U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is planning a series of events throughout the state next week, so our weekly playlist inspired by political news naturally kicks off with Ernest Tubb singing "Waltz Across Texas."

The easiest way to enjoy the playlist is to download Spotify, which is a free program. But even without it, you can still follow along. Here are this week's other selections:

This week brought news that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's unsuccessful 2012 campaign still owes consultants and vendors nearly $1 million, so we've included "Living in Debt," by The Henry Clay People. We also have Nickel Creek's "Reasons Why" — in light of an attempt by embattled University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall's lawyer to explain the motivation for his client's controversial activities.

Texas A&M University has purchased a new law school. Because the university is most closely associated with Johnny Football these days, we've chosen "Johnny Law," by William Elliott Whitmore.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

A group of plaintiffs in the Llano Independent School District obtained a court order banning the use of CSCOPE lessons, so added have Robert David Hall's "Things They Don't Teach You in School." There's Jefferson Airplane's "Blues from an Airplane," inspired by Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken's attack against front-runner Greg Abbott for joining forces with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to block a proposed airline merger.

Live from Austin, Rhett Miller performs "Wreck of the Old 97," a classic song about a train accident — the sort of event there's growing concern about in Texas because of the oil boom. Meanwhile, criminal justice advocates are objecting to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice contract that would provide cooling capabilities to units housing the agency's swine herd, so we have "Pig," by the Dave Matthews Band.

Drought-related water shortages have prompted the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to cut water service to Guadalupe River State Park’s three campgrounds and restrooms on most weekdays. For the campers there, we have Mother Falcon's "I Dream of Water."

We close with Jethro Tull's "Pied Piper," a nod to Ross Ramsey's column about how the Texas Democrats are in search of such a figure.


Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.