Again here’s the challenge for you to look at and below is my submission. This is part of a challenge to get you to develop an every day writing habit but the task was set to talk about the 3 most important songs in my life.
Oooft, I’m sounding like a broken record (no pun intended) because again this is a really hard task for me. Music plays an essential part of my life. Obviously I could live without it if we’re speaking literally, but I would live without an enormous chunk that gives me an exceptional amount of ‘quality of life’. So to pick 3 is very difficult. My music taste is very eclectic – in my collection I have obvious greats like The Beatles, Pixies and Led Zeppelin, mixed in with heavy rock and metal like Rammstein, Incubus, and Metallica. I then have Spice Girls, Miles Davis, Amy Winehouse, Florence and The Machine, mixed with funky house songs, classical albums and Pacha mixes. I basically love all music that’s quality – and I’m not someone who believes only one genre is quality music. I love more than anything to be introduced to new music, one of my all time favourite memories is being played Jeff Buckley’s Lilac Wine for the 1st time. This song hasn’t made the list today but it would be on the list if I could talk about more than 3 songs. I can’t guarantee these 3 wouldn’t be different choices on a different day, and ideally I’d like more time to think about it but this is what I’d choose today….
I often have those conversations with friends where people ask me things like ‘if you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what song would it be?’. So I’ve had a lot of time to think about this question. If I was genuinely restricted to just one song for the rest of my life then I’d have to be clever about it. You wouldn’t listen to the song every day or even every month – because you wouldn’t want to run the risk of starting to hate the only song you can listen to forevermore. So it would be a song you would pull out and listen to in times of great need – maybe only once or twice a year. So I wanted a rousing inspirational song, that’s quite long, with fabulous instrumentals and at its core is happy and positive. Something that makes you smile – because those points you reach for it would no doubt be points when that’s exactly what you need. You won’t need a song to wallow in if you can only ever listen to one song, you want a song to rejoice in, and to lay back and be reminded how good life is. So with all this in mind I would choose Mr Blue Sky by ELO (Electric Light Orchestra). This is the only song that for me fits all of that and more. This would be the song to get me through life in times of great need. I’d be devastated to see all the other songs go, to never listen to my other 3 choices again but I think this will be the one I need to have in my life in the absence of all other songs.
The next song is Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine. I’m not sure why I’ve picked this over all the other songs in the world. It kind of encapsulates a lot of my beliefs and philosophies. It brings in aspects of love and cosmology and it hits me like a wave whenever I listen to it, especially on headphones. I get swept away and wrapped up in its notes and melodies and Florence’s voice is just overwhelmingly beautiful and powerful. In my opinion Florence and The Machine came about at a point when I heard so many (usually older) people moan on about how music isn’t made like it used to be and all those other tired whinges that people have. Now, I’m a massive fan of the greats (Queen, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin etc.) But usually those people who moan have actually stopped listening to any new music and so aren’t exactly informed to make that judgement. Granted there’s a lot of crap out there, a lot of manufactured nonsense by people with little or no skill, but that has always been the case. After The Beatles there was a huge influx of created bands that record companies shoved out to the masses in the hope of making a few pounds by riding the coattails of the greats. To think things are any worse now is daft, and it’s an enormous insult to all the amazing ‘real’ bands and musicians that are out there creating some great music. So Florence just came along and in my opinion proved me right and proved all the negative whingers wrong.
My next choice is a bit of an emotional one for me. Growing up, my Dad was very formal, very quiet and not really one for emotional displays of any kind either physical or verbal. But when I was about 8 he gave me a cassette tape of a band he really liked and he thought I’d like it too. He so rarely shared anything of himself with us that this was an unbelievably special thing for me. I played that tape over and over. In reality it probably didn’t mean that much to him, it was maybe just one of those things he found and decided he didn’t want to listen to anymore and he gave it to me instead of throwing it away. I don’t know, but I attached an awful lot of emotion to this cassette tape. Maybe that’s what made me attach a lot of emotion to music in general for the rest of my life to date… Anyway, the next song is Eternal Flame by The Bangles. It’s probably a bit cheesy now but I still love it and it will always remind me of my Dad who died far too suddenly and far too young a few years ago. Listening to it will immediately cause that uncomfortable prickling and tightening of my throat that happens just before I cry. Luckily it’s not often played on the radio anymore, as I’d be a walking emotional wreck.
I could carry on and write about at least another 20 songs that are of huge importance in my life either past or present – but maybe that’s for another time. I’ve really enjoyed writing this and listening to these songs, it’s actually been an emotional one for me! I hope you enjoy them even half as much as I do.