"We're like, we have to have a CD, we have to have a player, we have to have all the accoutrements. And there in those countries, developing countries, like Brazil, wherever, where people don't have much, a lot of people don't have much, they're still making music in the streets. You go to Cuba, they're making music in the streets. I like that."
"My first musical memory is probably listening to the radio in Scotland," said Lennox. "We used to listen to Scottish country dance music. It's very exciting, wonderful, uplifting music."
Lennox said that Scottish dance music was popularized by a man named Jimmy Shand. She describes it as "a mixture of Scottish fiddles and accordion and piano and drums, and it's not like there's a song, there's tunes because there's nobody singing them."
Lennox says she owes Joni Mitchell "a huge debt, because she kind of walks before all singer/songwriters."
"When I first heard Joni Mitchell I was 19 or 20. … There's a song called 'The Jungle Line' on [the album] 'Hejira' where she uses a special kind of rhythm of Burundi drum. That is so innovative, and I don't think she's been given full credit for her unique innovation, the things that she brought in," she said.
"One of my favorite songs of all time is 'Wichita Lineman' [performed] by Glen Campbell, which just is an absolute masterpiece without any doubt whatsoever," said Lennox. "It is so haunting, it is so exquisitely beautiful, and I remember when I was a teenager and I first heard it on the radio, it got to me so strongly."
Lennox said she recently got a window into Campbell's songwriting process.
"Someone gave me a CD recently about how that song came to be recorded, how it become to be written, and that's very interesting because hearing Glen Campbell talk about how the song came into being was fascinating for me," she said. "I'm not really sure how other songwriters work. They probably all have their own methodology. So I was very glad to hear Glen Campbell describe how that song came about and I'm very glad that there is such a song like 'Wichita Lineman' — and I know it's touched a lot of people."
"And of course, Bob Marley, 'No Woman No Cry,' Lennox said. "Wow, when you hear that Hammond introduction, Oh my God…in that moment I'm Jamaican, I'm black and I'm sitting in the government yard in Trenchtown, you know? And I want to be there with them."
Lennox says this song is "at the very top" of her list, "because the very moment you hear the entry of his voice, oh my God. And when I started to hear this kind of music I was mesmerized, even now, when I think of it, that's magic."
"Marvin Gaye — what a voice," she added. "And that rhythm, and then the strings come in. It's classic Motown arrangements. There was like a gold vein and gold thread coming through Detroit — unbelievable. "
Lennox calls this song by Aretha Franklin "one of the best songs of all time" and "pure magic."