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This is a question The Soundtrack of your Life

Che Grimsdale writes: Now that Simon Cowell's stolen Everybody Hurts, tell us about songs that mean something to you - good, bad, funny or tragic, appropriate or totally inappropriate songs that were playing at key times.

(, Thu 28 Jan 2010, 13:30)
Pages: Latest, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Fucking Mika
When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I spent a lot of time holding some hefty headphones to the bump and playing my loinfruit what i considered to be good music. ranging from late 80s indie to mid 00s drill n bass via the ghostbusters theme tune. we spent a good while burning a stack of cds for *THEBIRTH* as there was a cd player in the rooms and we were given all the chat about it taking ages for your first rugrat. these mainly consisted of songs by Ulrich Schnauss, Boards of Canada and my annoyingly talented friend Andy's work under the name Digitonal. One step away from whalesong basically.

Of course, anyone who's been through an experience of labour knows that all plans go out the window the instant you get to the hospital. we were there barely two hours before Ben unceremoniously plopped onto the floor with his big hands and slightly blue face. Staring at him through tears of joy my tension began to ease and my remaining senses started reactivating one by one until i was aware of the radio. My son was born to Grace Kelly by Mika. Bugger.

Second time round we had a home birth. the wife spent most of her 4 hour labour asleep upstairs while i had a cup of tea and watched World at War on the History Channel. So basically, Mika and World War II remind me of my boys gooing their way into the world.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 14:39, Reply)
About 20 times each day, the "play him off keyboard cat" theme plays in my head, whenever I drop something or trip or just fail in life
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 14:32, Reply)
Flying into Bilbao airport
on a Spanish exchange trip with college. They'd conned a deal with Lingua which meant two weeks abroad had only cost us £25 (plus spends). Now we were actually staying in Vittoria in the Basque region and they didn't look too kindly on us if we spoke Spanish there, but I made a fair few friends with young members of ETA.

Oh well, back to the question in hand. Design for Life by the Manic Street Preachers never fails to take me back to touching down into Bilbao and the start some of the best times of my life.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 13:56, 1 reply)
Digging into the recent past...
I remember being sat on my bed, on Wednesday the 21st January, 2009 (the date is important, as you'll see soon), listening to NIN's The Frail, when my mate called me. Quietening the eerie tones of the Frail, that imperfect-yet-perfect piano piece was on repeat as I was trying to do some work. I answered the phone. My mate was quiet, subdued, as he answered my greeting, and then he said something that changed everything for me and my group of friends.

"You remember that none of us could get in touch with Hannah recently? Hannah's body has been found. She was murdered. I'm giving you a heads up before they release this info to the press tomorrow."

Hannah had been one of my few friends at school and at sixth form. She had gone to uni a year before me, and was enjoying it. We still kept in contact, seeing each other during the holidays, and the last time that anyone in the group saw her was at my mate's New Years party, where she was fairly happy as she'd just gotten out of a harmful relationship and was enjoying being free. We all felt happy for her, as she wasn't one with much emotional strength, and as is so often in such cases, found it easier to stay rather than leave, until she finally managed to leave.

I was shocked. Stunned. This was new to me. People that I knew had died, but they were old and had lived a full life, and usually we knew that their time was at an end. Nobody we knew had been murdered by their psychotic ex who had been unable to deal with her leaving him. None of us in the group in our short lives had encountered such a thing before, and none of us knew really how to deal with it. Some of us, like my mate who told me, struggled with anger, whilst others just went into grief. Me, I dealt with it the only way I knew how. I lost myself in the song I had been listening to, The Frail, and just sat and sifted through my memories of her.

