Desert Island Disc

Music is food for the soul.

To reveal a list of music that is meaningful to me is like opening up my heart and giving you permission to poke around.

It’s personal. It’s subjective. It’s fluid – it ebbs and flows. My go-to song today won’t be the same tomorrow or a year from now.

Because of all this, this post idea has been in drafts for over a year. I urge you to go visit my friend and fellow blogger, Sinéad who shared some of her own musical loves and inspired me to finally finish this post. Also, her music is much, much cooler.

This though, is me:

I used to listen to Australia’s version of the BBC’s Desert Island Disc and wondered about the music I’d choose if I were on the programme.

Of course, this strange mix of music is but the tip of the metronome (which makes no literal sense, but I’m keeping it).


This is a song that reminds me of my childhood – it reminds me of my parents and dancing around the house. There are many songs I could choose here, but I thought I’d opt for an Australian band. I rarely listen to it now because I guess it’s my love of their music.

This reminds me of my brother. We didn’t have much classical music in our house and it was my brother who discovered it for himself and introduced it to me. It is something we still share despite our differing tastes. It was also a family joke. My mum used to say that he loved a dirge. This music never ceases to stop me in my tracks. It also always reminds me of Warner Bros cartoon – ‘Kill the Wabbit!’.

This is a nod to my husband. He is too modest to admit he is a talented guitarist but I remember admiring him when he played this in music class aged 16, long before we were a couple. This song was the beginning of a whole heap of music he would introduce me to.

Some of my favourite music belongs to film. I don’t necessarily mean iconic film scores like Star Wars or Lawrence of Arabia, often I find beauty in the incidental. Music that merges into the power of a scene so seamlessly it is almost unheard.

This, by Thomas Newman, is a great score which perfectly encapsulates the quirky mood of this film.  There are probably better examples from this score, but it’s also a great excuse to screen these mesmerising end credits.

I love my fair share of traditional music (in this case Scottish), this is a particular favourite with its awesome rhythm.

I love it when relatively modern music arcs back to older music.

I love music that is somewhere between heartbreak and healing…

That might do for now. Too many to choose.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment, or create your own post – tell me your music.

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4 thoughts on “Desert Island Disc

  1. Thank you for sharing your “musical self”, Kate. You’re dead right about how one’s tastes are fluid; you and I have also shared enough compilation tapes and conversations about music for you to have got a sense of the broad sweep of what’s close to my heart. I’m therefore going to flag up just two works here, one a “downer”, if you will, the other an “upper” (of sorts!);

    OK, the fact that I’m going to see Arcade Fire in July probably has something to do with their looming large in my consciousness at present. I wasn’t grabbed by their last album, Reflektor , to be honest, but the one before that, The Suburbs , has a strong claim to being their magnum opus . This song maybe loses something by being taken out of context, but it still conveys a powerful sense of the fearfulness many of us feel about what the “digital everyday” is doing to our humanity (yes, I’m aware of the irony of using a blog comment to voice this thought…); it also made a fitting closer to the soundtrack of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.

    Told you that was a downer! And I’m probably not selling my second choice, the slow central movement of one of Beethoven’s late string quartets, at all well by saying that I want it played at my funeral. My hope is that the congregation would thereby get to feel what I’ve heard described as “the good part of grief”, i.e. a shared sense of how beautiful and precious this life of ours is. It was written by a desperately lonely man who was suddenly filled with overwhelming gratitude at his recovery from a long illness, and who couldn’t possibly have known that he’d be dead within the year. I think that, as such, it offers a glimpse of the all-to-human behind the popular facade the aloof, bad-tempered genius living life on a different plane from the rest of us. Oh, and it also happens to be lip-tremblingly beautiful.

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