Music That Gives Me Goosebumps of Pleasure

“Born to Run” (Bruce Springstein)
There’s something about The Boss’s lyrics and the driving guitar rhythm that makes me want to SCREAM.  I have visions of driving my Suicide Machine into a last-chance power drive, with some hot babe’s  hands strapped across my engines.

I challenge anyone to play this tune on the car stereo, and still drive the speed limit.

Nope.   Physically impossible.

Sonata No. 8 in C Minor (Beethoven)

Some of you will recognize this as Billy Joel’s hit song “This Night“.  Billy Joel wrote the lyrics but he borrowed the melody from Ludwig.

Regarding the pop song…meh.   I can take it or leave it.

Just give me the original piano version.  There’s something about the way the slowly-paced notes fit together in a perfect pattern that resonates with my neural system.

I hear one note…and I anticipate what’s coming next.   As soon as the next note arrives, my brain goes “Ahhh….Yes!!!  That’s EXACTLY what I wanted to hear next!”, and I get a shiver.    The whole song is like this for me.

“Won’t get Fooled Again” (The Who)

Just like “Born to Run”, this song is so full of energy, it makes me want to get up and fight them in the streets.

Watching vintage concert footage of The Who makes me love it even more…I want to get up there on stage next to Pete Townsend and wind-mill the power chords.  And smash the guitars once the song is one.

The best part of the song is towards the end (the sound bite they use on CSI).   The music dies down…just when you think it should be the end of the song, that’s when Roger Daltry comes back screaming “YEAHHHHHH!!”.

Heh, heh.   I’ve blown speakers over that one…

The Beatles
Too numerous to mention.   Some shiver-inducers include the obvious ones:   Let it Be and Hey Jude.  But also  If I Fell and I’ve Just Seen a Face.

Or that guitar riff during the bridge of “I feel fine“.    It’s only a few seconds long, but the music is fresh and cheeky,  just like the Beatles were at the time, when they were peaking.  Before they got too world-weary and burned out with drugs and Yoko and whatnot.


The elegant mathematical precision of his music just messes with my brain, but in a good way.   I think head trauma patients should listen to  Mozart.  It will help re-connect their neurons.

Like the Beatles, so much of Mozart’s music gives me goosebumps, I cant’ remember it all.

Symphony in Symphony in G Minor is a good example.  Or the Theme from Elvira Madigan.  (Try to listen to that and NOT get mellowed out.)

Or listen to his interpretation of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.    It starts off as rinky-dinky tune that a child can play.   But the theme is repeated, over and over, each version more complicated than the last.   By the end, it’s so complex and convoluted, you barely recognize it but it’s AWESOME.

“Comfortably Numb” (Pink Floyd)

When I listen to this, I have visions of flying like superman,  zooming above pink clouds in bright sunshine, at the edge of the stratosphere.   It’s a perfect de-stresser at any time of day.

And yes, I realize the song is all about a drug addict getting high.   But I still like it.

Nutcracker Suite, Waltz of the Flowers  (Tchaikovsky)

The first time the clarinet kicks in, I get shivers.  Don’t ask me why, I just do.   Ever since I was a kid.

And I don’t even like Tchaikovsky.

Tambourine Man
(Bob Dylan)
To dance beneath beneath the diamond sky…silhouetted by the sea..with circus sands, memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,  and the smoke rings of my mind…

The visual imagery and brilliant poetry just blow me away.   Not to mention it’s one the few songs where Bob Dylan actually SINGS well.

Who doesn’t want to forget about today until tomorrow?

“Roll me Away” (Bob Seger)

Bob sings about being disillusioned with life, and getting on his bike, and driving across the country.    You can just sense his exuberance as he describes being able to just take off, do what you want, and go wherever you decide.

It brings back good memories for me, because for a short time, I got to live that song.

I don’t have a bike.   But 9  years ago, after getting laid off, I too, felt lost and double-crossed, and felt like searching for what’s wrong and what’s wright.

I had a healthy severance package.  So I got into my Honda Civic and spent three glorious months driving 32,000 km all over the continent.   It was one of the happiest times of my life.

Can’t wait to do it again, either…


Now, what kind of music works for you…?

