A Musical Antidote for the Winter Blues

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Seeing single-digit temperatures across much of the U.S. and the thermometer finally dipping here in Los Angeles, I felt compelled to offer a fantasy getaway to alternative climes to defrost via this Spotify playlist. So crank up the heater (or put on another layer), and imagine yourself sipping a cocktail on the beach as you listen. Ahhhh!

  1. Let’s Get Away from It All / Frank Sinatra / Capitol Records: Classic Sinatra takes off on multiple adventures, on the Lockheed Constellation with Billy May providing lively orchestral backup.
  2. Haiti / Issa El Saieh / Mini Records (Haiti): The great Issa El Saieh’s love song to his beloved Haiti. Notice how he pronounces the umlaut on the “i” in Haïti, which thus sounds like “hi-aaa-tee.”
  3. Joía / Boy Ge Mendes / Lusafrica (Cape Verde): The Cape Verdean concept of “morabeza” is similar to Hawaiian aloha, and this Boy Ge Mendes’ song delivers a fresh island breeze.
  4. Domingo em Copacabana / Elis Regina / Columbia (Brazil): The late great Elis Regina’s song helps us spend a Sunday afternoon on Rio’s famous Copacabana beach.   
  5. Vatapá / Danilo Caymmi / DRG Records (Brazil): Danilo Caymmi sings his father Dorival’s famous song about a savory Brazilian dish. Dorival Caymmi is the godfather of modern Brazilian music. He introduced Carmen Miranda to the world in 1939, and wrote songs about Bahia, sun, fisherman, and life.
  6. Amor De Loca Juventud / Buena Vista Social Club / World Circuit (Cuba): A song about crazy youth from the great, short-lived Cuban band. Never have octogenarian musicians produced so much joyous music in so short a time.
  7. Parfum Des Iles / Kali / Hibiscus Records (Martinique): The French Caribbean entices us with many wonderful tropical songs, and here is one of them.                         
  8. To Oe Unauna Te Ua’a Taina / Maeva Tahiti / Editions Le Motu (Tahiti): A lovely old-timey choral piece evocative of the islands.
  9. White Sandy Beach of Hawai’i / Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole / Big Boy Records (Hawai’i): Few singers can invoke the Hawaiian spirit like the late Brother Iz.
  10. Over the Rainbow / Melody Gardot / Verve: A nice version of the beloved fantasy getaway song.
  11. The Warmth of the Sun / The Beach Boys / Capitol Records: Hope you’re feeling the warmth of the sun by this point in the playlist!                                                              

Bonus video: Trade Winds / Mark Almond / One Way Records: A fantasy voyage into a tropical paradise. I used to feature this 1980’s song often on Morning Becomes Eclectic. I couldn’t find it on Spotify, but luckily it’s on Youtube.