Archive for the ‘Songlines’ Category

Songlines #6 – Pakistan perspectives

Muslim weddingWhat is the song that means the most to you in the world and why?

Two contrasting contributions from a young couple of Pakistani origins…

Noshaba spoke about Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run

Rix chose the national anthem of Pakistan

Hear Noshaba here…



and Riz here…


bruce springsteen and clarence clements

4 stories from Songlines

Shane MacGowan

Songs move from generation to generation like lighting fagbutt with fagbutt

Songlines is a project I’ve been doing for some years recording the answer to the question “What song or piece of music means the most to you and why?” from all kinds of people. I feel a new burst of recordings coming on so now’s a good time to gather a few of the already published ones…

MC Hammer – Hammertime (the recording only)

The Blues (the recording)

Dayenu (trad.) (the recording)

The Pogues – Rain Street (the recording)

Songlines #5 – NYC Blues

What song means the most to you and why?

AUDIO FILE: Hear Bronagh’s answer: Bronagh.mp3

Bronagh recalls hearing the blues in New York

Harlem

Harlem

Photo courtesy of Christopher de la Torre

Songlines #4 – Thank Christ for the BBC (London Irish)

What song means the most to you and why?

AUDIO FILE: Hear Conor’s answer: ws_10015conor-mcginley

Comedian Conor McGinley choses Rain Street by The Pogues and talks about the London Irish identity he shares with Shane MacGowan

The church bell rings
An old drunk sings
A young girl hocks her wedding ring
Down on Rain Street

Down the alley the ice-wagon flew
Picked up a stiff that was turning blue
The local kids were sniffing glue
Not much else for a kid to do
Down Rain Street

Father McGreer buys an ice cold beer
And a short for Father Loyola
Father Joe’s got the clap again
He’s drinking Coca-cola
Down on Rain Street

Bless me, Father, I have sinned
I got pissed and I got pinned
And God can’t help the shape I’m in
Down on Rain Street

There’s a Tesco on the sacred ground
Where I pulled her knickers down
While Judas took his measly price
And St Anthony gazed in awe at Christ
Down on Rain Street

I gave my love a goodnight kiss
I tried to take a late night piss
But the toiled(?) moved so again I missed
Down Rain Street

I sat on the floor and watched TV
Thanking christ for the BBC
A stupid fucking place to be
Down Rain Street

I took my Eileen by the hand
Walk with me was her command
I dreamt we were walking on the strand
Down Rain Street

That night Rain Street went on for miles
That night on Rain Street somebody smiled

Songlines #3 – She Moved Through the Fair

What song means the most to you and why?

Una chose She Moved Through The Fair
HEAR HER EXPLANATION HERE: She Moved MP3

My young love said to me my mother won’t mind,
And my daughters won’t slight you for your lack of kine,
He went away from me and this he did say,
‘It will not be long love til our wedding day.’

He went away from me and he moved through the fair,
And slowly I watched him move here and move there,
He went his way homeward with one star awake,
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

The people were saying no two were e’er wed
But one has a sorrow that never was said,
And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear,
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

I dreamed last night that my young love came in,
He came in so sweetly, his feet made no din;
He came close beside me, and this he did say,
‘It will not be long love, till our wedding day.’

Songlines #2 – Rich Mix

What song means the most to you and why?

James aged 12 chose Dayenu (trad.)
HEAR HIS EXPLANATION HERE: Rich Mix MP3

“The Jewish perspective on thanksgiving is to magnify the kindnesses that God has performed for us. Thus, we dwell on each of the momentous things that He performed for His people as He brought them forth from Egypt. The refrain, dayenu, means that each of these kindnesses is sufficient to cause us to give thanks.”

If He had split the sea for us,
and had not taken us through it on dry land
— Dayenu, it would have sufficed!

Crossing the Red Sea

Crossing the Red Sea

UPDATE Jan 09:

Conor McK from Connecticut gave a remarkably similar answer – he chose the song James Connolly

HEAR HIS EXPLANATION HERE: ws_10007conormck.mp3

The man was all shot through that came to day into the Barrack Square
And a soldier I, I am not proud to say that we killed him there
They brought him from the prison hospital and to see him in that chair
I swear his smile would, would far more quickly call a man to prayer
Maybe, maybe I don’t understand this thing that makes these rebels die
Yet all men love freedom and the spring clear in the sky
I wouldn’t do this deed again for all that I hold by
As I gazed down my rifle at his breast but then, then a soldier I.
They say he was different, kindly too apart from all the rest.
A lover of the poor-his wounds ill dressed.
He faced us like a man who knew a greater pain
Than blows or bullets ere the world began: died he in vain
Ready, Present, and him just smiling, Christ I felt my rifle shake
His wounds all open and around his chair a pool of blood
And I swear his lips said, “fire” before my rifle shot that cursed lead
And I, I was picked to kill a man like that, James Connolly

A great crowd had gathered outside of Kilmainham
Their heads all uncovered, they knelt to the ground.
For inside that grim prison
Lay a great Irish soldier
His life for his country about to lay down.
He went to his death like a true son of Ireland
The firing party he bravely did face
Then the order rang out: Present arms and fire
James Connolly fell into a ready-made grave
The black flag was hoisted, the cruel deed was over
Gone was the man who loved Ireland so well
There was many a sad heart in Dublin that morning
When they murdered James Connolly – the Irish rebel.

Songlines #1 – Hammertime

For over a decade I’ve been collecting answers (in audio form) to this question:

  • What song means the most to you and why?

I’ve asked people from 8 to 80, using my crapped up old tape recorder with masking tape holding in the batteries in the absence of the battery compartment cover which fell off years ago. Well this week I finally went digital. I bought an Olympus WS-100 voice recorder on the recommendation of Amanda Gore, who is doing a project with me for Ofcom and uses the self-same machine to record meetings. Then I downloaded Switch Mac to convert the WMAs to MP3s at the suggestion of my C4 colleague Mark Sheldon. And Bob’s your uncle…

#1 is 8 year old Charlie. His choice of song is U Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer.
HEAR HIS EXPLANATION HERE: Hammertime MP3

Big trousers of MC Hammer

Big trousers of MC Hammer

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