THE BEST WAKE-UP SONGS EVER (that I am currently aware of)
I am not a morning person. I hate having to get out of bed. It is by far and away my least favourite part of the day, and given the opportunity, I would not get out of bed until hunger or the need to piss forced me to. Unfortunately, much like you, I too am forced to get out of bed on occasion to do boring things like go to lectures or hand in dissertations, and I therefore require something strong to get me out of bed. Sure, coffee works fine, but you have to actually have the will to stand up and walk into the kitchen to make it. Cocaine’s great too, but I can hardly afford that on a student’s budget. No, I needed something that would work whilst I was still in bed, and that wouldn’t cost me 40 quid a day. And seeing as I hate alarm clocks and love music, I decided that listening to some awesome wake up songs was probably the best solution to my hatred of mornings. So here you have it – for your pleasure, my list of the 10 best wake up songs (currently on my media player).
10 – Drive in Saturday by David Bowie
I feel kind of bad for not including Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen on this list, but although the tone of the song is incredibly upbeat and cheerful, the lyrics are so damn depressing that if you used it as a wake up song long enough to actually hear what he’s saying, you’d never want to leave the comfort of your warm bed ever again. This list shall therefore begin with one of my favourite Bowie songs – one that seems to describe young love as perfectly as I’ve ever heard, and in doing so manages to be one of Bowie’s most uplifting and happy songs that he recorded. It also makes for one hell of a wake-up track.
9 – It Was a Good Day by Ice Cube
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “A rap song on a list of wake up tracks? Is this guy out of his mind?” and the answer is “quite possibly”. However, with it’s very morning-y opening (“just waking up in the morning gotta thank God”) and upbeat tone (it’s about what it feels like to have a good day, and unfortunately those tend to only come when you actually get out of bed and do something with your day, unless you like sports and have a TV in your room like 25% of the men in the world – and yes, that is a made up statistic; aren’t you smart?) this song is the perfect way to start a day. Well, if you’re in to rap music, that is (hence the low spot). The song that this track samples, “Footsteps in the Dark” by the Isley Brothers, is also an awesome wake up track.
8 – Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News
Forget for a second that Patrick Bateman loves Huey Lewis and the News, and that I love Patrick Bateman, and forget for a second just what a good band Huey Lewis and the News are. Forget their catchy yet often intelligent lyrics, and their super cool eighties feel. Forget that this song is so light and happy, yet so powerful that it just makes you want to leap out of bed and dance and sing along to it. Forget all those things, and just think: This song was the theme to Back to the Future – How could it not make the list? And on the subject of 80s cheese...
7 – Keep Feeling Fascination by The Human League
Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled on all the versions of this video I can find on Youtube, for reasons completely unkown to me - so if you want to hear it, click the link above.
This song is so ridiculously cheesy, I guarantee that if you hear it first thing in the morning, you won’t be able to help yourself from getting out of bed and jumping in front of the mirror, singing along with it. Or at least, you won’t if you’re clinically insane. Still, you’ve got to admit, it’s just about upbeat enough to make you want to keep on living when you’re woken by it at 6 AM when your alarm goes off. Plus, it totally sounds like a Flight of the Conchords style parody of the 80s.
6 – The Joker by Steve Miller Band
I don’t know why, but whenever I try and picture myself waking up, as though watching a movie of my life, this is always the song that’s playing as I get out of bed (unless I’m literally watching that movie we filmed where I get out of bed, in which case it’s “Dangerous Man” by Trace Adkins). It’s such a chilled out and relaxed track, with such a cool undertone to it, that it just seems like an ideal song to wake up to. Plus, the bassline’s pretty awesome. However, this track always seems cooler to wake up to when you’re thinking about it the night before than it actually is – the reason being it’s so chilled out, it often just causes you to think “oh, man – how laid back would it be to just spend the day in bed?” and then promptly return to sleep. The same is somewhat true for the next track on this list...
5 – The Man in Me by Bob Dylan
For fans of the big Lebowski, this list ends here. There’s nothing that can top Bob’s soothing, laid back tune and cool, intelligent lyrics when it comes to a wake up song. However, the only way you’re getting out of bed after hearing this is if you get a sudden craving for a Wake ‘N’ Bake. This song will actively make you look forward to the morning, but I guarantee you it won’t make you get out of bed any faster! And speaking of Bob...
4 – All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
Much as it pains me to say it, there are occasions when the original Dylan versions of songs aren’t appropriate – and this is one of them (The other is playing the original version of “Knocking on Heavens Door” at a Douchebags’ Convention – as they genuinely seem to believe that Guns ‘N’ Roses wrote the song... and why waste art on people who spray themselves orange, and always pose with their lips pursed, as though they intend to kiss anyone they see with a camera as a reward for photographing their douchiness). The reason for this is that the Hendrix cover has a much heavier opening beat, and this energy continues throughout the entire song. The result of this is that it gets you pumped up, and ready to face the day. Also, it was in Watchmen. This is probably the first song mentioned on the list that will actually make you want to get out of bed, if only for the 3 and a Half minutes you’ll be air-guitaring before falling back to sleep.
3 – Here Comes Your Man by The Pixies
It’s just the Bassline. How do I explain it? It makes me want to leap out of bed and go surfing, despite the fact I have no idea how to surf beyond ‘you stand on the board, and the waves carry you along’. This song is just so damn awesome – if I lived in Mexico or Hawaii or anywhere tropical on a beach, I can imagine myself waking up to this same song at sunrise every day for the rest of my life, and dying a happy man. Unfortunately, that is a dream world, and where I am now, there are other, more appropriate, tracks to wake up to. Such as...
2 – Free Falling by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Most people know this song from the film Jerry Maguire, or possibly from that YouTube video of Tom Cruise driving off a bridge...
Wherever you know it from, however, it is impossible to deny that this is one hell of a wake-up song, incredibly powerful and upbeat in tone, even if the subject matter is very dark (though for all I know all those rumours of the song being about a girl’s suicide could be completely false, just like the time I was told the song “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins was “About that guy who could have saved that other guy from drowning, but didn’t, and Phil saw it all and then at his show he found him”. Oh wait, that was Stan... Still, the point remains) . This is one of the greatest sounds you can possibly hear first thing in the morning – Lucky from King of the Hill singing upbeat rock – inspiring stuff. It makes me feel like I should just go out and seize the day – that I can accomplish anything. And that is why it takes the number 2 spot on this list. However, no matter how good this song is, it just can’t compare to the Number One wake up song ever recorded. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:
1 – More Than A Feeling by Boston.