I love 6Music. In a time of my life where I suspect I’m too old for Radio 1, too stupid for Radio 4 and too impatient for commercial radio, it makes me feel at home. So much, in fact, that a few weeks ago, when a call went out for listeners’ ‘biorhythms’ tracks (one song that makes them feel, one song that makes them think, and one song that makes them dance), I got stuck right in, tweeted in my selections, and found myself on the radio introducing them.
The sum total of what I said while live on air was ‘errrr um I like this song because it’s sort of, well y’know, yeah’. And thus, ever since, it’s been one of those situations that I’ve been reliving in my head, wishing that I’d said something more than the indecipherable drawl that actually left my mouth. The issue wasn’t so much that I’d made a tit of myself on national radio (heck, I’m perfectly au fait with making a tit of myself), but more that my choices were, if I do say so myself, blinding tracks that I hadn’t done justice.
Of course, my blogging about said tracks may not do them any justice either, but in light of me being an infinitely better communicator in prose than in person (which says terrifyingly little about my ability to hold a conversation), I figured I’d give it a shot. So here, dear reader, are my biorhythms.
To feel: Beautiful Child, Rufus Wainwright
It’s eleven years this autumn since I moved to London, but passing a decade in the place I now call home hasn’t stopped me missing Derby. My family are the main reason, of course, but there’s also the other stuff: being called ‘duck’, Birds cakes, my football team, the sarnie shop in Littleover village that advertises ‘cobs and pop’. Sometimes, even, I think I miss my home city enough to move back there – until, of course, I get back down south and realise that, alas, I love London even more than I miss Derby. I suspect, however, that I’ll never stop getting nostalgic about the place (even if I end up living there again one day); nor will I stop playing this record on my way into the city. I’ll preface this by saying that this is a personal pleasure I reserve for the times when I’m driving alone (one of P’s few faults is his inability to appreciate Rufus Wainwright. Or South Park), but every time I leave the M1 and hit the A50, I cue up this record, turn the stereo up to a volume that could easily get me arrested, and belt this baby out at the top of my lungs, often with joyous tears streaming down my daft little cheeks. Because, to me at least, this glorious song is about coming home. It’s only recently that I discovered that, in fact, Rufus Wainwright actually wrote these lyrics about the way he felt when coming out of rehab. But, speaking as someone who’s never been addicted to anything more than Tunnocks Teacakes, I expect that leaving rehab is also a feeling much like coming home; that regained ability to see things through innocent eyes. Perhaps I’m overanalysing it. And it doesn’t matter if I am. Because, frankly, even if Rufus were singing about the increase in his gas bill, the alphebetising of his DVD collection, or how much he likes Dairylea, this unashamedly inspiring piece of music could still say everything the lyrics didn’t. (For the record, though, I could probably buy into a song about Dairylea equally as much.)
To think: Best Imitation of Myself, Ben Folds Five
I’m sure many 6Music listeners would see this option as a chance to flaunt their intelligence with a song by Yes or Pink Floyd or Kraftwerk or Emerson, Lake & Palmer or somesuch. And I don’t doubt that those same people would have scoffed at this silly little ditty being my ‘thinking’ choice. But the truth of the matter is, that stuff’s just not my taste. I’m just a simple lass who appreciates simple tunes. I don’t want to spend hours rifling through snippy messageboards to understand a lyric; I’m of the opinion that pop music should be just that, with its arms open to all, and that songwriters should just come the fuck out with it. But anyway, less about The World According To Lisa Lynch, and more about this record. The reason I chose this as a song that makes me think, then, is that it reminds me of the kind of thinking I did as a 16 year old. I discovered Ben Folds at one of those awkward teenage times when you suddenly question why your mates are your mates, why your life is seemingly hanging in the balance of a GCSE grade, and why your boyfriend is the kind of daft Derby dickhead who stares at himself in the mirror while you’re shagging. Hence, to the self-conscious teenage me, Ben Folds was a king of introspection who, in this song in particular, spoke my language. I know, right? Dawsons Creek, eat your heart out. Silly a sentiment as that is, though, Best Imitation of Myself speaks of a crime we’re all guilty of, and me more than most. Take this blog, for example. Or indeed any blog. Little corners of t’internet like this allow us an opportunity we’re not usually afforded: the chance to create an online version of ourselves that’s perhaps more interesting, or more funny, or more confident than the one we might actually be. I’m certainly guilty of it, even to a point where I continually worry when meeting people in person – people who’ve only previously ‘met’ the me on the blog – that they’ll be horribly disappointed when they realise I’m just an ordinary, self-conscious shitkicker made interesting only by a cancer diagnosis. Right now, in fact, I’m worrying about being found out over the next couple of days, when I head to Guernsey to give a talk to a roomful of expectant women. But that’s a story for another post…
To dance: Pride and Joy, Marvin Gaye
On the run-up to our wedding, there was a fair bit of speculation about what our first dance would be. I mean, obviously, it was going to be a Beatles record, given that me and P were – are – bordering on Beatles obsessives, and had fallen in love to the soundtrack of Abbey Road. What our family and friends failed to remember, however, was that as well as Beatles fans, we’re also crafty bastards, hence the first dance at our wedding wasn’t a Beatles record at all: it was Marvin Gaye’s Pride and Joy. In actual fact, there was a sneaky Beatles reference in our choice, given that, on the band’s first trip to the US, they were so sick of hearing their own records on the radio that they’d phone in to request this instead, but, as gut decisions go, that wasn’t the reason we picked this. As I remember it (P may, of course, tell you different), it was a pretty natural choice: we’d always loved the track and, as much as we each loathe the term ‘our song’, this was as close to gaining that sickly status as any other. Having found it an unnervingly easy choice to make, however, I remember us spending an evening rifling through iTunes in the tiny living room of our old flat, me hitting play on a dizzying number of tunes while making my notoriously uncomfortable dancer of a future husband shuffle about to each one. But in the end, it really was as easy a decision as it had initially seemed. Because, if you’ll forgive the soppy sentiment, Pride and Joy embodies everything our relationship was, and still is: uncomplicated, sweet, cheeky and, most importantly, happy. Plus it didn’t hurt that, at a mere 2:08, P wouldn’t have to spend too long on the dancefloor…
I don’t normally specifically request comments on my blog (and please don’t take from it that I’m not interested in what you have to say; I’m ALWAYS interested in what you have to say… in an insomnia-inducing manner that’d make your head spin) but, today, I’m breaking the habit of a lifetime and ending on a question. So, if you will, tell me: what are your biorhythms tracks…?