Throughout April I’ve been taking part in the 30 Day Song Challenge on social media, where you post a song that matches a specified theme or topic each day, just for fun.
There are various lists out there that people are using for this, but I’ve followed the one by visual impairment charity VICTA on their page listing 20 ways to spend time at home and stay in touch. Apart from being a fun challenge, it’s also a nice way to return the favour given that my blog is among the many suggestions on that page, so thank you VICTA! Plus they deserve a shoutout for the wonderful work they do for visually impaired children and young adults. They’ve shared a great set of resources on their website, for young people with sight loss and parents, if you need help during the pandemic.
So here are the songs that I picked, I hope you enjoy looking through them. What would your choices be for the same questions? You can start the challenge whenever you like, so feel free to share your selections on social media, using the hashtag #30DaySongChallenge.
- A song you like with a colour in the title:
ELO – Mr Blue Sky – Obvious choice, but always makes me smile.
- A song you like with a number in the title:
Status Quo – Forty-Five Hundred Times – Their longest and best track, especially when performed live.
- A song that reminds you of summertime:
The Gutter Brothers – Summer In The City – This fantastic cover of the Lovin’ Spoonful hit was used in the Miami Twice special of Only Fools And Horses.
- A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget:
The Beatles – Money (That’s What I Want) – Nicely covered by The Rolling Stones and Flying Lizards too.
- A song that needs to be played loud:
Queen – Hammer To Fall – There are so many songs by my favourite band I could have chosen here, they all deserve to be turned up to the max!
- A song that makes you want to dance:
Mud – Tiger Feet – If you ever want to get me up on the floor at a disco, and you can’t afford to bribe me with booze or chocolate, then sticking this banger on also works!
- A song that needs to be played loud in a car:
Billy Idol – Speed – Classic song from one of the greatest films of all time, ideal for zooming down the motorway, as long as you stay over 50mph of course.
- A song about going out:
David Bowie & Mick Jagger – Dancing In The Street – This should be the world’s anthem when we all come out of lockdown.
- A song that makes you happy:
Lisa Lougheed – Run With Us – An upbeat and uplifting 80s classic, that puts hope in my heart and a smile on my face, and brings back fond memories of The Raccoons from my youth.
- A song that makes you sad:
Kerry Ellis – No One But You (Only The Good Die Young) – I love the original by Queen too, of course, but this version with Kerry’s voice and the orchestra is also really powerful.
- A song you never get tired of:
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird – Does anything need to be said about this masterpiece? No. But this video is the rarely-heard full studio version without a fade-out. You’re welcome.
- A song from your preteen years:
N-Trance – Set You Free – A great song at the time, and was used 20 years later as the first dance at my best mate’s wedding, where I was best man, so it has special meaning.
- A song you like from the 70s:
Derek & The Dominos – Layla – Like Free Bird, it’s another gorgeous epic with 2 distinct parts. It should be a crime to play the short edit that omits the piano section, frankly.
- A song you’d love to be played at your wedding:
Cherry Suede – At The End Of The Day – Not very well known, but this has stuck with me ever since I first heard it, and would be perfect for such an occasion.
- A song you like that’s a cover by another artist:
UB40 – Red Red Wine – It surprises many people that this was originally a Neil Diamond song. Well worth hearing his version too.
- A song that’s a classic favourite:
Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone – Given the current situation and the marvellous achievements of Captain Tom Moore, this is the perfect choice right now.
- A song you’d sing a duet with someone on karaoke:
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody – Couldn’t really be anything else! Mind you, it’d sound more like The Muppets’ version – and their music video feels rather apt for lockdown, given the way it’s been filmed and Kermit’s punchline at the end!
- A song from the year you were born:
Spandau Ballet – Gold – 1983 was a great year for music, and this wonderful 12-inch extension of a timeless classic proves the point more than adequately.
- A song that makes you think about life:
Freddie Mercury – Time – A beautiful song with an important message. The alternate version released last year was lovely too.
- A song that has many meanings to you:
Tina Turner – The Best – It applies to a few good friends, reminds me of my best mate’s wedding and was one of the wake-up songs when I did Ten Tors on Dartmoor as a child.
- A song you like with a person’s name in the title:
Benny Hill – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) – I’ve loved this since I was a kid. Ernie would have had a lot of business during the current lockdown!
- A song that moves you forward:
Muse – Survival – The fantastic official song of the London 2012 Olympics, and now the perfect track to pull us through the current crisis with hope and determination.
- A song you think everybody should listen to:
Queen – You And I – If the only Queen songs you know are from their Greatest Hits, you’re missing out on lots of album gems like this John Deacon composition.
- A song from a band you wish were still together:
ABBA – Does Your Mother Know? – Their catchy, cheerful music is a great way to lift people’s spirts, especially at a time like this.
- A song you like by an artist no longer living:
Bill Withers – Lean On Me – RIP Bill, who sadly passed away in March. A charity version by UB40 featuring Ali Campbell & Astro was also recently released to raise money for NHS Charities Together.
- A song that makes you want to fall in love:
The Bangles – Eternal Flame – Such a beautiful and heartfelt song, still one of the very best romantic tracks there’s ever been.
- A song that breaks your heart:
Queen – These Are The Days Of Our Lives – A very poignant song, and the last music video Freddie made before his death. His delivery of the final line touches me every time.
- A song by an artist whose voice you love:
Kerry Ellis – Defying Gravity (from Wicked) – Fantastic song from a fabulous musical, which Kerry knocks out of the park with her beautiful and powerful voice.
- A song you remember from your childhood:
James Aldenham (aka Brian Bennett) – The Journey – Extracts were used between programmes by ITV Schools on Channel 4, but I only found the full, glorious 6 minute track many years later. Happy days! You can see some of the junctions in all their animated glory here, including the Just A Minute countdown theme (again by James) that followed The Journey.
- A song that reminds you of yourself:
Monty Python – Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life – I do like to focus on the positives in life. I’ve had tough times like everyone else, sure, but overall I’m happy. Interestingly, Eric Idle’s performance at the 2012 Olympics brings together the first and last songs on my list very nicely. I hadn’t planned it that way, I only decided on the songs day by day, but it’s a nice way to finish!