Desert Island Discs.
Plenty of people will disagree, and by no means did I love every single day of my school life, but I did actually enjoy it. Looking back, I wish I’d applied myself and or taken more note in the likes of English and History, as over the years I’ve grown quite an interest in both historical events and our language – in writing purposes.
I didn’t do too badly in GCSE English. I enjoyed some of the books we were tasked to read and also the writing. I loved the freedom of being asked your opinion. But I honestly think that a lot of how and what you learn at school isn’t down to the children, it’s definitely the type of teacher you have and I wish a little that we’d had better.
That being said, one exercise I remember being set in English was based around the BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs program. The concept, for anyone not aware, is simply that you’re about to be marooned on an island and have the chance to take eight pieces of music with you. Ultimately, the soundtrack to your life. You also get to take a book and a luxury item. What would you choose? For radio, this was obviously done vocally as an interview with many past and current ‘celebrities’, but we were asked to do it in written form.
Twenty-one years have passed since I completed that piece of homework. I know, please don’t dwell on that. Haha. So I thought I’d share what would be my choices now, as well as reasoning/memories attached to them. I have quite a varied knowledge and love of music. My parents may not have been musical in the sense of playing instruments, but the house and car journeys were never quiet. I grew up with and fell asleep to music. (Bat Out Of Hell was an apparent favourite lullaby of mine.) So choosing a mere eight songs that conjure memories and/or are a favourite was a tricky task.
- Tears For Fears: Everybody Wants To Rule The World. This was a song my mum would play, but anytime I hear it it bring back memories of traveling to Sunderland to go to Joplings to do the Christmas present shop. Joplings was a department store very much like Debenhams. I remember trailing through the store with my mum and dad and then finally getting to the toy section and the biggest Barbie section you have ever seen! (from a child’s perspective that is!)
- Rocky Horror Picture Show: Time Warp. Our neighbour was a gymnastics coach at a local club, which started through him taking his daughter. Ad I grew an interest in gymnastics at 5/6 years old, my parents began taking me. To fundraise for the club, we would put on displays at local events. These would consist of group dance routines, tumbling using the trampette and vault work. One song and routine that was elaborated with for a group dance quite regularly was the time warp. Hearing it always takes me back to those early years and club memories. Even the god awful green lycra one size (does not) fits all leotards!
- Rick Astley: Never Going To Give You Up. I may have just been five, but I remember like yesterday it being my auntie and uncles wedding, where I was a bridesmaid with the cutest princess dress (and awful bowl cut hairdo – thanks mum!), that I heard Rick Astley’s Never Going To Give You Up. It was his first single I believe and a number one hit. I also had it on LP. Yes, L.P. On hearing that song I just instantly think of my auntie and uncle.
- NERD: Rockstar. Into my twenties, I was very much what society would call a ‘girl racer’. I always hated the terminology, as —- to pre-conceptions, we never raced. Car enthusiasts was a lot nicer, more general tag. It was about modification. I was very much involved in the local scene. We used to go to shows, locally and further afield. I think the furthest we travelled to a show was Donnington Race Track. We’d also go to evening meets locally. We were all like a little family. Rockstar was one of my car tunes. It made a change to the repetitiveness of ‘Clubland’ tunes that you’d hear. I know a friend that remembers another song I’d play which was My My My by Armand Van Helden.
- FlipNFill: Shooting Star. Another song that takes me back to my twenties, car days. Clubland was pretty much the soundtrack to my twenties. I had every album they brought out in my car (6 disc CD changer!). Apart from jumping up and down, this song, like most Clubland songs isn’t a dancer, it’s a belter. Flip N Fill brought out some absolute bangers back in the days. They’re just feel good songs. Always bring a smile to my face.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd: Free Bird. Lowering the tone. This is a song for my mum. And also my dad. Free Bird was a song my mum would play most evenings. I’m not sure if anyone else’s parents were this way, but, my dad would go out to the pub on an evening and my mum would stay in with a supply of Vodka and coke, cigarettes and the music system. She’d spend the evening playing music from her collection of LP’s and CDs. My bedroom was right above the living room and so the not so muffled noise, because she played it so loud, was like a lullaby to me. When she passed away, choosing music for her funeral was so difficult as there were just so many possibilities. However this song, it’s title and lyrics felt like a perfect fit.
- The Script: If You Could See Me Now. Wedding days are joyous. However, mine was very bittersweet with not having my parents there. I remember having not really thought about music for the church until quite last minute. I had zero clue. I then heard The Scripts, If You Could See Me Now and it touched me. I felt the words. So I chose this song to be played as I entered and walked down the aisle with my uncles and also upon leaving the church with my husband. It brings a tear to my eye even as I have it playing in my head.
- PinkFong: Baby Shark. Oh, how I dislike this song! But for all that I dislike it and it makes me roll my eyes, I love it for the joy it brings my two boys and the happy thoughts of them it gives me. This song has got us through many meal times and tantrums from our youngest. And for that, I’m extremely thankful. And although my parents would be saying that this ‘tosh’ isn’t the kind of music they hoped I’d have engraved on my children’s brains, I’m sure they’ll agree with it on a parenting level.
Book And Item.
Having finally chosen my eight songs, I’m just left with a book and luxury item.
Not being a big reader, the book is a difficult one. I generally read self-help related books. Books on Hygge, behaviours, mindfulness. As well as the odd autobiography. Plus, I use a kindle over physically purchasing books anymore.
Thinking of a book that would occupy me on a desert island is tricky. A Marie Kondo book on how to organise your sock drawer, or Instastyle: Curate Your Life are not going to be insightful and productionable.
I’d choose a joke book. One with the biggest number of jokes in it. Now, I know dependent upon the length of time I stay on the island there’s a possibility I’ll have read many times and will know the jokes like the back of my hand, but at least I’ll be smiling.
In regards to a luxury item, I’d have to choose a pack of cards. Luxury might be a loose term for a pack of cards, but on a desert island, I’m sure they’d be just that. Solitare is a firm favourite, but having Googled, for research purposes, there are plenty of single person card games that I could learn before I go.
Why not share the soundtrack to your life, I’d love to know your choices and what they mean to you.