In time, it became a fairly big news story (search the BBC news website for Hannah Fisher and you'll see), and many people paid tribute to her. But it shouldn't have happened in the first place. And now, every time I hear the Frail, it takes me back to that time last year.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 13:54, 4 replies)
Last summer..
... I had to earn pennies atfer coming back from travelling so worked in a pudding factory for a couple of months. The supervisor would only have one radio station blaring over the factory floor which was Heart FM. I'm pretty sure there was no DJ on the other end, just a continuously looping tape featuring:

James Morrison and Nelly Furtaro - Broken Strings
Daniel Merriweather - Red
Pixie Lott - Mama Do
Lily Allen - Not Fair
Beyonce - Halo

Then I worked at a frozen herb factory with Kiss FM, so I got treated to Black Eyed Peas- I Got A Feeling about 15 times a day.

If I ever hear the jingle "This is Heart", it takes me back to a darker time.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 13:13, 5 replies)
Incidentally - scientific fact:
Sisters Of Mercy song Under The Gun is the perfect track by which to walk down the middle of Oxford Street in London at 4am on a Tuesday morning in the late summer.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 12:45, 2 replies)
bit of a late one this,
but here goes. the Temple Of The Dog lp - I first heard it back in 93, and then not long after found out my very best friend at the time had been diagnosed as hiv+... it took me a long time (plus a nervous breakdown and having to leave university) to get over the guilt of not being able to do anything for him. I know people here have mentioned it on other answers - if you havent heard it, then give it a go. it's only in the last few years I've been able to listen to it again without it taking me right back to where I was mentally during that period, but it'll always remind me of my friend and the times we had.

the second, on a slightly lighter note, is The Sundays first album - 'Reading, Writing and Arithmetic'. I've been listening to this now for almost twenty years - I have four copies - the ordinary vinyl, the picture disc, the cassette, and the cd (which I had to order on import from Power Cuts record shop in Manchester, as it was unavailable over here for quite a while when Rough Trade went bump).

the picture disc was a present, and the cassette was in the bargain bin at Penny Lane Records in Liverpool (was it Penny Lane Records? it was a long time ago). I didnt go and see them in 1990, but I did in 1992 and 1997 - they were amazing. if you're not into indie jingly jangly malarkey then you'll probably hate it, but I love it like no other record. if I had to pick one record to take with me to a desert island, this would be it. chiming guitars and gorgeous tunes (courtesy of David Gavurin - possibly one of *the* most underrated guitarists ever) and the (imho) truly beautiful voice of Harriet Wheeler - easily in the same league as Kate Bush.

seek it out, and prepare to have your heart broken.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 12:39, 2 replies)
anti-soundtrack of my life ... 'you've got the love'
whenever i am out with friends and this comes on, everyone stops and looks at each then puts their arms up and sings along. i try to play along by limply raising my arms a bit but try to avoid catching anyone's eyes so im not expected to mouth the words back at them.

its everywhere. and its not actually *that* good.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 12:06, 13 replies)
Another One
Cannibal Corpse - Hammer Smashed Face.

I used to work in McDonalds, was a cracking job, had a great laugh. In any job, you will always have the people you preferred to work with. At McDonalds, that was Marc, Pete & Tom. We weren't often all allowed on shift together, as we used to just take the piss out of the customers.

One night, I knew that P & T were going to be working, but when I got there for my close shift, I found M on front counter, as he'd taken over the shift. Thus followed a night of mayhem, involving one chav being removed from the store by his ear, after he'd been shouting all sorts of shit at his ex (who was also on shift).

The rule was always that after the store has closed, we could put our own music through the system, but at a decent volume. Once Drive-Thru closed, we could have it as loud as we pleased. Of course, decent volume simply meant we had it turned to 10, rather than 11.

On this night P had provided the music, so we were listening to some pretty extreme stuff, Nasum, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, etc. We had a chavvy girl working drive-thru who wasn't happy with us at all, and she just kept complaining about the 'shitty music'. At one point, my favourite song comes on (as mentioned above) and so we had the music so loud, she couldn't properly hear the customer, so she shouts down to us, and we turn it down. I run down to the window, so I can apologise to the driver, and hear the chav girl apologising for the terrible music, which makes me laugh. I then protest that it's a cracking song, classic, etc.

