Dad does Desert Island Discs 2…

So, when I produced my Desert Island Discs playlist, I made a few nomination to carry on the series. Unbeknown to me Karl at @PoopCryLullaby  doesn’t have a blog to publish his selections so I’m taking charge and posting on his behalf. Thanks for getting involved and remember to nominate.

Take it away Karl…

Let me start by stating that I’m not a blogger, in fact far from it.  Writing is not my forte and I do like to go on and on and on and on and on. You get the picture!

Now when I first received my nomination I thought to myself, ‘How hard can it be? Choose 8 songs to be stranded on an island with…’. The simple answer is VERY!

I forgot to take into consideration that I am a man who can’t decide which flavour ice cream to have on a day out, flicking between 3 or 4 choices before panicking and choosing something different that I don’t even like!

So, 8 songs… How do I start going about these choices? Well, I work nights and usually have around 6-8 hours where I can listen to music. So let’s start with ‘shuffle’.
Shuffle is great, it brings up all the old classics, all the songs you used to love, all the songs you currently love and many that shock you into wondering what you were thinking downloading them in the first place!!

I started to think about bands and artists I like, surely this would help to choose 8 songs?!
Wrong. This only made me start to realise just how hard this challenge is. I would struggle to name 8 artists or 8 albums to take with me, I could quite happily take 8 songs from each of my favourite artists and be happy although I would struggle to choose only 8!

I was driving home from a long night shift, still no real ideas in my head when ‘Gimme Shelter’ by The Rolling Stones came on.  Absolute classic and that’s when I thought if I were on an island I’d need Shelter! Let’s turn this list into an island themed list. The likes of the xx’s ‘Island’ and David Gray’s ‘Sail Away’ were quickly added to this list.
I added Weezers ‘Island in the sun’ and one of my all time favourite songs ‘Shooting Star’ by Air Traffic and ‘Atlas Hands’ by my favourite singer songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich.
6 songs down, 2 to go!! Stereophonics are my favourite band of all time so one of the songs had to be taken by them which would just leave one remaining! Easy!

Again, I listened to music for a good 5/6 hours at work trying to finish my list of songs when ‘To Build a Home’ by The Cinematic Orchestra came on. This song always reminds me of my girlfriend and is a song I absolutely love so this had to take a place on my list.
I then started to think about songs that remind me of my relationship and my girlfriend and a couple came to my mind. Sam Smith’s ‘Make it to me’ and Nick Mulvey’s ‘I don’t want to go home’ remind me of a time before I lived with my girlfriend. She lived across the water on the Isle of Wight.
We spent a fortune commuting to see each other and both these songs became key in my mind when thinking of our relationship.
Every trip we made led to the same thoughts, ‘I don’t want to home’ but every time we made it back to each other again, soppy I know!
Another 3 songs to my list, now if my maths is correct, that makes 9.

1 song too many and im thinking to myself ‘I can’t have 3 songs that remind me of my girlfriend and have none for my daughter.
I thought back to when my daughter was first-born. It was a complicated birth and she ended up in ICU for 3 days and for a while it was touch and go.
I wasn’t allowed to stay over night as my girlfriend was in a woman only ward so I made my way home listening to shuffle.

Another song by Air Traffic came on, ‘Your Fractured Life’. Now the lyrics in this song seemed so relevant to the tough time that my fighting daughter was having.
‘You’ve got the strength within and don’t give up there’s so much more to see
So many things beyond your wildest dreams.’
Followed remarkably by Stereophonics ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ which contains the lyrics ‘Maybe Tomorrow, I’ll find my way home.’
Sure enough the following day, my little girl made her way home after making an amazing recovery!
These two songs just had to feature in my list, up to 11 songs. Damn, man this is hard! Especially as I still had one more song that reminds me of my daughter. ‘Forever Young’ by Bob Dylan.

The Girlfriend made a slide show of all the pictures of our daughters first year of life with this song as the background track. The first time I saw the slide show I couldn’t help but well up and it instantly became one of the songs that reminds me of my daughter.

So I had 12 songs now and somehow needed to whittle this down to 8.
To be fair, ‘Island in the sun’ isn’t even a favourite of mine so that can go.
‘Sail Away’ and ‘Island’ by David Gray and The XX respectively are just songs that I like a lot but have no sentimental meaning to me so they also got removed from my list. The island theme fading fast.

This left me with 9 songs, 6 with meaning behind them and 3 that I just love.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich, as I said earlier is my favourite singer/songwriter. Therefore ‘Atlas Hands’ had to stay, without a doubt!

Now, do I stick with ‘Shooting Star’ and have two songs by Air Traffic or keep my choice by the Rolling Stones?!
Air Traffic, definitely Air Traffic. Easy. 8 songs and an island.

Easy?! Don’t be silly. Remember earlier I said I can never make up my mind and then panic into a random choice?! Well… ‘Scooby Snacks’ by Fun Lovin’ Criminals has shot into my head. Choice number 8, a great song and I can rap the entire song like a pro!

So, my 8 songs are…

1. Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Atlas Hands (2011)

2. Sam Smith – Make it to me (2014)

3. Nick Mulvey – I don’t want to go home (2014)

4. Stereophonics – Maybe Tomorrow (2003)

5. The Cinematic Orchestra – To Build a Home (2007)

6. Bob Dylan – Forever Young (1974)

7. Air Traffic – Your Fractured Life (2007)

8. Fun Lovin Criminals – Scooby Snacks (1996)

It’s only now that I look back at my list that I start to regret leaving out millions of songs by millions of artists. No Foals or Kasabian. No Jake Bugg, Paolo Nutini, Ben Howard, Alt-j… the list goes on! What a truly near on impossible challenge but one I enjoyed thoroughly!

Now to think about who to nominate, another tough challenge…

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