30 Day Music Challenge: Day Twenty Eight

Day 28: A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty

This is a very strange question – I presume it doesn’t refer to guilty pleasures as I’ve already done that one! So something that makes you physically feel guilty then – interesting concept… To be honest, I don’t feel guilty about a whole lot these days – it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything that caused serious guilt. I’m not saying I’m an angel, far from it, but I do tend to behave reasonably well these days – I had my fill of inappropriate relationships a long time back and I’ve never much been into petty theft, drug taking or anything vaguely illegal. The nearest I get to misbehaving is the odd occasion where I drink too much but even that’s increasingly rare these days – I’m getting very boring in my old age evidently!

So what does make me feel guilty? Well in a strange way – music does. I always feel like somewhat of a late starter when it comes to knowing about bands – I own a considerable amount of music and listen to even more but there is so much fabulous music out there that I’m just utterly ignorant about. It’s likely I’m being too harsh on myself here – no-one can ever hope to live long enough listen to all the music that’s ever been produced for a start! I can let myself off the hook for not knowing about a band but I’m also guilty of glibly saying that I love a band or an artist on the basis of one song and then never bothering to look into anything else they’ve done. Which sometimes is acceptable – they could only have one good song – but I do feel I should make more of an effort when it comes to knowing about music, if only to not sound like an idiot in the company of more musically geeky people.

She’s Lost Control by Joy Division is a fabulous, haunting, brilliant song but the first time I heard it was whilst watching Control – the film about Ian Curtis’ life – about two months ago. Even worse, I’d had the DVD sitting on my desk for two years gathering dust. I can now legitimately say I love Joy Division (having listened to their entire back catalogue out of shame) but this song does make me feel guilty for not having done so earlier.

“Confusion in her eyes that says it all.
She’s lost control.
And she’s clinging to the nearest passer by,
She’s lost control.
And she gave away the secrets of her past,
And said I’ve lost control again,
And a voice that told her when and where to act,
She said I’ve lost control again”


30 Day Music Challenge: Day Twenty Seven

Day 27: A Song You Wish You Could Play

As discussed in the last post I am not a musical person. I can’t sing and I can’t play any kind of instrument let alone play even one of the songs I love. In a perfect world I would be a singer/songwriter with multi-coloured hair and a wardrobe full of rock star clothes. However, it isn’t a perfect world – don’t get me wrong, my world is pretty damn awesome – but there are things I will never be able to do and being a musician is one of them. To a certain extent this is my own fault for not taking the time to learn/practice/whatever but it’s also just a lack of natural skill!

There are therefore a lot of songs I wish I could play, most songs if I’m truthful. But I’ve got to choose one and as I’m a guitar chick at heart it has to be an air guitar classic – Sweet Child O’Mine by Guns’n’Roses. This song is a deserved classic and I love dancing to it although as I do a lot of air guitar I undoubtedly look like a complete moron whilst doing so! If by any chance I discover any hitherto untapped musical brilliance this is definitely the first song I’d want to learn to play…

She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I’d stare too long
I’d probably break down and cry
Sweet child o’ mine

Sweet love of mine”

30 Day Music Challenge: Day Twenty Six

Day 26: A Song You Can Play on an Instrument

Bahahahaha! This is going to be the shortest blog post in the history of the world. I can’t play any instruments, at all. In fact, despite the fact I adore music, I must be one of the least musically talented people in the world. I wasn’t allowed to learn the violin or join the choir because I couldn’t tell one note from another and I played the recorder ineptly for a few months at primary school – that’s the full extent of my musical repetoire! It’s a shame because I’d love to be able to play some of the wonderful music that I love but I long ago accepted the fact that I’m musically incapable! 

So the answer to this question is, by default, the only song I have ever been able to play on an instrument – a French nursery rhyme called Frere Jacques on the recorder (the video is not me by the way). And I couldn’t play it now to save my life!!

“Frere Jacques,
Frere Jacques,
Dormez vous?
Dormez vous?
Sonnez les matines,
Sonnez les matines.
Ding Ding Dong,
Ding Ding Dong.”

30 Day Music Challenge: Day Twenty Five

Day 25: A Song That Makes You Laugh

British music is full of quirky silliness that makes me chuckle – Village Green Preservation Society by the Kinks, anything by Lemon Jelly, the Darkness or Goldie Lookin Chain and so on. As is British culture – from the Goonies to Black Books our comedy is by turns daft, dark, deeply human and utterly hilarious. The apotheosis of all this silliness is, at least as far as I’m concerned, Monty Python. The credit for my love of Monty Python has to go equally to my dad – I remember watching Python sketches with him when I was younger – and friends in my first year at University. I must have watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail about a million times during that year – I can still quote great big chunks of it from memory and it’s undoubtedly one of my all-time favourite films. In fact, I slightly judge people who don’t like it…

The Pythons were also brilliant at bonkers songs and of all their music there is one song that will always make me laugh out loud – however much of a terrible mood I’m in. My friend Jodie used to play it to me whenever I was having a crisis and although I’ve become much less melodramatic over the years it still works. So a little bit of laughter for a Tuesday morning – the Galaxy Song!

“The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.”

