One of the most flattering things you can do for someone is to compile a list of songs just for them.
Regardless of the medium, playlists are powerful way to express friendship, interest, attraction, love, respect, gratitude… or even to just say “this music is good and you’re cool.” It doesn’t seem to matter whether you record the tracks on a cassette tape, burn them on a blank CD, transfer them as MP3s to someone’s iPod, or share them as a link to a streaming service… the symbolic act of sharing a curated piece of your music collection seems to be timeless.
Today, I’ve put together a mixed tape for all of you followers because, to be clear, you’re all pretty cool. Each track in the playlist represents one of the sanctuary’s residents thanks to something in the song title, artist name, or lyrical content that relates to their personality. I’ve included photos of the corresponding chimpanzees and bovines for your enjoyment, with a link for listening at the end.
Without further ado, here are the tracks in recommended listening order:
- “Annie’s Song” by John Denver Denver wrote this song while admiring the Rocky Mountains from a ski lift. If anyone likes to admire alpine views as much as he did, it’s Annie.
- “Burritos” by Sublime
If Burrito was a genre of music, he’d probably be something energetic and goofy that you can skank to… like Sublime’s legendary ska-punk.
- “Foxey Lady” by Jimi Hendrix
Nobody rocked harder than Hendrix… except perhaps Foxie. It’s easy to imagine her writing a spicy song like this about her new favorite doll.
- “You Are Not Alone” by Mavis Staples
Mave, like Mavis, can perform as a powerful individual or as a member of the group. Either way, they’re both smooth and soulful icons, and they’ve got your back.
- “Willy’s Song” by Rayland Baxter
Although the themes are more serious, this is an upbeat Americana song for lounging in and exploring the outdoors (just like Willy B likes to do).
- “Honeybee” by The Head and The Heart
This warm, melodic pop song by one of Washington state’s own is good for serenely making a big nest of blankets in your favorite nook. This activity also happens to be part of Honey B’s nightly routine.
- “Jody” by America
Just as the namesake of this song stole folk-rock songwriter Russ Ballard’s heart, Jody’s tender nature will steal yours. She’ll take all your veggies, too.
- “La Camisa Negra” by Juanes
This Colombian rock song was a hit in Latin America… and with my high school Spanish teacher, who made us translate it dozens of times. Thanks to those exercises, I now know that Negra means the color “black” in Spanish.
- “Honey, I’m Home” by Shania Twain
Shania is beloved by divas and country folks alike, bringing her blue-collar heritage to stadiums around the globe. You know who else has a bold attitude and fashionable look despite staying true to her wholesome country roots? Honey, the matriarch of the sanctuary’s rescued bovines.
- “Betsy” by Billie Marten
To be honest, I’m not sure what this muted, politically-charged song from 2019 has to do with Betsy, the rescued Jersey cow. Still, it’s a decent song and it’s the only one I could find with her name in the title.
- “Jamie All Over” by Mayday Parade
The mid-2000s flavor of pop-punk was defined by anthems that rocked hard, but most of the lyrics alluded to awkward romantic themes that resonated with moody teenagers at the time. Jamie Chimpanzee, like so many of that genre’s defining hits, has a soft and sensitive core guarded by a tense and prickly exterior.
- “Nutmeg” by Ghostface Killah (feat. RZA)
Is there a genre that successfully emulates the laid-back, confident demeanor of an enormous steer like Nutmeg? East Coast hip-hop with some R&B samples might do the trick. This track is something to graze on.
- “Missy” by The Airborne Toxic Event
The SoCal band’s frontman wrote this about a person with the same name whom he admired, but sometimes I wonder if Missy would prefer some high-tempo music to work out to. A throwback jam by Missy Elliot, maybe?
- “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
Like Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham (who split during the writing of this amazing album), sometimes its best to go off and do your own thing. Meredith is the most aloof and independent of the cattle, so this song is representative of her spirit.
Anyway, that’s the random collection of songs that I’ve assembled for your listening pleasure. I even made the mix into a public playlist on Spotify, so you can stream it by clicking here if you have an account!
Let me know if there are any songs that remind you of the sanctuary’s primate and bovine residents, and I can add them to the list!