All that saving of daylight you did over the past seven months is about to come to an end and mornings are about to get dark before they get darker. Waking up is hard to do at the best of times, and even harder when those of us in northern climes tilt away from the sun for a while. Luckily, the powers that be have invented devices that can play any song we want at a set time -- making wake-up more customizable, if no easier. Here are our top 10 songs to set your alarm to that will get you up, and perhaps even at 'em.
Arcade Fire -- 'Wake Up'
If you're finding it difficult to arrange a full-band wake-up call at your bedside in the morning, Arcade Fire's 'Wake Up' is a good stand-in. It's the kind of music that sounds like it should accompany newly crowned kings and queens the first time they go out to greet their adoring masses. Or, y'know, a coffee. Plus, the choral crooning totally sounds like an indie-rock alarm clock. But if you're thinking it needs a little more soul, try John Legend and the Roots' version.
The Drums -- 'Let's Go Surfing'
If you like to act out exaggerated wake-up scenes first thing in the morning that involve swiping your curtains open before doing the Running Man on the way to the bathroom where you brush your teeth to the beat of a poppy Brooklyn four-piece, then this is your song. The catchy whistle will not only get you up, but it'll get stuck in your head for hours, infusing even the dreariest of autumnal days with some musical vitamin D courtesy of the Drums.
Blue Mink -- 'Good Morning Freedom'
This 1970s hit from British pop group Blue Mink rose to 10 on the UK Singles Chart back in the day but it got brand new life recently thanks to a meth chef by the name of Walter White. This song accompanied 'Breaking Bad''s Walt and Jesse in their RV en route to their weekend meth-cooking bender in Season 1, capturing the song's sense of freedom, and the show's consistently solid music choices. Have this one ready to crank on the morning of road trips or other goin' away adventures.
Stars -- 'The Vanishing'
If you need to be eased into wakefulness, Torquil Campbell's the man to do it for you. This track from Stars' 2003 album, 'Heart,' starts with a whispered "wake up" that'll either gently brush the delicate tendrils of sleep from your head or creep you out completely and you'll wake up thinking someone twee broke into your house. You can bank on the former but watch out for the latter, and don't say we didn't warn you.
David Bowie -- 'Oh! You Pretty Things'
If you want to do this one right, you're going to want to go to sleep wearing some Bowie-inspired pyjamas so that when his ivory tickles break the silence you can immediately bust into some glam rock dance moves. Heart-warming as it is to hear Bowie himself tell you to "wake up, you sleepyhead," there are deeper levels to this tune, but wait til you get some coffee in you before you delve into the Nietzchean undertones.
Bone Thugs N Harmony -- 'First of the Month'
Complete with a rooster and old-school alarm clock, BTnH go for the full-blown wake-up effect. They borrow from the master of all things horizontal, Marvin Gaye, and his own 'Sexual Healing' in the 'wake up, wake up, get up, get up' intro, but this one's actually about the beauty of welfare cheque day. So whether you're celebrating getting paid or getting laid -- or, for the truly blessed among us, both -- this one will get your day off to the right kind of start.
Bob Marley -- 'Wake Up and Live'
Just like Cinderella's plump, periwinkle-clad fairy godmother gave her a pep-talk for the ball that would change her life, everyone's favourite dreadlocked fairy Bobmother reminds you in this inspirational tune to greet the day with the gusto needed to realize your full potential, with or without a prince. It's a far cry from his usual role in college kids' morning wake'n'bake routines, but let this be the day you fill your bowl with Cheerios instead! You're on your own for getting dressed, though. Bob Marley doesn't come with seamstress mice.
Andrew Bird -- 'The Happy Birthday Song'
This simple call for the simple things will pluck you out of your slumber complete with instructions, so you can technically leave your brain off for a bonus five minutes as this plays. Wake up, make some coffee, read the paper, do the dishes and, for Pete's sake, feed the fishes. Then sing Andrew Bird's 'Happy Birthday' to yourself because why the hell not? Perfect for those days when you don't know if there's really a point in getting out of a warm bed to go into a cold world. This won't help you figure it out, but it'll make you feel better about not knowing the why or how of any of it.
Descendents -- 'Coffee Mug'
This one's for those who need a quick and dirty wake-up call -- none of this lazing about and contemplating the world nonsense. The Descendents' praise for the pre-noon nectar of the gods is only 35 seconds long but it gets to the point. Get crafty with it and rig up your coffeemaker to blast this while it brews your coffee at a pre-set time and you're well on your way to blowing Pee-Wee's breakfast machine out of the water.
Ke$ha -- 'Tik Tok'
There's no denying this chart-topper is catchy but its opening line -- "Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy" -- raises an important question: What exactly does P. Diddy feel like when he wakes up? And when did you write this, Ke$ha? He dropped the P in 2005. In any case, Mr. Combs was 40 when this song came out, and the man's got five kids and one step-kid, not to mention his own men's perfume, fashion line and record label, among many other ventures on his resume. While there's little doubt that he knows how to have a good time, I doubt Diddy's mornings involve brushing his teeth with a bottle of Jack. Fact check, Ke$ha.
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