“Mr. Diaz, Can I Turn This in Late, Please?”: A Life Soundtrack Assignment Completed for Gits and Shiggles for a Former Comrade

My ol’ Hickman High School pal and current pop culture instructor Juan Antonio Diaz gives his charges a life soundtrack assignment, but he made the mistake of letting too much word get around, so even his adult peers are trying to turn it in late. This is for my former comrades Jonathan McFarland and George Frissell, too. (Note: I had to go to second- and third-string choices due to some songs’ absence for the playlist function):

1) Opening credits: Roland Kirk/”Serenade to a Cuckoo”
2) Waking up: Eric Bibb/”Turning Pages”
3) Going to school: Tuli Kupferberg/”Social Studies”
4) Falling in love: Bob Dorough/”Love: Webster’s Definition”
5) Breaking up: Harry Nilsson/”You’re Breakin’ My Heart”
6) Prom: Gram Parson/”I Can’t Dance”
7) Fight song: Gene Maltais/”Gang War”
8) Life: Flipper/”Life”
9) Mental Breakdown: Peter Davies/”Eight Songs for a Mad King” (featuring Julius Eastman)
10) Driving: Terry Allen/”Amarillo Highway”
11) Flashback: The Bicycle Thief/”Hurt”
12) Getting married: Warren Zevon/”Let Nothing Come Between You”
13) Birth of a child: Loudon Wainwright III/”Dilated to Meet You”
14) The Final Battle: Lonnie Mack/”Why?”
15) Death: Reverend J. M. Gates/”Death May Be Your Santa Claus” (I wanted Scarface’s “I’m Dead,” but it wasn’t available for playlisting)
16) Funeral: Albert Ayler/”Ghosts”
17) Closing credits: Mississippi John Hurt/”Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me”


2 thoughts on ““Mr. Diaz, Can I Turn This in Late, Please?”: A Life Soundtrack Assignment Completed for Gits and Shiggles for a Former Comrade

  1. The only one I have ever thought about is “the funeral” and I hesitate between Ayler’s “OurPrayer/Spirits Rejoice” from the Lorrach concert and “Kadia Blues” by Orchestra de la Paillotte. I have never heard most of your selections but I will check them out
    Best regards,

    1. Ayler is a good one for powerful occasions. Many of the selections are intentionally humorous; for example, we don’t have and are not going to have kids, so I had no choice! Thanks for the support!

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