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Music to garden in pyjamas to: A playlist

The Gentlewoman
Penny Martin, Editor in Chief of The Gentlewoman, has curated a playlist for days spent at home.
"A great deal has changed over the past 16 months, one of the surprises for me being the amount of time I now spend gardening, of all things. This happened partly through necessity – I bought a house right on the coast of the East Neuk of Fife and quickly found that very little grows when routinely doused by salt water, which smashes over my garden wall twice a day at high tide. But three rounds of planting and two manure mulches on, I am amazed at how completely I can lose myself in a couple hours of early-morning weeding, often done in my Gentlewoman Pyjamas – they wash extremely well, I find. This is done to a bracing 49-hour Spotify playlist, some highlights of which I am not one bit ashamed to share here."
  1. “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” by CHIC You need a call-to-action song to get out there, particularly on windswept winter days. This song was the soundtrack for one of my all-time favourite fashion shows – the “dance marathon” show by Alexander McQueen.
  2. “Pyjamarama” by Roxy Music Relentlessly cheerful, this one should see me through some rapid deadheading.
  3. “Robot Rock” by Daft Punk I should say: I listen to this playlist on earphones. I don’t think my elderly neighbours would thank me for this cacophony playing over their morning coffee.
  4. “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More” by Barry White What a tune: it just builds and builds, it’s outrageous. A good one for hoeing, perhaps.
  5. “Country Girl” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young I really love songs that are episodic, I realise, like the second side of Abbey Road. All the minor keys Neil Young sings in this one can move me to tears if I’m not careful, so maybe it’s best for when I’m watering.
  6. “Bug a Boo” by Destiny’s Child This song is on an old “deadline playlist” belonging to our creative director Veronica. So that association partly energises, partly fills me with dread!
  7. “Call of the Wighat” by The Cramps This was on the first record I owned as a teenager. I love The Cramps; Lux Interior’s writing features the most incredible mental images. A wighat, in case you’re wondering, is one of those 1960s hats that look like a hairdo.
  8. “Dennis and Lois” by The Happy Mondays It’s joyous. I just love Shaun Ryder.
  9. “Slave to the Rhythm” by Grace Jones I read Neil Tennant say something like when he and Chris Lowe heard the production on this song, they knew instantly the kind of music they wanted to create with “West End Girls”. I can imagine – it’s such a massive soundscape. Perfect for looking out at the giant horizons across the Firth of Forth.
  10. “Bernadette” by The Four Tops Was there ever a harder working frontman than Levi Stubbs? Alright, James Brown, but when I hear Levi screaming “Bernadette” after the false ending, I picture him with the sweat streaming down his neck. It’s so passionate. To me, his voice sounds a bit like my Dad’s, who was a hardworking soul singer too.
  11. “Don’t F*cking Tell Me What to Do” by Robyn It’s such a great list of complaints! I empathise, Robyn.
  12. “Final Form” by Sampa the Great Sampa is a new obsession of mine. This track is really powerful; maybe I’d get in a bit of digging at this point.
  13. “Party Fears Two” by The Associates Billy McKenzie was from Dundee, where my Dad was from. He knew him a bit and used to entertain me and my brothers with great stories about what he’d been up to: the day he got a big cheque from the record company, for instance, and spent it on a chocolate-coloured Rolls Royce, which he couldn’t drive. This song has maybe the all-time best opening line: “I’ll have a shower and then phone my brother up.”
  14. “Perfume (Loved Up)” by Paris Angels What can I say? I’m a child of the nineties! This was a big club anthem when I was a girl.
  15. “Hit the North” by The Fall Well, this is the theme of our move to Fife in summary, isn’t it? I listen to a lot of The Fall while gardening. Mark E Smith will be turning in his grave, hearing that.
  16. “Love Me Tonite” by Fern Kinney What a voice! I recommend the Disco Bloodbath Mix, should you be inclined.
  17. “Huarache Nights” by Hot Chip This has replaced “Computer World” as my favourite song about technology. A bit jollier, should dividing the herbaceous borders get a bit onerous.
  18. “Thunder Struck” by AC/DC Oh, come on, everyone secretly loves Thunderstruck! Plus Malcolm and Angus Young were born in Scotland, so it’s only fitting.
  19. “Messages” by OMD We play a lot of OMD in the studio and Andy McClusky was very helpful to us when working on our profile of Robyn, so this banger’s in for him.
  20. “3AM Eternal” by KLF After all that toiling, you need a big finish.
Listen to the playlist
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