Song 1: We All Stand Together, Paul McCartney and The Frog Chorus (1984)
I owned the book and audio cassette of ‘Rupert and the Frog Song’, of which this is at the core. It is the first piece of music I remember owning, I still have the cassette, and the lyrics (alongside an upbringing of trying your hardest and never giving up) are probably responsible for my belief in standing by your friends and principles, even when the odds are stacked against you.
Song 2: Take On Me, a-ha (1985)
This is one of my earliest and favourite musical memories, not least because of the incredible pitch, length of some of the notes, and great 80’s cheesiness, but also because it is the first, and still one of the best, music videos I actually noticed and was mesmerised by.
Song 3: Mr Brightside, The Killers (2004)
Who doesn’t have one The Killers’ songs on their list? (You? You should rethink that.)
It was a close call between this and another Killers’ track ‘Human’, but in the end there are very few other songs that seem to take control of my body like this does, I cannot help but move and sing along to it, and the beauty of it, other than the story it tells and Brandon Flowers’ fabulous style (and hotness, obviously), is that wherever it is played, everybody does the same. No one can stop themselves.
…and, I’ve had more than a few club kisses while this played.
Song 4: You Got The Love, The Source & Candi Statton (1997)
The ultimate feel-good song of empowerment. There is just something about this song that makes me feel like everything will be alright, that no matter what happens, someone will always have my back – and, of course, it is pure 90’s brilliance, that has me strutting down the street on my morning walk to work.
I mean, if I ever did drag, this would be on my set list.
Song 5: Everlasting Love, Jamie Cullum (2003)
Following my grandad’s death in January 2004, I played Jamie Cullum’s ‘Twentysomething’ at every opportunity – on my way to and from work, washing up, cooking, just laying in bed thinking. But, it is this song, a cover of a much older song, that relit my interest in learning to play the piano, something I am still doing…slowly…
Song 6: Give Me A Little More Time, Gabrielle (1996)
My mum played a lot of Gabrielle when I was growing up, and this song featured heavily. But, it resonates primarily due to the fact that I have, on more than one occassion, found myself in the exact predicament that Gabrielle songs about, that strange space between friendship and more than, of having feelings for eachother, but being unsure as to whether you should act on them or not. Shortly after the first time I acted on them, I played this song, a lot, and though that relationship eventually ended, I have no regrets.
Song 7: Glitter In The Air, P!NK (2010)
P!NK’s performance of this song at the 2010 GRAMMYs was mind-blowingly beautiful, and the epitome of artistic perfection. The friend who showed me the performance, and for whom I would later play ‘Give Me A Little More Time’ about, agreed, and this was one of the many things that we bonded over. But, beyond that, it is a song that can resonate with anyone who has ever dated (“Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone? You’re whole life waiting on the ring to prove you’re not alone”), or fallen in love, who has dared to hope, and allowed themselves to love with their entire being. Isn’t that a brilliantly beautiful thing?!
Song 8: Con Te Partirò, Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman (1995)
I can’t remember when I first heard this song, but every now and then, I would hear a combination of notes that would remind me of it, and I’d spend the better part of an hour trying to find it – not knowing what it was called or who it was by. Then, one evening, I saw an advert for an Andrea Bocelli album, during which part of this song was played, and I’ve been paying it every since. I’ve heard it at weddings, and made friends by knowing all the words (Italian and English), and performed on the streets of Florence while I ate fantastic steak and drank beautiful Chianti. But no version can match this one, and it is this version that I will have playing at my funeral.
I’ll Cover You, RENT: Wilson Jermaine Heredia & Jesse L. Martin (2005)
I’d Rather Be With You, Joshua Radin (2008)
…and every other song The Killers have ever recorded.