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{This post was found unpublished in the archives.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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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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Home Tourist – traditional music

While at the Hotel Doolin, we were delighted when two (local?) musicians staying playing.

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Home tourist – Doolin, Co. Clare

Am home for a family wedding! Huzzah! 

We’re staying in Doolin, an incredibly picturesque costal village and the access point to the Aran islands (so I’ve definitely been here before as a childling). 

Doolin Peer    

  Which was sad because – storm Gertrude aside – I was really looking forward to a dip…  
  Not the greatest videos in the world, but that noise you hear is wind! And it was powerful and awesome to behold!! 

MUSIC VIDEO – David Bowie

Tribute in Brixton from last night 

David Bowie was a constant influence in my life. My parents loved his music so even the really odd stuff was something we young un’s rapidly became familiar with. My mum and I were also just a touch enchanted by the man himself. And the Goblin King (from the Labyrinth) has fascinated and delighted me since my childling days…which I might have mentioned before. 

One or another of his albums (or – more likely – a mixtape of my favourite songs painstakingly copied onto cassette) was always on rotation in my Walkman. Until I went to Uni. Then I listened to cd’s instead 😉  

Like many people, I only really started re-exploring his music with more consideration after The Next Day was released in 2013. While I had remained a fan, there was less urgency to pick up his every release, until this. This was less a comeback and more of an explosive release of creativity – dark, thought provoking, occasionally strange and – predictably – astoundingly well written. 

Last year, (I think) I stuck up a playlist for Nothing has Changed – my mothers Christmas present from my dad. We stuck in the first CD and it provided our soundtrack for the day. Cooking the turkey, wearing jumpers over pj’s, dancing when we felt the need – each of us knowing every lyric. One turned to another and commented ‘not a single dud so far – every song a classic’. That’s probably the ‘David Bowie – Foley’ moment that will stay with me most vividly. 

I haven’t really listened to Blackstar in its entirety yet. Heck, I only barely heard it was out before I realised its his swan song. 

Here are the final two videos, from his final album.