Electra Street Playlist No. 5

Electra Street Playlist No. 5


No. 5

November 2015

My earliest connection between home and music are songs like “Jeg er Zigeuner [I’m a Gypsy].” My mother’s family of the traveling people identified with these songs in their combination of schlagerand Weltschmertz. I still know this song by heart.

Soon, though, my tastes changed, and the dream of fleeing home became stronger than the desire to stay. Connected. Savage Rose’s “Wild Child” helped me do that.

“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics has a special sense of home for me. I was 18, had just moved to Lithuania, fallen in love with an American, and Eurythmics on repeat was the soundtrack to that year of displacement and love.

“Sweet Dreams” was my way into that relationship. “Thorn in My Side” was my way out.  But, after all, I got what I deserved …

Some Other Songs

Marianne Faithfull’s “Vagabond Ways.” Because I know, somewhere, maybe, that my roaming ways are more than a fear of home.

Could also be combined with her cover of Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” because I’m still not quite sure that up there on the hill is home to me.

Monica Zetterlund and Bill Evans: “Some Other Time.”  Because when home is everywhere and, maybe, nowhere—“some other time” becomes a way of living. And just because Zetterlund was a fantastic jazz singer.  When I’m homesick for a by now imagined Scandinavia, Zetterlund’s album with Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, is on repeat.  Remember, folks: time is racing.

And, finally, Janis Ian’s “Lover’s Lullaby” because the “The moon was made for wakeful boys /to keep the night away” and because sleep in so many ways is where we might be most at home.

Ken Nielsen is Senior Lecturer and Associate Director for the Writing Center at NYUAD.



Nikolaj Nielsen


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