An Angel Makers Playlist?

An Angel Makers playlist might go something like this:

Most people think "Independence Day" is about July 4th. Those people are wrong. Written by Gretchen Peters for Martina McBride, it tells the story of a battered woman taking back control of her life.

"I Am Ready," written for Dolly Parton by her sister Rachel, proclaims a readiness for Heaven. It is a most beautiful song.

"I Am a Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow" is a deeply sad, deeply moving cry of hopelessness in a difficult life. When I listen to this, I think of the villagers of that time. Mahalia Jackson sings this version.

"The Ballad of Frankie Silver" (New Lost City Ramblers version). In 1833, Frances “Frankie” Silver was sent to the gallows after being convicted of murdering her husband. She never confessed to the crime.

"A Spoonful of Sugar" -- Because...

"He had it coming" is a refrain in "Cell Block Tango," from the musical CHICAGO. In it, a group of women, each accused of offing their S.O.s, justify their acts.  

Blondie’s "One Way or Another" -- You’ll never hear it the same way again, now that you know Debbie Harry wrote it about a man who was stalking her.

Then there's this one. "To Keep My Love Alive" was written for Connecticut Yankee and most famously performed by Ella Fitzgerald. Arsenic. Stabbing. Removal of organs—it details all the ways one woman dispenses of her many husbands so that she won’t have to cheat on them.

"I married many men, a ton of them,
And yet I was untrue to none of them,
Because I bumped off every one of them
To keep my love alive."

And then the book's poster child tune. Every Monday morning I’d set out from my home in Austria to go to Szolnok for the week. The engine on, the garage door rolling up, and this Angel Makers anthem about to begin: "Goodbye, Earl," by The Chicks. The song is about ... oh, come on, don’t be silly.