30 day song challenge: day 29 – a song from your childhood

Captain Sensible

Captain Sensible was in Oasis once. No, not the snotty, grubby bicycle thieves from Manchester, but a covers band from South Norwood. Raymond Burns, as he was then called, took the advice of his colleague Rat Scabies and joined The Damned. He left the band in the 80s but rejoined in the 90s and continues to perform with them to this day. In the interim, he became a pop star.
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30 day song challenge: day 28 – a song that makes you feel guilty

Kristin Hersh and Michael Stipe

I don’t really do guilt. Of course I feel bad when I do something wrong – that’s called not being sociopathic – but spending ages fretting about it? I think you have to be very middle class or Catholic to fall into that one. Otherwise, fix it, apologise, learn a lesson and move on. Guilt solves nothing and helps no-one.

So, to find a song that gives me that momentary twinge that tells me I need to take action? Hmm … toughie. I’d have to pick something that goes with days 26 and 27, since my main source of guilt-related discomfort comes from allowing my beautiful guitar to gather dust for nearly a decade.
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30 day song challenge: day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument

My form tutor in school taught me how to play this one – Is There Anybody Out There? by Pink Floyd. I had only been practising guitar for a few months – if that – so this was something of a challenge for me. I remember practising it over and over until I was crying from the frustration, my fingers blistered and swollen, and the sheer exhilaration I felt when I finally nailed it. It’s always the first thing I play if I pick up a guitar, which is something I’ve not done in many years.
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30 day song challenge: day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding

Oh wow. How do I even start with this one?

Funnily enough, we didn’t have a song at our wedding. We had the usual stuff like Pachelbel’s Canon in D during the service (which always reminds me inappropriately of the Rob Paravonian sketch – much as Red Dwarf‘s “faith, hop and charity” skit came to mind during the bible reading and we both had to stifle our giggles), but after the meal and speeches, we had to dash off to catch our flight. So no “song”; no “first dance” – not that we minded. Continue reading

30 day song challenge: day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad

jg thirlwell by seze devres 2009

Now that the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is finally upon us, I’m detecting a sadness in the air. It’s not just gloom in the news – there is always gloom in the news – but that literal gloom when it’s dark at teatime and the sun doesn’t rise for an hour or two after waking.  It’s not even seven at night and I’m typing this by dull lamp-light, deciding which fluffy blanket to snuggle under while I watch something comforting on DVD.

I just feel a bit like this

and given the nature of some of my friends’ Facebook updates, I’m far from the only one. Luckily, I have cheering-myself-the-hell-up down to a fine art after nearly 35 winters.

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30 day song challenge: day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy

Honestly? The tune I reach for when the sun is blazing and a smile on my face is Yvonne Elliman’s If I Can’t Have You.

Yes, she’s forlorn, but the upbeat tempo and rousing brass is enough to put a bounce in anyone’s step. The song is – by far – the best on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I just love the chord structures, the slightly hoarse vocal delivery, the harmonies, the complexity of the arrangement, and how it’s just so damn catchy. Continue reading