The chavvy girl rolls her eyes, and looks back to the customer who looks at me, raises an eyebrow and asks "Is that Hammer Smashed Face?" I laughed my head off, as the drive-thru girl goes bright red. I run back down, start to make the driver's order up, and then whack the tune back up. I gave her the food, she waited for the song to finish, thanked me, and left.

Was probably the funniest shift we'd ever had.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 11:47, 1 reply)
When my first nephew was about two, I went down to visit.
His dad picked me up from the station, and as we drove off said proudly, "Watch this"

He put on Daddy Was A Bankrobber by The Clash, to which my nephew sang along as only a two year old can.

He knew all the words.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 11:09, Reply)
The Passenger
Iggy Pop
reminds me of the first shitty job i had 4 years ago when i was 16. This was because we had a cd player on in the back and that song always seemed to come on just before we were closing up.
As soon as i heard the intro i'd instantly be in a good mood cause it meant i was going home. Unfortunately in my current job i'm stuck with a mix cd containing crap such as ndubz.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 10:56, Reply)
Farm working rocks
Can't quite recall the year, but during the break between finishing sixth form and going to Uni, I went to work at a farm sweetcorn packing.

It was your typical summer job set up, a few nice regular staff, a few disgruntled little Hitler types who couldn't face waking every morning, and coming in to see students starting out their lives full of promise, fun (and lots of horny sex - fnnnar).

It was an extremley repetitious job, standing at conveyor belts of sweetcorn, packing then in to crates and putting tickets in the crates (you were paid a basic wage plus bonus related to crate throughput).

Our only salvation was the Radio, but the twats had Radio 1 (you all know how often you heard the same songs on R1 during the early nineties right?).

There are a few songs that no matter how often you heard them they raised your spirits - here are some associations I have from those days:

Wonderstuff - Size of a Cow. When ever this came on, we would get the youngest, sweetest corns, strip the skins, then wallop them as hard as we could on the metal bars to our left or right. Result - sweetcorn juice hitting about the next 4 packers in your line. 1 person starts, about 30 playing by the end of the song (unless a little Hitler found out and sent you outside to shovel shit for the rest of the day).

Blur - Country House. Basically use the weird green pubey stuff (shit knows what part of the sweetcorn growing process this green curly, sponge like stuff was a part of) to make handle bar moustaches, goatees, and other weird facial and trouser area hair, then do cockney strutting about the place whilst chanting about a very big haaaaaasssss in the CUNT reeeee.

Finally - Dodgy - In a Room. Whilst 2 of our 4 strong possee of summer sweetcorn buddies were on the beach with our radio, we would laugh at our scam with the other loosers "in a room" full of corn and twats. The simple clocking on machine, and un-guarded finished crates of corn, made it very easy for 2 people to emulate and provide the illusion of 4 extremley hard working people coming in at roughly the same time, leaving at roughly the same time, and all having put the most crates of corn through the factory.

God I loved that job........
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 8:31, 3 replies)

I just love this song www.youtube.com/watch?v=XobHupqgNu4

It's the juxtaposition between the cheesy, 50's style drive-in music and the chilling lyrics.

I'm not an axe murderer. At least, not yet......


(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 8:08, Reply)
The Day I Fell In Love
It was a cold April’s night back in 2008 and I was in the Barrowlands waiting for Opeth to take to the stage. They were on a sponsored tour with Arch Enemy who I had been eagerly anticipating for many months beforehand. At the time I was only familiar with a few of Opeth’s songs as I had just discovered them a week or so prior.

I was about to be given a lesson in true progressive death-metal brilliance.

They opened with the songs ‘Demon of the Fall’ and ‘The Baying of the Hounds’ to the immediate appreciation of the crowd. It was then that I knew I was about to witness something special. Each lingering guttural growl from vocalist Mikael Akerfeldt’s voice mixed seamlessly with the complex guitar arrangements and chilling interludes that seemed to be a common feature with each and every song.

