Sentimental Songs 

for Sentimental People 

Join pop music scholar DJ Sentimentemily for a cross-  genre exploration of sentimental songs. Based on her  current research, Sentimental Songs for Sentimental  People merges the sounds of sentimentalism with  critical historical commentary that follows the long  arc of pop music—from the late eighteenth-century  through to the present. Get into your feelings and  feel all the feels. 

Episode four was broadcast live from ZK/U’s 40th Gütermarkt flea  market. The playlist celebrates the artists and vendors who make  the market the special Moabit community event that it is with songs about your favorite sentimental objects—objects lost and  found, bought and sold, forgotten and remembered, broken and  repaired. Included here are jams by Sam Cooke, Die Prinzen, SZA,  Klaus Lage, Gwen McCrae, Fanny Brice, and more. 

Pull up your old rocking chair and get ready to (gently) rock. 

On Saturday, 20 July, Sentimental Songs for Sentimental People  participated in the Threads*ZK/U Berlin All-Day Pop Up #5.  Picnicking listeners gathered in the Moabiter Stadtgarten while I  broadcasted episode three from up in the Ständige Vertretung  radio studio. 

For this special birthday edition, for the young, the old, and the  aging, we even managed to pull off a sentimental sing along!  Episode three features songs by New Kids on the Block, Drake,  Adele, the Young@Heart chorus, Boney M, and more. 

Pull out your tissues and sing along. 

Sentimental Songs for Sentimental People

#2: Death 

The second installment of Sentimental Songs for Sentimental  People tackles the theme of death. Listen to sentimental songs  about death by Kanye West and Paul McCartney, The Staple Singers, Mike + The Mechanics, Prince, Chavela Vargas, Nina Simone, Michael Callen, The Shangri-Las, and more. Pop music scholar Dr.  Matt Jones makes a cameo appearance. 

I’m not crying, you’re crying. 

In March 2019 Sentimental Songs for Sentimental People debuted  as a radio show on ZK/U Threads* Radio. The pilot episode provides  a theoretical introduction to my research and features tracks by  Whitney Houston, Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Smith, Crosby Stills Nash &  Young, Yoko Ono, and more. 

Grab your hankies and take a listen. 


Dr. Emily Gale is an interdisciplinary music scholar who  specializes in North American popular music. Her book in  progress, Sentimental Songs for Sentimental People,  explores the intersections between sentimentalism, gender, class, and race with chapters on: sentimental ballads of the  long nineteenth century; the early Chicago radio program  The National Barn Dance; Mitch Miller’s 1960s television  show Sing Along with Mitch; and 1970s soft rock. Her article  on citizenship and settler colonialism in Calixa Lavallée’s  1883 operetta The Indian Question: Settled at Last was  published in The Opera Quarterly. Emily completed her PhD  in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music at the  University of Virginia in 2014. From 2014-2018 she was  Lecturer in the Global Arts Studies Program at UC Merced  and she revived Arts UC Merced Presents, a campus and  community arts series. She currently lives in Berlin where  her monthly feminist music column History Witch appears  in the Schmutz zine.