The ‘Spill Weekly Song Challenge – #16 Take 2

We’re into the dying days of August, and have clearly had all the summer that we’re likely to get this year. Everyone seems to be on holiday (which is why you’re stuck with me again for the Challenge). My brain appears to have turned to mush (hence the need to come up with Plan B for the Challenge), and I have a terrifying number of different things to do and nowhere near enough time to do half of them in. The world economy is going to hell in a handcart. It would be all too easy to start feeling a bit down. However, this is also a world in which there are kittens. And box sets of Green Wing. And music. What is the song guaranteed to cheer you up, however bad things get?

166 thoughts on “The ‘Spill Weekly Song Challenge – #16 Take 2

  1. Well there a lots of songs that I really like to cheer me up, but one that I aways listen to if I am down and which always works is โ€œSaa, Sassoku Moriagete Ikou ka~!!โ€ or Lets Get Pumped Up! (More or less)

    It Is by Melon Kinenbi (or Melons Akimbo as Pairubu calls them) who are my favorite J-pop girl vocal band. Unfortunately they split last year. Here is a nice clip of them doing the track live from a few years ago. I am sure even if you do not know Japanese you can join in with the audience (they just say Hey! Hey! Hey!)

    I hope you like it!!

  2. I seem to remember a similar question where I answered with Persian Love by Holger Czukay but my second choice is this:

  3. Perhaps there simply is a finite, and relatively small, number of questions that can be asked about music without excluding people by being impossibly obscure. Sorry, everyone. Still, all of this is helping to keep me from lapsing further into gloom.

    • It is a great idea for a challenge Abahachi!!!

      I hope you are not really sad, and if you are I hope these songs cheer you up!!!

      Your kitten looks like a lot of fun! I am sure he cheers you up very much also!!!

  4. This is lovely!!! I had never heard this group before and I really liked it. I love the image of the littlest birds singing the prettiest songs, it quite beautiful actually!!!

  5. I’ve been feeling really discouraged lately, too!

    I think I might have answered a similar question once with Nina Simone’s Ooh Child. But I recently discovered this track…

    [audio src="" /]

    It’s You Only Live Once by Nigerian band SJob movement. I love it to pieces, it’s quite long and change-y, but it just keeps getting better and better. I posted it on the ‘Spill once, but I think maybe only Sakura listened. It’s nice because it’s not just things will get better, but that you can make them better…

  6. To clear up the feeling that we’ve done this (and prove that I am less occupied than Aba), here are the picks from the original 30-day Challenge Day 3:

    Abahachi: Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain and Tennille
    albahooky: Music Takes Me Up by Mr Scruff
    Ali Munday: Mr Blue Sky by ELO
    amylee: Here I Am by Al Green
    Balloonisterer: Universal Hall by The Waterboys
    barbryn: Nice Weather For Ducks by Lemon Jelly
    bethnoir: Painting Box by The Incredible String Band
    bishbosh: Do I Love You by Frank Wilson
    Blimpy: The Happy Song by The Aliens
    bluepeter: Survival by Osibisa
    CaroleBristol: Over The Hills And Far Away by Led Zeppelin
    chinhealer: Light of Love by Music Go Music
    Chris: Truckinโ€™ by Grateful Dead
    DaddyPig: The Return Of The Las Palmas Seven by Madness
    DarceysDad: Big Balls by AC/DC
    debby(m): Spinning Wheel by Blood, Sweat & Tears
    fintan28: Grazing In The Grass by Hugh Masekela
    fred flinstone: Wake Up Boo by The Boo Radleys
    goneforeign: Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & The Wailers
    lambretinha: Mana mana by The Muppets
    makinavaja: Handsworth Revolution by Steel Pulse
    Marconius7: Joy to the World by Three Dog Night
    May1366: Maggie May by Rod Stewart & The Faces
    Mnemosene: Persian by Holger Czukay
    nilpferd: Get Happy by Art Tatum
    pairubu: Banana by Shonen Knife
    panthersan: Goody Goody by 1910 Fruitgum Company
    rockingmitch: Sea Cruise by Frankie Ford
    saneshane: The Most Fun by Brakes
    severin: Feel Like Making by Elizabeth Archer and the Equators
    ShivSidecar: Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club
    Shoegazer: 5 Years Time by Noah & The Whale
    Steenbeck: Everybody Plays the Fool by The Main Ingredient
    ToffeeBoy: One Step Beyond by Madness
    treefrogdemon: End Of The Line by Traveling Wilburys
    webcorewebcore: The Sound Of Music by Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band
    wyngatecarpenter: Waterslide by The Dickies

    But a) there are some new people around now, and b) you can’t have too many songs that induce happiness.

