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A Playlist Fit For A Pope

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Those infected with pope-mania during the visit of Francis include the music streaming service Spotify. They turned to liturgical scholar Tim O'Malley at the University of Notre Dame to put together a playlist fit for a pope. And instead of, say, Gregorian chants, O'Malley chose music based on the pope's itinerary.

(SOUNDBITE OF BILL CONTI SONG, "GONNA FLY NOW")

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That's the theme from "Rocky," the movie set in Philadelphia with that famous scene on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is exactly where the pope will take part in a festival celebrating families on Saturday.

MONTAGNE: O'Malley also included music for Washington, D.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN PHILIP SOUSA SONG, "WASHINGTON POST MARCH")

MONTAGNE: That's John Philip Sousa's big and brassy "Washington Post March." For some reason, O'Malley passed on the theme from "House Of Cards."

INSKEEP: And a song for New York City? Well, that was obvious.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK, NEW YORK")

FRANK SINATRA: (Singing) Start spreading the news. I'm leaving today.

TIM O'MALLEY: For New York - if you don't do Frank Sinatra, "New York, New York," you really haven't said anything about New York. And then, to be frank, I like Alicia Keys. So she won out.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EMPIRE STATE OF MIND")

ALICIA KEYS: (Singing) Now you're in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new.

MONTAGNE: That's Alicia Keys's "Empire State Of Mind." O'Malley's list does include some more traditional church music.

O'MALLEY: Take, for example, "Sound The Bell Of Holy Freedom."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOUND THE BELL OF HOLY FREEDOM")

UNIDENTIFIED CONGREGANTS: (Singing) Sound the bell of holy freedom.

O'MALLEY: And that's going to be to hymn for the World Meeting of Families in the city of Philadelphia.

INSKEEP: And even though it's not a stop on this tour, O'Malley could not overlook Pope Francis's native Argentina.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SI SUPIERAS")

CARLOS GARDEL: (Singing in Spanish).

INSKEEP: So it seemed fitting to have Carlos Gardel's "Si Supieras" round out the playlist as the man from Argentina visits the East Coast of the United States.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SI SUPIERAS")

GARDEL: (Singing in Spanish). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.