Every now and then I draft a post about music. It’s such a massive, all encompassing thing to write about that I am never happy with the post so I bin it off to that great big virtual trash pile lurking in the ether.
Who could possibly name their top 5 favourite tracks ever? Their top 5 albums? Their favourite ever artist? The choice is too vast.
Music has a way of transporting you instantly back to a single moment in time. Not just the big things, like when your child was born or when you met your first love, but the mundane things that you had forgotten. Who knew that ‘Raintown’ by Deacon Blue would transport me back instantly to sitting on the train on the way back from a party in Bury St Edmunds with a catastrophic hangover one day in 1988? (playing on a CASSETTE on my WALKMAN!)
On Sunday mornings, whilst I’m walking the dog around my favourite place, I play #sundayshuffle with Twitter. This is nothing more than me inflicting my randomly shuffled iPod contents on my followers for about an hour. I have just under 3,000 tracks on my iPod. The most often tweeted comment is “I haven’t heard that for ages” or “I’d forgotten about that track”. Twitter is pretty great for music fans, people often tweet links to You Tube, or, if you ask, are quick to recommend their favourite music to you (“If you like that you’ll love this…”). I have also been reminded of old friends like Julia Fordham, whose beautifully mellow tracks I first heard when I was 17 and had forgotten about. I have also (knowingly) introduced at least a few people to music I love.
In the year in which I’ve used twitter ‘properly’ I have been introduced to Eels, Kings of Convenience, Airborne Toxic Event, Bastille and The Satellites amongst many others. Of course, with music downloads you never have to buy music completely blind these days but recommendations from others who like the same stuff are always great. And discovering someone new with a big back catalogue is as exciting as discovering a new-to-you author has written other fabulous books that you can now immerse yourself in.
Last October The Guardian newspaper ran an online article called 6 Songs of Me. So I’ve borrowed their idea.
It narrowed it’s readers’ choices down to
The first song you ever bought
The song which always gets you dancing
What song takes you back to your childhood
What is the perfect love song?
What song would you want played at your funeral
Time for the encore – One last song which makes you, you…
Some people would look at that list and be able to answer at least 2 or 3 of those instantly. Some would take ages to mull it over (me included!)
I couldn’t remember what I answered to those back in October 2012, and I don’t have the time to find myself in the (long) list, but I bet at least three of my song choices would be different now.
The first song I ever bought is open to discussion. They are both shameful but I confess it was either the Nolans or Shakin Stevens. The first album I bought with my own money was, probably, Paul Young’s No Parlez.(Either way, they were all vinyl)
The song which always gets me dancing? Hm, tricky. I love dancing but get little opportunity for it now. So the simple answer would be most things, but if you put me on the rack and made me confess it might be….B52s “Love Shack”
The song which takes me back to my childhood would be any Fleetwood Mac track, but most specifically anything off the Rumours Album. My parents played music all the time and I remember their delight when they first got a car with a cassette player in it (yes, there’s that word again…)
What is the perfect love song? Hell. There’s loads of them isn’t there? My favourite love song would probably change weekly I expect. But as far as I can think, this would be either (retro choice)
“The first time ever I saw your face” by Roberta Flack
“The first time ever I kissed your mouth I felt the earth move in my hands Like the trembling heart of a captive bird That was then at my command”
(slightly less retro choice)
“Sail Away” by David Grey
“Through all the times I tasted love Never knew quite what I had Little darling if you hear me now Never needed you so bad”
What’s the song that makes you, you? I’m not actually sure what that even means! However, as a song, Elbow’s “One Day like This” comes pretty close to being my perfect track. If you do follow me on twitter you’ll know I bang on about it quite a bit. But I really do love it and I probably listen to it most days. It’s uplifting. I love the slightly surprising lyrics (Is there any other song that has the phrase “Holy Cow” in it??). I love Guy Garvey’s tone and the fact that you can hear his accent come through in his singing. I love the simplicity and the “everydayness” of it, the morning after the night before implication. I have been known to say if I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be that.
You’ll notice I haven’t answered the one about my funeral. That’s because I don’t want to think about that. I want 40 more years of music choices before I have to make that decision. But maybe “Fly me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra might be suitable…