Soundtrack for the Pope’s US visit

What songs go through your head when you watch the Pope parting crowds with his popemobile?

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WASHINGTON, September 24, 2015 – What song goes through your head when you see Pope Francis parting the crowds with his Pope Mobile?

Well, now you don’t have to come up with songs on your own: online streaming service Spotify, with the help of Notre Dame professor Tim O’Malley, has created a Pope Playlist for Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.

O’Malley, who is Director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, says he selected songs that match the Pope’s itinerary. He created a list that includes 53 songs spanning a vast musical landscape, that lasts three-and-a-half hours.

As expected, several hymns are among the songs on the playlist. O’Malley selected Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom (Cathedral Basilica Choir), as well as the classic Gloria (Mary Frances Reza). His Ave Maria selection is by Vietnamese singer Luu Hong.

But several of O’Malley’s selections are classic American songs. He included Old American Songs by Aaron Copeland, first arranged in 1950 and 1952. Old American Songs are actually two sets of compositions by the famed American composer, known for his uniquely American sound.

For the Philadelphia stop, O’Malley chose Motownphilly by Bys II Men, Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen, and of course, the theme from Rocky, Gonna Fly Now.

New York, says O’Malley, was an easy choice. His first selection, The Theme From New York, New York, by Frank Sinatra. His second selection for New York is Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” because, O’Malley says, he likes Keys so she “won out.”

The soundtrack for DC is the iconic Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa. Marine Band Director Sousa wrote the march in 1889 at the behest of the Washington Post newspaper to celebrate the first awards presented by the Washington Post Amateur Authors Association.

The final song on the list is Si Supieras by Carlos Gardel. Gardel was an Argentine singer and actor, who died in a plane crash in 1935. The song is a homage to the fact that the Pope is from Argentina.

You can access the full playlist here.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.