Monday, November 11, 2013

The Top 10 Running Songs from my mis-spent Youth

Overnight camping on the hike up
Blue Mountain Peak, Jamaica
Or should I call this post, 'Songs that have running in the lyrics that I can remember from my mis-spent youth'.

To be clear, I was not a runner back in university, college, high school or grade school.  In Jamaica I went on a number of hikes with my classmates while at Campion College.  At high school in Canada I tried Cross Country running for a fall semester at Clarkson Secondary School.  I loved the hiking...didn't like the cross country running so much. I remember one miserable run through muddy fields just north and west of Highway #10 and Dundas was a cold, drizzly fall afternoon:  "I moved to Canada from warm Jamaica to do this?"

I loved music though.  Hard rock which of course might seem odd since I grew up in Jamaica and was exposed to Reggae early on.  Even though I wasn't into running back then, I'm amazed with the 'running' references.  Check out my top 10 running songs:
  1. 'Running back to Saskatoon', The Guess Who.  While on vacation in Canada in 1967 I found a 45 RPM disc lying in a mall parking lot.  I picked it up and despite the scratches it was the Guess Who!  True story.  I already knew 'American Woman' but this song was catchy and oh so exotic.
  2. 'Running on Empty', Jackson Brown.  Just a catchy tune.  I really don't know any other Jackson Brown songs and am not a fan.  I just loved this sone.
  3. 'Ramble On', Led Zeppelin.  I'm still a huge Led Zeppelin fan.  Which is incongrous given the fact that I grew up in Jamaica and was exposed to Reggae early on.  For some reason I loved heavy metal and Led Zeppelin was the best at it.  For me this is the best ever Led Zeppelin helps that it refers to Lord of the Rings as well.
  4. 'Race with Devil on Spanish Highway', Al di Mineola.  Fusion-Jazz; matter what you called it, Al di Mineola was and still is a master of the guitar.  This is one of his best.
  5. 'Magic Carpet Ride', Stepenwolf.  OK, this really isn't a song about running but what would a Top 10 list without Stepenwolf.
  6. 'Long Distance Runaround', Yes.  I saw Yes live at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  Floor seats to boot!  They played 6 songs in 3 hours.  This was one of the highlights.  
  7. 'Downpressor Man', Peter Tosh.  Busted!  As I grew out of my teen years...and after living in Canada for a number of years...I 'discovered' Reggae.  This is one of my favourites.
  8. 'Born to Run', Bruce Springsteen.  I'm not a Springsteen fan.  This is a masterpiece.  Period!
  9. 'It Keeps you Running', Doobie Brothers.  I still am a big Doobie Brothers fan (and no it has nothing to do with the alternative meaning of 'Doobie'.  I love a ton of Doobie Brothers songs...this one because it has running in its title.
  10. 'Run Like Hell', Pink Floyd. the time this track came on the 'LP', we were usually quite mellow...running was the last thing on our minds.
True confession:  I really didn't have a mis-spent youth.  I stayed out of serious trouble for the most Grand Mother called me 'Mischevious'.  And I met and made friends with guys who are now my best friends.  Must have been the music.

That's my list.  What's yours?

Until next time...

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