I’m very flattered to be tagged by Karen from CrunchieMummy for this music meme, 5 Songs To Live Your Life By. Unfortunately, I rarely play music: I’m a tedious listen-to-the-news type rather than relax-to-a-tune fella. So I’ve had to subvert the tag a tad by focusing on tracks that are significant to me and why. Warning: the following post contains a heavy dose of schmaltz and confessions of unmanly weeping.
1. THIS IS THE ONE – Stone Roses
Significance: The very first time I met my wife, I knew. This was it. She was the one. It didn’t matter that I’d been married before, nor that she had a daughter from her own previous marriage. She did something to me (as Paul Weller wrote, but is not on this list). I was so convinced after this first encounter, that I went home – extremely drunk, I might add – and played this. Again. And again. And a few months later, I played it to her. And this became Our Song, until…
2. TELEGRAPH ROAD by Dire Straits
Significance: Our first son was a few months old, by which time my wife and I thought we knew everything there was to know about each other, gleaned from long nights sharing our life stories. Then one night, we hired a babysitter for the first time since our boy was born and went out to the local pub. We were the only two people there. The atmosphere was non-existent, so I decided to put something on the jukebox. This was the track I chose – my favourite song from my geeky teenage days learning to play the guitar in my bedroom. I returned to our table as it started to play, and my wife looked at me and said: ‘How did you know?’ ‘How did I know what?’ ‘How did you know this was my favourite song?’
3. COMFORTABLY NUMB – Pink Floyd
Significance: I’d been away for a boys’ weekend and was going to miss one of THE great music events of my lifetime: the reunion of Pink Floyd at the Live 8 concert. I was gutted, but when I got in, my wife revealed that she’d recorded it for me. We sat on the bed watching it together; watching these four old men, divided by a bitter war or egos, but reunited for one-night only to help Third World children. It was unbelievably emotional. And yes, big, fat unmanly tears were shed as my all-time guitar hero Dave Gilmour wrung gut-wrenching emotion from his Fender Stratocaster.
4. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS – Metallica
Significance: When I lost my job last year, it felt like the world had ended. I wandered around in a black fog. Then one night, after putting our children to bed, kissing them on their foreheads and squeezing them tightly, I went downstairs to find my wife sat on the settee, with a video lined up and the remote control in her hands. ‘What are we watching?’ I asked. ‘Just watch,’ she replied. And she was right: whatever we’d been through as a family, nothing elsxe mattered except the three sleeping bodies lying upstairs.
Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
5. THERE GOES THE FEAR – Doves
Significance: This is the song I play in the car on a virtual loop to the point where my kids know all the lyrics. But it’s significance comes when it’s my turn to be the strong one in our relationship, to look after my wife, with her big brown eyes that sometimes fill with pools of tears of frustration or concern. I don’t actually sing these lyrics to her (I’m not THAT corny) but the words are for her all the same:
Close your brown eyes
And lay down next to me
Close your eyes, lay down
‘Cos there goes the fear
Let it go