The morning and evening commutes on the New York City subway are by far the worst part of the day. It becomes a sea of sweaty armpits, uncomfortably close visuals of strangers faces, and other things that no one wants to put up with. We are the silent soldiers of the subway, keeping our opinions to ourselves and maintaining our dignified composure. We plug in our headphones as an attempt to tune out the abysmal world around us. Have you wondered what it would sound like if you actually said, out loud, what you were thinking? Well think no more, here are the lyrics that say it all for you, so you don't actually have to open your mouth and make your trip even more tumultuous.
1. "I Think I Smell A Rat" - The White Stripes
When the carriage air is becoming stale with everyone else's breath and the air conditioning seems to be out of order; this song is for the times you feel as though you might spew from the sheer stench filling your nostrils. It's a combination of people's coffee breath mixed with B.O. and then add a few people's shoes that may have accidentally trodden in some foul scented excrement. Whatever the mixture of fragrances, they are not pleasant. This song sums up that feeling so well, "I think I smell a rat, and all you little kids seem to think you know where it's at" a very obvious stab at all the school kids who haven't quite realized the purpose of deodorant. It also resonates with the population of subway rats so present in our underground train stations. As long as you listen to this you can let off a little steam about your rather smelly situation.
2. "My Apocalypse" - Metallica
This is a cathartic masterpiece for the crowded subway. When those bodies are pressing up against you from every possible angle and you feel like you might explode, play this track. Make sure to turn your volume full, so that anyone standing next to you can hear it and hopefully take a hint and step back a bit, give you some space! The line "claustrophobic, climb out of this skin, heart explosive, reach in, pull that pin" describes the sensation of being trapped in an overcrowded subway carriage a hundred feet below the ground. You are desperately craving to climb out of your skin, out of the train and into the fresh air of freedom.
3. "Noises" - Ian Hunter
When the noise of the carriage is almost deafening, put on this track and release your anxieties. Despite most people being quiet commuters there always seems to be the loud obnoxious group of travelers. They don't care if every single person on the train can hear their conversation, nor do they mind their incessant jabbering is evoking a sense of panic in almost everyone else. This on top of the regular rumbling of the train and the ear piercing screeches of the train on the tracks, is bound to drive anyone insane. When that insanity seems to creep in put on this track and recite the lyrics "noises are taking away my casualness, noises are my making me scared" and just know that Ian Hunter feels the same way and you're not alone in this struggle. If he was on that thunderous train with you he'd hold your hand and serenade you with this song...maybe.
4. "Nausea" - X
This is the track for when you start to feel faint because you've been standing up without any fresh air for over twenty minutes. The congestion of the space and the fact that you didn't eat breakfast because you were running late, is all contributing to your feverish sweats. Your stomach is doing some back flips, and your head is starting to throb, all signs of some unwanted illness. Well before you faint in the middle of the carriage in front of all these strangers, put on this track and focus on it's lyrics "today you're gonna be so sick, so sick, you'll prop your forehead on the sink." Although probably discussing a different kind of illness, the lyrics are tangible enough to relate to your current predicament. Plus the music is rough and harsh, which will definitely keep you awake, at least until the next stop where you can run out and spew in a bin (which I have shamefully had to do). If I had this song by my side at that brutal moment, maybe I would not have embarrassed myself, so save yourself
and add this to your commuting playlist!
5. "Just A Creep" - Dum Dum Girls
This is the perfect track for anyone out there having to deal with creepy subway perverts. When you're minding your own business, trying to survive this trip, and you can feel some creepy person watching you or just being a tad too close for no apparent reason. First of all, you should actually say something, because you have the right to feel comfortable in your personal space and don't deserve this kind of behavior. So once you've vocalized this inappropriate behavior and hopefully removed the culprit from the scene, you can then listen to this bangin' track and remind yourself you are in control! The line "you come creeping acting like a friend, but I've been warned your deceit knows no end" is so relevant in our current social turmoil. This track is a perfect reminder that people cannot get away with this behavior. The Dum Dum Girls are great and an ode to feminine power, you should just listen to them regardless of subway commuting or not!