That Song Meme – part 1.

There was a meme travelling my friend’s pages a couple of months ago, infecting time-rich and socially-starved brains as it went, and it was a music meme. I don’t have the musical erudition like Mister Gillen to write my life story into every song, but here’s a selection of my musical gems, shoehorned into this damn trope.

To the tune of: That Song Meme

day 01 – your favorite song
Ewan MacColl – Dirty Old Town
I heard it covered on the Pogues guts-sodden album Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. Ewan MacColl wasn’t his real name, and there’s a suprising amount of self-creation and revanchism in folk music in general, pulling lost traditions out of your arse, but, whatever my feelings about the autochthonous nation-creating nonsense of demagoguic politicians from the 19th century onwards, I can’t deny that Ewan MacColl got me riled up about English folk music in a way that one else ever managed. This is a great, simple, romantic song about a man’s love for his girl and his city. You can tell he was Mancunian.

Music, Yesterday.

day 02 – your least favorite song
John Cale – Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend
Because I love Cale’s misanthrophic solipism, and I love this song until that bit where he throws his toys out of the pram, the pram down the stairs, through the front door, knocking a Queen-mum-reminiscent granny and her Imipolex twinset into oncoming traffic.

day 03 – a song that makes you happy
Elvis Costello – The Big Light – Album Version/Live In Studio
It just reminds of that glorious stiff-legged feeling you get in a comfortable soft bed when you know the hangover hasn’t hit yet, and won’t until Dawn rosily fingers the outside of your eyelids. I used to wake up to this every day at university.
day 04 – a song that makes you sad
Aimee Mann – One
Hell, it’s just a grim little song about loneliness and mortality, bound up with Aimee Mann’s lovely voice.
day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone
Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – I’m The Urban Spaceman
Sex to the tune of the Bonzo’s is the funniest thing ever. Check out The Big Shot, The Intro & The Outro, and Trouser Press to sample a variety of their styles. Brilliant, quintessentially English (belying my words about the hypocrisy of nationhood earlier) and amazing live performers.
day 06 – a song that reminds of you of somewhere
Miles Davis – Sketches Of Spain
When I was a lad, I got confused due to a lack of literature, and travelled the wrong way along the Pilgrim’s Way, walking the North Downs then the South Downs, from Canterbury to Winchester. It was hugely lonely, and it confirmed to me that recognising my misanthropy and wanting to change it wasn’t enough – I just wasn’t going to ever be approachable and sociable, and I couldn’t force myself into that mould. The soundtrack to my idyllic 250 mile month-long solitude was Miles Davis and Gil Evans orchestral jazz album Sketches of Spain, which just burns vistas of golden countryside and endless tree-lined footpaths into my unfocussed eyes whenever I hear it.
Please go and see the Bonzos live, before they're dead.
day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event
Green Day – Basket Case
Sitting in the back of the school bus, with the cool kids, who were surprised I knew all the words to Basket Case. Acceptance was temporary, but they were friendly afterwards – I’d turned from an object to be ignored, if never bullied, into an amusing if very strange person.
day 08 – a song that you know all the words to
Monty Python – Accountancy Shanty (Monty Python Sings)
My brother and I, for reasons unknown, loved these songs and memorized all of them, having copied them from a library tape (apart from the naughty ones about venereal diseases that my mum surreptitiously wiped.)

day 09 – a song that you can dance to
Mikis Theodorakis – Horos Tou Zorba (I) / Zorba’s Dance
Everyone can dance to this. You just stick your arms out, and bounce your hips and shoulders in time to the music. Then Kazatzky!  Now you’re Greek, Jewish, etc…
day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep
The Smiths – Asleep
“Sing Me To Sleep” sings the song that sings me to sleep.

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