30 Day Music Challenge: Day Twenty Four

Day 24: A Song You Want To Play At Your Funeral
A somewhat depressing question this one and one that it’s quite hard for me to think about. It’s only about a month since my Nana’s funeral and the feeling of complete unreality as we walked into the church behind her coffin is as tangible to me now as it was then. There must have been music playing and I know we sang hymns but I honestly couldn’t tell you what any of it was. I don’t remember what music played at my Uncle’s funeral either for that matter or at any other funeral I’ve been to. So in the face of death does music become insignificant to me or do I just choose not to remember it? Poetry seems much more appropriate for funerals to me – so many of the poems I’m most familiar with – Brooke, Sassoon, Owen, Rossetti – are infused with war, loss and grief.

Music is however an important part of my life and I want that reflected at my funeral – even if no-one really listens to it. I don’t want anything too upbeat playing – I seriously doubt I’ll be happy about dying and I’d like to think that people will be at least a little bit sad that I’m gone! However I’m not having anything dirgelike either – no Smiths or I will haunt the person who chooses the music for the rest of eternity… So instead let’s have a bit of classic rock, namely the Rolling Stones. The Stones are undeniably an epic band, love them or loathe them, their music is incredible. After I’d worn out my ears listening to the Beatles at 16 I then moved on to the Rolling Stones fully prepared to dislike them – I’d got it into my head that you couldn’t be a fan of both bands I think… That clearly isn’t the case – in fact I don’t think there’s a Rolling Stone song which I don’t like! Ruby Tuesday is however one of my favourites and I think it’d be entirely appropriate for saying goodbye. Of course I’m not going anywhere just yet so don’t get too melancholy listening to this…

“She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows
She comes and goes
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you

Don’t question why she needs to be so free

She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be

She just can’t be chained
To a life where nothing’s gained
And nothing’s lost
At such a cost
There’s no time to lose, I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams
And you will lose your mind.
Ain’t life unkind?
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I’m gonna miss you…”

30 Day Music Challenge: Day Twenty Three

Day 23: A Song That You Want To Play At Your Wedding

Interesting question… I’m not one of those women who’s had her entire wedding planned out in her head since the age of five (in the style of Monica from Friends) but I’ve always assumed I would eventually get married. When I was younger being 25 seemed unimaginably old and, particularly as my mum got married at 23, I couldn’t have imagined not being married at my age! Now I’m here though there’s still no great rush – finding the right person is much more important. Admittedly, I occasionally have moments when I freak out about not being married, especially as more and more of my friends start heading down that road, but they’re few and far between.
If I do ever manage to persuade some poor misguided man to spend the rest of his life with me then all I know is that I want to be surrounded by the people I love and I don’t want to spend a billion pounds – something I’m sure my parents will be pleased to hear! Other than that – well, I’ll work it out if and when I get there. It’s only one day after all – all you need is a pretty dress, lots of cake and even more champagne… Music is important though and, alongside all the old favourites, there are three songs I definitely want to play. Yes I know I’m supposed to only choose one but what the heck, it’s my imaginary wedding!
1. Bad Touch – The Bloodhound Gang
I started singing this in Andy’s kitchen the other day whilst trying to decide what to choose for this post. It’s silly and utterly inappropriate but it’ll make my life if I get to dance to this song in a wedding dress! 
2. How Do I Live Without You – LeeAnn Rimes
Now for something completely different… When I was 12 my brother and two of my cousins got married within about 4 months of one another and I remember declaring that this would be the song I had my first dance to when I got married. Being older, wiser and slightly better educated musically this is no longer the case however I would quite like to hear this song at some point during the day – in honour of my 12 year old self. 
3. Unintended – Muse
I’ve been trying to shoehorn Muse into one of these posts for a while now – after seeing them in Manchester last year they’ll always be one of my favourite bands. I love a bit of guitar rock and over-the-top showmanship! The only disappointing thing about seeing them live was that they didn’t play Unintended which is a real shame because it’s a beautiful song about how falling in love doesn’t always go to plan. I can’t work out whether that’s fitting or just weird for a wedding but who cares!
“You could be my unintended
Choice to live my life extended
You could be the one I’ll always love
You could be the one who listens to my deepest inquisitions
You could be the one I’ll always love
I’ll be there as soon as I can
But I’m busy mending broken pieces of the life I had before 
First there was the one who challenged 
All my dreams and all my balance 
She could never be as good as you

You could be my unintended
Choice to live my life extended
You should be the one I’ll always love

I’ll be there as soon as I can
But I’m busy mending broken pieces of the life I had before
I’ll be there as soon as I can

But I’m busy mending broken pieces of the life I had before
Before you”

30 Day Music Challenge: Day Twenty-Two

Day 22: A Song That You Listen To When You’re Sad

Ok, despite what I said in the last post, this is the easiest question to answer! There was only ever one band I was going to choose for this, primarily because their music is the definition of melancholy – Bon Iver. Anyone who deals with a break-up by locking themselves in a cabin in Wisconsin and writing an album called “For Emma, Forever Ago” is going to write some spell-bindingly sad music. The timing of this album also chimes quite well with my life – it was released at a time when I really needed to listen to a lot of sad music and it’s an album I come back to whenever I feel down. There’s also a song written for one of the Twilight films called Roslyn which is in the same vein. If you haven’t heard this album I really would recommend you give it a listen. However probably my favourite song is Skinny Love – it makes my heart ache just listening to the words. Given that today is Monday and that I feel ill it’s also quite appropriately depressing…
“Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

I tell my love to wreck it all
Cut out all the ropes and let me fall
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Right in the moment this order’s tall

And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And in the morning I’ll be with you
But it will be a different kind
And I’ll be holding all the tickets
And you’ll be owning all the fines”