  7. So my new choice is Little Feat‘s Sailin’ Shoes, a nonsensical celebration that you have to smile at.
    Everyone will start to cheer
    When you put on your sailin’ shoes

    • Any song about shoes will cheer me up!!!

      I have a pair of louis vuitton ankle boots that make me feel like a princess โ™ฅ

  8. Music I love tends to give me an endorphin boost, regardless of its mood or message, but I have to say that this summer malaise is giving me plenty of reasons to search out tunes that seem especially designed to console or recharge. And, having seen your Take One challenge, Aba, and because times really are that tough, I’m going to take the liberty of posting a preliminary answer before my actual choice.

    For those who missed it, Aba’s original challenge was for one-offs, which was very close to DsD’s challenge question a couple of months back so it’s no longer there but it was up long enough for me to get thinking about artists who have just one song that I would countenance in my collection – not because I’ve never got round to exploring them further or because they were one-hit wonders, but because I’m very much not a fan of the artist. Most performers that I’ve grown to dislike tend to have stuck around long enough to have done one thing that is sufficiently anomalous to the main body of their work, I can appreciate it in isolation. An example is Sting’s version of Spread A Little Happiness, which is so faithful a take on the 1929 version by Arthur Rosebery that it’s the older version I would have chosen (and sort of have, but go with me on this…). Of course, very literally, Spread A Little Happiness responds to the Take Two challenge and it is a song which can initiate a dead cat bounce in my mood. However, I’m aware it’s of a milieu which can polarise reactions (Sting’s version was recorded for the end credits of the film, in which he starred, of Dennis Potter’s Brimstone and Treacle, and Potter’s deployment of Tin Pan Alley standards in work like Pennies From Heaven and The Singing Detective, while helping to revive an interest in that music, stemmed from his own hatred of the songs) so I’ll only offer it up as a ghost answer to the ghost challenge that got taken down –

    – and deal with the actual challenge in place with something that is unequivocally uplifting. This album was one of my earliest jazz purchases, the first Blue Note I bought in the knowledge that the artwork on the sleeves was supposed to denote a rich seam of unspeakably cool music. This track became one of the staples at the first jazz club night my mates and I did, and hearing it now – especially when it gets to the intoxicating piano solo by the composer, Yusuf Salim – I can still feel exactly like an optimistic 19-year-old, tumbling into a musical wonderland, flush with freedom and ready for the world.
    Leo Parker – Low Brown

    • I oved both of these!!! I think they are very different of course, the first was really interesting and I loved the second. Both would definately cheer me up!!!

    • Thanks guys. If you didn’t know, Spread A Little Happiness is from a musical, Mr Cinders. I don’t know the story but I guess the Cinderella reference must be relevant. Also, this was popular as the Depression started to take hold so I can imagine it serving the very purpose then that I’ve given it now: to ease the pain of economic fuckery.

      Hey, Sakura, Ali’s got next week but will you have a Challenge for us soon?

    • “Worries” by Gisli

      always makes me happy.. listen out for the words, such as:

      if you had a lawyer you’d worry who to sue,
      if you had a penis you’d worry who to screw.

      very simple – but effective cheerer upper – for me

      • Hi Shane

        I suppose some people always worry whatever and that is message, I think it can cheer you up to think this! I liked the track, it sort of reminded me of Jonathan Richmond maybe?

  9. Hmm…
    Currently, I have to say that this is the one.
    However, I must warn you that the video is very, very rude. Includes nakeditidy and general stupid behaviour. The song , Tabibito is something about travelers or some such. The band, The Blue Hearts, Japan’s finest 1980s punk band.

    • I like this track but I think Linda Linda is the one I would play to cheer me up, but this is a nice cheerful track. also!!!

      They were banned from Japanese TV for “general stupid behaviour” actually one time!!!

      The video is strange indeed, the girl in it is actually Rui Sakuragi.

      • Well I’m not going to ask which part of her body you recognised !
        I might have gone for Linda, Linda but I think I might have played the song a little too much.
        It also “annoys” me a bit that the recorded versions just aren’t quite as good as a couple of the live takes on Youtube.
        Especially this version

      • Pairubu!!!! LOL!!! I did not recognise her silly!!! I just know it is her from reading forums about the Blue Hearts!!!

        I agree the live versions are much better. I wish I could have seen them but the split up a long time ago.

        Hiroto Kลmoto and Masatoshi Mashima the vocalist and guitarist are in the band The Cro-Magnons in English which is a good band also. Do you know them?

