Soundtrack of My Life: Armitage/Me – Part II

Continuing on from Part I, here is Part II of my compare-and-contract exercise in response to the June interview in which Richard Armitage responded to questions about music in his life. Since I posted Part I, a couple of other bloggers have also done their take on music throughout their lives (and apparently I was also not the first). Check out Esther’s and Zee’s selections! It is so interesting to see how different our responses are. Maybe more bloggers will share their soundtracks, also!

The song that changed my life

RA Answer: Eurythmics – ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ – In Richard’s words, “This was the first time that I shifted from being given things to listen to, to suddenly going, ‘Oh, wow, I’ve got my own taste.’”

My Reaction: That’s cool. Knowing what you like is important. I do love Annie Lennox’s voice and the beat of their music, but for some reason, this was not a song I liked when it came out. I think it just seemed nasty to me, with the “Some of them want to abuse you; Some of them want to be abused.” Just the idea of “sweet dreams [being] made of this.”

My Answer: I really had to think about something that would fit here, as I don’t think that I had any particular songs that changed my life in a significant way. How about two songs that accompanied a life changing event? These were, respectively, the first dance and the going away song at my wedding in 1988. (I wish I could take the second one more to heart.)

The song I want played at my funeral

RA Answer: Kool & the Gang – ‘Celebration’ – He said that he would like a bit of shared misery with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone, but then having the upbeat song to get everyone laughing as they leave.

My Reaction: I really like the idea of a celebration at a funeral. When my dad died, there was a reception in Toronto for those that couldn’t come to the funeral and a wake in Quebec after the funeral. Both were more of a celebration, reminiscing about the man we knew. Same went for when my mum died. The service was nice, but the better part was the reception afterwards.

My Answer: I’ve always liked gospel music (particularly bluegrass), but I am not particularly religious, so it would seem hypocritical to choose a song in that line. But there is a Carole King song from Tapestry that has a similar feeling, while not being religious. Here is ‘Way over Yonder’, performed at a 1971 BBC concert by Carole King and Abigail Haness from Jo Mama.

The song I listen to before performing

RA Answer: Imogen Heap – ‘Hide and Seek’ – Richard always builds a playlist for each character he plays. This was the song that resonated for him when he played Adam Price in The Stranger, even though it was “out of my box in terms of music”.

My Reaction: I don’t really know Imogen Heap, but she does provide a ton of atmosphere, so I can see why he would have chosen the song for that role.

My Answer: I don’t perform as an artist, but when I am really stressed at work and on a tight deadline, what I need is something really calming. In the past, I’ve often relied on the “Everything’s gonna be all right, rockabye” from the chorus of ‘Lullabye’ by Sean Mullins. Lately, it will be something soothing from Rob Thomas, like ‘Breathe Out’ or ‘Man to Hold the Water’ or one of his Matchbox Twenty hits like ‘Unwell’.

The song I do at karaoke

RA Answer: Queen – ‘Radio Gaga’ – Not being very comfortable doing karaoke, he explained, “You can’t do something which is too serious and try to sound like a good singer. It’s just got to be loud and popular.”

My Reaction: This has got to be my most hated song by one of my most loved bands, Queen. Sorry, but hearing my crushes Freddie and/or Richard sing baby-talk in, “All we hear is radio ga ga, radio goo goo, radio ga ga,” is just yuck for me. (And also, the song actually is serious, in that it is mourning the loss of radio as a powerful format, and hoping for a revival.)

My Answer: Okay, this probably was intended as a serious song, but it is something that I can have a lot of fun with, singing and hamming up all the parts including the revving of the motorcycle engine, on the rare occasions I have done karaoke.

The song I discovered during lockdown

RA Answer: Daði Freyr – ‘Think About Things’ – This was to be the Icelandic entry to Eurovision 2020. Richard says, “I listened to that and I was like, ‘This is what we need right now’. Such a great track, brilliant lyrics, a fantastic little dance routine. The video is hilarious.”

My Reaction: Catchy, with a funny video. Did you know that the singer is 6’10”! And that’s his wife in the glasses in the video. I watched the Eurovision Song Contest movie, which despite a few fun moments wasn’t great. But apparently people have been harassing Daði Freyr to do the joke-request song from the movie, ‘Jaja Ding Dong’, and he finally gave in for “the first and only time”.

My Answer: Cover songs by Miley Cyrus. Man, she is talented. I really don’t like her own music, but some of her covers are amazing. Can’t post just one!

