Posted by: Johan Normark | April 3, 2009

13 songs

Åsa M. Larsson at Ting och Tankar challenged a couple of bloggers to list 12 of the songs that have meant something for them (and which supposedly says something about the person). Magnus Reuterdahl at Testimony of the Spade has forwarded this challenge to others, including myself. However, being a Mayanist I argue that I must use 13 songs (I could argue for 20 songs due to the vigesimal numbering system the Maya used, but that would probably be too many).

Nowadays I listen to all kinds of music but the songs that have meant most to me are almost without exception in the genre called Metal (Heavy, Trash, etc.) . I still mainly listen to this kind of music but not exclusively. The list basically reveals what I listened to in my youth, twenty years ago or so, and some more recent songs as well. There are no unknown or odd bands here, I am not that into music myself. The songs do not follow in any particular order. However, I begin with the eighties:

My favorite band back then was Accept with the raw voice of Udo Dirchschneider (nowadays the front man of U.D.O.). Princess of the Dawn comes from the Restless and Wild album and I listened to this album while reading a lot of (pre-)historical fictions and facts, so it gives me a slight “back in ancient time” feeling.

In between Black Sabbath and the Osbournes, Ozzy released his best music according to me. Mr Crowley is from his first solo album and it makes me remember hiking in the forest near my home town in Gästrikland (Sandviken).

I have already mentioned Iron Maiden in an earlier post. This is probably one of the most popular of Maiden’s songs, and for good reasons.

In 1988, the American band Queensryche released the masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime and this song come from that album. This was my final year in senior high school and I cut my long hair.

I have added Helloween to this list because in 2001 I had the seat right next to Michael Weikath, the main songwriter and guitarist in the band. They had a gig in Mexico City and me and my wife had just finished our vacation. Weikath played computer games the whole flight to Amsterdam.

Of Metallica’s many songs I have chosen this one, for no particular reason. I could have chosen anyone from the Master of Puppets album. I still remember Cliff Burton’s death in Sweden.

This German pirate band has also shaped my interest in archaeology (although some of their songs seem to relate to von Däniken kind of literature, not this one though).

The long career of Dio is represented by this song, which is one of his best. But remember his “archaeological” songs (on the Last in Line album and The Gates of Babylon).

Now, I end this list with some Nordic metal bands, three Swedish, one Danish and one Finish. First we have Disneyland After Dark (D.A.D.) from Denmark. Not really metal, but “Cowboy punk”. This takes me back to my military service in Luleå 1988/89 and a gig in London the year before.

Nightwish is Finland’s most popular metal band and I listened to this song quite a lot to last year during my fieldwork.

Tiamat is a metal band with touches of gothic rock. I listened to this in my early years of fieldwork.

Peter Tägtgren has several bands including Hypocrisy (death metal) and Pain (industrial metal). Have no justification for including this song, but it rocks.

Finally, a melodic death metal band from my hometown for the past 15 years: Göteborg.

Well, does this list give a coherent picture of me? Not really, I am a multiplicity, not a static unit (although my taste of music appears to be static). However, after becoming a father I have begun to listen to totally different kind of music, but I am trying to change this. I could have listed Follow me by Pain and Anette Olzon from Nightwish since my son apparently likes it, this would also have included a woman on the male-dominated list.



  1. Great list, I would have liked to a few on mine as well but… anyways lots of these could very well have been on mine also.


    • I thought about adding Dead Kennedy’s Holiday in Cambodia, but I had already exceeded the limit.

  2. Thirteen is a good number considering the End-of-Days-list you put togehter. I guess all Mayanists are preparing themselves for the inevitable come 2012…

    • Mayanists care little about 2012, those who do care are part of Mayanism (note the difference, and see wikipedia). Mayanism is New-Age rubbish. I will post more on this sometime in future if I even bother reading that kind of literature.


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