Songs to Maze by: Room 23

How about this heat, eh? Baseball, sunshine, thunderstorms-if there’s a summer room in MAZE, then Room 23 is it. Here’s your playlist!

“I’ll Follow the Sun” by the Beatles
Let’s start with the blindingly obvious. The correct door to take in here is the Room 8 door, which is bathed in sunlight and has a picture of the glowing sun over the door. If you’re on the Path, you’ve just come from 45, and day follows night, so on you go, and who better to accompany you than these fellows.

“Follow the Sun” by Xavier Rudd
As an alternative, here’s a rather lovely little sun-following song I found when looking for the Beatles tune. To be honest, it’s a bit earnest-Australian-surfer-dude for me, but the lyrics have birds, so it’s Mazey enough to warrant inclusion.

“Look Over Your Shoulder” by Kwabs
The second half of the 16-step path spells out “shoulders.” (Not without controversy!) Room 23 has the “O” from the scroll but also has the word in the text: the Guide says, “… looking over my shoulder, which is not easy to do.” Meaning the Guide is tall, I guess? I have an overly complicated theory about the Pleiades being on the shoulder of the constellation Taurus, but never mind that. The point is, we need a shoulder song. The first one that sprang to mind was Canadian Paul Anka’s “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” and there is something appealing and kind of creepy about imagining that scratchy record being played on repeat in here, but in the end I went with this tune. I love this guy’s voice and the ominous feel that comes from that buzzing bass line. “Better stay out of the shadows when you wander far from home” is a pretty good line for Room 23, dontcha think? And this line is highly appropriate for MAZE in general: “It will creep into your head and it will never let you go.” (You can also listen to an alternative, stripped-down version here.)

“Centerfield” by John Fogerty
Although Room 45 is identified as the centre of the Maze, Room 23 marks the midpoint of your journey on the 16-step path, making Fogerty’s baseball classic doubly suitable for Room 23.

“Moses Supposes (his Toeses are Roses)” with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor
To finish this room off, let’s check off the stone tablets and that random foot picture with this jaunty number from Singin’ in the Rain. Be sure to watch for the doors at 1:50. And try to imagine that instead of that final long “A” sound the boys are helpfully singing “EEEEEEIIIIIIGHHHHHHTT!”

Bonus CanCon Track: “Hard Sun” by Indio
This is actually the song that got me thinking about sun songs. I was in the car with a friend of mine who knows a lot about music, and the Eddie Vedder cover of “Hard Sun” came on the radio. I had never heard that version and was surprised when my friend said he didn’t realize that the song was not Vedder’s own. The original is by Indio, the stage name of a Canadian called Gordon Peterson, who recorded it as part of his one and only album, Big Harvest, in 1989, which was critically acclaimed but didn’t do much commercially. Peterson disappeared from the scene shortly after releasing the album. Twenty years later, Vedder did his cover for the film Into the Wild, reviving the song and introducing it to new audiences, which led to the reissue of Big Harvest. Unfortunately, the cover also got Vedder in hot water with Gordon Peterson – although the label gave permission for Vedder to cover the song they never talked to Peterson about it. Peterson was upset about this and about some lyric changes, so he sued Vedder. (He lost.) It’s all kind of depressing but the song itself remains a glorious thing.

“Walking on Broken Glass” by Annie Lennox
Update 2016-11-16: I heard this song on the radio yesterday and could not believe I had omitted it from this playlist. It’s perfect for obvious reasons and the video is an over-the-top treat complete with pre-House Hugh Laurie and John Malkovich hamming it up Dangerous Liaisons–style.

The sun’s still shining in the big blue sky
But it don’t mean nothing to me
Oh let the rain come down
Let the wind blow through me
I’m living in an empty room
With all the windows smashed
And I’ve got so little left to lose
That it feels just like I’m walking on broken glass