I’m All Ears

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about music.  I pored my heart into this post and was exhausted after I’d finished.  It was like trying to complete a 1500-word essay (even though it was barely over 300) for your English teacher — I was glad when it was done, but very proud of what I had written.

I like to think of music as being a warm blanket around your soul. It’s an extremely powerful medium and can evoke many different feelings and emotions. It possesses an inherent ability to both entertain and heal, all with the touch of a button; many times pulling us back to a fond memory – or as the case may be, not so fond and down right unwanted.

It can whisk you back like a time machine to a milestone in your life, bringing with it those thoughts and feelings that made your day so memorable. It can also provoke feelings of contempt or sorrow, rewinding the years to a time where the less time spent meandering down memory lane the better.

Music is also a great tool in teaching, and can oftentimes project a message with more eloquence and vigor than the most gifted of tutors.

I have always had a great love for many different genres of music. Some I have admittedly learned to tolerate, albeit badly.

Some of my favourite pieces of music are found more prevalently during this time of year. More recently, I have grown to have a greater appreciation for all types of Christmas music: the quiet reverence, the wool-blanket-and-cocoa, or the jolly holidays types. Some of my favourites include: “Pie Jesu”, “O Holy Night”, Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar-plum Fairy” and intriguingly, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

However, as with everything in life, there are equal and opposite reactions. Here are but a few of the musical epitaphs that typically make me want to rip my ears off so that I’ll have something to pound the life out of my speakers with:

“Hey Santa!” – Carnie and Wendy Wilson
“Feliz Navidad” – José Feliciano
“Christmas Shoes” – New Song

Honourable mentions:

Anything by Karen Carpenter.
The line: ‘Christmas comes this time each year … ‘ (no frickin’ kiddin’ Sherlock) from “Merry Christmas, Baby” by The Beach Boys.

Which holiday songs both delight and disgust you?   I’m interested to know …

Fellow music lover Mike, has compiled a very interesting list of his favourite albums for every year of his life.  I’m actually very intrigued by this list (it is a list after all), and would love to see what albums were around in the UK in the years preceding my own obsession.

When I was really young, around three I believe, I would constantly ask my Mum to play Mull of Kintyre by Paul McCarty & The Wings, and I would long to hear Boney M, Abba and Tchichovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite.  Incidentally, the first ever single I bought when I was nine was “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo.  My second was “Karma Cameleon” by Culture Club.  My Gran bought me my first two albums, the first, not surprisingly was a 12′ vinyl record of Christmas songs all sung by the great Crooners.  The second?  The Fraggle Rock album.  At ten, I was mortified at first, but I grew to love that cassette tape.

I never really had a group I followed religiously like my friends: Arlene loved Wham!, Angela loved Bananarama, Jacqueline was into Duran Duran, my older brother was obsessed with Madness, Dire Straits and U2.  As I moved on into high school (at age eleven), Susan loved Erasure, Margaret was obsessed with A-ha, Lorna was in love with George Michael, Gillian loved Deacon Blue, Scott followed Simple Minds, and Alison loved Simply Red.  (I own all of these albums respectively, for purely nostalgic, self-gratifying purposes!)  I loved all of these, but never really committed to any one specifically.  I remember buying Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey’s duet of Easy Lover in 1984 (I was nine!) and Elton John’s Sad Songs in 1986.  I also remember being obsessed with Peter Gabriel’s Sledge Hammer and the band Curiosity Killed the Cat, Rick Astley (shut your dirty mouth or I’ll Rickroll ya) but all with no comittment.

As I peer through Mike’s list, I’m almost star struck by some of the greats on his list.  Personally speaking, I love:

The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
U2 – The Joshua Tree
Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

I never thought I would readily admit this either, but I think Mike’s love and connection has me beat.  No pun intended.  Or maybe it was.

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12 responses to “I’m All Ears

  1. Thanks Siobhan. With your link you are now registered 10 times to win all 53 albums. I am concerned though about the Kajagoogoo. Tsk Tsk.

  2. I would play Christmas music year round if my husband wouldn’t give me the evil eye about it. 🙂 I love Nutcracker, Carol of the Bells, almost everything Mormon Tabernacle Choir has done, and The Forgotten Carols by Michael McClean. That’s the short list!

  3. I love music, as well. It feeds my muse and helps me write. I never got into the whole ‘this group, that group’ thing. I’ve always enjoyed the ‘singer/songwriters’ – Carol King, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, John Prine, John Paxton – and always preferred Folk over most other forms of music. The melancholy Folk has always attracted me, it still is my favorite ‘genre’ with music.

  4. Yes Yes YES!! *bangs hands on table a la Meg Ryan*

    to all of them. I was obsessed OBSESSED with the White Album when I was pregnant with Too. And serial killers…

  5. I love music too and what a great idea for a post Mike. I may attempt my own embarassing list one of these days!

  6. I think you’re gonna hate me, but I love Karen Carpenter.

  7. I think Culture Club was one of my firsts, too! Along with The Stray Cats and Michael Jackson.
    And yes, Feliz Navidad makes my ears bleed.

  8. Music keeps me alive (well, that and chocolate) Deacon Blue were the first bandI ever saw at Wembley.
    I was a Wham and Aha fan in my youth and spent my latter teenage angst years deep in The Smiths.
    Today I am looking forward to going to see madonna next month and Oasis play in December. Live music makes me forget what an old fogey I’ve become…

  9. ah, i am so old. the music of my youth was the paul anka, dion … well, and the beach boys, the beatles and the rolling stones.

    and i like karen carpenter too. *ducking*

    oh, and anne murray.

  10. I didn’t really “discover” popular music until Junior High or so, so I missed out on a lot of stuff. Hair bands, Paula Abdul, and NKOTB were the first things to cross my path. It’s a wonder I continued to look for good music after that.

  11. Music plays a huge part of my life. My husband and I are so different in a lot of ways, it was a wonder that we ever connected. But we have almost the same taste in music. Weird, huh?

  12. Oh, and I think among the first albums I purchased (after the Bay City Rollers) were Pat Benatar, the Monks (Bad Habits) and Cheap Trick.
    I liked Japan,the Cure, the Smiths, Depeche Mode (yeah, excited that they’re touring again)..Duran Duran in high school/university…now I’m going back.
    Nostalgia…

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