img_1856By Karla Haworth, Guest Blogger

                  Along with modern conveniences such as backpacks, 70 SPF sunscreen, and high-performance footgear, some of the All Souls pilgrims have brought our MP3 players on the Camino. I carried mine in Ziploc bag, hidden in a shadowy corner of my backpack, thinking of it a bit as a shot of adrenaline to the heart: If the hike gets too hard, I’ll use it as a last resort. I thought, as Bruce so perfectly put it, that playing music on the Camino would “cheapen the experience.” After all, wasn’t part of the reason we undertook this arduous journey to commune with nature, and hear the birds and the wind whisper through the eucalyptus forests? To hear that lovely babbling brook or the baaahs of the sheep? It should be enough, I reasoned, to chant and sing with the others and on my own, and to take full notice what was going on around me.

                  I lasted two days. (Bruce lasted one, Shana and Carol three.) Ecstatic to complete my first 14-mile hike, I celebrated with what turned out to be a bit too much wine — and too little sleep — Friday night. So yesterday (on our “short” hike of just eight miles), I was hurting. I hiked much of the day alone, and as lunchtime came and went, I had to fight the impulse to curl up in a garden and pass out in the shade.

                  Then I remembered my gleaming lime-green savior: El iPod.

                  I ferreted through my pack like a mole, throwing out bread and apples and Band Aids, looking for that little baggie. In it was my fix, in the form of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, Dar Williams, and Paste magazine music samplers. I put it on shuffle and found myself thinking about the lyrics much more, and how they relate to my path on this road. And I thought about the awesome power of music, to calm or to invigorate; to amaze and move me to tears; and to keep my feet moving, one in front of the other, along what seemed like a dreadfully long stretch along the highway.

                  Shana, who likes to discover new music, suggested that people in our group swap iPods for a day or two. I like this, not only to hear new artists, but also because you can learn something about  a person from the content of her iPod.

                  Today, I had Nina’s. I was delighted to discover such classics as “Bust a Move” (Young MC) and “My Lovin'” (En Vogue), which got commercial airplay at  about the time Nina was entering first grade. But I did a little jig — an accomplishment, mind you, in hiking boots while carrying 15 pounds of water and food — when I came across “Shoop” by Salt ‘n’ Peppa. This is one of my all-time favorite upbeat songs. It’s also the perfect tempo for walking.* And how crabby can you be bopping along to lyrics like this, while watching Shana doing a little musically-inspired dance of joy in front of a statue of Jesus?

                  You’re packed and you’re stacked

                  ‘specially in the back

                  I wanna thank your mother for a butt like that.

                  Can I get some fries with that shake-shake booty

                  If looks could kill you would be an uzi…

                  So it’s official: I’ll walk these last two days, listening to the soundtracks of both nature and my iPod. And I’ll remember, in the words of Deee-Lite, that the “groove is in the heart.”

                  *For those of you reading at home, stand up and repeat after me: “Shoop, shoop-be-doop, shoop-be-doop, shoop-be-doop-be-do-ba.” Now step in time to that.  Repeat for six and half hours straight, and that’s how far we walked today.


Carol B’s playlist:

Feeling Good – Muse

Peer Gynt Suite #1 – Edvard Grieg

Many Rivers to Cross – Jimmy Cliff

Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Spring 2008 – Architecture in Helsinki

Monk’s Mood – Thelonius Monk

Good Day Sunshine – The Beatles

Day Dream – Duke Ellington

Sprout and the Bean – Joanna Newsom


Barbara’s play list:

Agnus Dei – Los Angeles Master Chorale (from the album “Lux Aeterna”)

Dirait-On – Los Angeles Master Chorale (from the album “Lux Aeterna”)

Ribbons In the Sky – Stevie Wonder

I Love Me Some Him – Toni Braxton

Richard Pryor: The Anthology: 1968-1992

Make Someone Happy – Dianne Reeves

For All We Know – Dianne Reeves

Ain’t Nobody – Chaka Kahn

Strange Fruit – Cassandra Wilson

Still Here – Jill Scott


Carol W’s play list:

Beethoven piano sonatas

Brahms cello sonatas

Libana: A Circle Is Cast


Bruce and Russell’s  play list:

Birkalaten – Music From All Souls

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot 

Mountain Hare Krishna – Krishna Das

Say a Prayer – Duran Duran

Southern Cross – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Hallelujah – kd lang

Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens

You Learn – Alanis Morissette

Hard Sun – Eddie Vedder


Nina’s play list:

Pie Jesu – Chorus Angelicus

Taking the Long Way Home – Dixie Chicks

Nightingale – Norah Jones

Out of the Woods – Tracy Thorn

Roly Poly – The Little Willies

The Christians and the Pagans – Dar Williams

Ponte de Areia – Esperanza Spalding

Wade in Duh Water – All Souls Choir

The Origins of Love – from Hedwig & the Angry Inch


Karla’s playlist:

Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite

Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright – Bob Marley

Where Soul Meets Body – Death Cab For Cutie

It’s Alright – Dar Williams

Lost! – Coldplay

Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Hold It Up to the Light – David Wilcox

I’m Alive – Jackson Browne

Lost Coastlines – Okkervil River

Middle Way – Ric Hordinski

Save Me – The Subdudes

Where To Go From Here – Teddy Thompson

Windmills – Toad the Wet Sprocket

Everybody Got Their Something – Nikki Costa

It’s My Life – No Doubt

Good Day – Luce

Fort Battle – Trevor Jones (from Last of the Mohicans soundtrack)

Dance With the Angels – Lisa Loeb

Driftwood – Travis

I Quit – Meat Puppets

Change Your Mind – Sister Hazel

All I Need Is Everything – Over the Rhine


Meg’s play list: