Category Archives: Music

Things I don’t know whether to be ashamed or proud of

1. *New Entry* Knowing all the words to the Les Miserables soundtrack

If I told you that me and my friend Libby used to act out Les Miserables with her teddy bear collection, would you judge me? Yes? Ok then, that never happened.

What if cool dudes like Jason Segal and Paul Rudd had obviously done the same thing when they were nippers?

That would make it cooler, right?

2. *New Entry* Planning to go to the Astronomy Ireland Star-B-Q

Meat and stargazing. What more could you want? I can only imagine the gathering of poindexters that are going to be in that field in Wicklow when the Astronomy Ireland Star-B-Q comes around in September, but this year, instead of secretly wishing I was going, I AM GOING. I am going to wear my ‘Nerdosaurus’ t-shirt and I am going to eat hot dogs and identify Ursa Major*.

* I now finally realise why my friend Rossa calls me Liz Lemon. Blerg.

3. Knowing all the words to We Didn’t Start the Fire: At a wedding I was at recently, the groom got up on stage after having a few ales and performed his party piece: singing all the words to Billy Joel’s historical masterpiece We Didn’t Start the Fire. I looked furtively around the room to see if people were in awe or in stitches, as I am never quite sure if this particular skill is an acceptable one to admit to. All together now… “Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray…”

Also, lest we forget:

(Also, while I’m admitting things, I may as well also admit to knowing all the words to Billy Joel’s Scenes from an Italian Restaurant AND The Pianoman. I spent a summer on Long Island once. It rubbed off on me. And before you start scoffing at Billy Joel, just remember that he’s responsible for Always a Woman to Me, and if you don’t like that song, then you have no soul).

4. Once meeting Irish president Patrick Hillary (but thinking he was the guy who had climbed Mount Everest): It was Mosney, it was the eighties, I was young. I had obviously just learned about Edmund Hillary and his pal Tenzing Norgay the sherpa in school, so when someone introduced me to an important looking man with the surname ‘Hillary’, I assumed that he was the mountain climbing man. God knows how long I smugged around for, saying I had met the conqueror of Everest. I should also point out that I was in Mosney for some kind of choir-related community games fiasco. I wasn’t even there for something cool, like hurdles or long jump.

5. Playing the part of Oliver in my school musical: I am a girl. Oliver was a boy. And yet I’m told I was very convincing. Hmph.

6. Teaching myself how to swim: Considering how much I love to be in water and how going to the beach is, for me, not about lazing around trying to change colour, but rather getting battered by waves, you would think that I would be an excellent swimmer. Alas, I am not. Even though I taught myself how to swim and  certainly am not going to drown anytime soon, I still don’t know how to do it properly and can’t do that suave breathing-to-the-side thing that people are so good at.

7. Going on holidays on my own: In October 2007 I needed to take a break, urgently. So I booked a last minute trip to New York, on my own. I went to a Yankees game on my own. I went to two Broadway shows on my own. I was in bed in my lovely hotel room by 11pm each night. I went to Harlem to find the house where they made The Royal Tenenbaums. I was the envy of the world… or the pity?

8. Knowing all the words to It’s The End of the World As We Know It: Okay so this isn’t quite as embarrassing (or enviable? Who knows?) as number one, but it’s not far off it.

9. Going nudist camping: Does actively agreeing to go and parade around in your pelt while putting up tents and going snorkeling mean you’re hopelessly brave, or hopelessly insufferable? It was actually one of the finest experiences of my life. I’m not quite sure if that had anything to do with the lack of clothes, but you’re never going to be sure if peoples’ reactions are going to fill you with pride or shame when you admit to letting it all hang out with the ageing Germans.



The Choir Practice

So today my friend Aisling sent me a message which simply stated ‘let’s find a choir and join it’. She was probably responding to me putting a video on Facebook* of this lovely version of one of my favourite songs (and the namesake for this blog):

…but she also reminded me that I need to buck up and set the ball rolling on some of the things on my list of things to do before I’m forty. Number one on that list is “Be a choir nerd again”. Already our conversation has escalated to me suggesting that we form our own choir in the manner of Scala and Kolacny Brothers or that other choir who do the Rammstein covers or an older version of this bunch, or even a younger version of these old cute bastards – I defy you not to feel something when you watch this:

We’re also toying with the idea of musical societies and gospel choirs, but the dancing required for the former and the God-loving aspect of the latter might put the kybosh on those plans.

