On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Florence & The Machine – Dog Days Are Over (2009)
” Dog Days Are Over” is a song by English indie rock band Florence and the Machine from their debut album (2009). It was originally scheduled for release on 24 November 2008 through Moshi Moshi Records in the UK as the album’s second single, but was later pushed back for release on 1 December 2008.
We’re leaving the US today, dear reader, and returning to the UK and to London. Formed in 2007, Florence & The Machine are an indie rock band led by the enigmatic Florence Welch on vocals. We join them in 2009 with the release of their debut album, Lungs, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the opening track on the record, Dog Days Are Over.
Dog Days Are Over initially came from a giant text display by Ugo Rondinone that Welch used to pass every day at Waterloo Bridge. The song itself is a powerful and emotive testament to the narrator’s changing circumstances. We hear of a woman who has been struck by happiness, seemingly out of nowhere. This has been most unexpected for this woman and she is now observing the end of the “dog days” of the title. Finding such happiness seems to be something she is ambivalent about though. The song puts a great emphasis on running away from this happiness that someone is offering but at the same time they are drawn to it.
I remember when Florence and the Machine first emerged and I was blown away by their debut album, Lungs. It is an undoubted masterpiece and lifting a song from it must have been difficult. I would have given a strong nudge for tracks such as Howl for consideration also. The group’s debut effort remains their most popular but they continue to this day and now have four albums to their name.
Favourite songs so far: