Friday Music


After this week I can go back to listening to music and not endless reruns of the dialogue of ‘Inspector Hound’.

The only music I have listened to for light relief is ‘The Queen is Dead’ (there is something deeply Freudian about a republican listening to that this week).

I had a track from it last week. This is this week’s track: a kind of wonky self aggrandising nod to my pantomime career. I also think about this track, every time I make the long journey to Manchester and watch a gig at the Student’s Union and look up at the vast bulk of the Church of the Holy Name…

Friday Music


I’m rehearsing for a Tom Stoppard play at the moment so I am not listening to much music: I’m trying to learn lines and listening to a recording of the lines. It begins next Thursday. You can even buy tickets-heck, if yo come, I might even remember my lines for you.

I allowed myself a break last week and listened again to ‘The Queen is Dead’: one of my top ten albums ever. Re listening to it, I remembered that this track is on it; my second favourite (after ‘Panic‘) Smiths track in the whole entire history of the universe. A track with more soul, integrity and feeling in it than a 100 ersatz X Factor shows.

From the opening riff, it just makes me glad to be alive. I hope it does you.

Friday (Birthday) Music

It is my annual birthday today. I will probably go walking: I increasingly like wild places and solitude. Around 9 in the evening (as I am childminding up to that time), some stragglers from the pub may make it to our house for malt whisky and cheese. Almost a perfect day.

Every Friday I put a piece of music on here that means something. As it is my birthday, I will cheat; you can have 5. All of these, played together sum up my life, hopes, aspiration, philosophy and theology.

Yes: there are no happy songs & they tend towards the morbid and introspective. But so do I. Listen to 1 or listen to all 5. Remove sharp objects first…


Low:Death of a Salesman

A song about longing & not being conformed, even if trying to be different leads to being crushed…



U2: I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

I still struggle with the Christian artist who changed the words to ‘I finally found what I am looking for. This will be at my funeral.



Leonard Cohen: Anthem

Maybe another funeral song and the only artist on here I have not seen in concert. The lines ‘Ring out the bells that still can ring; forget the perfect offering. There is a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in’ have become something of a mantra.



Martyn Joseph: Turn me tender

This song, from the moment I first heard it, made me stop and gulp. It still does: perfect. In November he played our village hall and deviated from the set to play this as I told him it was a song that saved my life.


The Smiths: Panic

I have applied this song to music, life, theology and art…. struggle to see, hear, sing,take part in stuff that says nothing to me about my life.


Friday Music

Tonight is the first night of my village panto: I am the Dame (again). I thought of including a song from that pinnacle of the dramatic arts but decided against it.

In the end I went for that other Dame: Morrissey. It is the 30th anniversary of their first album and this is my favourite Smiths track. Every person over 30 (and a great number under)should have a favourite Smiths track. If they say ‘who?’ or ‘I never really liked them’, it is a struggle to hold a conversation. I once saw them live, by accident.


Take this song, U2: I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, Low: Death of a Salesman, Martyn Joseph: Turn me tender and Leonard Cohen: Anthem and you have practically my life in song.