Spell it out for me: Lessons on International Literacy Day

A-B-C is as easy as 1-2-3 when you come up learning to spell through song. For International Literacy Day (September 8), we composed a stellar #ThematicStatic mix of tunes that really sound it out and, in so doing, make statements about important concepts such as respect, unity, dance and…bananas? OK. So it’s not all educational.

It’s always fun, though, making a mix tape together on WNXP, Thursday mornings at 9:11am! We thank Eastside Bowl for supporting the show. Stream this set (👇) and get future requests in on the socials via WNXPNashville.

#ThematicStatic Playlist

Aretha Franklin – “Respect” – A little choreography on top of the little respect when you get home:

Orville Peck – “Daytona Sand” – Make it to the end and you get a glorious spelling lesson for the Deep South/Gulf Coast state of M-I-S-S-I-S-S-P-P-I. Fringe masks optional.

Tammy Wynette – “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” – Holly in Kentucky (hi, Ma!) remembered this one about literally spelling out the tough words to protect the kids from the fact his parents are splitting up. Aw.

Queen Latifah “U.N.I.T.Y.” – Chad gave us the excellent opportunity to add this classic to our library.

Todd Snider- “Beer Run” – B-double E-double R-you-in? Beer run. Great request for a local, Matthew, tanks! Here is a version from Pandemic Year #1, the troubadour live from the Purple Building in East Nashville:

Gwen Stefani – “Hollaback Girl” – When it’s democratically voted, I tend to give the people what they want, even when that’s Top 40 post-No Doubt Gwen singing and spelling with authority “This shit is bananas.” Emily and Xander, consider this a one-time hall pass.

Arctic Monkeys – “Dangerous Animals – Nancy reminded me of this one from the 2009 record of a 21st Century classic Brit Rock band now back with new music.

Grimes – “Kill v. Maim” – OK, Vince, this video is wild but the song really fits well. Oh, B-E-H-A-V-E.

Them – “Gloria” – This song inspired this set, like so often I get a random idea for a theme we could build upon as a crew of music-loving deep thinkers (er, spellers).

Justice – “D.A.N.C.E.” – I think Dan Digs first played this one on WNXP but this time it was requested by Jem!

Sylvan Esso – “PARAD(w/m)E” – Kate reminded of us this one from the N.C. Triangle duo that’s out with new music now, too!

The Kinks – “Lola” – To the Instagram requester Jude, extra points since both Lola and Cola are spelled out to sing-songy effect.