Previously we outlined the rules for Desert Island Discs. We have a handball court, or at least the handballs, and an atlas. Now we need eight songs to get us through a lifetime. As Derb said, most musical tastes are set early so there isn’t much new here. Only one might be from the current century. One that we will comment on is a new version in the current century. Also, I’m with Derb that a song needs words. The list was easy to create. Here it is:
Wednesday Morning 3 AM, Simon and Garfunkel
Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin
Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Willie Nelson
Me and Bobbi McGee, Janis Joplin
Come Dancing, Kinks
Bell Bottom Blues, Derek and the Dominoes
Connection, Keith Richards and the Xpensive Winos
It was easy to create in that we can live with it. If it was created two years ago or two years hence it would be slightly different. In different times, there could be eight Janis Joplin tunes. As Dave Barry often says, Big Brother and the Holding Company would be a great name for a rock band. Too bad it is already taken.
So Janis’ voice and Kris Kristofferson’s lyrics means that Me and Bobby McGee would be on every permutation of this list. It isn’t personal. It just an iconic song. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose isn’t a critique of conservatism. Freedom as in lack of attachment to other humans is a different thing from the freedom we cherish.
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain is another step towards country from Bobbie McGee. Willie is a personal connection from seeing him and from my daughter “losing” the Red Headed Stranger when it played too much in the van on family vacations.
Wednesday Morning, 3 AM is a song of youth. Many times there is “a scene badly written in which I must play.” Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme was the great album but the title song of the first album, Wednesday Morning 3 AM, presaged it.
Bell Bottom Blues is the last of end of the tragedies (to use the Shakespeare classification) in the list. It has taken time but we are close to concluding that Derek and the Dominoes was Clapton’s best work. As we age, “And if I could choose a place to die it would be in your arms” is a real vision for life and death.
So does that mean that Stairway to Heaven is a comedy? On this list it is. We are not a big Zeppelin fan but this is a great song. It is worth listening to because it is restraint by a group known for not being restrained. Restraint is a great virtue (see The Tempest) even if some folks think it is plagiarized.
Total Eclipse of the Heart is widely panned especially for the video at the link. But we still feel sometimes like we are living in a powder keg giving off sparks. Perhaps the object of our affection will turn around.
Come Dancing does double duty in representing the Kinks and family connections. As we get older we either drift away from our siblings or drift towards them. We have made an effort towards the latter and have found it rewarding. If we don’t see them on the desert isle, the Kinks will help us connect with siblings and their offspring.
Connection is another connection. The album was a gift from our son. He was right that it was a better album then we first thought. Now that he is gone and Connection is the connection.