Sunday, 4 August 2013

The Soundtrack To My Life

Just in case you haven't read my last couple of bloglets, a friend is setting me topics to write about over summer.

Topic two - List the soundtrack to your life based on the following terms and conditions:
- 12 songs or pieces of music that can relate to specific events or time periods
- reasons must be specified
- songs should be listed loosely in chronological order

1. I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany)
The very beginning seems as good a place as any to start. So the song that topped the UK charts on the day I was brought kicking and screaming into the world was Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now. It's not a song that I particularly like or even own, but it was number 1 when I was born and that's got to count for something.

Incidentally, if you ever want to feel old, go and watch the video of the song that was number one when you were born. Geez.

2. Two Little Monkeys (Sarah and Me)
After being born, the next most important event in my life was the arrival of a new toy sister a couple of years later. I'm told we got on very well most of the time when we were little. One day, in the spring of 1993, Mum decided to record us singing some of our favourite songs. The result was 26 minutes of Jingle Bells, Five Little Speckled Frogs, Nelly the Elephant and many more. For the purposes of this bloglet though, I've shortened it down to just one song. A song that demonstrates how sisters can be quick to fall out but quick to forgive.

(Okay, so the laughter didn't actually come immediately after the song, but it wasn't much later.)

3. Cauliflowers Fluffy and Cabbages Green
One of my favourite songs from Infant school. Back then no one could really read well/fast enough to warrant the lyrics being on display (on an OHP - not a whiteboard - obviously) so you just learnt them through repetition. Judging by how much I remember now though, I must have switched off about halfway through the second verse.

4. Alice the Camel
If Cauliflowers Fluffy represents my time at Infant school, then Alice the Camel does the same for Junior school. By this point we were allowed to read the lyrics, but no one needed them for this song. We'd all merrily link arms, bob up and down and whack our hips together as hard as we could on the 'booms'.

By the way, I didn't include a video of this one partly because I'm sure that most people will be familiar with the song and also (mostly) because none of the videos I found sang it in quite the same way as our school used to, which distressed me.

5. Say You'll Be There (Spice Girls)
Because really, who didn't like the Spice Girls? They were the first band that I liked because I liked them. Before them I'd really only listened to albums that my parents owned and it was a happy coincidence if I enjoyed any of them. I'm fairly certain that Spice was the first album I owned (on cassette!) and that this song was the second in the tracklist. At the time, I only knew it as 'the one where they're all in the desert in the video.'

6. Hip To Be Square (Huey Lewis & The News)
This was one of those happy coincidence songs; my dad owned the album but I loved it so much that I'd sneak it upstairs into our playroom and listen to it over and over again.
I loved the whole album (all killer no filler, folks) but chose this particular song because there was also a Sesame Street version that I discovered at about the same time. I think I may have actually seen/heard the Sesame Street one first, thought it was the original and just accepted that Huey & Co probably liked it so much that they'd put it on their album.

(Yes, NOW I understand that the songs have completely different lyrics but this was not the case for 7/8 year old me. Lyrics are, and never were, a strong point - 5 year old me, for example, was convinced we had to sing about a 'party ginger pear tree' every Christmas.)

7. Say You'll Be Mine (Steps)
Steps were a big part of my childhood. I loved them. I got all their albums, recorded all their TV appearances, read any magazines which had interviews with them, collected their posters, basically if it was Steps-related, I wanted to see or own it. I (obviously) made a scrapbook about them (complete with different sections for each band member) and even went as far as hand writing the lyrics to all of their songs. As we already know, lyrics were not my thing, so this meant listening to an album with a pad of paper and a pen at the ready, and pausing the song after every couple of lines.
If that wasn't enough, crazy-obsessed 10 year old me, one day decided it would be an excellent idea to make a PowerPoint presentation about them, presumably so I could explain just how brilliant they were to others.

8. Step Into Christmas (Elton John)
Everyone's got their favourite Christmas song, this is mine. Christmas has always been rather magical in the Groves household and for me this song marks the beginning of all the festivities.

9. Opa! (Giorgos Alkaios)
You didn't think we'd get through this list without a Eurovision song, did you?
I've watched Eurovision since Gina G asked for a little bit more in 1996 and love it a little more every year. Did you know that the competition originally started to try and boost morale after the second world war? (If you've read earlier bloglets, you probably do - apologies for repeating myself) Okay so things have changed somewhat since then, but I really like Eurovision's humble beginnings.
This song was my favourite of the 2010 competition. It didn't win - none of my favourites ever win - but I did actually try to learn all the lyrics a while ago. Did I mention lyrics are not my thing?

10. I Can Go The Distance (Disney's Hercules)
Because it reminds me of Miss Dormer, who taught me Latin at school. In the last lesson of every term we'd try to persuade Miss Dormer to let us watch Hercules instead of doing work. If I remember rightly, she never took much convincing.

11. Survivor (Destiny's Child)
I haven't chosen this song because it helped me through a difficult time in my life, or has a deep meaning for me, nope. It just reminds me of university. In my second and third years I lived with a group of fantastic girls who loved to play Sing Star. Survivor was a particular favourite of ours. We belted it out, and by 'belted' I mean 'shouted it at the top of our lungs until other students, who lived in the next street, came and complained'. A proud moment for all of us.

12. The Hannah Song (Me)
I don't often watch this video. It makes me cringe a bit now (why I didn't just write a song that was in a range I could cope with, I don't know). But I do sometimes catch myself singing or humming it to myself. The song is (obviously) about a friend named Hannah whom I met at university. I wrote it because I was going to be away on holiday over her birthday and felt bad that I wouldn't see her. The idea grew and grew, and in the end I uploaded another 17 videos (not all of them songs!) for her, but the Hannah Song was always the best.
It was also the first song I wrote, filmed and actually uploaded to the internet for The World to see (unless you count the Cheese Rap) and the fact that people didn't hate it gave me the confidence to do more.

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