Fifteen minutes later, and with my neck and back already sore from being elbowed more times than by The Rock on WWE Smackdown, they moved onto a song called ‘In My Time of Need’. In every way possible, this song was the complete opposite to the former. It was a beautifully compiled melody with soft guitar sounds and clean vocals throughout. I was shocked at how effortlessly they transitioned from death metal riffs and harsh vocals to completely clean-sounding progressive rock in a mere matter of minutes.

Let me take a quick second to explain something about Opeth. I can fully appreciate and understand that their music isn’t for everyone. With average song lengths around the ten-minute mark and the sheer multitude of genres included in them, they can be very difficult to follow if you are not a devoted fan. You really do need to take a week off from doing anything else whatsoever to fully appreciate just how talented and diverse they are.

After ‘In My Time of Need’ finished, Akerfeldt joked around with the crowd, before announcing that the next song is a tribute to his favourite death metal band; Morbid Angel. This tribute was met with a huge applause as drummer Martin Lopez immediately opened the song ‘Wreath’ with a ferocious blast-beat intro that nearly burst through my ear drums. I could feel the force of the double-base drums vibrating through my chest as the brutal guitar riffs sent shivers down my spine. It was a fucking incredible feeling. It was like a combination of the best sex and the best steak ever, all combined to tickle every one of my senses.

This continued all the way through until they concluded their set with a song called ‘The Drapery Falls’; the only song from their set that I had actually heard before. For the first time in my life, I was in love.

When I left the hall later that night, I was so faint and weak at the knees that I could hardly walk properly. Although thinking about it, that was probably just the dehydration and exhaustion.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 3:38, 4 replies)
The first song my daughter ever heard
was the theme tune to Red Dwarf. I found out I was having a kid 6 hours before she was born, her mother only found out about two hours earlier than that. So there I am, trying to get this sprog to sleep with the first song that comes to mind. 2 years later and she still comes and gives me a hug every time she hears it.

I can't wait till she grows up and realises how crap it got.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 0:58, 5 replies)
Another Day in Paradise
The plight of homelessness, a triumph over adversity no this is why this song is now back in my head after some years suppressed.

Early 90's at college we were a mixed bunch some, like me, fresh out of school and a few returners to study. Christmas drinks on the last day. Start at lunch time but by about 2:30 things are a little flat. So some bright spark, me I think, suggested a trip to the east end and 'Browns'. Browns is a strippers pub and open lunch times.

Well one song was Another Day in Paradise by Mr Phil Collins so for all the serious messages this song accompanies and it is his most successful single. I can only see that picture of a naked woman dancing in east London. Also its back in my head since this compo was launched.

A final admission I used the whip (pot) to tip the dancers, sorry guys. Not really the soundtrack maybe the B side.
(, Wed 3 Feb 2010, 0:20, Reply)
Every time I have sex this bastard song runs through my head. It's been happening for years.

It's even there whenever I have a cheeky fwap.

(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 23:40, 1 reply)
Ein Heldenleben
by Richard Strauss. Or Metamorphosen

(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 23:36, Reply)
I have a few
Primal Scream - Loaded
Reminds me of being stoned out of my tree and my good friend Puking all over the place!

Jimi Hendrix - All along the watchtower
Reminds me of being stoned out of my tree and my good friend Puking all over the place!

The Cult - She sells sanctuary
Reminds me of being stoned out of my tree and my good friend Puking all over the place!

Pink Floyd - The entire Dark side of the moon album
Reminds me of being stoned out of my tree and my good friend Puking all over the place!
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 22:05, 2 replies)
Ash - Angel Interceptor.
My girlfriend is away at university at the moment, so I generally only get to see her between terms. I was a bit gutted at not seeing her for ages, until this song came on my iTunes - with the lyric "Oh, it's good to know, tomorrow you are coming home, I won't be so alone" - and reminded me that she is actually coming back tomorrow for study time or some such bollocks! Made me well happy!

