“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”
Avery Sawyer, Notes to Self
4am Isn’t For The Feint Of Heart
Greetings, it is currently 4am here in the United Kingdom and I am recovering from a dose of good old-fashioned food poisoning. Now the food poisoning isn’t the reason I am awake, I usually find myself flirting with the sunrise through heavy eyelids.
What makes this occasion different is that I am restless due to an uncomfortable stomach that won’t stop backflipping so I decided to distract myself with some music and partake in another round of the YouTube Trail.
Now for those of you who don’t know what the YouTube Trail is I shall explain. You pick a song, can be any song you like, once it’s finished you play another song but only from the recommended section on the right and you simply keep going till bored or the trail dries up.
So this entry/post/rambling/thing will be my YouTube Trail on 31st January 2017, hopefully we’ll get some good songs and I’ll do some rambling along the way.
Song 1: Johnny Cash – A Boy Named Sue
Before we start I should probably apologise for the quality of the videos and there are probably other videos showing these songs better but these are the ones I watched/listened to.
I can’t remember the first time I heard this song but I seem to have known it all my life. My Grancher (grandfather for you non Welsh people in the audience) has always been a massive Johnny Cash fan so maybe it was up his house.
I don’t know why I started the Trail here tonight but it was a good a place as any and the song still makes me laugh to this day, especially the “I busted a chair right across his teeth” line. Cracks me up everytime.
The Man In Black never fails to deliver and I has loads of options for more of his work but I opted for…
Song 2 (Not That One): Kenny Rogers – The Gambler
I don’t remember the first time I heard this song, but I do remember the context. I would have been in my mid teens and at the local pub with my father and his mate Milo would always get up on the Karaoke and sing this song.
I fell in love with the song instantly and it was a feature on my 64MB MP3 player till its death. Years later, when I got with my partner, I learned that it was one of her grans favourite songs and it is a regular again as we do our sing/dance/do the dishes routine in the kitchen (don’t judge).
The Trail is going good, next up is…
Song 3: Don McLean – American Pie
Another song I seem to have known all my life, American Pie is a truly fantastic song. If you don’t know all the words it doesn’t matter cos you all know the chorus, even if it is just because the local drunks sing it at the top of their lungs and then mumble to the rest (or is that just me?).
A quick google search of “what do the lyrics of American Pie mean” gives you 9.2 million search results because this song is full of strange lyrics that people still debate on forums today. But if you want to know the true meaning of the lyrics then just ask Don McLean himself, when asked (some time ago) in an interview what the lyrics meant his response was:
“American Pie means I’ll never have to work again”
Legend, pure and simple. Up next is…
Song 4: Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
Ah this song and ah this album. I remember to the day I heard this song for the first time, it was Christmas day 2001 and I unwrapped a CD from my father and there it was Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. I had heard of the band and even heard a family member or three ruin the songs on the Karaoke (Welsh people like to sing if you didn’t know) but I had never heard this song before.
We chucked the CD on and I was mesmerised, and then it got to track 5. For me Go Your Own Way is one of the songs that when you first listen to it, it hits you like a tonne of bricks, it changed the way I looked at music then and it still is one of my favourite songs to this day.
Part of the reason I love doing the YouTube Trail is because of memories like that, music has a way of recalling memories like no other medium it seems.
Song 5: Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is
When I visited home a few years back for my cousin’s 20th birthday, all the family got together and we had a massive barbecue which with us lot meant music, lots and lots of loud music.
This song (at that party) was like a force of nature, it came on and all 40+ of us just sung it at the top of our voices (we are also Italian, they also like a bit of a sing-song so I’m told). It was fantastic and while it wasn’t the only song we all sang together, I’ve always like this song and I can’t quite place why.
No we run into a bit of a problem with the YouTube Trail, once you get to a popular enough band/artist or a love song like this the recommended feed fills up with songs that fill a similar niche and lo and behold…
Song 6: The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
Got Ya! Not technically a love song. I have seen this song mistaken for a love song (for some reason) but anyone who knows the lyrics knows that this song is creepy as all balls.
But despite that it’s another 80s classic which always seem to sit right with me for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s better not to listen to the lyrics.
Song 7: The Clash – London Calling
Another one close to my heart, my father is an old school Punk so this song was always in my life. Cut to when I was 18 and about to go to university in London, it was the night before I had to travel and I was nervous as fuck.
“Why don’t we pop down the Tynte (local pub) for a quick one” says my dad.
“I don’t know if I fancy it to be honest Pouse (his and now my nickname), I’m a bit all over the place”
“C’mon mun, it won’t hurt”
So off we went to the Tynte, and as I entered there was a massive cheer as pretty everyone I had ever known, worked with and got drunk with were there. We had a fantastic night culminating in me, my older sister and my dad singing this on the Karaoke while my sister cried and me and Pouse jumping around like idiots. I couldn’t have asked for a better send off to uni.
