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Listography: Songs that Transport me to a particular time and place


I am on a plane to Africa with Comic Relief with Annie and Tanya. It is incredibly turbulent and I am wondering what on earth I am doing leaving my family behind to die on a plane. I’m apprehensive heading to a foreign country where life is a million miles from my own life in suburban Nottingham. I discover Jake Bugg, also from Nottingham, via the in flight entertainment system, and when I make it to Ghana alive and meet Comic Relief’s team, I also discover he made music at a Comic Relief funded project in Nottingham. Love it when things come full circle.

Suburban 30 something mum to two me, and Jake Bugg have little in common, but a couple of the lyrics still resonated.

‘I got out I got out I’m alive and I’m here to stay.’

‘Something is changing…’

It was the start of an amazing new chapter in life. The video for Two Fingers, which I just watched for the first time, is set in Nottingham, and at an airport funnily enough…

I don’t know how I am supposed to whittle it down to pick only five tracks, but Kate Takes 5 challenged me to. We haven’t played Listography for ages! So I chose the first five that jumped out at me.

Most of these seem to involve getting on an airplane…

I am 17, in a pub in Munich at Christmas time with the niece of a couple I babysit for in England. Her English is expanding slightly faster than my rubbish German, but it doesn’t matter, we have REM Losing My Religion to sing in lulls in conversation.  A wonderful friendship formed in snowy Bavaria to the sounds of Michael Stipe.

‘That’s me in the corner.’ Drunk. 17. In a new city where I don’t understand a word anyone is saying, and still loving it.

‘Oh no. I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough.’ Etc etc.

Nina Simone is singing about blossom on the tree, fish swimming, but Nina never gets to Feeling Good sadly, as I am too impatient and march into the room before the song really kicks in. I am getting married!

I’m eating Greek salad on a cliff top, overlooking olive trees and the sunset with Mr A.  Dirty Vegas, Days go by…and still I think of YOU. The most incredible Greek salad…and Mr A of course.

I’m about 16, it’s a glorious day, Glastonbury is all sun kissed straw fields, I’ve had a beer and I am dancing round a field with my little brother to Happy by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. We’re beaming, we can’t quite believe it’s real.

‘We have a house where I’m in your hair, I’ll go spare and leave you happy.’

Wasn’t meant to, but pretty much describes growing up with a sibling…

And there is my completely at random songs that take me to a particular time and place Listography. If you ask me again tomorrow it will probably be completely different.



  1. 04/12/2015 / 8:10 pm

    Love Nina Simone and Greek Salad – I’d have those two together. And I know what you mean about choices – I could have named 1000 songs, not just 5…

    • parentshaped
      06/12/2015 / 2:13 pm

      Love that combo idea!

  2. 04/12/2015 / 9:48 pm

    Music is a wonderful thing. It transports us to so many different places and holds such special meanings which can be so different for everyone. This is a great post, Penny; I really enjoyed reading your listography and the memories these songs evoked for you.

    • parentshaped
      06/12/2015 / 2:12 pm

      Thanks Donna, great idea of Kate’s!

  3. 06/12/2015 / 10:17 am

    I now have serious earworm but we have similar tastes, thank goodness! I love how music can transport you instantly back in time to places and people and memories…*drifts off to Greece*

    • parentshaped
      06/12/2015 / 2:12 pm

      Can I drift off to Greece with you!

  4. 20/12/2015 / 10:38 pm

    Love that you chose Nina and REM – both brilliant choices. A great Listography, Penny. Thanks for sharing the memories.

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