Thursday, 4 June 2020

Desert Island Discs

We played Desert Island Discs at work
The other nurses I worked with have never heard of the radio 4 programme
I felt old explaining the concept 
Here are my eight Discs 

The great Diana Damrau belting out the Queen Of The Night Aria 
From Mozart's The Magic Flute
I saw the performance at the New York Met on a magical evening
which took my breath away

Sheffield, drunk with three friends 
Singing and dancing to this on the roof of Weston Park Hospital 
Salad days

This song is synonymous with my best friend, Nuala
My constant of. 31 years 

 Well I have to have at least one classic movie theme 
Moon river has it all.
This version is by Lea Selonga who took the original lead in Miss Saigon
Another set of lovely memories of old friends from musical theatre

This ticks a few boxes
My Liverpool heritage ( Mother and grandparents- who adored this hymn)
Hillsborough where I lived for many very happy years
And My home town of Sheffield 
Still dear in my heart

This was playing constantly on the radio when I had to take my 
First dog Finlay back and forward to the animal hospital before he died 
The song and his death broke my heart


my overall favourite song sung by my own choir 
A Spanish / Jewish lullaby 
Durme Durme 

And finally a song that underlines optimism 
Hope , moving forward, and the importance of humour 

What's yours


  1. I needed that Magic Flute performance. Thank-you!!

    1. She's a corker isn't she?

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  2. i have been listing to Snow Patrol lately for no reason. As I drove back and forth to the Animal Hospital I come home and see your post.
    The last one was wonderful .

    1. I think you must have read one of my old posts on the subject and reinacted it x

  3. I'm a little surprised not to see the Trelawnyd Choir singing Bring him Home on your list. It's a beautiful rendition. Otherwise, a very nice list; mine would be much more raucous.

  4. We always listen to Desert Island Discs. When I met my husband I introduced him to its delights. How is your burnt bonce?

    1. Ouch. Well it looks like the hot weather has well and truly gone so it should have time to recover.

  5. Can I have a desert island dick instead please? x

  6. My eight would be : Schools Out by Alice Cooper - one of the first 'pop concerts' I went to with my to be hubby; Dignity by Deacon Blue; Moon River by Frank Sinatra; From Now On from the Greatest Showman - I sang this very loudly in the car while travelling up and down to visit my dad in hospital while fighting to get him into a home to be better cared for; Bollero performed by Andre Rieu; Killer Queen by Queen introduced to me by a friend in my last year of secondary school; You've Got a Friend by James Taylor and last but not least Nikita by Elton John. I enjoyed trying to think of these 8 favourites! x

    1. I’ve never heard of these. It may be because my first (and only) ‘pop concert’ was to see/hear Chubby Checker in the early 60’s.

    2. It's a nice game to play if you have a few minutes spare

  7. I love and admire the orchestral music games that you include.

  8. Never heard of Desert Island Discs???!!!

    1. I know. This is the sort of thing that makes many of us feel old!

    2. Barbara Anne3:04 pm

      Me either.

    3. I remember Mrs Dale's Diary and Worker's Playtime - by heart.

  9. You didn't say what extra book you would choose or what luxury. I guess the extra book would be "How To Make Scotch Eggs from Coconuts" by Mary Berry and the luxury might be an inflatable Russell Crowe? Am I right or wrong?

    Amongst my songs I would definitely have to include "Blowin' In The Wind" by Bob Dylan and "Meet On The Ledge" by Fairport Convention. Amazing that the younger staff were unaware of the "Desert Island Discs" format!

    1. I guess we are blind to 20 somethings culture YP

  10. I hope this posting will encourage other bloggers to list their own DID choices as you have done in such expert fashion.
    I've mentioned DID at least a couple of times in my own blog over the years where my own choices have been listed. Maybe it's about time I did it again, this time with clips of my selection as you have done.