Edit: Also, kind of appropriately, The Wildhearts' "Miles Away Girl" is one of my favourite songs ever.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 21:23, 1 reply)
Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster - Pyschosis Safari

When I was 22 I fled the nest and got a place of my own. I had no concept of utility bills, but what I did have was a brand new television and a brand new Xbox. I had no furniture, however, I figured that until my first electric bill arrived, I had to prioritise the way I used electricity. I turned my hot water, lights and heating off. Turned my new tv and Xbox on, and pretty much spent my evenings calving mutants up with chainsaw’s on Gears Of War, whilst all the time listening to this tune. I didn’t receive my first bill for 5 months and I didn’t sleep very well that first year.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 20:20, 2 replies)
On a happier note...
My late teens early twenties can be summed up by three musical items whether we were at a chilled house party, in a mates car, lying about hung over on the beach of a Sunday morning or trolling down very dark roads late at night on our way home we would end up doing a passable a capella version of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now with accompanying actions, and if we weren't doing that we would have the soundtracks to Good Morning Vietnam and or Platoon playing.

It always reminds me of the proper mates doing everything together period of my life when there was a group of a dozen or so of us constantly living in each other's parent's houses, working together, drinking together etc.

Happy times swept away by the tide of age and children and responsibility.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 19:46, Reply)
Nairobi Frog Man
The summer of '03, I was sitting in the departure lounge of Nairobi airport feeling a bit woozy from the Malaria i'd picked up along the way.
I was sat down opposite this quite rotund, sweaty executive looking character who kept on wiping his brow and properly scratching deep into the gonad region.
I felt pretty feverish and my eyes were flitting between the spectacle of this guy seemingly try to extract his own bollocks from the well of flesh between his legs, and this poster of a giant frog behind him, advertising a phone company or something.

At this point, the music came on resonating around the departure lounge, - "Sinead o Connor - Nothing compares to you"
this was too much for my poor brain, reeling with fever. I passed out.
I was oblivious to this happening, and while I was out for the count I still thought that I was sitting there.

But then... I looked up only to see,clear as day, the fat man screaming with his giant balls out making them bleed by scratching them so hard, and the frog sitting next to me with it's arm round my shoulder, legs crossed singing "Nothing compares to you".

I woke up in the fat man's arms, with him kinda slapping my cheek with his sweaty ball hand. u__u
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 18:16, Reply)
Back before the Police's "Every breath you take" made people think of stalkers.
Back, way back in the midsts of time I had a most lovely girlfriend in high school. I was really quite lucky to have ended up with such a wonderful girl and she was a big fan of Sting and all things Police.

"Our song" wound up being "Every breath you take" and neither of us thought of it as in the "I'll follow you and look in your windows and stalk you" just that it was a nice song.

After high school I moved away and we tried the long-distance thing but it eventually faded away as it was certain to do and although I saw her once after that on a visit back to the old neighborhood the reception was chilly and I accepted the fact that we'd never be friends.

Every time I heard "our song" I used to think back to the good times, but invariably the bad and I'd turn it off. Funny really because between then and now I've had other girlfriends, been married, fathered two lovely kids and so on.

cut to last year, I get a note on facebook asking if I'm the old boyfriend from years ago. I couldn't tell from the picture but the name was familiar. Over the course of the year we got caught up, apologized for our behaviors, became good friends again.

Now the stigma attached to that song is gone, replaced with the good thought that we are friends again. I've even got Ziggy's cover of it on my MP3 player which it randomly picks every so often and makes me smile.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 17:08, 2 replies)
There's a whole patch of my life when music didn't figure much
It's that bit when you approach forty and everything that you hear is not as good as you used to hear. I'd sort of lost touch, wallowing in my youth, relistening to the same albums again and again.

Around this time, my son was born. Early. A little too early. In fact he was very small and quite poorly. He ended up in the Special Care Baby Unit for what seemed like ages - in fact it was only a week, but seemed forever. He worried me so much.

