Trying to choose my favourite ten pieces of music is, like choosing favourite books, deliciously impossible. In order to save myself many, many hours of deliberation I decided to look at the 10 most played tracks on my new-ish iPod. Here they are:
Restless – Danny & the Champions of the World
“All we wanted was everything. We wanted to see the world in widescreen. We were the Kerouacs on the road…” Enough said!
Sometime Around Midnight – The Airborne Toxic Event
I love the tortured anguish of this song. I spend too much of my time metaphorically prowling late night streets, frustrated at time and life passing me by. It’s good to wallow in it occasionally though!
My Lucky Day – Bruce Springsteen
The song I couldn’t stop whistling to myself as I walked across India. I discovered Bruce when on a long, long ride through America and have been a big fan ever since. Life is hard, grab your girl, hit the road in search of glory…
The ’59 Sound – The Gaslight Anthem
My training songs come and go. This is the latest one to inspire me to sprint uphills till I puke at the top, then go down to the bottom and do it all again.
Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Every time I hear the opening bars of this song my mind leaps back to some extraordinary experiences and memories. This song will always remind me of my Glory Days.
Gabriel’s Oboe – Ennio Morricone
The highlight of running the Marathon des Sables (a 150 mile footrace through the Sahara desert) was the unforgettable last night. 700 sweat-crusted and near broken bodies lying under a canopy of stars, stuffing our faces on boil-in-the-bag food and listening to a string orchestra who had flown in from France to play for us. Beautiful music to soothe my broken body, impossibly clean and wonderful-looking female musicians in elegant black dresses, and a universe of stars overhead…
Thunder on the Mountain – Bob Dylan
You can’t sit down to write a book without a bellyful of strong coffee and Bob Dylan’s punchy poetry playing in the background. This song is my favourite of his new stuff.
The Road – Frank Turner
My time is running out. Ever since my childhood I’ve been scared of being trapped by circumstance and staying in one place. I’ve driven across deserts driven by the irony that only being shackled to the the road could ever I be free.
Rise – Eddie Vedder
I found the film Into the Wild uncomfortable viewing. Partly inspirational idealism and wanderlust, partly immature self-indulgence. I saw so much (too much?) of myself in Alexander Supertramp. This is my favourite track from a really good soundtrack.
Abet Wubet – Gigi
Ethiopian music is fantastic, even if I have no idea what they are singing about. It is good too to remind myself that there is so much world out there, out beyond the narrowness of England or even English-language music.