The Soundtrack of My Life (TGBOL)

This week’s prompt for The Great Book of Lists is “the soundtrack to our lives”. To explain:

“We’re going to write about the music themes and songs that are engraved in our dearest memories that can evoke a memory faster than anything else, or make you feel good and giddy. What music is so intertwined with your life and personality that you can play it in your head without actually hearing it ? What musical pieces remind you of a particular time in your life like it was yesterday ?”

So many great songs with fond memories to choose from, but this is THE soundtrack to my life, in roughly chronological order…

Childhood –

Adam Ant – Stand & Deliver –

The first music that I remember ever getting into was Adam & The Ants. I’m stupidly excited by the thought of seeing him play at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer.

Honourable mention here for the Bouncing Song from Not The Nine O’Clock News (“I like bouncing, boing boing boing, Up and down until I get a pain in my groin”). I had an album – on VINYL – of their best sketches… and look at what I’m writing now. It’s all there…

Uni Days –

Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love –

I co-hosted a student council party at the end of my second year… the opening riff was played every time I took to the stage, looking rake-ish with painted-on sideburns, the jester king in court. Or something like that… great night, great memories.

Honourable mentions for Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bad Medicine, or Roxanne – any of these jukebox staples take me back to the dingy, red-linoleum-floored college bar, spending hours avoiding writing that essay that was due in the next day, and endlessly trying and failing to “beat” the quiz machine. (The quiz machine, incidentally, at which me and my future wife first got talking. She was much better at it than me!)

Love –

Rolling Stones – Wild Horses –

Our choice of song for our first dance at our wedding. This may have been slightly Buffy-inspired on my wife’s part…

Honourable mentions to Spandau Ballet’s Gold, or Flight of the Conchords’ I’m Not Crying: my wife’s two favourite songs!

Friendship –

Blur – Country House –

This is a song that takes me straight back to the second greatest party of my life… a best friend’s wedding. A ridiculously good night.

Honourable mention here for Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby, and one of my best friends taking this with him everywhere he goes in the world… no karaoke bar, or living room, is safe! Also, Gin and Juice as covered by Hayseed Dixie. 

Personal challenge –

Rocky theme –

I ran a half marathon a few years ago. (I’m a big lad… I don’t know what I was thinking.) I went really overboard on the playlist to get me round the course, and it was predictably, fittingly, inevitably the Rocky theme that got me through the toughest part of the race.

My boys –

Blur – Tender –

This was my “go-to” song to soothe both boys when they were little babies; a perfect nursery rhyme for those parents who are sick of actual nursery rhymes! I’ve included the link to the live version they performed at Glastonbury in 2009, which adds another layer to my love for this… I was there in the crowd with my friends singing it back to them. A magical moment.

Honourable mentions:
Muppets – Ma Na Ma Na. You know the one. More addictive than crack, and stickier than superglue. 
Pharrell – Happy (aka “Minions song!”). Even stickier than Ma Na Ma Na!
These are both big favourites in the Lane house… I have shortcuts to these on my phone to wheel out when needed!

And because this is me, this is also the soundtrack to my death… these are the songs I’d like played at my funeral.

Nick Cave – Death Is Not The End – (Listening to this again now, I realise how similar this is to Tender…)

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird (the full ten-minute version, as my coffin is cremated… the silly side of me likes the thought of the audience looking at their watches, tapping their feet in boredom, wondering how much longer they have to stand there for!) –

Johnny Cash – The Man Comes Around –


What are the songs that form the soundtrack to your lives? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

20 thoughts on “The Soundtrack of My Life (TGBOL)

  1. Cool, bot only because I know some of these songs and artists, but because I do no know all of them. The soundtrack of my life… raised on jazz and classical music with a little latin infused for good measure. The very first 45 rpm I ever bought was We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet by the Blues Magoos. However, it was the British Invasion that coloured the rest of my youth, along with Motown (born and raised in Detroit as I was). I prefer the Beatles to Elvis, The Who to LZ and Mozart to Motown. ta-da

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s wonderful how everyone’s soundtrack is so different, and such a response to the influences they’re immersed in… and they say that your tastes get “locked” at 18… when I see what fluff is around at the moment, this makes me fear for my sons, and what their tastes may get locked into in years to come!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool list and many I remember, a few I haven’t heard. It is amazing how certain songs capture times in our lives. They bring back the entire sensory and emotional experience. I laughed when I read Muppets Ma Na Ma Na. I think I’ve listened to and sang that song a thousand times in the past 2 years. Ha ha.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve listened to it three times this afternoon since posting this!

