On the Beat

Your ultimate eclipse playlist: No, it doesn’t include ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’

Sting performs Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Kansas City. We added a song by his former band, The Police, “Invisible Sun” to our eclipse-themed playlist.
Sting performs Thursday, February 16, 2017 in Kansas City. We added a song by his former band, The Police, “Invisible Sun” to our eclipse-themed playlist. Special to the Star

The question of the moment is: Where will you be during the eclipse?

But there’s something else to consider, too: What will you be listening to?

With Monday’s sun disappearance drawing nigh, we present a soundtrack to the event in the form of a customized eclipse playlist. And no, it does not include Bonnie Tyler’s bombastic “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – a way-too-obvious choice.

1. Pet Shop Boys, “Silver Age” (1999) – “Earthquakes predicted, and someday soon/ A total eclipse of the sun and the moon.” And yet this is no mere prediction – a total eclipse of the sun will indeed happen across America on Monday.

2. Lou Reed, “No Money Down” (1986) – Doubt not, good people, this eclipse event really is going to happen, and it’s all because of science. So listen to your late, great and grumpy Uncle Lou: “The moon can eclipse even the sun.”

3. Carly Simon, “You’re So Vain” (1972) – Where Simon’s prince of vanity went North 45 years ago (“Then you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun”), you can get optimal views this time around right here in the South.

4. Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun” (1994) – Consider this a prayer that clouds and inclement weather will not intrude to rain on our viewing parade: “Black hole sun/ Won’t you come/ And wash away the rain?”

5. George Harrison, “Here Comes the Moon” (1979) – As zero hour for the total eclipse draws nigh, we acknowledge the approaching celestial body that makes it happen: “Looks like a little brother to the sun/ Or mother to the stars at night/ And here it is and here it comes/ Here comes the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon.”

6. Van Morrison, “Moondance” (1970) - Monday will be the rare instance when it’s a marvelous afternoon for a moondance. Moondancing isn’t just for nighttime anymore.

7. Pink Floyd, “Eclipse” (1973) – “And everything under the sun is in tune/ But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.” The sentiments closing out the English progressive-rock band’s landmark album “The Dark Side of the Moon.”

8. The Police, “Invisible Sun” (1981) – “There has to be an invisible sun/ That gives us hope when the whole day’s done.” But don’t panic, folks. This will only be a temporary darkness event.

9. Roxy Music, “Triptych” (1974) – And this song should provide a little reassurance: “Turning to other-worldly yearning/ Though the sun’s eclipse seems final, surely he will rise again.”

10. Iron Maiden, “Total Eclipse” (1982) – All the same, there’s still a chance that some people will panic: “Around the world the people stop with terror-stricken eyes/ A shadow cast upon them all to crush them like a fly.”

11. Manfred Mann, “Blinded by the Light” (1976) – So keep calm, and remember: Do not look at the sun without special eclipse glasses, lest the sun’s fiery corona render you blind.

12. Matthew Sweet, “Looking at the Sun” (1991) – Seriously, be careful: “Looking at the sun burned my eyes out, now I’m blind.”

13. Klaus Nomi, “Total Eclipse” (1981) – “Can’t come to grips with the total eclipse/ Just a slip of the lips and you’re done.” So maintain composure while remembering, this song might actually be about something besides the sun and the moon.

14. Cat Stevens, “Moonshadow” (1970) – It might feel a bit like the eclipse’s shadows are following you around.

15. The Beatles, “Here Comes the Sun” (1969) – And as the moon continues on its way and yields again to the orb we usually see during daylight hours, we bid this eclipse event adieu with another tune from Beatle George Harrison.

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

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