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43 Comments on “Music That Gives Me Goosebumps of Pleasure”

  1. Don Henley – The Boys of Summer, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Innocence, Last Worthless Evening

    Ditto on the Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again, Baba O’Riley

    Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight

    Tom Petty – Free Fallin’

    The Stones – Gimme Shelter

    Sting – Fragile

    Shawn Colvin – Avalanche

    Obviously, I could go on and on.

  2. Davina Says:

    But seriously, Friar… Mozart? The word elegant? In one of YOUR posts. Now THAT messes with my head.

    Your 3-month road trip sounds like it was a great time. I could so do something like that if I had a bit of money behind me. Did you ever find out what was wrong and what was right?

    I plan to unveil my songs soon. My next blog post is on this very topic. “Great minds…”

  3. I’m with you on The Who (and with Betsy too).

    Steppenwolf – Magic Carpet Ride
    Teenage Head – Let’s Shake
    Scooter – No Pain, No Gain
    Benny Goodman – Sing, Sing, Sing
    Glenn Miller – In the Mood
    Sweet – Ballroom Blitz
    Van Halen – Jump
    ZZ Top – Viva Las Vegas

    & I’ve got over $350 more waiting in my iTunes shopping cart!

  4. Captain Push Says:

    I’m An Asshole. Dennis Leary version.
    Yeah. I’m not in the best of moods.

  5. Liara Covert Says:

    Found you on Davina’s blog. I love a range of music that is uplifting and mellow.

  6. Brett Legree Says:

    You knew this one was coming, right? 🙂

  7. Karen JL Says:

    AC/DC – (Pretty much anything but…) You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway to Hell, Dirty Deeds, Money Talks…
    Quiet Riot – Cum On Feel the Noise
    Icicle Works – Whisper To A Scream
    Cheap Trick – I Want You to Want Me
    Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself
    U2 – I Will Follow

    So. Many. Others. 🙂

  8. Karen JL Says:


    And absolutely **ANYTHING** by Miley Cyrus!!!!!!

  9. Brett Legree Says:

    Miley Cyrus has nothing on Ernie and Bert.

  10. Brett Legree Says:

    And now, for something completely different (I really do like this guy).

  11. Friar Says:

    On, the Eagles. I forgot about those. “Take it Easy” is another good one.

    Heh heh. Yep. I like to keep throwing things out there like that, and keep people like you guessing! 😉

    And that road trip was great. I had no obligations (no rent, no girlfriend, no job). I had the money, the time and my health. So I just DID IT.

    Best thing I ever did in the past 10 years. I never felt so free.

    (But of course, after it was over, I had to go back to reality and start hitting the pavement trying to find a job).

    @Canadian Army Wife
    There’s a lot of good stuff Steppenwolf plays….I wish the radio stations would play more of it.

    “In the Mood”. That’s one of my favorites from the Big Band Era.

    Well, that song didn’t exactly give me goosebumps of pleasure, but it certainly gave me a good guffaw or two. 🙂

    Welcome to the Deep Friar. Thanks for stopping by.

    I like uplifting music too, but every once in a while, I also just like NOISE NOISE NOISE. (Though not as extreme as Brett).

  12. Friar Says:

    You grew up in the 80’s, right? 🙂

    PS. How about Celine’s version of You Shook me Up all night long?

    It’s one of the BEST ever, I think?

  13. Friar Says:


    (EEEEEEeeeek!). Oh, yes. Miley Cyrus RULES!!! (*swoon*)


    Oh, I KNEW it was coming.

    I fact, I’d be terribly disappointed if it didn’t. 😉

    Especially Bert and Ernie on crack.

  14. XUP Says:

    The clarinet at the beginning of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue — and really the whole piece. Ravel’s Bolero (even though Bo Derek tried to ruin it). You’re a Real Fine Friend by our own local Andrea Simms-Karp, Rachmaninov’s piano concerto #1, almost any classical piano or violin solos played live by a passionate soloist; Farewell to Nova Scotia played by a hoard of bagpipes or by almost anyone or anything else. Bagpipes en masse in general. Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah when kd lang does it. Achhh, there are so many — mainly it has to be live music. I’ve never been able to get the same charge out of a CD

  15. Friar Says:


    Normally, I hate bagpipes. But there are a few exceptions.

    “Mull of Kintrye” is suprisingly stirring, for a simple pop song.

    It makes me wistful and homesick. Like I need to go back to the hills of Scotland, and re-connect with my old roots.