    The concept is never less than a fascinating insight into individual lives. I've been a fan of the radio programme since the mid-1960s when I was mere teenager and in all the years since I doubt if I've missed much more than about 20, in nearly all those cases because the 'castaway' was someone whom I just couldn't stand or/and a person with whom I had an issue - one such being Justice Neil Hamilton, the judge who'd presided over the Gay News blasphemy trial in the 1970s [and who said that, even before the guilty verdict was reached - by a majority - that James Kirkup's published poem was the "ultimate in profanity"]. But mostly I'll still listen to the programme even if I don't particularly care for the guest.

    As for your own choices i was only really familiar with half of the numbers, not necessarily with the performers you've selected, but that's obviously not 'necessary' in all cases. It's striking that all your choices are vocals, none being instrumental only, and that's fine as it's bound to be very personal, as when those evoking particular memories must necessarily be unique to you only. Everyone will make choices which go far deeper with that person than for anyone listening to them solely as music, and that's the nature of the programme.

    Thanks for resurrecting this subject, JayGee. I do hope it gets others to play this fascinating 'game'. The rules are simple - just eight items of listening choice to live with exclusively for the rest of one's life - the original idea being any item which would have fitted onto old 78 r.p.m. record [to be played on an ancient wind-up gramophone] - so no COMPLETE operas, musicals etc., nor full albums - and if one chooses a symphony, sonata or the like, specify which movement. The spoken word, in plays, poetry, speeches etc is permissible.
    Try it. It's fun!

    1. The programme is generally facilitated with intelligence And care , especially by Laura leverne and the lovely Kirsty

    2. Still not converted into being a Laura L. fan, though I'm STILL missing Roy P. and (almost as much) Sue L. However, as BoJo would say - and he does, over aNd over - "Time to move on!"

  11. Ohhh Annie Lennox always sends me.
    And Snow Patrol! Oh yes.
    Now, I love this idea. I'll have to think about mine...


  12. My hearing is now bad and listening to music is very hard. In the days when I played harpsichord in a semi professional music group most of my choices would have been early music. Now I have to think hard: definitely Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Christy Moore's Ride On, Anything (or everything) by Bob Dillon, 'Yesterday's Paper is a favourite. Love Bach's 48 too, preferably Andreas Schiff playing.

    1. I commiserate absolutely with your great loss. I dread my own hearing deteriorating to the extent that yours has, though at my age it's likely to be a matter of [not much more] time.
      My choices might possibly have included Beethoven's D major Mass too were it not that I must also include another Mass by a different composer, so I'd have opted instead for his Ninth - and no, not its predictably chosen, though admittedly magnificent, final movement.
      And with leaving those, possibly two, tantalising pieces of info in the air, I now close.

  13. Whenever I've thought about this I can't see anyone manages to choose only 8.

    1. But that's the rule. You have to play by the rules. The previous 2892 guests managed it.

  14. Oh, that's nice. 🙂 Love me some Annie! 💚✌🏻

  15. I'm not sure about Desert Island discs so sorry not to join in your game John but I've written down that at my funeral I'd like the following; Delibes, Lakme - Flower song, Offenbach, Night of stars , night of love ( neither sang in English ) Simple minds, " Don't you ( forget about me ) " and Kirsty Mac Call " Days " !!!!

    My 90 year old mother has just told me about a conversation she had with my brother about actor Christopher Lee who had an amazing singing voice, so now she's requested his version of " I was born under a wandering star " sung by him ! This is a long way from Abide with me which she once said she wanted !!!!

  16. Mine:
    Ramones - Beat On The Brat
    Patti Smith - Gloria
    Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street
    Four Tops - Do What You Gotta Do
    Dead Kennedys - Holidays In Cambodia
    Alice Cooper - I Love The Dead
    Wayne County & The Electric Chairs - Fuck Off
    Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The UK

    Book would be Animal Farm. Luxury - cyanide pill.

  17. My favourite Annie Lennox track is Ghosts in My Machine.
    I've seen too much
    I know too much
    I hurt too much
    I feel too much
    I dread too much
    I dream too much
    I'm caught up by the ghosts in my machine.

  18. Think I'm with Tasker Dunham on this--how could I possibly chose? Well, don't have to worry about being asked on the program. Although I'm in the US, love this program...have to go out of my way to access it. Thanks for your list.

