MUSICAL MUSINGS – The ‘Becoming Neevil’ Years

{This post was found unpublished in the archives. Not sure why I didn’t post it – presumably I had more to add. But as that appears unlikely – here you go}

First song I remember my dad singing to me:

Fair Rosa – an Irish sleeping beauty fairy tale.

This is not my dad. This is a lady from youtube.

First song that made me cry:

Puff the magic dragon

(Mind you, I was by no means the only person that has an unexpected emotional response to this song. When I was about 12 years old; some family friends popped over for dinner and a natter. They brought with them their beautiful little girl. When I stuck my loyal and trusty tape into the player; her father – a BFG of a man – burst into tears. He hadn’t heard the song in years and and ended up having his own formative years flashback. Naturally, he ended up leaving with the cassette! )

First album I learned by heart: 

The Simpsons – Sing the Blues

First Album I bought for myself:

The Lion King Soundtrack (AND IT’S STILL PERFECT!!!)

First Album Crush:

The drama of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours just captured my imagination and my heart. Stevie Nicks remains a constant fascination to this day.


MUSIC VIDEO – Surjan Stevens

The Child with the Star on His Head

MUSIC – Balcony Scene – Craig Armstrong

From Romeo + Juliet 1996 


MUSIC VIDEO – November, November – Auto de Fe


When I was little, Irish new-wave group Auto de Fe were part of the rotation of tapes played in the car.

This was my particular favourite track from the album Tatitum – I found it so haunting and beautiful and sad.

auto de fe

Subsequently, I heard somewhere that the song was about abortion – necessarily oblique due to the politics of the time. However, I can’t find anything online about it…so taking that with a pinch of salt.


MUSIC – Current TV Theme Songs 

As a bit of TV nerd, I’ve written before about my love of soundtracks – in particular theme songs (see various Playlist pages if you don’t believe me!) – previously. Personally, I find the un-theme of Supernatural – Carry On Wayward Sons by Kansas – to be one of the most effective defacto TV theme songs EVER. I’ve even blogged on some seriously dodgy soundtracks just because they thematically tickled me – Stalker – take a bow!  Recently,  I’ve been blown away by the brilliance of the music utilised in Fargo (especially season 2), Justified and Sense8.

So naturally, I’ve purchased some of those ‘music from TV’ cd’s and found myself disappointed at how dated they all are. No Orphan Black, Game of Thrones or Utopia (not a huge fan of electronic/house/dance/whatever that was but it was a REALLY effective soundtrack!) – in fact the most recent additions are usually Dawson’s Creek and Ally McBeal; which – no offence to the respective artists involved – hark back to my school days and are therefore more antique than cassettes*

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SPEECH – Wellesley Commencement – Nora Ephron

In 1996 the acclaimed writer, journalist, novelist, blogger and director (to name but a few of her many hats) Nora Ephron returned to her alma mater Wellesley College and delivered a highly quotable speech.

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More Finn ceramics

Remember I said that my mum has a cup ‘problem’? I’m clearly not the only one to notice!

My mum was just given this gorgeous mug by my nephews other nana (family relationships minus marriage are a touch convoluted to state but fun!)

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SPEECH – The Pleasure of Books – William Lyon Phelps

On the 10th of May 1933, the Nazis gathered German students from universities in cities including Berlin and led them in a book burning. The students were assembled from universities that had previously been held in high esteem internationally. They sought to destroy every book with ‘un-German’ ideas.

William Lyon Phelps was an American educator, literary critic and author who had served as a professor of English at Yale University (1901 to 1933). On April 6, 1933, he responded to this act in a speech delivered via a radio broadcast.

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Day 11 Mass for 5 voices – Gloria – William Byrd

Mass for 5 Voices – Gloria
William Byrd

I included this purely to have an English composition representative of the Early Renaissance period. It was a choice made purely on (incredibly feeble) academic grounds, based entirely on internet research. I had *no idea* the fascinating history ahead of me. I mean, intellectually, I knew that the time period was rife with religious persecution, but had never really considered how that would impact musically.

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Day 10 Spring – The Four Seasons – Antonio Vivaldi

Spring – The Four Seasons
Antonio Vivaldi

The Four Seasons are Vivaldi’s best known body of work and were written in 1723 and published in Amsterdam two years later. Spring was the first of four violin concerti and a firm favourite of King Louis XV.

Each of the movements provide a musical expression for a particular season of the year.

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