Top Billions Songs: Damianista’s
“Running” Playlist

Firstly, I identify a lot of things in my life with music. Almost every piece of music I love reminds me of some moment in my life, particularly good ones. And I associate my memories with music so much so that I believe we all should have a life soundtrack!

So when I hear a particular song from Billions soundtrack, I associate the song with the particular Billions scene it plays in. And every time I listen to the song, I re-live the scene as if I am watching the show again. So it is no surprise that most of the songs in my Billions playlist accompany some of my favorite scenes in my favorite show.

Secondly, I am a runner. I run 4 miles every two days and I occasionally run half marathons.

After finishing Brooklyn Half in 2017. Notice my Billions hat even though it’s not very noticeable from this far! 🙂

The Billions playlist I am sharing below is my actual 46-minute playlist that motivates and entertains me on a 4-mile run and cooling off every other day.

Finally, I  want to take this opportunity to thank Billions creators and show runners Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who pick every single song for the show, for introducing me to two great artists that I did not know existed before: Titus Andronicus and Jason Isbell both of whom I have been very lucky to hear live multiple times since!

So, here you go – Damianista’s Billions running playlist in chronological order. I hope it gives you a fun run (walk) in Billions memory lane. ENJOY!

1. “Quite The Contrary” by Parker Mills – Season 1 Episode 10 Quality of Life

This great song that incorporates nursery rhymes accompanies one of the best scenes in TV history, namely the one and only Fake Fight!

Axe: “Come bonus time I will show you enough love you could start a third family.”

Bill: “Two is plenty!”

Original. Hilarious. Genius.

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2. “Tubthumping by Chumbawamba – Season 1 Episode 10 Quality of Life

I was not able to stop listening to this song once I heard it closing the episode where Axe leaves a leaf for Donnie at his memorial and walks away…

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Unlike most of my fellow blog mates, I never listened to hard rock or heavy metal growing up and beyond. I have always been a pop girl so HOW COME I missed this song when it came out in late 1990s? I believe though I compensated for the last two decades in the weeks following the episode that my husband got sick and tired of it 😀

3. “Dimed Out by Titus Andronicus – Season 1 Episode 12 The Conversation

I cannot think of a better song to accompany the final showdown between the man who leaves Nagasaki behind when he pulls a deal off the table and the man with nothing to lose in Season 1 Finale! ” It sets the tone, a march to the battle, as we hear the war drums playing in the first few notes… and the drums are loud all along. Simply brilliant!

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

4. “Even The Losers” by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers –  Season 2 Episode 11 Golden Frog Time

I cannot think of anything but Chuck’s infamous “cry-laugh” when I hear this great song now!

Baby even the losers
Get lucky sometimes
Even the losers
Keep a little bit of pride
They get lucky sometimes

Lucky Loser! source: Showtime

5. “Spanish Stroll” by Mink De Ville in Season 3 Episode 1 Tie Goes to the Runner

This song does not only make me dance but  also makes me giggle every time I hear it. Look at the lyrics – it feels like the song was actually written for the new compliance officer at Axe Capital 😀

“Hey Mr. Jim I can see the shape you’re in
Finger on your eyebrow
And left hand on your hip
Thinking that you’re such a lady killer
Think you’re so slick!
Alright”

6. “Sinking Down” by Son Volt in Season 3 Episode 6 The Third Ortolan

While my playlist is in chronological order “Sinking Down” is by far my favorite Billions song – I use it in my runs for motivation especially when I need to speed up! And it is not only a great song but also the perfect song to go with the Holy Trinity agreeing to have total transparency in Third Ortolan thanks to Wendy “breaking that fucking stick.”

Axe: “Full transparency. I give you my word.”

Chuck: “You want transparency? How fucking clear is this?”

7. “Handle with Care” by Traveling Wilburys in Season 3 Episode 8 All the Wilburys

George Harrison. Bob Dylan. Tom Petty. Roy Orbison. Jeff Lynne. Enough said.

8. “I Wish I Was Your Mother” by Mott The Hoople in Season 3 Episode 10 Redemption

This beautiful song accompanies one of the most surprising scenes in Billions!

“Robert.”

“Hi mom.”

The use of the song in this scene is pretty amazing. “I wish I was your mother” is not about a mom or motherhood. It is about a guy who seems not able to keep happy and stable relationships because he had a troubled family life as a child. Sounds familiar?

