Dar Williams, “Spring Street”
Bright Eyes, “First Day of My Life” - (PS, Mom, you should watch Emma Approved, where I first encountered the song in a fan video.) It’s tempting, when including this song, to include “I Was Born This Morning (Cicada Song).” But in this song, and not in “Cicada Song,” this in the first day of a rebirth, while the POV character actually was alive in some form yesterday. “Cicada Song” is more a birth song than a rebirth one.
The Mountain Goats, “Woke Up New” - This one only makes the cut because of the title. I keep wanting the song to use the title. But I really like the concept of the title, and its vague optimism in the context of a song about the new self that happens in the aftermath of a relationship. I just wish that somewhere besides the title talked about the self-changes. But it also has an element of counterpoint to “First Day of My Life” and “Spring Street,” as different angles of rebirth in response to a relationship. Also I associate this song with the opening of Nick Dear's Frankenstein, like, learning how to function in reaction to the most basic circumstances. I think it's in that perspective, how the world baffles him, like a newborn monster.
The Byrds, “My Back Pages” - I know, I’m overdoing this song, and there’s no explicit rebirth. But I think that rebirth is kind of implicit in the idea of being younger now that you were in the past. I'll do The Byrds this time.
Dar Williams, “Farewell to the Old Me”
Deb Talan, “Ashes On Your Eyes” - Yeah, this song again. Gotta do a phoenix one, though. Rebirth isn’t always easy, but hey, at least the ashes look nice.
John Denver, “Rocky Mountain High”
Beta Radio, “I Am Mine”
Eliza Gilkyson, “Persephone” - Sure, I could have gone Hadestown in terms of Persephone songs, but they’re not so much about the seasons/descent and return from Hades thing that is the reason I needed a Persephone song. Plus, you might not already know this one. I didn’t, but I definitely knew the name Eliza Gilkyson somehow.
The Magnetic Fields, “I Was Born” - It can’t be all optimistic, right? But it’s so charming and kind of perfect. Maybe its “birth” is literally referring to the one that involves becoming a baby, but it has a cyclical sense, and something to say about “being someone new.”
(PS: These aren't what I was going for with this one, but I feel I'd be remiss in ignoring reincarnation songs like "Higher Ground" and "Galileo.")
(PPS: There might be another playlist coming, more along the lines of other holidays, with songs that mention Easter.)