I only found RefWorks at 5 am. So mad.
I only found RefWorks at 5 am. So mad.
It’s 4:30 am and I haven’t finished either of my essay outlines that are due today. What am I doing with my life? Oh yeah… just still not knowing how to deal with anything or how to say no when someone begs me to take their shift at work.
Anonymous said: Top ten best songs for swing?
Ooh, good question there, anon!
I wish that I could give you a definite answer. I wish that I could say, “Oh yes, these are the absolute ten best songs for swing dancing out there, and that’s a fact.” But I can’t do that, because “best” is a subjective term, and each person has their own idea of what the “best” songs are for swing. This is a fact that both perturbs my scientific mind and pleases my artistic soul. While everyone’s got their own musical taste and ideas of what the best swing dance songs are, there are some general things that make for a good swing song - the chief of these standards is this: the music has to make you want to move. So, while I cannot give you an absolute list of the top ten best songs for swing dancing, I can give you a list of my favorites (in context of how good they are for dancing, not just how much I like them), all of which inspire movement in me.
Since you just said swing, I’ll give lists for both lindy hop and west coast swing. Bonus! ;)
- Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen. I tried to pick which artist, I really did. But there are so many versions of this song, and I love almost all of them! This song is one of my most favorite songs of all time, and it’s great for dancing. I love how dynamic it is; you can really express yourself. It has bluesy bits, swinging stretches, and some opportunities for fast dancing.
- Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Louis Jordan. This song is straight up silly. In that way, I feel like it embodies swing dancing. Also, it’s the perfect song for peckin’.
- I Diddle by Dinah Washington. The first time I heard this song, it was one of those moments where you just go, “OOOOH.” It’s got a great beat, fun lyrics, and it’s got a lot of character. And really, how could you not love a song where “hehe” is part of the lyrics? Super fun to dance to.
- Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? by Count Basie and His Orchestra. I think I first discovered this song via Pandora. I love this one for reasons not fully known. It’s just a fun song.
- Diga Diga Doo by Jonathan Stout And His Campus Five feat. Hilary Alexander. I love this song a lot. It’s quite fast, and is great for Charleston as well. Two other versions I love are by Artie Shaw and Duke Ellington.
- Comes Love by Artie Shaw & His Orchestra feat. Helen Forrest. First off, this has Helen Forrest, whom I adore. Second, I love the overall sound of the song, and I’ve always loved the lyrics. It’s a slowish lindy.
- Harlem Mad by Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators feat. Meschiya Lake. This is a pretty fast one. I’m a big fan of Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators!
- Minnie the Moocher by Cab Calloway. I cannot be dissuaded from my love for this song. It’s a bluesy lindy or a lindy-ish blues. I know every single word and, yes, I will sing them all while I dance.
- On Revival Day by LaVern Baker. This song has a great tempo, it’s very happy, and it’s playful.
- Yes, Indeed! by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra. I lovelovelovelovelove Tommy Dorsey. He’s one of my favorites - if not my number one - of the classic swing dudes.
I own quite a few of his vinyls. Yes, Indeed! is probably my favorite song of his for lindy hop. It fits lindy hop so well.
West coast swing
Pinpointing “best” songs for WCS is even more difficult than for lindy hop, simply due to the nature of the dance. You can make any song into a west coast, really. It should be noted that, for WCS, I generally seem to prefer bluesy/sultry/R&B more than funky/pop-y/energetic.
- Tonight (Best You Ever Had) by John Legend feat. Ludacris. This is just a great song for west coast. Personal anecdote: one time I was dancing to this song and I was singing along. The guy I was dancing with said, “I take it you know this song?” and I, singing along, responded with: “I don’t wanna brag…” and it was a golden moment. Then, months later, I was dancing with someone else to this and I told them the story and just so happened to sing “I don’t wanna brag” at just the right time again. Amazing.
- No Diggity by Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen. A classic. I also really love the Chet Faker cover.
- California Dreamin’ by Queen Latifah. In my opinion, Queen Latifah’s cover of this song is the best version out there. California Dreamin’ is my magical song; every dance I’ve ever had to this song has been amazing. Like, people on the sides applauded after watching me dance to it. (Which is remarkable considering I’m pretty much a derp-face Westie.)
- Heartbreak Hotel by Grieves. Words cannot express how much I love this song. Dancing to it is like a dream. It’s a slow, lyrical west coast and it actually stumps quite a few dancers. But if you can find a partner who is comfortable with their musicality, this song is absolutely magical.
- Sexxx Dreams by Lady Gaga. Some venues won’t even go near this song, and I mean… I understand why. But I love it so much. It’s great fun to dance to; there’s a lot of room to play around and it’s ah-may-zing for double trouble and/or stealing.
- I See Fire (Kygo Remix) by Ed Sheeran. I’m not generally a fan of remixes, but this one is superb. I got to do a legendary double trouble to this with two friends of mine, so it holds sentimental value. Worth noting: Ed Sheeran actually has quite a few good songs for dancing.
- Traum by CRo. Yes, this song is in German. I’ve never heard it played at any WCS dances, which make sense considering I live in the US. This is a fast west coast, but quite happy and enjoyable. I really enjoy dancing to it.
- Don’t Wait by Mapei. Just a beautiful song. Its beat is easy to hear, too.
- Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz. This song just suits west coast. It just feels so right. Am I wrong? ;)
- Latch (Acoustic) by Sam Smith. Latch has recently really caught on (pun not intended) with the competition circuit, and for good reason. For starters, it’s a beautiful song. But it’s great for WCS. A lot of acoustic songs don’t quite cut it, but this one works. The original, a collaboration between Disclosure and Sam Smith, also works for west coast, but it has a decidedly different flavor. Personally, I prefer the acoustic - but the original is good, too. (Worth noting: La La Latch by Pentatonix is amazing and works as a fast WCS.)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this verbose listing. It’s not a definitive list of the “best” songs for swing, or even the most popular - but it’s a list of songs that make me need to dance, that suit the mood of the dance, that are quality pieces. I hope this answers your question well enough!
Haven’t been sick-sick since I had to call in to work because I’d lost my voice completely over the summer, but I’m on my third cold sore this month. I’m also exhausted and apparently it’s not because of my thyroid or else I would have had a phone call from the doctor’s office after I got my bloodwork done.
Would absolutely love to get this stuff sorted out.