Embrace Your Weird – Music for the Weird you Love


Whether yourself or someone you love, embrace your weird – everyone has one. This is a collection of music tracks I enjoy on the theme of weird, anxiety and difference.

EYW-Reflektor, Arcade Fire
Normal Person by Arcade Fire (from the album Reflektor, 2013) lyrics“I’ve never really ever met a normal person… like you! How do you do?”

EYW-Rock'n'Roll Prophet, Rick Wakeman
I’m So Straight I’m A Weirdo by Rick Wakeman (from the album Rock n’ Roll Prophet, 1982).

EYW-Mule Variations, Tom Waits
What’s He Building? by Tom Waits (from album “Mule Variations”, 1999) lyrics – an amazing track that gets under my skin, with vocals reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, describing someone in the neighbourhood who attracts comment.

EYW-Since I Left You, The Avalanches
Frontier Psychiatrist by The Avalanches (from the album Since I Left You, 2000) lyrics – both Frontier Psychiatrist and the album Since I Left You are a delight woven together from sampled film and vinyl sounds.

EYW-I Dreamed a Dream, Susan Boyle
I Dreamed a Dream sung by Susan Boyle (from Les Miserables, Britain’s Got Talent, 2009) lyrics – I cry watching this, with Piers Morgan saying “Everyone was laughing at you” and Amanda Holden saying “Everybody was against you” (without a hint of hypocrisy), and it reminds me of every job interview I ever went to.

EYW-Donnie Darko, Michael Andrews and Gary Jules
Mad World by Tears for Fears (Michael Andrews and Gary Jules version from the film Donnie Darko, 2003) lyrics – The “animation” (made by choreographed schoolchildren filmed from overhead) is amazing, so is the film Donnie Darko. The lyrics fit my school experience really well. The https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFsHSHE-iJQ”>original by Tears for Fears, (from the album The Hurting, 1983).

EYW-Blues Brothers
Gimme Some Lovin’ by The Blues Brothers with Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues (in the film The Blues Brothers, 1980) lyrics – Being weird is tough, but Dan Aykroyd (who has Asperger syndrome) lifts the mood beautifully in The Blues Brothers.

EYW-Anxiety, Ladyhawke
Anxiety by Ladyhawke, aka Pip Brown (from the album Anxiety, 2011) lyrics – Pip Brown is another musician with Asperger syndrome, who has great presence in interview (see below).

EYW-Brain Salad Surgery, Emerson Lake and Palmer
Brain Salad Surgery by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (from the album Brain Salad Surgery, 1973) lyrics

EYW-At San Quentin, Johnny Cash
Boy named Sue by Johnny Cash (from the album At San Quentin, 1969) lyrics – I don’t subscribe to the “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” thought of school, or the willful violence inflicted on so many children by the education system, but at least Johnny Cash can make real laughter inside a prison.

EYW-I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, Bebe Rexha
I’m Gonna Show You Crazy by Bebe Rexha (from the album, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, 2015) lyrics – I love the anger in this. I struggle with anger, which I only experience as a terrible negative emotion and something that precedes (in my mind) punishment. Anger can be a positive emotion for change, not just a negative drain, and it takes effort to learn to channel and be productive with such a powerful feeling.

EYW-Dreamtime, Stranglers
Norman Normal by The Stranglers (from the album Dreamtime, 1986) no lyrics, but cover art) – The inlay booklet lacks lyrics, but says: “‘Norman Normal’ is another fine melody which initially masks more tongue-in-cheek mirth about a married-man-with-kids coming to terms with his newly-realised homosexuality.”

EYW-The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
We are Normal by The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (from the album The Doughnut in Granny’s Greenhouse, 1968) lyrics – The wonderful element here is the vox-pops, recorded with startled shoppers in Willesden Green, outside the recording studio, asked “What is normal?”

EYW-Pablo Honey, Radiohead
Creep by Radiohead (from the album Pablo Honey, 1993) lyrics

EYW-Instant Punk Classics, The Notsensibles
Sick Of Being Normal by The Notsensibles (from the album Instant Classics, 1980) – Punk is memorable for anger and is associated with nihilism. Anger can be productive. Anarchy is the highest art of politics. Although the tone is a mixture of silliness and misdirected anger, they create a strong message about social expectations. Their track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZYldah-A5Y”>I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher is a delight in mocking the sacred.

EYW-Talking Heads 77, Talking Heads
Psycho Killer by Talking Heads (from the album Talking Heads: 77) lyrics – Because sometimes I really do feel that way. Impotent. Raging and impotent.

EYW-Nuisance, Menswear
The One by Menswear with Johnny Dean (from the album Nuisance, 1995) lyrics – Johnny Dean is another of the diverse group of artists diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

EYW-The Pleasure Principle, Gary Numan
Cars by Gary Numan (from the album The Pleasure Principle, 1979) lyrics – I had no idea that Gary Numan had Asperger syndrome (but then neither did he), and always loved this song. Apparently it plays to his sense of safety and sensory control within the environment of a car.

EYW-ISM, Savant
ISM by Savant aka Aleksander Vinter – See Savant’s prolific user page at https://www.youtube.com/user/winterpiss.

EYW-Green album, Days of New II
The Real by Travis Meeks and Days of the New (from the Green album or Days of the New II) lyrics

Interviews with musical artists about their autism / Asperger syndrome diagnosis: