Monday, 15 November 2010

Inspirational songs when writing

Below are some of the songs that I can listen to over and over when writing; songs that do not distract me, yet take my mind soaring to undiscovered places.

Many of these take me back to previous times and places; this seems to disconnect my mind if I'm having trouble writing.

Kate Bush, the Wedding List.
This video is particularly weird, in a way that Kate Bush could only achieve. It is such a shame (albeit understandable) that she only ever toured once.

Al Stewart, Old Admirals.
I have admired this song for some time. It is about the life and times of Admiral Fischer, who revolutionised the Royal Navy. Sencan and I got married on HMS Warrior, which was one of the ships that Fischer served on early in his career.

Al Stewart, Roads to Moscow
This song is about a Russian soldier's experience in the Second World War. The acoustic work on this song is superb, as are the lyrics: "Two broken Tigers on fire in the night flicker their souls to the wind."

Kate Bush, Pi
A song about a man obsessed by numbers, sung by Kate Bush. How can it get any better (or geekier).

Pet Shop Boys, Fugitive (Richard X Extended Mix)
There is something about this song (especially the intro) that sends my mind soaring.

Phil Oakley, Together in electric dreams
Gloriously dated, dreamy, ecstatic electro-pop.

Momus, The Homosexual
A great song by the king of perverted pop music

Momus, the Hairstyle of the Devil
My wife gave me a CD years ago, whilst we were working together but not in a relationship. She specifically pointed out this song to me - I wonder if she was trying to send me a message? Again, it is a song that can be playing in the background as I write, the words and tune just sweeping over me.

New order, 1963
No-one seems to really know what this song is about, yet it moves me every time I listen to it.

Suzanne Vega, Tom's Diner
A simple, gentle song, which the music (literally) does not get in the way of. It takes skill to make a capella work. Unusually, the D.N.A. remix (which includes music) is also eminently listenable.

The Beautiful South, The Table
For many years the Beautiful South were one of my favourite bands, and it is hard to pick the one song that means the most to me. Yet, for listening to whilst writing, there can be only one. The Table is a simple song about an ordinary table. The official video (sadly not currently online) - featuring the table being dragged all over Ireland - is instantly memorable, and when I hear it I think of long journeys and the coast.

The Beatles, She's leaving home
I am unsure why this story helps me write - McCartney's speaks rather than sings most of the song, yet it sends my mind flying, although not necessarily to good places.

Joan Armatrading, Love & Affection
A song that takes me back to a walk that I was doing along the Grand Union Canal in London in 1994; I had just talked to my then-girlfriend on my mobile, and was looking across the water towards a canalside supermarket. This song always transport me back to that time, when I was a very different person. The song never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

Pet Shop Boys, A man could get arrested
One of their early songs from the mid-eighties. Somehow I can disregard the heavy electro-pop beat and the words take me away. Usually best when I am writing a fight scene.
The linked video has the song liked marvellously to the recent 'Sherlock Holmes' film.

Kate Bush, Babooshka.
The favourite song of an ex of mine, for years I could not listen to this song without crying. Oh, and Kate Bush is absolutely gorgeous in the video.

Madness, the Bed and Breakfast man.
Another little-known song by a famous band. This is another song that should not really help someone concentrate, but for some reason it really sends my mind soaring.

So there you go, a fairly strange mix of pop songs. And yes, I am a child of the eighties.

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