How does a music writer grieve? With playlists, of course


Music writer Pete Paphides turned to songwriters and musicians from Abba to Undertones to understand all the important moments of his life. So when he got the call he was afraid to say that his father was dying, it was the music that helped him get through the shock, denial and loss.

In this touching audio essay read by the author, Paphides explores both the unpredictability of grief and how his playlists have taken on new meaning — specifically, the traditional songs his Greek Cypriot father listened to that remind him of home and rainy weekends over family. . fish and chips shop in Birmingham.

“It’s a gift that grief gives you,” Paphides says. “When a loved one leaves this world, they take with them the invisible membrane that stood between your feelings and the songs they receive.” For several months he had been looking forward to the premiere of the Abba Voyage hologram show; now it falls on the eve of his father’s funeral. When he attends the show, how will it affect him?

This article was originally published on June 11, 2022. You can read the text version (with playlist) here.

Music quoted in this piece:

Free time” Scavenger Sinatras

Giorgio by Moroder» by Daft Punk

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six words” Elbow

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