Originally appeared in my Livejournal on May 23, 2009.
Full Disclosure: I stuck by the rules, or at least the spirit of them. I wrote until the song ended and only finished any hanging sentences and went back to fix glaring typos afterward. Obviously, I skipped things like comedy albums, totally instrumental pieces and bits of audiobooks, lectures and radio plays.
Uh... and I skipped Legend Of A Mind. Because... really, what was I gonna do with a song exclusively about Timothy Leary? And my random selection sucked. They were weird. They were over all too fast.
Ah, and there be spoilers for Night Watch.
1. Chess Piece Face by They Might Be Giants
To say that Sam Vimes hated parties was a massive understatement. He hated the small talk and the smaller minds. He hated the tiny sandwiches and fruit juice. Most of all, he hated... this. It was unfair to have your wife used against you. "I've just been talking to Lady Sybil..." Vetinari said, face blank as a pawn on a chessboard.
2. Excuse Me Mr. By No Doubt
Sybil tried to stifle a yawn. Then she swallowed a laugh, carefully hiding it behind the glass of sherry while she gathered her thoughts and looked at the crowd in the room. "Ronnie... I think you've got things all wrong. You make it sound like a crime not to be rich. I bet you Sam hasn't even thought about the money. Not really."
"Mark my words," Lord Rust harrumphed. "He's up to no good."
"Bet not," Sybil said lightly.
3. Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies by Hank Williams
Watchman funerals were different. They weren't big affairs, they weren't fancy. They weren't well attended. All you ever found at them, Sam considered, was other Watchmen. And the last few years, his wife. "Fred would be pleased," Sybil murmured, touching his elbow. "He would," Sam agreed.
4. Young, Dumb and Ugly by Weird Al Yankovic
Young, dumb and ugly. That was about the best that could be said for his younger self, Vimes thought darkly. At least the first two were a blessing, he thought to himself wryly. You thought you were something else when you were running with a street gang, and when you first got that uniform, and you thought you were going to change the world, make it better. He slid a sidelong glance at the boy next to him on the hurry up wagon. What the hell had happened to him in the last thirty years? He had just about given up on making the world a better place. Just about. Until he had seen the knitted cap in the nearly finished nursery. Now, maybe just a speck of the boy sitting next to him was under the breastplate again.
5. Rock 'N' Roll by Motorhead
Sam's jaw dropped. Plummeted, more like. He was fairly sure it bounced off the cobbles, in fact. "You thought it was... interesting?"
Sybil shrugged. "Different, at least. You should listen to new things now and again."
"The... band with... rocks in? We ARE talking about them?" Sam said, jerking a thumb at the poster.
"Is there some other band giving a concert that I haven't heard about?" Sybil said.
Sam shrugged and decided to leave it be. Before his brain exploded. Then again, Sybil liked opera...
6. I Want To Be The Boy by The White Stripes
Sam got the uncomfortable feeling that he was being judged like some sort of prize breeding stock or something. Not that he hadn't sat through a few uncomfortable dinners and teas and whatnot for Sybil's sake already, but this was different. It was women. For some unaccountable reason, the Dowager Duchess of Quirm, who kept insisting he refer to her as Brenda, liked him. The younger ones, the interchangeable Emmas, as he thought of them, just giggled at him, which was its own sort of special horror. But Lady Worthington was giving him the sort of look the housekeeper gives something dead drug in by the terrier. It made him want to surreptitiously shine his boots on the back of his trousers.
7. I'm Ready by Fats Domino
"You've lost your mind," Sybil said flatly.
"No I haven't. Come on," Sam said, holding out a hand.
"You hate dancing," Sybil elaborated, as though he might have forgotten.
"Not this kind. Not right now, anyway," Sam insisted. What the hell? It was an inn just outside of Uberwald and a not terribly in tune amateur band that made up for aptitude with enthusiasm and volume. It's not as though anybody he knew would see him dance with his wife.
8. Waiting For You by FrodoCPU
Sybil stared at the ceiling and then looked at the clock every few minutes. The lamp was just bright enough to see that it was nearly midnight. She suddenly felt very tired and tense. It wasn't exactly that she worried, worry would be useless and silly. But it was impossible not to try to stay awake until Sam got home. For one thing, it was nice to assure yourself that all the vital bits were still attached before you went to sleep. And to top it off, well... there had been plans. Interrupted plans for an evening in-
Sybil's ears pricked up at the sound of the dressing room door and the quiet noises of boots hitting the floor and the hamper lid and the tension drained away.
9. Dancing In The Dark by Tony Bennett
"You're in a funny mood," Sybil murmured near his ear.
"What?" Sam said, snapping back to himself, away from laboriously counting beats in his head but otherwise letting his mind wander.
"Well, for a start, you're still here. What? You couldn't arrange for a nice murder or strongbox robbery?"
"I knew I forgot something at the office," Vimes said. He wouldn't admit it for a million dollars, but sometimes, just every once in a while, he actually liked shuffling to a song or two in a dark corner. With the right partner.
10. Free Ride by The Reflection
"So?" Sybil asked, leaning out of the carriage door.
"It's just... I mean... what do I have to offer?" Sam said miserably, listening to the rain hiss on the cobbles, not getting in.
There was a sigh from the depths of the carriage. "For once... just for once... would you please stop worrying about the cost of things? Sometimes, there's quite a lot of value in things that are free," Sybil insisted. There was something in the tone that gave him pause.
Sam hesitated a moment, then climbed in.