Quite some while back, and I can't now find who's weblog it was on, someone asked about the five songs/albums which would provide the soundtrack to your life. Not necessarily songs associated with particular events or people (although that turns out to be almost inevitable) or even ones you would want to take to a desert island, but which provide the right overall background music.
Having put the idea away for another day, I find that day has come and I want to write about it. So here we are; five songs/albums which are my background soundtrack, in no particular order:
1. The Beatles, Abbey Road
It's that zebra crossing! No, it's The Beatles!
Well you could make that almost any late Beatles (ie. Sgt Pepper's, Abbey Road, Let It Be) but Abbey Road is the favourite as for me it best encapsulates days as a student.
2. Gregorian Chant
Almost any well done Gregorian chant (male voices, monastic acoustics) will do but for me one of the most ethereal is the Pange Lingua of Good Friday.
And yes, that's despite my not being religious — Roman Latin liturgy has always done it for me. It is after all a form of magic: what is the priest doing walking round the alter with a thurible if it isn't casting a circle?
3. Cliff Richard, Summer Holiday
I seem to feel I need to put something in here to evoke childhood and what better than Summer Holiday. Those hot lazy days with no school!
Not only was Summer Holiday the first film I was allowed to go and see on my own, but Cliff comes from my home town and The Shadows used to practice in the boys club at the back of my primary school playing field. Heady days!
Well back from the ridiculous to the sublime ...
4. Monteverdi, 1610 Vespers
The height of Renaissance music, this was one of the early shares which Noreen and I had all those years ago and long before we even thought about going out together.
And the 35+ year old John Eliot Gardiner recording is still the best available.
5. Pink Floyd, Learning to Fly
The story of my life: learning to fly (and failing mostly!)
I don't know what it is this track does to me, or why. But it does. And that makes it for me one of the great rock tracks of all time. And Floyd are out and away the best rock group ever, for me.