Cast your shadowy or shady musical suggestions and bring to light a collection that will eclipse all others

Like a bad conscience or a faithful dog, they follow us everywhere. Each is unique to the individual. The brighter the light, the darker their hue. And like eyebrows, we take them for granted, but were they suddenly missing, the world would be very disturbing indeed. But what of shadows in song?

Are shadows always associated with darkness, negativity and mutability? Do they have to inspire fear? Why a shadow of doubt? Do people inevitably become a shadow of their former selves, or fall in someone else's shadow? Is life really a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets upon the stage, or just a plaything of light? Is the very substance of ambition merely the shadow of a dream? And do we really have to walk in the valley of the shadow of death? Not quite yet. First it's time to bring shadows out of the – well – darkness, and into the musical light. That's right – this week we're transforming the Readers Recommend bar into the Shady Lady.

Shadows are part of our definition. Without them everything would be a floating morass of light and colour. Drop shadows bring a third dimension to the 2D world. Shadows are, by definition, an obstruction to light, but they are its mutual guide. They constantly change shape, angle and intensity, like moods and emotions, which also gives them a strange beauty akin to music. Shapes of leaves dance across a meadow, clouds caress the landscape, and other such lovely things.

Shadow comes in gradients and colours. Fifty Shades of Grey? Hmm, perhaps that's for another topic. But the wavelengths of shade can certainly give pleasurably relief from searing heat.

Shadows, as our constant companions, have also been portrayed in literature as a silent form of daemon, not unlike those described in His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. They could be seen to cast another side of us, our subconscious, our underlying self, stretching out with a different perspective and shape across life's daily glare.

The scale of shadows can also be immense. A shadow cast by Earth on the moon is a lunar eclipse. Conversely, a shadow cast by the moon on Earth is a solar eclipse. Meanwhile fog shadows are very odd – they confuse the imagination because they are perceived in three dimensions. And then there is the umbra, penumbra and antumbra, and when shadows overlap, the shadow blister effect.

This week's qualification across the vast spectrum of RR? Previously there has been topic of light but, conversely, not one yet about darkness, so this time please try to focus on shadows and shade specifically, as other forms of darkness could be a somewhat different beast lurking in a future topic. So please cast your shadow and shade nominations by last orders (11pm GMT) on Monday 10 March and our next esteemed guest guru, Fuel, will display them on his proverbial lightbox on Thursday 13 March.

To increase the likelihood of your nomination being considered, please:

• Tell us why it's a worthy contender.
• Quote lyrics if helpful, but for copyright reasons no more than a third of a song's words.
• Provide a link to the song. We prefer Muzu or YouTube, but Spotify, SoundCloud or Grooveshark are fine.
• Listen to others people's suggestions and add yours to a collaborative Spotify playlist.
• If you have a good theme for Readers recommend, or if you'd like to volunteer to compile a playlist, please email [email protected] or [email protected]
• There's a wealth of data on RR, including the songs that are "zedded", at the Marconium. It also tells you the meaning of "zedded", "donds" and other strange words used by RR regulars.
• Many RR regulars also congregate at the 'Spill blog.

Peter Kimpton

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Readers recommend: songs about shadows | Peter Kimpton

Cast your shadowy or shady musical suggestions and bring to light a collection that will eclipse all others

Like a bad conscience or a faithful dog, they follow us everywhere. Each is unique to the individual. The brighter the light, the darker their hue. And like eyebrows, we take them for granted, but were they suddenly missing, the world would be very disturbing indeed. But what of shadows in song?

Are shadows always associated with darkness, negativity and mutability? Do they have to inspire fear? Why a shadow of doubt? Do people inevitably become a shadow of their former selves, or fall in someone else's shadow? Is life really a walking shadow, a poor player who struts and frets upon the stage, or just a plaything of light? Is the very substance of ambition merely the shadow of a dream? And do we really have to walk in the valley of the shadow of death? Not quite yet. First it's time to bring shadows out of the – well – darkness, and into the musical light. That's right – this week we're transforming the Readers Recommend bar into the Shady Lady.

Shadows are part of our definition. Without them everything would be a floating morass of light and colour. Drop shadows bring a third dimension to the 2D world. Shadows are, by definition, an obstruction to light, but they are its mutual guide. They constantly change shape, angle and intensity, like moods and emotions, which also gives them a strange beauty akin to music. Shapes of leaves dance across a meadow, clouds caress the landscape, and other such lovely things.

Shadow comes in gradients and colours. Fifty Shades of Grey? Hmm, perhaps that's for another topic. But the wavelengths of shade can certainly give pleasurably relief from searing heat.

Shadows, as our constant companions, have also been portrayed in literature as a silent form of daemon, not unlike those described in His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. They could be seen to cast another side of us, our subconscious, our underlying self, stretching out with a different perspective and shape across life's daily glare.

The scale of shadows can also be immense. A shadow cast by Earth on the moon is a lunar eclipse. Conversely, a shadow cast by the moon on Earth is a solar eclipse. Meanwhile fog shadows are very odd – they confuse the imagination because they are perceived in three dimensions. And then there is the umbra, penumbra and antumbra, and when shadows overlap, the shadow blister effect.

This week's qualification across the vast spectrum of RR? Previously there has been topic of light but, conversely, not one yet about darkness, so this time please try to focus on shadows and shade specifically, as other forms of darkness could be a somewhat different beast lurking in a future topic. So please cast your shadow and shade nominations by last orders (11pm GMT) on Monday 10 March and our next esteemed guest guru, Fuel, will display them on his proverbial lightbox on Thursday 13 March.

To increase the likelihood of your nomination being considered, please:

• Tell us why it's a worthy contender.
• Quote lyrics if helpful, but for copyright reasons no more than a third of a song's words.
• Provide a link to the song. We prefer Muzu or YouTube, but Spotify, SoundCloud or Grooveshark are fine.
• Listen to others people's suggestions and add yours to a collaborative Spotify playlist.
• If you have a good theme for Readers recommend, or if you'd like to volunteer to compile a playlist, please email [email protected] or [email protected]
• There's a wealth of data on RR, including the songs that are "zedded", at the Marconium. It also tells you the meaning of "zedded", "donds" and other strange words used by RR regulars.
• Many RR regulars also congregate at the 'Spill blog.


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