England Europe France Travel Tips

Playlist: 2020 Spring Break Trip

February 2, 2020

In case you haven’t heard, I am chaperoning a trip over spring break with my school to London & Paris (along with some surrounding areas). A co-sponsor & myself decided it would be fun to come up with a “playlist” for the trip independently and then share our lists with each other. Some songs popped into my head immediately & others required some deeper thought. Below is my playlist for our spring break trip (with links to YouTube) & my explanation as to why they are on my list.

London & the Surroundings Areas

  • “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles
    • This song is on the list thanks to The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan. This song plays in the movie when “Annie” first arrives in London and walks around the city with her mom. Ever since that moment, I have always associated “Here Comes the Sun” with London.
  • “Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon
    • I mean…come on. Do I even have to explain this one? This song is just so quirky, I love it.
  • “A Foggy Day (In London Town)” – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
    • England certainly does not have a reputation for sunshine and yet the idea of a light rain & some fog can sound romantic instead of miserable in London. There are a few versions of this song, but this one is my favorite.
    • The British Museum certainly has NOT lost it’s charm on me though…
  • “London Calling” – The Clash
    • I fell in love with British bands in high school & this song is just the most epic of them all. I loved the rhythm and feel of this angsty song.
  • “God Save the Queen” – The Sex Pistols
    • Although, personally, not an enjoyable song to listen to I think it evokes the feel of Britain during the punk 80’s really well. Plus I love Queen Elizabeth II and I really like the album art for this song (I really picked this song for the art lol).
  • “Stonehenge” – Ylivs
    • If you have never heard this song you life is missing some much needed weird-ass humor. This song really should be watched with the lyrics on, you’ll die. So. So. Good.
    • P.S. this song is explicit!
  • “Da Vinci” – Weezer
    • Ok so one of the things I am most looking forward to in London is the British Museum and this song mentions the Rosetta Stone, which is something I am VERY excited to see. The song also refers to Stephen Hawking, a famous British astrophysics who wrote the book A Brief History of Time (excellent by the way!). This song is probably the weakest on the London list, I’ll admit it. lol
  • James Bond Theme Song
    • Ahhh Bond. James Bond. My father raised me on James Bond and he just oozes British sex appeal. I hope I can strut through London 10% as cool as James Bond can.

I feel conflicted if “Waterloo” by ABBA (the version in Mamma Mia 2 of course) belongs in the “London” or “Paris” section. In case you don’t know, I teach world history so this song was definitely going on my list! Brief history lesson: Waterloo is the battle in which the British, famously lead by the Duke of Wellington, beat Napoleon in 1815 in Belgium thereby ending his empire and sending him into exile…again.

Paris & Versailles

  • “I want Candy” – Bow Wow Wow (Kevin Shields Remix)
    • So this song seems like a totally random choice UNTIL you watch Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antionette movie. Swoon! It is all about the luscious life at Versailles in the court of Louis XVI (right before the French Revolution) and since were are visiting Versailles, I knew this song would be perfect for the list.
  • “La Vien En Rose” – Edith Piaf
    • Cliche, I know…but when in France right!?
  • “The Bells of Notre Dame “– The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • This song is incredibly beautiful, moving and poignant considering the fires at Notre Dame Cathedral. My art history professor always said “art is an endangered species” if we don’t preserve it, we will lose it. We will see Notre Dame, but obviously not be able to go in. Such a sad, sad day for the lovers of history & culture.
  • “Les Champs Elysees” – Walk Off the Earth
    • This song, like “Le Vien En Rose,” is super Paris cliche but I love it. I especially love the theatrical/musical productions of the band Walk Off the Earth which is why I picked this version.
  • “Apes**t” – Beyonce & Jay-Z 
    • This song is explicit but you have to watch the music video to *get* why it’s on the list. I think it is an incredible reversal of the “white man’s culture” as these two powerfully wealthy & influence black artists take over the Louvre.
  • “Makeba” – Jain
    • This song is kinda random but I really like it and the singer is French. My husband told me this song was played at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that France hosted. I know this is a total stretch but a) I needed to get to 8 songs and b) its a super fun, catchy song
  • “One Day I’ll Fly Away” – Moulin Rouge
    • I love this movie! The music, the costumes, the tragic storyline! Moulin Rouge takes place in France around the turn on the last century and just oozes belle epoque glamour. This song, in particular, is also just so romantic, in a doomed kind of way.
  • “Drink with Me” – Les Miserables 
    • I’m realizing now that my Paris list is super stereotypical lol but ya’ll, I teach history, can you be surprised I put this song on the list? You shouldn’t be.

JMF

P.S. This was so much fun I might have to do this for every trip I take from here on out!

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