    Which is kinda funny, because my ancestry is Polish.

  16. Brett Legree Says:

    Roger Waters said that the lyrics of Comfortably Numb came from an experience he had when he was injected with tranquilizers for stomach cramps prior to a Pink Floyd show – I guess he didn’t really enjoy the experience!

  17. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar – Miley’s brilliance rivals Stevie Ray Vaughn’s. Truely.

    @ Brett – THAT is why Ernie and Bert are my favorite gay couple.

    I had a first kiss to ‘Comfortably Numb’ a long time ago. It was cool.

  18. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar – Re: the chick with Celine – I have that outfit!!

    I actually don’t have the hate-on for Celine like you do. I’d take a straight up cover version of something over these ‘mash-up-steal-the-cool-bits-of-an-old-song-and-make-some-crappy-new-rap-song-out-of-it’ any day.

    But that’s just me.

  19. Friar Says:

    Why does so much good music come from drug experiences?

    We’re in the wrong line of work.

    And dont’ forget Miley’s Dad. I’m still rockin’ and reelin’ from that Achy Breaky Heart fling from the early 90’s.

    And now he’s got new-found success as “Doc”.

    @Karen (again).

    Ohhhh…it’s not just me!

    If you Google “Worst covers of all time”, Céline ranks right up there on the list. 🙂

  20. Karen JL Says:

    No Googling needed. I believe you!

  21. Brett Legree Says:


    Perhaps tranquilizers would help in our line of work?

  22. Mer Says:

    Eagles – “Hotel California” and “Desperado” albums

    Queen – especially “A Night at the Opera” and “Jazz” albums

    Mozart – The very end of Don Giovanni, The Commandatore Scene, where Don Giovanni refuses to repent. In the version I have Don Giovanni is all rage and totally unrepentant at the end.

    Requiem -The whole thing, but especially Confutatis and Lacrimosa

    Carly Simon – “Torch” album, especially Not A Day Goes By, I Got It Bad, and Blue of Blue.

    Tori Amos – “Little Earthquakes (Silent All These Years, Leather, Crucify, Me And A Gun)” “Under the Pink” (God), “Choirgirl Hotel” and “Boys for Pele.”

    Me And A Gun

    “Muhammed, my friend”
    It’s time to tell the world
    We both know it was a girl
    Back in Bethlehem… 😉 (sung with James Keenan of Tool)

    R.E.M – Losing My Religion, Shiny Happy People,It’s The End of The World As We Know It (And I feel Fine)

    Talking Heads – “Little Creatures” album

    Squeeze – “45’s And Under

    Elvis Costello – “My Aim Is True,” especially Alison

    I know there’s more, but that’s what I remember offhand.

  23. Friar Says:

    More like Strychnine would help!

    That’s a fine list.

    Though I find Tori Amos a bit too “Tortured Intellectual”, but that’s just me! (But what do you expect, I’m the Friar!) 🙂

  24. Davina Says:

    Hmmm… “keep people like me guessing”… Life coaches you mean? 😉 I like a good game of chess.

  25. Mer Says:

    @ Brett

    Amon Amarth, huh? The lyrics are interesting and all, but I still worry about the guy shredding his vocal cords.

    @ Friar

    Thank you. 🙂

    I agree with that list of cover songs on, btw. Manfred Man was such a disappointment. The list reminded me of Jane’s Addiction (“Jane Said”) and Violent Femmes (“Blister in the Sun”) for some reason. As an antidote, maybe? 😀

  26. Friar Says:

    “People like you”, meaning people trying to figure out the Deep Friar. Heh heh heh. 🙂

    Brett LOVES the shredding vocal cord Viking music.

    To me, it all sounds the same. RRRGARGGHRRRRGARRRGHHH.

    But I guess it’s an acquired taste and Brett can probably discern the subtle differences between each musician.

  27. Kelly Says:


    I like your list. I think that would be cool all together on a CD… I could drive along and go through a whole range of goosebumpy emotions. Nice.


