I fucking love Desert Island Discs, it’s a pleasure I will never feel guilty about. I listen to the podcast everywhere I go, I’ve laughed, cried and been inspired by the wonderful humans that have been a part of it. I may never get to be interviewed on Desert Island Discs, so I thought, hey I know what I’ll share my desert island discs on here!
If you haven’t ever listened to Desert Island Discs, two things; 1. have you been living under a rock? 2. don’t panic instead go and download the podcasts and settle into the joy. It goes a little like this; person of interest goes into a studio chats with interviewer, these days that interviewer is Kirsty Young, about the prospect of being cast away to a desert island.
You’re allowed to take 8 discs with you, and one presumes a record player or similar, along with one book of your choosing and a luxury.
Lark Ascending – Vaughn Williams
Let’s start with the saddest of the songs, it’s not the saddest song ever written by any stretch, but to me it takes me to a very strange place and time. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever created, it’s one of those pieces of music that transports you away, to whatever place you want to be that isn’t right where you are as we speak.
We played this piece at my dads funeral, I know that sounds morbid to include it on my list but it’s not a song that I solely associate with dads death, instead it’s a song that I hold dear to my heart as it was his favourite piece of music when he was living.
My dads love for Classic FM has left a lasting impression on me, I listen to it whilst I clean the house, when I’m on long journeys, when I need him close to me.
It’s just shy of 15 minutes, and every second of it is filled with emotion. If you’ve never listened to it, I urge you to.
All Along The Watch Tower – Jimi Hendrix
I LOVE super hero style movies, I love the fast past and the interwoven stories, I love the power of the characters, the costumes but most of all I love the soundtracks that come along with them.
Every super hero movie I have ever watched has been elevated by the soundtrack, The Watchmen is one of the greatest movie soundtracks and this Hendrix number makes the film for me.
The opening line is magical…”there must be some kind of way out of here, said the joker to the thief” Hendrix is never not golden, he is always and forever. This track transports me right back to watching the movie for the first time and every time I hear it I get a superhero feeling inside, which I’m sure would be useful whilst stranded on a desert island.
You’ve Got The Love – Candi Staton
I’m gonna want to dance on the island I’m sure, it’s one of my favourite things ever, especially the kind of no one watching dancing I do in my kitchen that sends my dog loopy. This song has been one of my favourites since I first heard it 20 years ago, I was 6 and I loved it the moment I heard it and since then I have always held this close to my heart as the song that describes real love to me.
“Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, I know I can count on you”
To me that is love, knowing that even if you throw everything in the air there is someone there you can place your trust in. It’s the kind of love I’ve never had, and despite being sharply bitter about love, listening to this song reminds me that although there isn’t a person like this in my life now, maybe on day they will be.
Then Florence and the Machine came along and released her own version and a whole new generation fell in love with this song. I was sad a little when it happened, I wanted to keep this song for myself, I felt like no one else should have rights to loving this song as much as me. Then two of my favourite people in the world danced to it at their wedding and it made the song even more special because it made me all warm inside knowing that other people search for the same kind of love as me. Maybe I’m not so different, and maybe there is love out there for me.
Pearls A Singer – Elkie Brookes
I’m fairly sure that near enough no one who reads this blog will have ever heard this song, and may have never even heard of Elkie. Elkie is a singer from Salford, she had a few awesome hits and won a couple of Brits, but that’s not how I found out about her because despite by mature state I wasn’t alive in 1977 when Pearl’s A Singer was released.
It came into my life thanks to my Uncle George, my dads brother, he was gay and fucking brilliant, in a time and place where being gay and fucking brilliant was not easy. He had Jack Duckworth glasses, lived in South Shields, holidayed with his wonderful partner Billy in Turkey and always brought me back Turkish Delights. His house smelt of camel cigarettes and Old Spice, he hugged me tight every time I saw him, he pulled coins out from behind my ears. By childhood was richer for him being a part of it.
I remember vividly the record player in his living room, I remember sifting through his extensive record collection and when he passed away I felt so bereft, he lived a life full of people and he died so sadly, alone and I wanted so much more for him. As my dad, mum and I cleared out his home I found Elkie’s LP and it was signed, on one of the many times my Uncle saw her perform. The LP takes pride of place in my office and I see it every day and it reminds me daily that I grew up with the most wonderful men around me.
Bring Me Sunshine – Morcombe & Wise
Everyone has heard this song. Everyone loves this song. If you are not one of the everybody who loves it you need to reassess your entire life!
You should hear this song and kick your heels up whilst basically tapping the back of your head with your opposite hand.
Bring Me Sunshine is the cheeriest of all songs, it reminds me of dancing with my Poppa in his kitchen whilst my Gran sang along. This song is the epitome of my childhood and every time I hear it I grin from ear to ear, whilst there is a little tear in my eye, feeling sad that this wonderful man is no longer in my life.
I’ve done nothing in my life the way that he would have wanted me to, I dropped out of uni, didn’t get a ‘real’ job, have quit and restarted so many things so many times but you know what he would have been beyond proud, I’m the eldest grandchild and I may have been his favourite!
Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
I know all the words to this song, it’s a ridiculous song that makes me so happy. It reminds me of Amy and her exceptional rapping skills that are so very unexpected and yet perfectly joyful! It reminds me of mum smiling along to it, of long car journeys and me making her laugh so much whilst I car dance like a buffoon she had to pull the car over.
There is nothing special about this song per se, but it is simply brilliant and you need to listen to it. The lyrics are utterly ridiculous and we all need that in our lives sometimes.
Starlings – Elbow
I am truly, madly deeply in love with Guy Garvey, it was his Desert Island Disc episode that pulled me back into my love for the show.
His voice is majestic, whether he is talking on his radio show, or singing in my ears on the train home or best of all filling a stadium with his poetic majesty. Guy Garvey you are my soul mate, we’ve never met, we maybe never will, but just so you know I’d make a cracking Mrs Garvey!
Listen to anything at all by Elbow, but definitely listen to Starlings, it begins with the most intense crescendo, the lyrics roll of Guy’s tongue like a tidal wave, is perfect, it’s magical, it’s the best.
Sit with me a while
And let me listen to you talk about
Your dreams and your obsessions
I’ll be quiet and confessional
The violets explode inside me
When I meet your eyes
Then I’m spinning and I’m diving
Like a cloud of starlings
Darling is this love?
Remedy – Adele
Sarah and Amy, this one is for you both. For the three of us to be honest, it’s our song. We saw Adele together and we all shared an experience that for the rest of our days we will talk about.
I won’t go into too much about the reasons for this song being our song, but it is and if I was a millions miles away from all my loved ones and friends, this song would bring me back to earth and to a moment of utter perfection.
“I promise you will see, that I will be your remedy.”
Desert Island Book
I’m gonna be cheeky with this one and take a box set of his books, if it exists. Mitch Albom, he has written so many books that I go back to time and time again. Tuesday’s With Morrie is the first book I read after dad passed away and I was laid on a beach in Florida and I felt myself begin to heal.
Desert Island Luxury
It would have to be unlimited paper and pencils, to write, to doodle, to occupy my mind and you never know I might actually finish writing my bloody book!
I would love to know what discs you would take with you if you were cast away?