10 songs, 33 min, 12 min reading time.
At the time of writing, the UK and I have been under lockdown for around 23,040 minutes, which is to say, a very long time indeed (15 whole days). My main pleasure in life now mainly comes from food, thus here are some tracks that I feel complement my lockdown eating habits extremely well.
1) “Le Festin” – Camille
This song is suitable for a brunch, or possibly a late continental breakfast. Given the restrictions on leaving the country (or indeed, the house), the French lyrics will aid in your fantasies of holidaying in sunny Europe in a seaside cafe, drinking good coffee and being served by attractive waiters (or waitresses). Best enjoyed early in the morning, when the daily sense of monotony at lockdown has not yet set in, while you are still optimistic about the day ahead and hopeful that it may be a constructive one (not like yesterday, when you spent 10 hours on your phone and 0 on the book you’re trying to read).
Album: “Ratatouille Original Soundtrack (International Version)” (2007)
Label: Disney Enterprises
2) “La Bohème / Act 2: “Quando m’en vo'” (Musetta’s Waltz)” – Giacomo Puccini
This song should be enjoyed shortly after or before doing your quarantine hobby that you’ve recently taken up with the vague intention of coming out of lockdown somehow more accomplished than when we all went into it. Perhaps listen to it whilst eating one of your new dishes that you’re trying out in an attempt to get into cooking now you can’t eat out 4 – 5 times a week. It doesn’t matter if the dish is revolting and if you personally hate the music – I’ll admit opera’s hard to get into – what’s important is that the dish looks attractive enough to post on Instagram and that you feel a sense of culinary and cultural development.
Album: “Puccini: La Bohème” (1973)
Label: Decca Music Group
3) “Bananas and Blow” – Ween
A lack of any social contact results in the lack of any judgement of what you put in your body, allowing you the opportunity to do, say and eat whatever you like (providing supplies have not run out). Be it bananas and blow, or an entire bowl of cake mix mixed with some salad to give the dish a health kick, put this song on to remind yourself that, despite the curtailment of your freedom of movement for the foreseeable future, your freedom to do, say and eat whatever you want (within the confinement of your place of living) is there and waiting to be taken advantage of.
Album: “White Pepper” (2000)
Label: Elektra Entertainment Group
4) “1977” – Ana Tijoux
Savour this song with a glass of rich red wine (ribena juice works well too) and some dark Lindt chocolate (60% dark chocolate truffles if you have any). Many people have been singing the praises of ‘digidating’ (I’m personally unconvinced), and this rather sultry tune will aid in getting into it, convincing you that you’re not sat at your desk, mug of tea/gin in your hand, preparing to make awkward small talk with a fellow lonely stranger over a computer screen. Instead, you can imagine yourself in a dimly lit cocktail bar, looking and feeling incredibly glamorous, about to meet the love of your life (or at the very least, about to start a new, exciting fling).
Album: “1977” (2014)
Label: Vae Victis
5) “Canopée” – Polo & Pan
Spring has sprung, the trees are blossoming, Easter is nigh. In normal times, this weather would mean barbeques, picnics and boozy weekend afternoons at the pub. However, these are not normal times, so replace the picnics and pubs by putting on this song, laying a blanket down in your living room (or garden, if you have one), and chomping down on a hotdog, some crisps and a cider (you may need more alcohol than just this if you are having difficulty playing along with the idea that this is a real picnic). If you want to get into an even more summery mood, put some suncream on and coax some ants/wasps to come and investigate your food (regardless of whether you are indoors or outdoors, these classic elements of Spring should not be left out).
Album: “Caravelle” (2017)
Label: Hamburger Records
6) “Be Our Guest” – Angela Lansbury
Lockdown presents many an opportunity to crack up. You realise, in a deliria of loneliness and boredom, that being alone is no excuse not to have a dinner party. You gather up your flatmates or your family (if you have neither, you draw faces on a collection of balloons and arrange them around your dining table) and force a three course dinner on them. The guests are presented with their place names, a menu of what to expect that evening, complete with vegan and gluten free options. They cast concerned glances at the crazed gleam in your eye as you ask why they haven’t touched the cheese board, prod worriedly at what you’ve described on the menu as ‘Bruschetta à l’Angleterre’ but which looks oddly like beans on toast. Still, of all the ways to go stir crazy under lockdown, attempting to host a dinner party is hardly a bad one.
Album: “Beauty and the Beast (Special Edition) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]” (2002)
Label: Disney Enterprises
7) “Drink With Me” – Les Misérables – Original London Cast
No food should be consumed whilst listening to this. Instead, turn this on after your Zoom/House Party/Facetime/Skype/screen digidrinks with all your friends, who’ve all suddenly transformed from flesh and blood beings into small faces on your computer screen. While the song is on, finish off the bottle of wine or vodka that you bought for the digidrinks, silently contemplating when you will next see your loved ones in person, and ruefully regretting how you took their presence for granted in days gone by. Perhaps let a single tear slide down your cheek as you raise a silent toast to the friends you won’t be seeing for some time.
Album: “Les Misérables (Original 1985 London Cast Recording)” (1985)
8) “Pump It Up” – Endor
This song is a great song to listen to whilst chugging a bottle of water after a particularly intense home workout. You can also listen to it whilst eating a protein bar or whilst downing a cup of raw egg mix, as long as you do it aggressively and with the vague idea that this and the workout will ensure you keep in shape during lockdown. Who knows, maybe you’ll eventually emerge into the outside world with abs!
Single: “Pump It Up” (2019)
Label: Defected Records
9) “Requiem, K. 626: Lacrimosa” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Latin word ‘lacrimosa’ translates to ‘weeping.’ It’s therefore preferable if you listen to this classic by Mozart whilst weeping yourself late at night, binging on the mountains of chocolate, cakes and biscuits you bought to tide yourself over during lockdown. You bite down on cake, barely tasting it, trying to distract yourself from thinking of the uncertain, troubled future. As you shove yet another handful of maltesers into your gob, whilst dully contemplating your ever expanding quarantine stomach and your deep loneliness, take comfort in knowing that Joe Wicks is due to release another work out video tomorrow (which you’ll definitely be doing), thus allowing you this small indulgence.
Album: “Mozart: Requiem Realisations” (2013)
Label: King’s College, Cambridge
10) “In My Room – Remastered” – The Beach Boys
A song when you, like I, have the epiphany that there is no longer any need to leave your room for longer than half an hour or so a day for toilet breaks and food (even these can be avoided if you have a minifridge and a potty). Netflix, beds and a determination to do our duty to the nation by going into total isolation mean that it’s time to rearrange and furnish your room in such a fashion that the thought of venturing outside of it becomes laughable, no longer laudable. Lie in your bed, Netflix playing on your laptop in front of you, bowl of food balanced on your stomach, mug of tea within arms length on your bedside table, bladder freshly emptied, and let the smugness of knowing that nothing need induce you from this position for some hours fill your mind. Hum this song under your breath – it’s never been more apt.
Album: “Surfer Girl (Remastered)” (1963)
Label: Capitol Records