    Eagles “Already Gone” (been there, done that)
    Sinatra “You Make Me Feel So Young”
    Clapton (Cream) “Sunshine of Your Love”
    Springsteen “Rosalita”
    Oasis “Morning Glory”
    U2 “Pride”
    Van Halen “Summer Nights”
    Five Man Electrical Band “Signs”
    Santana/ Rob Thomas “Smooth”
    Peggy Lee “Fever”
    Paul McCartney “Silly Love Songs” (hearing Linda in the background—suuuuper goosebumps)

    And anything else by any of the above. I have to watch out! Start a music conversation and I can go on and on and on…



  28. “Cocky,” by Kid Rock
    “Runaway Train,” by AC/DC
    “Catch that train,” by Dan Zane
    “Lonely Stranger,” by Eric Clapton – actually, his whole Unplugged album rocks
    “30 sous zero,” by Kevin Parent
    “East side,” by Smoother
    “Hey now now,” by 360 Swirl

  29. Friar Says:

    …Oooh! I forgot Clapton. Like everyone saying, there’s just so much out there, it’s hard to list everything at once.

    Another good one of Sinatra’s is “Fly me to the Moon”.

    I’m kind of chuckling about “Silly Love Songs”. Because you’re the FIRST person I’ve heard say they like Linda’s singing (…well….at least she sings on key, unlike some OTHER Beatle wives).

    But hey…if it gives you goosebumps, it gives you goosebumps.

    Poor Uncle Albert! 😉

  30. Friar Says:


    Another great list!

    I love Claptons unplugged album. I used to play guitar, and I bought a music book that had the whole guitar tablature for the entire album.

    So I thought I’d teach myself to play it. (Didn’t work out so good). It was too hard for me! (Naturally, because I aint’ no Eric Clapton). But one day…!)

  31. Kelly Says:

    (Friar—Not the singing quality. The unbearably sincere love. It gave me chills before, but since she’s died… oof. If Sir Paul ever hears it on the radio he must fall to pieces.)

  32. Friar Says:


    I must admit..that was a long-lasting relationship. You don’t see that too often in show business.

    I also like “Maybe I’m Amazed”. One of his best, Beatles or not. Obviously, he was singing out her.

  33. Brett Legree Says:


    It isn’t that hard to “sing” like that for a little while, but you do need a voice coach to keep it up or you could hurt yourself – as it is with most forms of singing.

    (I once did backing vocals at a club show way back when for a Hamilton band that no longer exists, on a couple of songs, I knew the guys and they were calling people up to help out. A few pints of beer helped, too – it was a real blast being on stage rather than just watching.)

  34. Friar Says:


    It’s not just the voice training. It’s learning to stage fake human sacrifices and crucifixions and putting dead animal skulls on the end of pikes and making the stage look like the 7th Gate to Hell.

    (Or so I’ve heard) 😉

    Death Metal isn’t as easy as it looks.

  35. Brett Legree Says:

    They have a course on that at The Factory.

  36. Friar Says:

    That explains why I feel I’ve sold my soul to work there…

  37. Kelly Says:


    Me too on “Maybe I’m Amazed” (a day late…). I have that on my favorite long-drives playlist in the car right now.

    Not me too on death metal. Never touch the stuff. If Brett links, I refuse to play along. Nooooo!

  38. Friar Says:


    Oh, I talk about the Death Metal, just to humor Brett. 🙂 (He enjoys it so much!)

    The stuff he shows on my blog is TAME. (You should see the scary Youtube videos he emails me!).

    Personally, I’d rather listen to Paul McCartney (but that’s just me).

  39. Brett Legree Says:

    You guys are just jealous because your music *only* gives you goosebumps of pleasure.

    My music will strip the flesh from your bones before it pounds your bones into fine dust.


  40. Friar Says:


    More like music to make your ears bleed and induce vomiting.

    But I must admit…some of the lyrics are quite thought-provoking:

    (Choking sounds)

    Warms my heart, that song does.

  41. svc Says:

    Interesting to see your favorites. I am greatly attached to the 60’s… rock, blues… Love Carole King, The Beatles – particularly John Lennon, Cat Stevens, Led Zepplin, Janice Joplin, Barbara Streisand… Love our Canadian artist … Neil Young, Rush, Alanis Moricette, Jan Arden, Gordon Lightfoot… You must watch the u tube video of Carole King signing “Way Over Yonder”. My favorite live concert was Supertramp. Wow that man can play the piano. I am still inthrolled with the musical – Jesus Christ Super Star. I could go on … A great question, and great sharing.

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