14 songs for the Mondays
Still feeling groggy from the weekend? Here’s a mix about Mondays to help you through the rest of the day. We hope it helps.
Fleetwood Mac — “Monday Morning”
From Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled 1975 album, “Monday Morning” is kind of an up-beat tune about love fading between Friday and Monday. “Fleetwood Mac” was the band’s first album with Lindsey Buckingham on guitar and Stevie Nicks on vocals. It preceded the crazy party that was “Rumours” and the sad, dreamy comedown that was “Tusk,” so if you want to look at 1975 to 1979 for Fleetwood Mac as a drug trip, “Fleetwood Mac” is the come-up album. “Monday,” one of Lindsey’s best songs from that period, really hones in on that vibe.
Billy Bragg — “St. Monday”
From Billy Bragg’s 2001 album “England, Half-English,” St. Monday refers to the tradition of craftsmen taking Mondays off—or in this case, being a “hard-working fella” and working through the break. Working on Mondays has to sting that much more when you’ve been going all weekend— so here’s to you, if that’s your plight.
Dolly Parton — “9 to 5″
While we’re on the topic of Monday for the working man, here’s the 1980 Dolly Parton song from the film with the same name, “Nine to Five.” It doesn’t mention Monday by name, but it captures what “the Mondays” are all about better than maybe any other on the list.
Wilco — “Monday”
From Wilco’s 1996 album “Being There,” “Monday” has a much lighter take on the first day of the week. You’ll feel good after this one. It has horns.
T-Bone Walker — “They Call it Stormy Monday (But Tuesday’s Just as Bad)”
It’s hard to make a music list about “the Mondays” without adding someone’s recording of “They Call it Stormy Monday,” a song so many artists have covered it could be its own list. We’re going with T-Bone Walker because he wrote and first recorded it, but also check out Etta James’ and Nancy Wilson’s versions. It’s a super bluesy tune— not so much about a bad Monday but a terrible week in general.
Lee Hazlewood — “If It’s Monday Morning”
While we’re on the old-timey stuff, here’s a pretty, sad song about Mondays and heartbreak by Lee Hazlewood from 1971’s “Requiem for an Almost Lady.” Beck, Eddie Vedder and Mike Ness covered it in 2008 in concert, but it’s one of those live recordings that sounds like you needed to be there. Check it out here if you’re curious.
Hüsker Dü — “Monday Will Never Be The Same”
Okay, Lee Hazelwood to Hüsker Dü may seem like a leap, but it’s not: “Monday Will Never Be The Same” is a sub-one-minute instrumental on side three of “Zen Arcade,” a storytelling album about a runaway kid. Sandwiched between two punky songs, “Newest Industry” and “Whatever,” it’s a great, easy listen that provides a reprieve from the story and taps into something sweet.
Jon Brion — “Monday”
And while we’re on instrumentals, here’s a piece by Jon Brion from David O. Russell’s 2004 film, “I Heart Huckabees,” which does something similar. It’s not thematic necessarily, but it’s mischievous and easy on the brain.
The Sea and Cake — “Monday”
From The Sea and Cake’s 2011 album, “Moonlight Butterfly,” this one captures that hazy, smooth morning grog. It’s the kind of song you want to make pancakes and drink mimosas to, so great for Mondays if you’re comfortably unemployed.
God Help The Girl — “Come Monday Night”
Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian started God Help the Girl in 2009 using female vocalists and Belle & Sebastian’s band. “Come Monday Night” is one of their first singles, with vocals by Catherine Ireton. It’s another decidedly pro-Monday tune.
Death Cab for Cutie — “Monday Morning”
Say what you want about late-period Death Cab, Ben Gibbard is still one of the best lyricists out there. Off “Codes and Keys,” out in 2011, “Monday Morning” has an easy tempo, but at its heart is kind of a heavy love song. “The night is gonna fall and the vultures will surround you – when you look in the mirror what you see is gonna astound you”— yikes.
The Mamas & The Papas — “Monday, Monday”
John Phillips, aka Papa John, wrote this one in 1966 for The Mamas & The Papas’ album “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” and it’s since been recorded by a few other artists, from Neil Diamond to Marianne Faithfull. It’s back to focusing on Monday blues—namely how Mondays often end a lot worse than they start. The song’s best point: “Monday Monday: can’t trust that day.”
New Order — “Blue Monday”
Maybe the best cure for “the Mondays” is dance music? At 7 and a half minutes, New Order’s 1983 hit is one of the longest songs to ever chart in the UK. It’s kind of a weird one, with a super long intro and outro and no real chorus, but at least it should make you want to dance, which is more than most of these songs can say.
The Bangles — “Manic Monday”
Did you think we’d get through a list of Monday music without including “Manic Monday”? No way, guys. Written by Prince under the pseudonym “Christopher”, The Bangles’ “Manic Monday” is one of the biggest monday songs out there.