MIGHTY NEIN PLAYLIST: CADUCEUS CLAY #2
Written by Christina on July 24, 2020
This week’s playlist continues a journey of insight into the ever-calming Caduceus Clay.
Our playlists are curated carefully by each Critical Role cast member and our previous character playlists can be found on Spotify via the official Critical Role account or you can listen to the playlist embedded below. The rest of this Mighty Nein installment will roll out weekly on Fridays. If you missed last week’s playlist (Jester #2) be sure to check it out, here.
And now, turning it over to the man, the myth, the pyramid — Taliesin Jaffe.
It’s interesting to make a playlist for a character like Caduceus Clay, since he is by his very nature, somewhat static. Some characters are on a personal arc be it for love, revenge, discovery, etc. Caduceus, on the other hand, is always Caduceus. Like Captain America, the drama is not in how he changes, but rather in how he relates to the world and it in turn relates to him. Therefore, you’ll notice more mood songs here, along with a definite arch to the playlist. So play it through like a mixtape before hitting the random button.
Death Bed Salesman by Jeremy Messersmith
There are surprisingly few songs about mortuary work, but bless Jeremy Messersmith’s The Reluctant Graveyard album. It’s a treasure trove of lovely meditations on death. It’s only appropriate to begin this playlist with an acknowledgement of Caduceus’s upbringing and how it colors every corner of his psyche. His work always begins at an ending, where he is gently waiting to help with the epilogue and acknowledgements.
How Are You Doing? by The Living Sisters
Caduceus is a strong believer that a polite and laid back attitude is best for nearly all situations; be it trade negotiations or gardening.
Vegetables (Stereo) by The Beach Boys
According to legend, Brian Wilson wanted to promote healthy eating. But rather than proselytising, he wanted to go for something cute and silly. It’s hard to find a song that is at least partially sung directly to a plant, but damn if I didn’t find one. Worth noting that the percussion is actually people chewing vegetables.
When the World is at Rest by Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys
Eternal night can be tough for a gardener, but with a shift of perspective the charms of moonlight can eventually win out. Originally written and performed by Annette Hanshaw in 1929, I was first introduced to this song by a local band known for their monthly performances of turn of the century music: Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys. Figured I’d go with what I know.
Wildflowers by Tom Petty
I’m amazed this didn’t end up on the first playlist. Growing up, this was a very important album to me and was a big influence when creating this character. I can easily imagine Caduceus performing it for his friends.
Also: this whole album is magic and Miley Cyrus recently released a VERY solid cover that I nearly used.
Never Did No Wanderin’ by The New Main Street Singers
Sure, it’s an obviously satirical take on a homebody singing proudly of all the places they’ve never been, but I sometimes wonder if Caduceus had just been subconsciously waiting for an excuse to go and see the world.
When You Get To Asheville by Steve Martin & Edie Brickell
Caduceus is on a sort of Rumspringa at the moment. Leaving home is hard on everyone.
Fuck It I’m a Flower by Crying Day Care Choir
Yeah, I know I’m really hitting it on the nose with this list.
Oh, Bury Me Not (Introduction: A Cowboy’s Prayer) by Johnny Cash
Well of course Johnny Cash. He starts with a reading of the poem “A Cowboy’s Prayer”: one of the strongest American attempts to express a “nature religion philosophy” through a western monotheist lens. This oddly creates a rather striking ode to the Wildmother. The second half is a traditional cowboy adaptation of an older seafaring song, in turn based on a poem “The Ocean Burial”. I would have one of the “Oh Bury Me Not in the Deep Deep Sea” recordings, but having both on one track was irresistible. Also Johnny Cash.
September Song by The Puppini Sisters
I love a standard, and I’ve always loved the seasons framed as a memento mori. Nature demands birth and death and birth and death again. Just three more months, three more songs…
22 (OVER S∞∞N) by Bon Iver
Have you noticed the playlist seems like it’s building to something? Caduceus is a big believer in listening, especially to silence. It’s because he knows there is no such thing. Listen closely. It might be over soon.
We’ll Meet Again by The Ink Spots
I knew I wanted this song, but was hoping for something a little less maudlin than the Vera Lynn recording. Make every goodbye a good one, because you never know which one will be the last. And while yes, this is a rather depressing view, I find the pleasure of relishing and acknowledging each goodbye more than makes up for it. The Ink Spots are also the second band to make both of Caduceus’s playlists.
Enjoy It! by Maurice Chevalier & Hayley Mills
If you’ve ever seen In Search of the Castaways, Maurice Chevalier singing this while cooking in the jungle is exactly how I imagine Caduceus cooking. Stay well my friends, and a pleasant goodnight to all.
Playlist art by Sam Hogg (@Zephyri)