30 Days of Music, Day 9: a song that you can dance to
Reel 2 Reel - I Like To Move It
If this doesn’t make at least one part of your body dance, you are made out of stone. One of the best entrances in a film ever is King Julian’s in Madagascar, because he swings on singing this song. I love his version (Sasha Baron Cohen’s, really, but you know what I mean) but the original is my favourite. Either way, dancey songs about dancing are the most danceable of all :D
30 Days of Music, Day 8: a song that you know all the words to
The Beatles - Get Back
There are a lot of songs I know all the words to, so I picked the first one I ever learned all the words to. I was two or three years old, my mum was a massive Paul McCartney fangirl from the age of thirteen to the day she died (loyal fannishness runs in my family), and I’d heard this song so many times I could sing along with Mum when she had her Beatles tapes on. It is, by the way, a pretty excellent song to sing along to in the shower. I’m not comfortable now with the transphobic lyrics about Loretta — Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman // But she was another man either means that Loretta was a trans man (discovered his gender after soul-searching and realisations from outside himself) and therefore it is transphobic to call him she; or Loretta was a trans woman, in which case it’s MASSIVELY transphobic to say she’s a man and just thinks she’s a woman. Either way, I don’t like those lines, but I still love the song. Because the riff rocks.
30 Days of Music, Day 7: a song that reminds you of a certain event
Lightning Seeds ft David Baddiel & Frank Skinner - Three Lions ‘98
The summer of 1998 was my last term at my favourite school. Year 9 ended, and in that June or July there was the annual school summer fete. Mum painted some glasses to sell, friends of mine had stalls with cakes, there was strawberries and cream in the dining hall, face painting, the usual things. Right at the top of the lawns was my favourite: a book stall, with lots of awesome things. At the end of the day, that stall had so many left, and Mum and I were pawing at them, when the stall owner said we could have the entire lot for a ridiculously low price. There were, I kid you not, two CRATES of books. BEST HAUL EVER OMG. Among those books was our first Deric Longdon book, Diana’s Story, about his wife having M.E. That was particularly serendipitous, since we both got M.E. within the next few months.
It was a pretty happy time in my life, for once. Mum had beaten cancer for the first time, so I was ecstatic she was still alive. I had my stereo with me behind our stall, and played a summery mix I’d put together; this song came on it near the end of the afternoon, when my friends had come up to hang out with us at the stall. One of my friends bought a painted glass from Mum, as a present for her own mum. And I had a moment — I’m not sure if this song was playing then, or if it was just after, but probably the latter — where my best friend came up to me and jumphugged me, and there was this tiny bubble of: this friendship is genuine. It was the first time for years that I’d had a friend who I knew for certain really did like me, wasn’t just hanging out with me so she could have ammunition to pick on me with later, and wouldn’t pretend to hate me in front of everyone else so that she wouldn’t get picked on too. (This is what happens when you’re the school freak, but nobody can work out what makes you a freak. Kids are pretty perceptive, they could pick up on the fact that I was different without knowing that I’m trans and gay and psychic and neuroatypical, and they treated me like they would if they’d known I was a tiny queer boy in the wrong body who talks to ghosts and sees and tastes music.)
So, this song basically reminds me of the happiest I ever was at school. It was a good summer.
30 Days of Music, Day 6: a song that reminds of you of somewhere
Queen - Don’t Stop Me Now
This song reminds me of this one stop on an amazing trip of the USA I took in ‘07. It was somewhere between New Jersey and North Carolina, I don’t remember which town. Greyhound buses have to make a maintenance stop every [set period of time, maybe twelve hours?], to clean the bus and refuel and change drivers and whatever else they do. It usually happens in the middle of the night, and it means an hour’s layover in a Greyhound station, which are always cold and have grey metal benches and dirty toilets with the kind of hand soap that’s more liquid than anything and doesn’t foam very much. So it’s two in the morning, my bus nap was interrupted, I was in an unfamiliar bus stop and trying to stay awake so I didn’t miss the announcement to go back on the bus, and I had a Queen CD in my player. I was groggy, grumpy, frightened (new place filled with strangers, aaahhhh) and paranoid (WHAT IF I MISS THE BUS KJF;SNJG;JAG) but then this song came on and WHAM, it all went away. I bounced in my seat along to the music (I got a lot of funny looks, but WHO CARES :D) and felt light and happy and like nothing could touch me. I didn’t miss the announcement, got back on the bus with a light heart, and fell asleep again.
I love my road trip memories. Watching New York disappear behind me, seeing two clouds above the whole of Arizona, the sun rising over Kansas City, the sparkle of the Hudson river, the horrimusing sight in Texas of a gun shop right next to an emergency room, the bus shelter that called itself a train station in the LA mountains. But that one stop, in the middle of the night, with Queen in my ears and happiness in my heart, always stands out among the rest as a shining moment of wonderful on a pretty awesome journey.
30 Days of Music, Day 3: a song that makes you happy
A1 - Celebrate Our Love
This is the best conga song IN THE WORLD. It has a happy trumpet, the opening lyrics are Believe in your heart, no matter what the people may say // The chance you take could take you to the top!, the rhythm is the most perfect for conga lines EVER, I DARE YOU to listen to this song and not smile. EVERYWHERE A CELEBRATION! OOH OOH OOH CELEBRATE OUR LOVE! *grooves*
Also, A1 are my favourite boyband. 90s pop makes me nostalgic to a ridiculous degree, oh man that was my time, and A1 are the best. I can’t even pick my favourite of their albums. “Here We Come” is freaking adorable, but omg “The A List” is AMAZING, and then there is “Make It Good”, and just. GAAAAH, FAVOURITES.
It’s catchy, sure, and bouncy, and the best thing that’s ever happened in Glee was an entire football team dancing to it. Sure. All of that is true. I just cannot get past the lyrics. The reduction of a woman to “it”, the dismissal of any and all romantic feelings a man has for a woman just because he hasn’t proposed, the assumption that all women want to get married, the enforced time frame for relationships, the idea that marriage means a man owns a woman — the culture that produces women talking about having been in a relationship for three years omg why hasn’t he proposed yet? It bugs me so much. Some people don’t want to get married! Some people can’t get married. (Though the song is being heteronormative, so it’s not really speaking to people who can’t get married.) Marriage isn’t something to be entered into because you like someone and, in the context of the song, are monogamous and don’t want your girlfriend to sleep with another man. (I’m not going to touch the jealousy angle of the lyrics, because it baffles me to my core. I’m polyamorous, this monogamous jealousy thing does not compute. Illustration: when I told my brother I’m poly, his response was “But if you love someone, you don’t want them to be with anyone else!” INCORRECT. When I love someone, I want them to be HAPPY, and so long as there is open, honest communication in a relationship, why would I be threatened by my partner(s) having feelings for someone else? They still have feelings for me and want to remain in the relationship, so … what, make them unhappy by forcing them to ~choose~? PAH, I SAY. They’ve already chosen me, I don’t need that reaffirmed. Witness: the triad I am in, my boyfriend has an additional girlfriend, my girlfriend had an additional boyfriend for a while. I like needing a flow chart to describe my poly family ♥)
Anyhoo. My point: this song bugs me. It takes a while to know whether you want to spend your life with someone, you shouldn’t marry a person you aren’t certain you want to spend your life with, rushing it will only put extra pressure on the relationship and strain it, what happened to just letting things happen as they come, who says you have to marry someone to spend your life with them anyway? Thus, my least favourite song.