After last week’s Neneh Cherry special, I remembered that I loved this song too. It’s years since I’ve heard it, but it hasn’t diminished in that time. I don’t understand the lyrics other than those in English, but there’s some great alliteration in the French part I think.
The sentiments in the song are very strong and pertinent today, particularly the anti racist ones. We should bear these in mind always.
Youssou N’Dour featuring Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds
So, today’s the big day in the US, and it’ll have a massive impact on the rest of the world.
I know little about politics, and from this side of the Atlantic it looks like a choice between two bad candidates. I know that Clinton has her detractors, and may have some baggage / issues, but she’s got to be better than a misogynistic racist bigot who has outspent his rivals. Putting up walls to keep immigrants out, segregating those of a different religious belief and / or colour? Really? That was tried in Europe in the middle of the last century and the world hasn’t been the same since.
Please, citizens of the USA, put your personal views and politics to one side, and choose the candidate who will do the best for your country and, by extension, prevent the world from descending into chaos.
I thought I’d try to compile a playlist of songs that represent me, or that speak to me on some level, so here goes. They’re in no particular order.
- Gone Cold by Clutch. Probably the first “new” band I’ve heard in a long time, though I’ve since found out that they’ve been going since the early 90s. I listen to podcasts a lot when I’m driving, and one work related podcast features this song as the intro and outro music. It has a lovely, laid back feel to it, with vocals which drawl gently through the opening lines, but which reveal more of an edge when singing the lines around the song title. I think I am also pretty laid back most of the time, but can be steely as and when necessary.
- Doesn’t Make it All Right by The Specials. When you’re growing up in a pretty much exclusively white rural town in the Scottish lowlands, a song which is very much anti-racist sends a strong message, This song combines one of my favoured music genres (ska) with a conviction that I felt strongly at the time and still do. Oh, and my favourite band, SLF, do an awesome version of it.
- Boogie Chillun by John Lee Hooker. Cut down, raw blues with a wonderful hook, this song is just brilliant. the lyrics, about a child’s desire to break free and get lost in their music at times exactly how I feel. I go through peaks and troughs, and at their height I just want to be enveloped in listening to and playing great music.
- Born On The Bayou by Creedence Clearwater Revival. OK, I’m not entirely sure what a bayou is, and I’ve no idea what shoogling is (it’s one of the words in the lyrics), but this song has a similar sort of feel to me as number 1 above does. It’s quite chilled, but at the same time full of a sort of restless energy which breaks out from time to time.
- Panic Song by Green Day. This song is not long, and it’s not complex: but the intro is nothing more than a build up of energy which eventually explodes into action. In a lot of respects, my anger is like that: it takes a long long time to build, then (and only very rarely) does it get released.
- Soul Man by Sam and Dave. This mostly made the cut because a) the Blues Brothers did it, b) it’s a fab time and c) they say “play it Steve” (to Steve Cropper) and I am a Steve!
- Ballroom Blitz by The Sweet. Again, Steve gets a mention, this time in the intro, but I chose this because it was one of the first songs I remember by a band I used to really like. I think this and Teenage Rampage probably laid the path for me to follow in terms of melodic music with a strong drum line.
- White Noise by Stiff Little Fingers. As with The Specials number above, this is very much an anti-racist number, though oddly enough when it first came out radio stations refused to play it because it has a derogatory w-word in every chorus. If they’d checked the lyrics they’d have seen that it was protesting about discrimination for whatever reason, whether race, colour, creed or nationality. What a great message!
- In The Hall Of The Mountain King from the Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg. I’m half Norwegian, half Scottish, and this is written by a Norwegian composer whose parents were Scots and has our hero encountering giants in their home.
- Donald Where’s Yir Troosers by Andy Stewart. This is a none too serious look at what it’s like to be a Scot from the sticks, and particularly when they venture down into the big city of London. I’m a Scot who made the move from a rural part of the country away to England and to a big down. Oh, and if you want an Elvis impression, there’s one on here too – uh huh!
This was harder than I had expected, but I think I got there in the end. I hope you like the list!