Jungle gyms for the artist: Songs on repeat

Nina Simone.

Over the past, oh, six months or so, there have been three songs that get stuck in my head/that I will start singing to myself if nothing else is going on. One is Nina Simone’s “Be My Husband” as covered by Ed Sheeran, which has been on my eternal playlist since about January:

The more recent additions came from listening to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack on repeat, and its associated Pandora station. One is “Go to Sleep You Little Baby”:

And the last is “Bold Riley,” specifically as performed by Kate Rusby:

Someone who’s better at musical classification than me would probably be able to tell you exactly what genres each of those songs fits into (blues, bluegrass, and sea chantey, I think? I feel good about “Bold Riley” as a chantey, anyway). Whatever classification they might fall into, though, they all have a certain level of structural similarity that fascinates me. They’re incredibly simple songs, each with different repeating elements.

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