        This is the track Eight Beat by them

      • Yes, I’ve heard of the Cro-Magnons and watched the youtube stuff, really good but I can’t seem to find any downloads. There’s nothing ( as usual) on i-tunes ( our version).

  10. As I used “Sea Cruise” last time this was asked, I’m having a change!
    One of my favourite movies was “The Big Lebowski” and one of my favourite scenes is where The Dude has just got his Creedence tapes back and plays this whilst driving.

    It always cheers me up

      • Glad you liked it. I noticed on YouTube there are a few “dislikes” clicked. Can’t understand what there is to dislike about it. Must be miserable gits!

    • On any desert island list there would have to be one CCR album. Problem for me would be which one. See if I’d just heard this, Cosmo’s Factory would be in my hand but I’d still be seein’ Green River & Willy & the Poor Boys on the shelf. They were so damn good!

    • This is such a happy song!!! I really felt like dancing round my appartment!!! Really great!!!

      I do not think you be sad for too long listening to this track!!!

    • Ooh, I need to watch The Big Lebowski right now…no wait, I’ll have to listen to Fintan’s choice first, as that will upcheer me also.

  11. I don’t know my amswer to this one yet, but I’ve had a pig of a day, so I’m quite desperate to hear all your choices – sickly child to settle first, though. Hope I’ll catch up with you all later…

    • debby – hope you got around to the songs and sickly child is perking up.
      We have a snot filled 10 month old, who apart from not sleeping, is doing okay battling with his first cold. So I can feel for you a little bit – but obviously not to the extremes of Pig of a Day – hugs from the ‘spillers.

  12. Lots’a tings from the era of classic reggae, first one that comes to mind is a 12″ single I have by Bunny Wailer, ‘Jump, Jump’; that’ll get you up and dancing, and then there’s Bob’s ‘Jump Nyabinghi’. Thanks Chris for doing the legwork, my choice back then was another for this week but I’d posted it a week ago for Sakura. Here’s my two;

  13. “What is the song guaranteed to cheer you up, however bad things get?”
    Do you seriously mean “however bad things get”? What if we were desperately searching for scraps of food in a post nuclear landscape? I think then my favourite songs would seem hollow and pointless. I don’t think there is such a song. But then my wife thinks I tend to look on the gloomy side of things. So I’ll stick to “a song that generally cheers me up under most relatively normal circumstances”
    Songs that cheer me up can be roughly translated as “songs that I like” so something like Killing Joke’s Requiem or Varukers’ Led To The Slaughter would do fine! But I suppose we’re looking for songs that are also cheerful themselves.
    Apparently last time I posted silly comedy punks The Dickies so by sharp contrast here’s some silly comedy punks
    Splodgenessabounds – We’re Pathetique.

    Slightly at odds with the photo in the clip. This song always makes me smile not just because of the music but also the utterly ludicrous “introducing the band” lyrics. At least they rhyme.

    “What do you think when you look at Tone?
    I bet you think he’s like a garden gnome
    On the phone
    What do you think when you look at Grimble(?)?
    I bet you think he’s looking very nimble
    Like a thimble”

  14. Some great songs here, but I feel if I go through all the comments and say that I like them, people will think I’m making it up. Anyway, here’s one from me:

    Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive! Sometimes easier said than done, but we keep trying.

  15. Aba –

    Bertie is gorgeous. He looks like he’s smiling at you. And that he has the lamp chord in his mouth.

    Things aren’t great on this end either. This one actually always makes me bawl, which i’m not terrible good at otherwise. And then I feel better.

    Pachelbel – Canon in D-Major.

    Oh, you were expecting a Stones tune? Have one of those too.

      • Glad you liked it, Ali. Dunno what it is about it that makes me bawl, and it happens in the most inconvenient places sometimes. Once when a busker quartet was playing it in Penn Station, i started to cry and emptied all of the $1’s in my wallet into their violin case.

    • Oh, joy. This is one of those pieces I’ve heard more than once in my life, always liked it &, daft idiot that I am, always forget to take note of. Excellent Amy! And now for a bit of the Boys.

    • Damn, Amy – I must confess that , though I really like Beast Of Burden, I’ve never thought of it as a feel good song but somehow it works. Cool.

    • I like the Stones and I really like this song….but I do not think I would listen to it cheer me up….. But it is a great track!!!

      Unfortunately the Pachelbel video is blocked for here, but I will try and find it somewhere else to listen to.

    • The Pachebal just makes me want to sob uncontrollably, it’s so beautiful. I like the Stones, but no contest for me.

    • I’m sorry! But isn’t that Mozart in the picture. And I’m sorry again! I’m an early music snob, which is why I don’t comment too much on it, but try this version…original instruments, a little less syrupy.

      Sorry sorry sorry!

      • Actually, one of the loveliest things about Pachelbel’s canon is the use of Ostinato…

        “In music, an ostinato (derived from Italian: “stubborn”, compare English: obstinate) is a motif or phrase which is persistently repeated in the same musical voice. An ostinato is always a succession of equal sounds, wherein each note always has the same weight or stress. The repeating idea may be a rhythmic pattern, part of a tune, or a complete melody in itself.”

        and Jordi Saval happens to have a whole album of beautifully performed examples of Ostinato, called…Ostinato! It’s on Spotify…

      • Yep, that’s definitely Mozart, quite a few people on youtube called it out. A few of them also called out the Baumgartner version i posted for being too slow. The version you posted was lovely, and the tempo it seems that i usually hear it played at. And definitely more of a feel good smile piece. The version i posted is definitely on the sweet side, but it’s that pace and the violins that wring my guts. I can’t think of a version that i wouldn’t like, but i heard one heavy on the harpsichord that set my teeth on edge a bit…

      • And actually again…remember back in Dissonance week I suggested Purcell’s 3 Parts Upon a Ground, because there’s this achingly beautiful moment of dissonance that repeats throughout? It’s on Jordi Savall’s Ostinato album! Hoo boy! (I promise to stop now….)

      • Oh, don’t stop if you don’t want to! I’m at work here and am deeply enjoying and appreciating the classical, it’s all i can really listen to now as the other usual feel good stuff is to jumped up happy to be conducive to work. A few weeks ago i put up the instrumental challenge topic to get a work conducive playlist too.

      • There’s a lot of snobbery attached to this piece (not meaning you, Steen) as it’s become such fixture on “Best Classical Album in the World… Ever!” type compilations, but that doesn’t mean it’s not gorgeously perfect.

        Pity the poor cellist though – a sequence of 8 notes, repeated throughout – and no speeding up, or the violins will explode.

        Of course, the chord sequence is responsible for a good proportion of popular music:

  16. ok so Elizabeth Archer does it but this one also give me a bit of a boost. As John Peel said at the time, “an old Chris Spedding won’t ever let you down” and the title alone is kind of hopeful. Plus I like the way the music just builds and builds.

      • WOW!! What a different version of this great song! I really love it when I hear a new version of a song I know as it makes me look at the one I know differently. This is a really summer track and I reallenjoyed it!!!

    • Not a huge Bryan Ferry fan (can I say that?) but I enjoyed Elizabeth Archer. Very nice, very summery and very upbeat.

    • Hi Carole! The opening few bars of this track evoke the whole summer of love vibe for me! I love the track and the words are really nice, almost buddhist actually. I love this!!

    • Well I love the words ( from some book called The Bible, not sure who it’s by) but, unfortunately my Mum chose it for my Dad’s funeral so it’s a wee bit off for me now.

    • Allegedly it was King Solomon who wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes. So unless he had an unaccredited collaborator, the lyrics have all the wisdom of Solomon. Added to the fact that its a fair statement that everything has it’s season, it is incredibly uplifting tune. A great favourite.

    • I had never heard of them before and they are an interesting mix of glam rock and also rock and roll. But the track is on whihc really gets the feet tapping and It is really cheerful! I am sure you could be sad for long listenting to this!!!

    • I saw girls in go-go boots. How fun. That was just too much fun. I’ve heard their music, but not seen a clip before. Now I completely understand what complete rip off merchants Showaddywaddy were. (And they were crap.)

      Made me laugh out loud ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. every time I hear the word bounce or something bounces this comes into my head and it makes me grin from ear to ear and later in this episode Vince and Howard kiss, life is good when spent with the Boosh.

    I hope your kitties make you happy too Aba ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I don’t think it exists outside of the show, but I would definitely buy a CD of tunes from the Mighty Boosh, they are a very musically literate pair and I believe they are working on an album at the moment.

        So, it probably doesn’t count, but I wanted to make Abahachi smile.

    • Me and Mrs Wyngatecarpenter both enjoy Mighty Boosh’s New Romantic classic Future Sailors. “electronic castaways,digital stowaways,cyborg seadog tell me what you dream of” Always amuses us.

  18. This will work perfectly well. I’ve never tired of it ( 45 years & counting). Zal Yanovsky’s guitar? Just the happiest guitar ever. And John Sebastian is so pleased to be telling everyone this little tale of 1352 guitar pickers (been playin’ since they’se babies), their 16821 moms (how’s that work?) & , well, hell he can barely contain hisself – pick it!