Anyway, he spent his first days in one of those perspex lunch boxes, with tubes and pipes, and more layers of knitting than is good for anyone. He was in the incubator closest to the window, where the ward radio was located. As I sat there, I realised that the Dandy Warhol's "Bohemian Like You" was played at least once every day during my visit. I'd sort of heard it before, but not paid any attention. It was sometime during those visits that it became out song.

He's growed up a lot now... and he's good as gold, but that song links us - but then so does Morningtown Ride and the Banana Boat Song a la Beetlejuice.

He's learned to love music, and I've learned to laugh again.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 16:19, 2 replies)
70s soft-rock group Bread
provide the soundtrack to my loaf.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 16:03, Reply)
This week I have learnt
That the most popular song to be played at cremations appears to be Firestarter by The Prodigy.

Even Qui Gon Jinn had it played at his if you listen very carefully.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 15:42, 1 reply)
This will stay with me for a while.
On the way to work this morning I was listening to my MP3s at the bus-stop.
There was a young lady in front of me who was suffering a bit with the cold and she proceeded to jog about a bit to keep warm.

In perfect time with Whistles the Wind by Flogging Molly.
I smiled broadly and went to work a tad happier.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 15:27, Reply)
The waking up is harder when you want to die.
Not very happy.

A few people have mentioned Eels. They have a brilliant album called Electro-Shock Blues, which is basically Mr E (the brains behind Eels) trying to come to terms with the suicide of his sister, his mother dying from lung cancer, and the death of his father when he was younger, and him realising he's all alone in the world. It's hauntingly beautiful in places, uplifting in others and soul crushingly depressing for the majority of its running time.

The opening track, Elizabeth on the Bathroom Floor, has lyrics taken from his sister's diary, documenting her first suicide attempt. It was this song I had playing when I hit my downer last term, sitting in my shower with a kitchen knife.
I didn't choose it because the lyrics described what I was doing, I didn't do what I did because the song described it. I'd done a similar thing before- it was just odd that I found a song that described a similar - but much worse - situation.

Those days, I hope, are behind me. But the song still gives me goosebumps.
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 15:26, 3 replies)
Debussy, the Co-Op and my late Uncle.
Last year didn't begin especially well for my family. We lost two relatives in the space of about a month and a half. My parents dealt with most of the arrangements: in both cases they were kept simple, with a short service at a crematorium, with some music to start and to finish.

For my grandmother's funeral, we were asked to give the funeral directors a CD with the music we wanted. My parents chose Satie's 2ème Gymnopédie and Debussy's 1ère Arabesque, two pieces that my sister had learnt on the piano that my grandmother was quite fond of.

For context, this is the Debussy. They're playing it a bit too fast for my liking on this recording, but I'm sure you'll agree it's a beautiful piece of music.

My uncle's funeral was directed by the Co-Op. Again, we wanted the same pieces of music, but this time we were asked not to bring a CD. Just give us the titles of the pieces, they told us, and we'll download them for you.

Fair enough, we thought. We have perfectly good recordings of both pieces we could bring along, but if they insist... (and they really did insist)

So the funeral begins and the family are led into the creamtorium. The music begins to play. Something's wrong. I realise they've made a mistake and downloaded the wrong piece of music: they're playing the 1st Gymnopèdie, not the second. Fair enough, I suppose, it's still a lovely piece of music and it's an easy mistake to have made...but it's not the one we asked for. This is why you should have let us give you a CD...

So the funeral proceeds. The eulogy is read, and our final view is the curtain drawing round the casket. The second piece of music begins and only then does the true extent of their gaffe become apparent. It's Debussy alright, but it's no Arabesque. Unless I'm much mistaken, it was this piece of music.

You daft buggers. This is why you should have let us give you a CD.
Well, I suppose at least they managed not to accidentally download "I Love Horses"...
(, Tue 2 Feb 2010, 14:40, 8 replies)

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