  19. Probably because I am of a certain age, I am very familiar with Desert Island Discs, your version and our very old version. My list would include a track by the fabulous and ever so sexy younger Billy Idol and the Maori farewell song. The latter is a great song for a choir.

  20. Blue and Yellow by the Used, it explains ever post divorce relationship I have had.

    Monkey Man by the Rolling Stones, for the music not the words.

    Lose Yourself by Eminem you can do anything you put your mind to.

    Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind, it describes Billie and I's relationship.

    Where Are You Going, by Dave Mathews Band he puts emotion into his lyrics that bring a lump to my throat every time I hear them.

  21. Anonymous2:33 pm

    Love Desert Island Discs, we used to play this in work.
    The bit about luxury item to take can be quite telling, mine is lipstick, my boss wanted to take his overcoat!
    My book would be the complete works of Thomas Hardy, what would yours be John?.
    My record choice would include Scarlett Ribbons by Harry Belafonte which my dad used to sing to me, my favourite ever disc Riders on the Storm by the Doors and also Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen, and very apt for today life Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire, the words are so appropriate for now and this record dates back to 1966!
    Tess xx

  22. Anonymous2:40 pm

    Ed Ames-"My Cup Runneth Over", Bonnie Tyler-"I need a hero", Cindy Lauper-"Girls just want to have fun", Cher-"If I could turn back time" & "Believe", and hymn-"In the Garden (I come to the garden alone)"

  23. Ask me to choose my favourite songs or music and my mind goes completely blank, every time.

    Snow Patrols song just gets to me every time I hear it, I can't even sing along in the car on my own without losing it.

    1. If I lay here
      If I just lay here
      Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

    2. Yes, but only if Suky and Winnie were with us ...

  24. Heather3:00 pm

    Abide with me. Always makes me cry.

    My choices

    Lovers on the sun. David Guetta
    Brothers in arms. Dire Straits. Memories of the Falklands war, husband on a hospital ship, baby son a few days old.
    Rebel rebel. David Bowie
    I like to be in America. West Side Story
    Breaking the law. Judas Priest
    How far I'll go. From Disney Moana
    The Six Teens. Sweet
    Tell me ma. Sham Rock. My MIL was Irish, memories of family parties

    1. West side story America....pure exuberance

  25. Oh my. I'd have to think about it. I fear mine would be much more pedestrian. I actually like Andy Williams' version of "Moon River," for example! (It wouldn't be a Desert Island Disc, though.) I'm surprised you had to explain that show to your colleagues. I thought it was a British institution!

  26. It is hard to pick just 8 but Steve Earle's Copperhead Road would make the top 8, Townes Van Zandt's Poncho & Lefty sung by Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson's Here Comes That Rainbow Again, Sarah McLaughlin's In the Arms of the Angels, Jamey Johnson's In Color, vince Gill's Go Rest High on That Mountain.

    1. It's ian interesting process finalising your list is it not?

  27. Barbara Anne9:07 pm

    It has been a treat to listen to your 8 discs, John, and to imagine the rich and full life you've enjoyed to have seen some of these performances in your real life. What bliss! Ta.

    It was also fun to read the titles of the songs and the artists who were mentioned by others who listed that favorite 8 songs. Thanks to you, too!

    I've spent some time today considering what my choices would be and here is what I came up with:
    "Immortal" sung by Cynthia Clawson
    "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen
    "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You" sung by Elvis or Arlo Gutherie
    "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan
    "Kathy's Song" by Simon and Garfunkel
    "The 59th St. Bridge Song" also by Simon and Garfunkel
    "Morning has Broken" by Cat Stevens
    "Imagine" by John Lennon

    This list subject to change with further thought. :)


    1. We sang Hallelujah on Tuesday
      Very moving it was too

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  29. Interesting selection John something for everyone. I spent the afternoon finding songs that I haven't heard for a while it was lovely to revisit but my list is a bit long hard to pick just 8 it's like the soundtrack of our life, made me realize I'm stuck and need to discover some new music.


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