Six Songs of Me is being described by the Guardian newspaper as a music project that aims to give insight into the power that music gives us.
They’re asking users to submit six songs in reply to a survey on their website based on different songs for different occasions, from traditional questions such as ‘what would you funeral song be?’ to the song that ‘gets you dancing’. There’s a massive library of tracks for you to choose from courtesy of Spotify, so it meant that some of my favourite unsigned artists were unavailable (but then again, a surprising number were).
The project is really easy to get involved with (you can even use the survey-style form on your phone) and it certainly got me thinking about the songs I always return to. It didn’t, however, ask for reasons why I chose the tracks I submitted so I thought I’d tell you a bit more about them here…
What was the first song you ever bought?
The first song, I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys, was picked up in Woolworths for approximately 99p (giving me a penny in change from my pound-a-week pocket money.
I went to a Saturday morning stage school and at the time we were doing a routine to the Backstreet Boys’ number, Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), which involved lots of zombie style moves. I loved it.
I became resolved to get into boybands for the first time. (Up until then my ears had been all about Blur, Pulp and the Spice Girls).
The video for this track is the blueprint for Westlife, really. It’s a ballad, features that keychange to the major 5th soon after a tension building pause and those white suits in the video that were brilliantly lampooned by another future favourite, Blink 182.
What song always gets you dancing?
Like I love You, by Justin Timberlake is a modern classic.
I was always a Backsteet Boys’ girl over N*Sync until I heard Bye, Bye, Bye and Pop and realised that despite their stupid denim ensembles and silly hair, they kind of had an edge over Nick, Brian and co.
Then Justin Timberlake broke free, pretended to have moves (and headgear) like Michael Jackson in his debut solo video, threw in a bit of sexy breathes and saucy lip licking and a solo star was born.
Like I Love You is a stonker of a pop tune. That Neptunes loop, that falsetto, that hideously cheesy make-your-insides-melt talky bit at the beginning and end of the song; ‘don’t fear me baby, it’s just Justin’… (To quote an equally cringey Miss Anastasia Steele, ‘oh my’!)
At a school disco when I was about 13, I recruited a twenty strong group of boys and got them to dance to this, with hilarious results. I challenged them to see how low they could groove to the floor. Then I outdid them. It’s referred to, thanks to Geordie Shore, as the ‘slut drop’ these days. Put this song on in my presence and I’ll out slut drop you too!
What song takes you back to your childhood?
I expect my answer to this one, Girls and Boys by Blur, will be mentioned by many others!
Blur were the first band I made the decision to make my own at the age of five or six… to the extent that my Dad bought me the Parklife follow-up, The Great Escape, as my eighth birthday present. (I presume he thought that if he bought it for himself, he wouldn’t have hold of it for long.)
I would bounce on the sofa to the Parklife LP, pouring over the collage-heavy inlay, with its lyrics and amazing doodles (the Magic America one featured a man with a hamburger for a head). At that tender age I didn’t understand the meaning behind the words of Girls and Boys, but I could still sing along…
What is the perfect love song?
I decided to make Footnote to Love by Newcastle/Edinburgh based artist Ajimal (aka Fran O’Hanlon) my song for this catagory.
I don’t tend to listen to music and think ‘what a love song’! Most of it tends to be morose to the level of a Radiohead album…
Recently Ajimal released a couple of tracks from his forthcoming EP, which he describes as being an exploration of childhood. Footnote to Love, the lead song from the record, is about how one comes into existence – it’s a love song directed towards the child. Coupled with the gorgeous video it also made me come to realise that it is a love song for the parents too. The love for the child came from love itself.
It makes me a bit teary. What can I say?
What song do you want to have played at your funeral?
I was surprised at how long it took me to answer this question, but eventually I chose I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.
This song is a bit too close to the whole death subject really, but the delicate acoustic guitar, the beautiful, simple lyrics and Benjamin Gibbard’s effortless voice make this one of my favourite songs of all time. It’s subject matter could be dark and gloomy, but there’s something pure and hopeful about this song. I guess it’s a love song too.
Finally, what is the song that makes you, you?
I knew the answer to this had to be a song by Kirsty MacColl and after much deliberation I settled on In These Shoes?
The Spanish-speaking chorus to this rhythmic, Latin number translates as; ‘no I don’t like to dance and I can’t ride a horse’, which I think is hilarious. It’s classic Kirsty. She wants a man who will go the extra mile for her and will join her in suffering in the quest of ridiculous fashion. Some red hot excitement.
If you’ve never heard Kirsty’s last record, Tropical Brainstorm, I urge you to listen. England, 2 – Columbia, 0 is equally feisty. It’s a unique album.
I grew up listening to her music and I don’t think I’ll ever quite realise she’s gone – her music is firmly here to stay in my collection and in my head.
See my playlist in full here.
So what are your six songs? Are you going to have a go at submitting your Six Songs of Me?
This is a sponsored post, but don’t worry – if I don’t like it, I won’t write about it!