Now another friend Ciara has chimed in and said she was part of a choir in Melbourne whose repertoire included many Lionel Richie numbers AND Total Eclipse of the Heart. SIGN ME UP. Now we’re wondering can we get something similar going here and are already thinking of who we could get to lead it. Imagine the possibilities! We’d be releasing an album of Meatloaf and Hot Chip covers before we knew it. Form an orderly queue….

*I do realise that this contravenes number 25

**Aisling, Ciara and I were all in the same school choir. We got to the national finals once. Celine Byrne was in our choir. She’s a famous warbler now. We all know the Hallelujah Chorus. Smug.

***Also, I have already completed number 4: Visit Sarah in Arizona. See?

Bananagrams, rumours and video games… how I cheated New Years Eve

Everyone dreads New Years Eve just a little bit, don’t they? Or at least, it makes them a little emotional. They’re either reflecting on what they have or haven’t achieved in the past year, thinking about who they are and are not going to be with at the stroke of midnight, and dreading waking up on New Years Day with that sinking feeling that it’s January and there are 12 long months to go before it’s acceptable to watch Ratatouille in your pyjamas at 4pm eating chocolate Kimberleys/purple Roses/Pringles/Curly Wurlies and drinking Baileys/West Coast Cooler/wine/three cans of Fanta.

There’s also the pressure to get up to something marvellous on New Years Eve, to attend an event worthy enough of the almighty turn of the page on the calendar. This year, I didn’t make any plans, but a last minute turn of events meant that the transition from 2011 to 2012 was the most pleasing in living memory.

There were just two of us. We came together in a last minute arrangement… well,  last hour to be precise, not kicking our ‘celebrations’ off until 11pm. I came bearing red wine and Bananagrams, and an iPhone to which I had only managed to add a worrying mish-mash of music from Pearl Jam, Jay-Z, Fleetwood Mac, The Jezabels and The Rubberbandits (I have a very, very strained relationship with iTunes).

Getting stuck into the wine (and bearing in mind that I was on medication which came with a warning against such carry-on) we agreed that we’d play a game or two, listen to some music, ring in the new year, and maybe head into one of the city’s many fine establishments for a wee dance if the fancy took us.

Fast forward to 12.20am, January 1 2012 and there we are, furiously scrambling to make the best words out of our Bananagram tiles, looking cock-eyed at the Ms and Ns and Ps after imbibing much of the wine, occasionally wailing along to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and The Jezabels, when suddenly we turned to each other and said ‘Oh! We totally missed the new year’.

It was actually one of the most liberating experiences I’ve had in a while. We hadn’t done the old ten-second countdown which usually ends in a cheer, forced kisses and a realisation that you still have to struggle to the bar to get another drink. Instead we high-fived, said HAPPY NEW YEAR in mock gaiety, delighted that we’d managed to outsmart THE WORLD, and decided we needed to vary our new years playlist a little….

Along we crooned to Video Games, roared all the words along with Florence and Her Machine, did the special gun dance for MIA’s Paper Planes, made up the words to Sleepyhead, sang all seven minutes of All My Friends, laughed at Tinie Tempah keeping so many clothes at his aunt’s house, and relished in shouting “OH-OH SKEET SKEET MOTHERF***ER” along to Get Low.

Out we crazied into the night, meself and himself, flagging down a taxi to take us into town to get a quick dance in. Of course, by the time we got there the cloakroom was closed and they were serving last drinks at the bar, so it was back home before we knew it, but sure who cares? Didn’t we fool new years eve?

Get Low

Heaven is a place on earth with you….”

They couldn’t think of something to say the day you burst…”

I have this breath and I hold it tight, and I keep it in my chest with all my might…”

I get rush, I get shivers inside when you call…”

Like never before….”

And when you’re running out of the drugs, and the conversation’s grinding away…”