Roberta Flack’s classic done well … but what’s with the “outfit”, Miley?
Love this Billy Joel song… would have used it as “Song I wish I’d written” if it weren’t so clichéd lol
Blown away by this… better than the original by Paul Simon, I think
Modern take on the Blondie music I loved as an older teenager. (If you’ve got a body like Miley’s, you might as well show it.)
Her godmother’s (Dolly Parton), song. I’m a big Dolly fan.
With the original singer/songwriter, Melanie (Safka), who was a big favourite of mine back in the day. Loved ‘Brand New Key’ and ‘Railroad’

Thanks for travelling with me on this musical journey! What songs represent the milestones in your life?

19 thoughts on “Soundtrack of My Life: Armitage/Me – Part II

  1. #1 – So totally agree about Radio Gaga. It bothers me when my favorite artist releases material I just cannot abide! Elton John’s Victim of Love just…. no. nonononono!

    #2 – It also bothers me when an artist I can not abide released stuff I love! Miley Cyrus. Her covers are fabulous, (Jolene is fabulous) but I’m just not a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I mean, I guess they have to try out different styles, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it!

      I read where Miley said that when she was two she had a bad head injury that she figures influences all of her impulsivity. Apparently her dad was riding a dirt bike with her in a baby backpack. He ducked for a tree but it hit her in the head, badly! I really don’t like the style of music she does though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get that a musician doesn’t want to get stuck in a rut and everything they do sounds just like. there are classical musicians (and I don’t mean CLASSICAL period) where all of their stuff sounds the same. There are contemporary musicians whose stuff sounds the same, album after album. I mean, look at Taylor Swift. I was over her after her 2nd hit. It just seems like she dates a guy long enough to break up with him so she can write an album, whining about the guy she was with.

        I’ve never been a huge Miley fan either. Impulsive is a nice word for her ‘issues’…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to laugh when I read his answer to #1 because when I was teaching Renaissance history, we covered the idea of individualism, its emergence, and how we perform it (e.g., the search for a personal ethics, a personal style, etc.). There’s something astoundingly paradoxical about the search for one’s own favorite music, in that it is supposed to say something about us — but is actually chosen for us by a huge marketing machine.

    I love “Sweet Dreams are Made of This” and I remember what I was doing when I heard it for the first time — there was some issue with my parents’ stereo receiver and I was fiddling with it to try to get it to work when it suddenly snapped on and that song came on. I was in the basement, it was late summer just before I started high school, and I thought it was super cool. I am a sucker for an ostinato bass line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nowadays it’s true that there is so much influenced by marketing, or by algorithms more recently. I guess there are many people who found their “personal style” in the same songs! It’s like style rebellions (jeans, Jean jackets) where you end up just conforming to the style of your peer group.

      I think I confuse the algorithms, because I listen to a variety of “alternative” music. (I always thought it was “mainstream” but apparently not.) I get some really weird suggestions on YouTube! My personal style could be called “eclectic”, which isn’t saying much.

      I like the music and vocals of “Sweet Dreams…” My younger mind somehow reacted to the lyrics,although I like the song now. That’s a great way of discovering a song! Twist the dials and there it is!


      • yeah — FB thinks I’m African American, politically conservative, and a member of an extremely traditional sect of Lutherans. Frequently they serve me ads urging me to join the Army. And at least theoretically, they know how old I am.

        My main grad school boyfriend, The Physicist, had this thing about how the most suspenseful moment of any day was the beat just after a commercial radio station announced its call letters. “This is WBAY” or whatever … and then there’d be a split second of silence, just long enough to get your attention — and then the next song would come on, and it could be something really wonderful, that could change your whole day. A pregnant pause after which anything could happen. I remember where we were when he explained this to me (parked in the parking lot in front of my apartment building, watching the snow melt as the sun went down, in the spring of 1992) and that the next song that came on was Jon Secada’s “Just Another Day.” I’ve always liked that song.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Lol. That’s funny. Let’s keep them guessing!

          That’s a great memory! AM radio used to be fun that way. I remember summers in high school, listening to all the sunshiny music they played and letting it just wash over you, making the mood.

          By the way, back to another topic, somehow I have signed myself up for a course that goes 4 days in a row from 7:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. starting tomorrow. Hopefully I can force myself to go to sleep early tonight. It promises to be intense.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. My last discovery ( no containment for me, so I can’t named it: “The song I discovered during lockdown”)
    Zoe Wees – Control (Official Video) – YouTube

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to love that Don’t Worry, Be Happy song and the video with Robin Williams in it too. It was totally overplayed at the time but I do still enjoy it hearing it on occasion.
    Don’t kill me, but I always kinda liked Radio Gaga.
    Miley Cyrus, yeah not a fan of her music either but I do really like her voice. Didn’t know she did these covers, these I can listen to. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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