- DANCING QUEEN (Abba)
Nostalgic because when I was about 11 and watched Muriel's Wedding I knew exactly how she felt (apart from the whole despo desire to get hitched thing), because I was so seriously uncool. It was around the same time I got my first Abba album and I used to dance around my bedroom pouting and preening to the song and day dreaming of some hunky man sweeping me off my feet (actually, less hunky man, more Peter Andre....don't judge, I was young and foolish and thought that hair styled into curtains=pure sex god). Then I saw MammaMia on stage for my friend's birthday and was really disappointed. This wasn't what Abba was about! Muriel was what Abba was about! Not all these pretty people on an Island! However, when I'm feeling low and no one's around, I do still quite often break into 'does your mother know that you're out'. Pure Awesome.
2. LAZY (X-press 2)
This song was all over the charts when I was doing my educational language book modelling job when I was 13 or so and my chaperone, a little Indian lady who would make jam sarnies for us, would blare it out of the car speakers so I could sing along. The song still reminds me of feeling like a proper star on my way to a shoot.
3. BET YOU LOOK GOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR (The Arctic Monkeys)
On a girl in my college's 18th, we all went to The Mean Fiddler and I managed to get in without ID even though I was only 17. I was wearing a tiny little mini-kilt, my hair was down to my hip and I felt seriously fit for the first time. This was the song playing as we walked down the hair, and it felt like we were in a film, everyone turned to look and we pretended not to notice as we ran onto the dance floor and boogied the night away. We ended up hanging out with the band that played that night, who went on to be a pretty big deal (well, they got to the NME top ten anyway) and walked home barefoot as the sun came up at 5 am. I'm not in touch with all of those girls any more, but the small group I am in touch with are magic, and every time I'm with them, I still get a sense of that same freedom.
4. ACE OF SPADES (Motorhead)
Me and my Dad used to headbang to this when I was tiny weenie, then we actually managed to go to a concert. It was sort of incredible and it felt like they were playing the song just for us. Will never forget headbanging with Dad whilst trying to avoid other concert-goers' head banging sweat! It was pretty cool to be honest. I mean, who gets to rock out with their Dad like that? Seriously? Saying that, my dad is awesome. I'm massively lucky.
5. SHOE THE DONKEY (Anon)
Crazy Irish folk song we used to dance to in the dance halls when I was small. I'd request it every time we went anywhere in Ireland and the whole room used to groan but would love it and join in. I think my nan used to sing it to me when I was a baby, so I blame her entirely. One of my proudest moments was getting Kerry radio to dedicate the song to my grandfather, only he'd just left when they played it and they pronounced my name wrong (they were not exactly an organised station back in the day, and I'd had to make the call on the very crackly house phone, so much was lost in translation) There's not really much point to the song, apart from the brilliant dance and the soothing nature of the beat, but I love it.
6. Defying Gravity (Wicked)
Before I'd even seen the musical, my house mate at uni, Jague, had played us the songs so many times that we knew all the words. To the point that we would play the cd during drinking games and sing along at the top of our voices. Usually until the security guards came to tell us to shut the hell up. It will always remind me of sitting in our kitchen, smoking, drinking cheap booze and singing in between making crude jokes with vegetables. And a night where all of us girls sat up all night, got very drunk and cried and cried and cried. Female bonding is awesome.
7. Strawberry Fields (The Beatles)
When me and The Lad had really only just started dating, we had no money. So we used to go to his house, curl up on his beanbag, he'd buy some chunky monkey ice cream and we'd watch films in between making out. One of those films was Across the Universe, something I'd never heard of, but loved as soon as I saw it. I've now become aware that most cool people hate the film because 'It rapes the memory of the beatles' but I can't help but be completely taken in by it. I decided then that Strawberry Fields was our song, before I really understood what it was about. The Lad was horrified when he found out that was what I thought our song was, but even now whenever I hear it I think of those nights watching films all snuggled up with some Ben and Jerry's and it makes me feel very happy.
8. Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
This was played at my oldest friend's mother's funeral. I won't go into too much detail but it was a devastating event, the song was utterly beautiful but horribly ironic at the same time (because it's so so hard to see beauty in the world when you're grieving) and now I can't listen to it without welling up. But every time I do hear it, it reminds me of that pretty incredible woman, who treated me like family and raised a very brave and entirely unique friend of mine and I feel lucky I knew her even a little.
9. La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf)
I first discovered Edith Piaf when me and of one my best friends watched a film called My Summer of Love, one of Emily Blunt's first films, which is completely fantastic. If you haven't already, go and watch it now. After that I brought all the albums of hers I could, I was so wrapped up in the crazily tragic story of her life and the circus like melodies she created. Although, she is one of the reasons my uni housemates all thought I was entirely mad at first. Most students listen to pop music. I was listening to a French woman wailing about lost lovers...
10. MARIA (Debbie Harry)
I know the song is called Maria and not Angela, but it was one of my first Debbie Harry songs and my mum introduced me to her so it will always remind me of her. I think this is also because the song makes me think of this glamorous, vivacious woman who dances barefoot and has a crazy past, and that's mum all over really. I am quite saddened by the fact that whereas she gets a really cool song, the one that I will probably be remembered for will no doubt be something far less cool like....I don't know....Abba or something....
There are millions more songs with millions more memories but that will have to do for now, because I am exhausted and frankly, my fingers hurt from typing so fast!