out bigly. Politics aside, I’m pretty sure whatever free-floating anxiety from that period affected my affinity for sad songs was inspired by a different kind of invisible threat than what we’re currently facing:

 Fallout Shelter Sign

Perhaps we’re less likely today to experience mutually assured destruction, but there’re plenty of other reasons to be freaking out. And though this playlist may be filled with sad songs, you’ll find that most of them are quite soothing, and we could all use a bit of that these days.

Early Suzanne Vega has a melancholy edge that matches my mood in the evening. She even has an isolation theme in this one. (And a bonus track that makes me sad, too.) Both songs come from the album Solitude Standing. Fitting, no?

Sinead O’Connor certainly knew how to create a particular vibe. Like her, these days I “Feel So Different.”

One of the blue-eyed soul singers who always gets me: I’ve wasted all my tears

I guess my mood carried into the ‘90s. Beth Orton can sing sad songs with the best of them, with the voice of an angel. Every day is just like the day before, All alone a million miles from shore. And kd lang made a masterpiece in 1992 with Ingénue.

Fate must have a reason,

Why else endure the season

Of hollow soul…

Finally, if you want to talk about creating a particular vibe…Nina Simone was the queen. When I think more than I want to think

So, what’s on your “shelter in place” playlist? If you have additional ideas, advice, suggestions, music, or funny bits that you would like to share with your colleagues, send it all to or and we will post it to the blog.