Song 8: The Killers – Mr. Brightside
Speaking of uni, while I was there we moved in with a boy called Mikey in the third year and this song never fails to remind me of him. I don’t even like this song that much, but anything that reminds me of Mikey is always welcome.
Song 9: Foo Fighters – The Pretender
Again I’m not really a huge fan of the band or the song in question, don’t get me wrong they are ok and nice to listen to but I don’t really seek them out. But again this reminds me of someone, my older sister Kirsty.
I say she’s my older sister but technically she’s not, she’s a person who worked with 4 (out of 5) of my family at the local hellhole factory and we kind of adopted her, she even lived with us for a while and while she may not be blood, she will always be family.
Song 10: Green Day – Basket Case
Another piece of documentary evidence that Billie Joe Armstrong is in fact an un-ageing immortal.
On another album that was gifted to me at a young age I love this song and still am quite a big fan of Green Day. They’re not groundbreaking (at least not anymore) and yes they’ve basically just released American Idiot 3 different times but I like them.
Song 11: Radiohead – Creep
Do you know I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t like this song and why? No clue, it’s a song about someone’s self hate but at the end of the day isn’t that what being British is all about?
If you can (and you have the internet presumably) find the version of this song sung by Bill Bailey on one of his comedy tours, you can thank me later.
Song 12: The Police – Every Breath You Take
Another song for the “Creepy as fuck and often mistaken for a love song” Category at my future award shows this song is definitely a weird one.
I can’t remember when I first heard this song but I do remember the time I heard it that weirded me out the most and it wasn’t at a wedding (although I’ve seen that to).
It was during a Geography class while I was doing my GCSE’s, for some reason this song was playing in the background of a global warming video and I was just confused to all hell. When I asked the teacher why he chose that song his response was simply “Well the planet breathes doesn’t it?” to which I had no reply.
Song 13: George Michael – Freedom
First of all, rest in peace George Michael, you won’t be forgotten in my house mate.
To quote the fantastic film Pride “Welshmen don’t dance, can’t move their hips”, never have truer words been spoken because we most definitely don’t dance, it’s more of a seizure to music. I hate dancing, as someone with social anxiety I feel that eyes are on me all the time as it is, let alone me going on to a dance floor and shaking my stuff.
But this song (and there are very few others) just make me want to dance and if you could see me as I listen to this song you’d see me do my sit down shimmy with a huge smile on my face as I shout “Sometimes the clothes do not make the man!”. Anyway, moving on…
Song 14: Queen – I Want To Break Free
I’ll be honest, while listening to Freedom by George Michael I was hoping that Queen was on the list and the list did not let me down. Another song that seemingly everyone in Brittain loves, Freddie Mercury holds a special place in our hearts it seems and no where is that more true than with my family.
My father once told me that one of the biggest regrets he had in his life is not going to see Queen when he had free tickets given to him. As I said earlier he is a punk, but he was skinhead first and didn’t want to go see “that gay boy”, a phrase that I was shocked to hear coming out of my dad’s mouth (even though he didn’t believe it at the time of telling me about it).
Just to clarify, my dad no longer thinks like that as he has wised up with age and to quote him “If I could go back and give that little cunt (himself) a good hiding I would don’t you worry”, I’m not defending him though, what he said was wrong but I just want it known he no longer thinks like that.
To end this entry on a high(er) note I will share that I once performed this song in full drag while dancing with a Dyson hoover for a charity concert. I wasn’t always a nervous wreck after all.
Song 15: Abba – Does Your Mother Know
Now I know if any of my mates read this I’m gonna get the piss ripped out of me but fuck em. A wise man once said “The simple fact of the matter is, if you don’t like Abba then you don’t like music” that man was my father (told you he wised up) and he is abso-fucking-spot-on-lutely correct.
Abba have been in the background all my life it seems, my three aunties (on my dad’s side) all worship Abba so they were always a feature at any family gathering, including that barbecue I mentioned earlier.
6am Is A Reasonable Time To Be Up At Right?
As every song in the recommended section is now Abba (not a bad thing necessarily) I feel it is a good place to end my first post on the YouTube Trail.
I came to realise while writing this that while I have been struggling to find a way to write about music on this site, this way seems better than most as I get to talk about different genres, artists and even some memories all without any real planning as is the random nature of the Trail. So I guess you’ll see a few more of these as time goes on.
As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys next time <3.
Another favourite song of mine (for very different reasons) from the great film Pride I mentioned earlier in this post.