F**k the election, the backward country I come from and a pox on Cameron and his ill-thought-through promise on an EU Referendum that could see me separated from my husband and daughter, not to mention my benefits ending. Tonight I am not going to worry about how to master Dutch in a year when weighted down with this illness so I can get a Dutch passport. Tonight I am going to lose myself in the world of awesome music and, I hope, bring a few of you with me.
In the period of what I can only describe as our online courtship, DH and I swapped top 10 lists on all sorts of things. Who were the top ten hottest guy/girl actors, best films, best TV shows, and of course, best tracks. It was a really fun way to realise how compatiable we were, discover new bands and just have a bit of fun insulting each other (I have an unashamed Britney and KP girl crush whilst he is devoted to 80s power ballads). From all of this came a playlist which to this day we call The Playlist, made from deciding which songs we liked to drive to. It has by far surpassed 10 songs now and could easily see us halfway across to Poland if we played it nonstop.
Indeed, out of all the things in the world that there are to choose from, I do believe that one of the most fun, and sometimes quite tough!, choices are what songs would make your top 10. In just about anything. To ease the agony of indecision, it is fortunate I can make as many top 10 lists as I like and combine them all into one happy, mishmash of music courtesy of Spotify and YouTube.
Music evokes strong emotions and memories I thought hidden, buried for good. It also brings great pleasure, being ridiculously happy, laughter, relaxation and peace. I can rage to it when I’m mad, I can get a bit buzzy to it – and dammit I’m not going to let the bipolar take away that nice music bzzzzz. I love it when YouTube throws up a tune I’d forgotten, and when Spotify takes me to an artist I would never have heard of before and I get to discover them.
But sometimes there are only certain songs, in certain places, that will do. And one of those times is in the car. In fact, there are so many brilliant songs to drive to it pains me to try and make a list which is restricted to just ten songs. But I’ve had a go and I thought it would be fun to share. I am sure there are classics I will have missed and you will remind me of it and I will curse myself for not listing it. I think as well I’m gonna have a top 10 songs to drive to and a separate top 10 albums to drive to.
So please find below my top ten songs to go vroom vroom (and in no particular order because to rank them that way is too hard for me to choose). I hope it provides entertainment, amusement and a reminder of good times – even with mental illness we can have fun sometimes :)
I’d love to hear what all of your top 10 songs to drive to are too – please do let me know!
I begin with some honorable mentions from mine and DH’s playlist – Bryan Adams – Run to You, Bohemian Rhapsody by the wonderful Queen, Dire Straits – Money for Nothing, Tom Petty – Won’t Back Down, pretty much anything by Foreigner, Manic Street Preachers (so nearly made the cut), The Cure, oh so many. There would be 100s more but I think they really do deserve a mention.
1.Through Glass – Stone Sour
I was a late arrival to Stone Sour. I also had my head elsewhere for about ten years so didn’t realise that it was a Slipknot side project. DH changed all that and more when we met. I heard this song on his iTunes for the first time and was in love immediately, not just with him but the band. I also played this song nonstop when I drove to work every day, particularly sitting in traffic which I spent an awful lot of time doing. For the record, if you ever need to go there, avoid the A13 between The Hague and Rotterdam at rush hour, unless you like a view of everyone else going nowhere. But this song always helped :)
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Metallica
The Black album was a pretty formative one in my teen years. It saw the final transition from indie to full blown metal goddess – or at least how my sixteen year old self positioned herself. Never does this song sound as good as in the car. Unless you’re seeing them live then it’s pretty good too. Fooking love these guys I do. And if you are in a particularly angry mood like I was the other day, even better. Metallica at their very best. Particularly the hair. Not sure Lars could cut
3. We are the People – Empire of the Sun
I just love this group. They also make beautiful videos. In an era where music has truly become bland – thank you to the Minajes and Lil Waynes of this world for blessing us with earache – these guys just exploded with this tune. I heard it and was very wtf I have to hear that again. It was just so different. And on a long cruise from A to Z, there’s nothing better to keep you company than this Aussie duo.
