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