9. “King of New York” by Fun Lovin’ Criminals in Season 4 Episode 1 Chucky Rhoades’ Greatest Game

This song perfectly complements the brilliant sequence in which Chuck goes from one power joint to another and trades favors to secure a gun permit for Mr. Brogan in Episode 1 Chucky Rhoades’ Greatest Game 😀 Besides it makes me dance like there is no tomorrow.

10. “Troubled Man” by John Mellencamp in Season 4 Episode 4 Overton Window

I do not know if I love this song or the scene it accompanies more in which Chuck chooses to add to the history of Fraunces Tavern – where he is supposed to end his political campaign – with his own historical speech. He starts with Churcill:

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

A prosecutor’s job is to dig deep and find what is under all darkness and Chuck will start now with shining light on his own: He practices BDSM with his consenting wife. Bondage, dominance, whips, ropes, masks, pinches punches, what have you.

Chuck trusts his constituency can handle it. It would be great if they still voted for him, but it would be the best if they told someone today about who they really are and felt more comfortable in their own skin.

My vote is for Chuck Rhoades! I think, as a voter, if this guy can tell people who want to control him to go fuck themselves now, he will tell them to go fuck themselves while in office. Way to go, Chuck!

11. “Eye of The Tiger” by Survivor in Season 4 Episode 8 Fight Night

This is not only one of my all-time favorite songs but also an unparalleled one for any kind of training! I claim this classic Survivor song is second to none when one wants to feel competitive.

Honestly, I feel like Rocky when I run to “Eye of the Tiger” and so should Mafee and Dollar Bill! Hmmm, maybe not 😀

12. “Behind Blue Eyes by Pete Townsend / The Who in Season 4 Episode 12 Extreme Sandbox

Next to being an amazing song, it feels as if it was written for Bobby Axelrod.

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes
And no one knows what it’s like
To be hated
To be faded to telling only lies
But my dreams they aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be
I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

Could there be a better song to introduce the scene in which Axe is seemingly having a romantic evening with Rebecca but is actually getting ready to put his plan to destroy her business into action.

Ah the bad man behind those blue eyes!

In closing, I follow my blog mates and list a handful of honorable mentions: “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell in Season 1 Episode 8 Boasts and Rails, “Homecoming” by Jason Ritter in Season 2 Finale Ball in Hand, “Troublemaker Doppelganger” by Lucy Dacus in Season 3 Episode 1 Tie Goes to the Runner, “Blue Train” by John Coltrane in Season 4 Episode 6 Maximum Recreational Depth (this is the kind of music I listen the most in my daily life)  “Peace, Love and Understanding” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions in Season 4 Finale Extreme Sandbox, last by not the least “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens – my all-time favorite song writer – in Season 5 Episode 3 Beg, Bribe, Bully.

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

5 thoughts on “Top Billions Songs: Damianista’s
“Running” Playlist”

  1. I have really enjoyed these playlists, especially since most of our songs were different. I will admit that I only know 20% of the songs in Billions (and on your list) but like you, I do like how it introduces us to music, and musicians, we may never have known.

    And, I applaud you on a 4 mile run! I hope one day I can get back to my 3 mile a day runs!

  2. We both chose King of New York and Even the Losers. And I have Behind Blue Eyes in my Honorable Mentions. I am SUPER surprised you did not chose Goddamn Lonely Love because we all seemed to talk about that song so much during the season. You know what I’m finding when reading your list? It seems your music choices are more about the visceral reaction you had from the scene itself than the actual song? Or am I off base? Also your music is more for running for sure! 🙂

    1. You are absolutely right that most of my music choices are more about my reaction to the scene than the song per se. I am wired this way. I typically love music that I identify with something I love the most. And all these songs motivate me as well as make me smile when I run! You cannot imagine how it boosts me to remember the Nagasaki convo between Axe and Chuck, or Chuck asking “how transparent is this?” or Chuck cry-laughing on his bed at the Yale Club!

      Re: Goddamn Lonely Love – I don’t think it was me it was JaniaJania who loved the song. If I remember correctly, she chose that the song of the season in our BEST of list, too. I like the song but as you also point out mine is a workout playlist (still I have Isbell’s “Cover Me Up” in my honorable mentions) and it is the actual one I am using on my 4-mile runs: 46 minutes that is perfect for me to finish the run and cool off a bit — Troubled Man is my cooling off song! 🙂 And I typically start with Eye of The Tiger (for a long time, even before Billions, to feel like Rocky!!!)

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