4. West Coast – Lana Del Ray
My daughter was born in a heatwave just as this song came out. I spent so many days and nights of the first few weeks just driving around in the car as that was the coolest place for us to be. Then we’d get DH from work and we’d drive off to some amazing beach on the coast and find a spot for all of us to sit. This song is all about sultry, hot steamy summers to me.
I think Lana Del Ray is awesome. And sexy. And very talented. Why does she get such a hard time and so much abuse? Her songs are from the heart and really hit the spot with me at key points in my life. I nearly put Video Games on but I think this one has better memories attached to it.
5. Tennis Court – Lorde
Love this girl too. This is the same story as Lana’s tune above. And she’s a Kiwi and I have a very big soft spot for that part of the world. I listened to these two songs constantly last year. I loved the feeling that I was driving round exploring with my beautiful baby in the back. I felt so complete. What I love about Lorde’s stuff is that it is different (it is a bit of a theme with my taste in music really). But this has such a different sound. If that makes sense. And it’s good to drive around to as well. I can vouch for that.
6. Pretender – Foo Fighters
There is only one celebrity I would ever get my boobs out for at a festival and that’s Dave Grohl. I may even get my chance at Rock am Ring this year.
Oh oops, sidetracked. Just Foo Fighters. And Dave. Nothing else to be said.
7. My Curse – Killswitch Engage
KSE make beautiful metal. This song is particularly poignant for me. When I was in my darkest place ever, having just left my husband and halfway round the world with no money, no job, no friends, nothing, deep in the grip of a manic episode punctuated with liquid black running through my head and no clue at the time how ill I was, my friends in Europe all sent me songs and bands to listen to, to help me power through till I could get on the plane home. And this band was one.
It was instrumental in helping me rediscover my love of metal music, submerged for years after trying to fit in and be someone I wasn’t. I embraced it with open arms. And when I got home I played it louuuuuud in the car. M4 back to London I think it was. And they are pretty good live too. If I ever have the courage to share this blog – my friends who introduced me to this band thank you – you know who you are.
8. One Slip – Pink Floyd
The Floyd. I could probably pick any of their songs and it would be appropriate for any self-respecting top 10 list. I have been a fan since my brother drove me home one Christmas just after he passed his driving test and played Division Bell nonstop. I know there’s a lot of fan blahblah about when Roger Waters left but actually I think A Momentary Lapse of Reason stands on its own as a classic. A very 80s sound, but it still sounds so cool. Particularly when you turn this song up full blast and hit the outer lane :)
9. Dakota – Stereophonics
Ah man. There are several Stereophonic songs worthy of this list but this has to be the one. This song makes me feel a hot breeze blowing over me whilst zooming along a country road somewhere. All my twentysomething summers rolled into one courtesy of the very incredible Stereophonics. Now, this song I listened to nonstop at a particularly good point in my life. I had just bought my own flat, own car and managed to get my first fundraising job. It was admittedly with the ex but we were mainly living separate lives even back then so I don’t remember the impact so much. I used to take that little car everywhere, this song blaring. I do remember a long, long hot summer, lots of bbqs with friends, and a sense of pride in my abilities. And just having a good time. It was a good few months, that year :)
10. Fire – Ferry Corsten
So here’s the thing – a random choice perhaps on a rather guitar-based list. But I love house and trance. And I love running to it. And I really like driving to it. And I couldn’t not have one with a Dutch DJ on could I :D and one from Rotterdam no less! I have the longer version on Spotify – actually I do all my dance tracks. I can run for hours (well maybe not right now but it feels like). This song has taken me around many a half-marathon. And taken me to a half-marathon. I will never forget the feeling of excitement I had, like I was proper North when I saw the Angel of the North on they way to the Newcastle Half Marathon. This song was playing at the time. And the proper North thing is a bit odd seeing as I went to university in Bradford which for the majority of the southern half of the country is some wild place beyond the Watford Gap. But this song, along with a whole host of other dance tracks, took me all over the country.
Thanks for listening and reading :)