      I think given long enough, I could come up with a list of a couple of hundred songs that carry some significance for me. And I don’t think that’s particularly unusual. Amazing, really 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I always enjoy finding about songs that are meaningful to others. 🙂 I know about half on your list (including the Ma Na Ma Na song…LOL!).

    My earlier childhood song is from a Chinese opera. My middle childhood is Mona Lisa sung by Nat King Cole. My high school song is (a bit embarrassingly) Him by Rupert Holmes (Google it…it’s not great lyrics, but the tune is a little haunting). My out-of-highschool-and-into-uni song is Hold Me by Fleetwood Mac. My uni days start with I Ran by Flock of Seagulls and end with Take On Me by A-Ha! When I really started feeling like an adult is characterized by Money For Nothing by Dire Straits. 😀

    That’s way more than you wanted to know, I’m sure. LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I find it fascinating… the first thing I always used to do when going to a friend’s place was to check out their CD collection (and almost as important, how it had been arranged)… typing this listening to Rupert Holmes btw 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Well, it’s better than going through someone’s medicine cabinet. 😉 Rupert Holmes’ biggest hit was the Pina Colada Song, which is also pretty cheesy but oh-so-late 70s…brings back many nostalgic coming of age memories. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Not sure I could come up with a definitive list – I’d need a week to boil down to a hefty ‘shortlist’, but pretty certain there would be notable numbers by The Jam, The Clash and other punk/new wave bands, some Stone Roses & Charlatans from the 90s and quite probably recent tunes by Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. Not forgetting all the stuff that I’ve ‘discovered’ that existed before I began listening to music properly in about 1979 (so that covers everything from The Beatles, The Who, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Motown, Bowie through to some 70s funk, 60s Northern Soul, 50s Rock & Roll and 40s Swing – big shout out for Count Basie there).
    I think you’re right about music you hear before you get reach 18 – many of the tunes that resonate the most are from those formative years of secondary school (1979-1986 for me, although most stuff after 82 was shite). The exception is probably the mid to late 90s when our 2 girls were born, which happened to coincide with the emergence of more guitar pop on Radio 1. “Oh Yeah” by Ash strikes a chord: “Oh yeah, she was taking me over, oh yeah it was the start of the summer…” although ‘she’ was a tiny pink baby.
    Don’t worry too much about your lads being influenced by terrible chart music, but you do have to plan in advance. I raised Tegan initially on B*Witched (solid, fun pop) when she was about 6, moved her on to Avril Lavigne, McFly and Jem by the end of primary school thereby laying the foundations for a preference for slightly alternative guitar-based pop. Oh, and bombarding her with my own stuff whenever we were in the car. And teaching her lyrics to songs (she found Down In The Tube Station At Midnight more poignant than I did at the same age).
    So when she said a few years ago that she had grown up with her own musical tastes that were quite different to most of her friends and more in line with mine, I said triumphantly “And so the indoctrination is complete!”
    “I wasn’t indoctrinated,” she replied.
    “And that’s how good I was. You never even noticed.”
    But then again, you win some, you lose some. Natalie can’t stand my music and gets quite cross when The Jesus & Mary Chain come on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I doff my parenting cap to your indoctrination skills (‘makes notes’). I am sure if I was compiling a list of “stuff I just really, really like”, there would be about a 90% crossover with what you’ve mentioned. But however much I love Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, or most of Ash’s 1977 album, it doesn’t link to a particular time or place in my life. Life’s random like that. I could have listed Mariah Carey’s Christmas song in this list – not because I like it, but because it was playing on constant repeat on TV while we were at the hospital for our eldest’s arrival (it was the start of December). Like Madeleine cakes, one listen and I’m back there in the hospital, my wife moaning in pain (of the aural variety, mostly)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Some fabulous choices there Al. I am jealous that you are going to see Adam and the Ants, I thought they were brilliant.
    I love that Pharell Williams song too, and Spandau Ballet, and Freebird and nearly all of the ones you chose actually! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: [ Round up] TGBOL 2.3 : The soundtrack of your life | La duchesse d'Erat

  7. Wow–even funeral songs! You’ve thought about this a lot! I love the progression in the songs here–so many I can relate to with my own memories. I could spend all day just listening to people’s playlists–so evocative!

    Liked by 1 person

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