    • WOW!!! Is that really 45 years old!!! It sounds so fresh!!! It is a very cheerful song and sure to chase away the blues from anyone!!!

    • Excellent choice. Zal is one of my favourite guitar players of all time, so restrained and tasteful.
      I’ve got an…unusual “Jewish” version of this song called Noshville Katz somewhere.

    • Great pick, Fintan, always loved this song.
      But 45 years old…………..Sheeeeeeesh. How old does that make me feel right now ?

  19. My original choice on the 30 day challenge was Osibisa with “Survival”, as it always brings a smile to my face.
    But, @Abahachi, if you are looking for something a little bit more life affirming and possitive in times of chaos and uncertainty, then I would suggest a bit of this. Never fails……………

    • I know the song of course, but the video is blocked for here, but I love this track and the words are really nice and as you say it is ” life affirming and possitive”

    • Phaaa…………..Never fails !!!!!!!!!!

      Why do I always have trouble posting youtube vid’s ??????????

      I’ll try to find another one.

  20. we should make a compilation CD of this, this challenge has thrown up a much better selection than those awful ones they sell in Tescos.

  21. In an attempt at digging myself out of the hole created by my failure to check the 30-Day Song Challenge challenges as well as the Spill Weekly Song Challange challenges, I’m going to argue that there is a small but significant difference between ‘Songs that Make You Happy’ and ‘Songs that Cheer You Up However Bad Things Get’. It is based, one might say, on Wyngate’s Razor: how many songs that would make you smile in normal circumstances would still have the same effect in the post-apocalyptic wasteland? My original selection of Captain & Tennille, much as I love it, would, I fear, simply sound cheesy and ironic; it’s a song that makes me feel happy if I’m already on a relatively even keel, but it’s not one I’d turn to to pull myself out of the slough of despond. Instead…

    It’s not that it’s a happy song, exactly, though the chord sequence going into the chorus is crafted to feel uplifting. Rather, it’s a song that perfectly captures the sensation of sunshine breaking through dark clouds, and offers a reminder of what human beings are capable of creating. Even in Wyngate’s dystopian future, I think this would give me a little bit of hope…

  22. I don’t have too many cheery-uppy songs in my collection, but I suppose it would have to be something relatively cheesy, but also quite good at the same time, something like:

    The Knack – “My Sharona”

    I can’t resist a good “wooohh”!!

  23. Back again… …thanks for organising a group hug, Shane – it worked wonders, today was a definite 100% improvement on yesterday! I still haven’t managed to listen to everyone’s choices, but I’m going to be making myself a playlist of everything on here.

    I’m going with wyngate & Herr hachi here: my music for picking you back up when you’ve hit rock bottom is Tehillim by Steve Reich. I’m not a particularly spiritual person by any stretch of the imagination, but this has helped carry me through dark moods and unhappy times, and is the only Desert Island Disc already packed.

    I came upon this concert while I was trawling youtube for a clip to post. It’s from the Minimal Music Festival in Amsterdam earlier this year – wish I’d been there! Warning: this is longer than yer av’rage youtube clip, but I don’t think you’re going to want to stop listening

  24. And, if I may recommend a really good pick-me-up for when you’re just feeling a bit slow and grumpy, probably because you’ve had to crawl out of bed at the crack of dawn to get the kids off to school on time and the tube was crowded and the bus was late and the skies were grey and gloomy [you get the picture]…
    … I find the RR list ‘songs about school’ does a nice job 9 times out of 10!

  25. It’s a ‘Spill challenge repeat for me, this is the song I chose to be played when the hippo carcass heads to the celestial ancestral swamp… and coincidentally enough I was feeling shitty this afternoon, put this on, and immediately felt tons better.
    It doesn’t do much; there’s a crisp drum break intro, the drums and percussion takes off hell for leather, the bass and rhythm guitar ride on some dangerous riffs and Eddie smears colours on top with his home built amplified wah-wah sax/trumpet hybrid. Still, perks me up every time.

    Eddie Harris- Instant Death.

    [audio src="" /]

  26. Well now, tfd – does listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers make you happy?

    Yes, mystery interlocutor, it surely does.

  27. Can I have another go? The Move video made me think of this one.

    This is a band that I don’t care for so is more fitting for the challenge. I only own this one song. If I am drained, feeling low, it never fails to give me a lift. It is not particularly uplifting in the lyrics, but it does give me an energy boost. I also love to watch the video on youtube. It has a lot going on, and I always spot something else going on – the ‘dogs playing poker’ picture on the wall, or some new character or something going on in the background. The Tractors also did a Christmas version of this song. I’m sure many of you know this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s