10 Classic Songs To Listen To On Repeat for Groundhog Day

February 2, 2020

© Xinhua


By Mark G. McLaughlin

Since 1993, Groundhog Day has been as much about the Bill Murray film as the little rodent from Punxsutawney who peaks out on February 2 looking for his shadow. In that film, a newscaster played by Murray goes to cover the annual event but gets caught in a time loop that makes the next day and every day after that not just Groundhog Day, but that same Groundhog Day. That includes waking up to the same song on the clock radio every morning.

If we were stuck in a similar time loop here, in no particular order, are 10 songs we could listen to on repeat.

SEE ALSO: Here are some picks from WCBS-FM DJs

“Desperado” - The Eagles

Recorded by The Eagles in 1973 (and also that same year by Linda Ronstadt), “Desperado” hearkens listeners back to the days of the Old West, conjuring up images of a lonely, aging outlaw, who is as unlucky at cards as he is in life – but could turn it all around if “you let somebody love you.” That message of hope resonates strongly; and if you were stuck in a Groundhog Day kind of time jail, this song could give you that hope you need to carry on and find a way out, as Bill Murray does when he let somebody, namely Andie McDowell, love him.

“Cinnamon Girl” - Neil Young

Neil Young wrote “Cinnamon Girl” in 1969 while battling the flu. In his lyrics, fevered visions of a girl he saw on the street playing the finger cymbals ebb in and out of references to his band, Crazy Horse, his life on the road and his own longing for love. The song has become an anthem for people who love girls with cinnamon-colored skin or hair, and for those who dream of being, as the chorus says, with whom they want to chase the moonlight.

“Call Me” - Blondie

“Call Me” may be from another movie (“American Gigolo”), in another time (1980) with a more dashing star (Richard Gere), but the message is much the same as the point of Groundhog Day: two people who need to be with each other. That Gere is the male equivalent of a call girl is part of the inside joke here, but the song is also a kicky, upbeat song full of hope and promises – and also makes for one heck of tune to drive by.

“White Rabbit” - Jefferson Airplane

Who doesn't appreciate “Alice in Wonderland?” Grace Slick may not be the little girl from the Victorian fantasy, but she certainly makes us believe she is taking us on a trip through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole in this hard rock classic. That this trip is a particularly spaced out trip on drugs is quite obvious, but that only makes it more timely – and more evocative of the times when she was the lead singer for Jefferson Airplane.

“Born to Run” - Bruce Springsteen

The Boss has given us many anthems and ballads, but even when put up against his own “Born in the USA” and “Dancing in the Dark,” there is just something about “Born to Run” that has made this his true signature piece. The themes of cutting loose, leaving everything behind and taking a chance to start a new life, make it big, find happiness and be with the one you love are irresistible and inspiring.

“Dock of the Bay” - Otis Redding

Otis Redding is one of those rare performers who knows how to make a listener feel what he feels – and feel it deeply, desperately and personally. He may be sittin' on the dock of the bay, but if his character is wasting his time he is definitely not wasting ours. Many of us have been in his position, not knowing what to do, where to turn or who to listen to – and sometimes just need to be resting our bones, while letting the tide slip away.

“Respect” - Aretha Franklin

The recent passing of the legendary Aretha Franklin left a large hole in the world of music, but as long as this song survives, we will always have her with us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T has also become something of a feminist anthem (although it was first recorded by a man, Otis Redding, three years before Aretha put her spin on it in 1967). It is also an anthem for anyone who feels that they are not being appreciated, and need something to give them the courage to stand up and demand at least a little of that R-E-S-P-E-C-T that Aretha demanded – and got.

“Refugee” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

With so many people all around the world “living like a refugee” this Tom Petty hit from 1979 has taken on added meaning. Like the person Petty is singing to, millions have been kicked around, kidnapped, held for ransom and abandoned – but when met with love, they can be rescued. This song tears at the heart – but also reminds us of what is best in people, and how love can make things right. Who doesn't need to hear that every day?

“Bohemian Rhapsody” - Queen

Rami Malek just won the Golden Globes for his portrayal of the late Freddie Mercury, and his (heavily mixed and enhanced) rendition of Queen's 1975 signature anthem has given the song yet another of its many boosts. True, it is over six minutes long and nobody remembers all of the lyrics, but that is just why people never get tired of hearing this song – because they always find something new, as well as something familiar.

“California Girls” - The Beach Boys

Everybody needs to escape once in a while, and there is no better place to escape to than the warm sands of a beach populated by pretty girls – and in California, and in the 1960s at that. While The Beach Boys pay homage to girls from all over the country, they make it very clear that as great as they are, they “wish they all could be California girls.” The song brings listeners back to what is remembered as a happier, lighter and more promising era – even if it really wasn't – and that is the whole point of this delightful piece of classic rock nostalgia.