The Soundtrack to My Life

20:40



It's no exaggeration when I say music has an important place in my life. It's been one of my greatest passions ever since I was about four years old, perched on my booster seat on the passenger side of my dad's van, bopping along to a Shania Twain tape. 

Inspired by a recent post from WhatOliviaDid, I decided to take on her homage to NME's Soundtrack of My Life feature, and adapt it to my own life.

THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT

I can't remember if I bought it, or if it was gifted to me, but the first album I remember owning was Steps' Buzz. Not one of their more iconic albums, by any means, but I would routinely climb up our kitchen counters at home, CD clutched tightly between my little fingers, and sit and listen to the album from beginning to end from my parents' stereo. Oh, and sing along, hideously off-key, but determinedly, with the tattered lyrics sheet open and in hand. And although it wasn't on this particular album, Tragedy was my jam.

THE SONG THAT MAKES ME HAPPY

Whenever I'm feeling lost, low or just lacking in motivation, I put on Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run, and it magically brings me back to life. It's epic in every sense of the word. It's that kind of punch-the-air motivational kick-in-the-ass kind of song. Play it loud next time you're feeling a little lacklustre. I promise you, it works every time.


THE SONG/ALBUM THAT MAKES ME WANT TO DANCE

This could be so many different things so I'm going to pick a few: first and foremost, Prince's 1999 is one of the best bops ever. As kids, we used to pull out our parents' Prince hits compilation and dance like crazy to this track around the kitchen. We were obsessed.  A more recent bop would be Ariana Grande's Into You. Honestly, it kind of hurts how underrated this single was last summer. Ariana delivers nothing short of pure pop perfection. Of course, we can't forget the legendary Crazy In Love by Beyoncé - my all-time favourite nightclub bop.

MY FIRST GIG

My first gig was back in 2009. I saw Paramore at the then-O2 Arena, supported by You Me At Six, and two other smaller bands. I was fourteen, and I remember distinctly counting down the days as soon as we'd booked the tickets (i.e. this went on for several months). Back then, I was a heavily eyeliner-ed choppy-haired, honorary 'emo' kid, and Hayley Williams was my flame-haired idol who could do no wrong. My first experience of a proper live music show hit me with such force, it ignited a passion within me for live music that may last forever.


THE SONG THAT REMINDS ME OF BEING A TEENAGER

So. Many. Choices. The obvious ones being: Green Day's Dookie and Insomniac albums; Paramore's Pressure,  Misery Business and most of the RIOT! album; My Chemical Romance's Teenagers, I'm Not Okay (I Promise) and Welcome to the Black Parade; All Time Low's The Girl's A Straight Up Hustler, and every single You Me At Six song I played to death on my iPod Nano. Not to forget Fall Out Boy's Grand Theft Autumn; Brand New's Okay I Believe You... the list goes on and on. But if I absolutely had to choose one, it'd be Lady Gaga's Marry The Night. Whilst I thought I was *too cool* for her debut album back in 2009, the Born This Way album came to me at a particularly vulnerable time and swept me back into the world of pop. I'll always stand by my belief that Born This Way is Gaga's masterpiece: yes, The Fame was a nice slice of commercial pop gold, but Born This Way is Art. Marry The Night was everything to me at that time in my life, and will always have a place in my heart.

THE SWEATIEST GIG I'VE BEEN TO

This is a toss-up between The Blackout at The Academy many years ago (circa 2011, I think) - where I thought I was going to be crushed alive, and loved every second of it - or seeing Bell X1 at Indiependence last summer. It was the first night of my first festival, everyone was fairly well on it, and again, I thought I was going to be squished alive. It was incredible.


THE ARTIST I LISTEN TO WHEN I'M ON MY OWN

I can guarantee if I'm left home alone, and in the right mood, you'll probably catch me blaring the soundtrack to Les Misérables (the 2013 Hollywood film version, sorry 'bout it) and wailing along in several different character voices. I love musicals, I'm equally obsessed with Hairspray. Give me a hopeless romantic story-line and an epic soundtrack and I'm sold.

THE BEST GIG I'VE BEEN TO

This is an undoubtedly difficult one. Early teenage me would probably say Green Day in Marlay Park in 2010 - because there's nothing more incredible than seeing your idols in the flesh. A slightly older me got her LIFE at Lady Gaga in the Aviva Stadium in 2012 (paws up forever). Biffy Clyro always put on a spectacular show, and their headline gig at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, in 2014 (with support from long time loves of mine, You Me At Six) will always be special to me. 


THE SONG I WISH I'D WRITTEN


I have to say I'm completely enamoured with almost everything Paul Noonan (of Bell X1 fame) writes. He is by far one of Ireland's finest songwriters - bringing us classics such as "You're the chocolate at the end of my Cornetto", "I don't believe in any old Jesus but if there was a God, then why is my ass the perfect height for kicking?", and that ever memorable verse about fumbling with a plastic shopping bag at a supermarket checkout. It fills me with insurmountable joy that someone could include "would you go 'way and shite", right after a perfect Oscar Wilde paraphrase, in such an emotional, gorgeous song like Rocky Took A Lover.

THE LEAST FAVOURITE SONG

At the minute: Galway Girl. Please, make it stop.

THE ULTIMATE DESERT ISLAND DISC

You'd better believe I have my Desert Island Discs list all prepped and ready to go - on the off-chance that I suddenly get that call from the BBC... My ultimate DID pick would have to be Prince's Purple Rain. It's my favourite song ever, from that dramatic opening to that gut-wrenching chorus - of all its eight-and-a-half minute glory, my favourite part has to be the bridge, and that iconic guitar solo. Favourite memory of this song has to be wobbling into the main arena of Indiependence festival in the middle of the night last summer, as it rained, hearing Purple Rain being blared from one of the dance tents and almost tripping over myself, running to get there - then screeching along until my throat hurt. It was nothing short of magical.


THE SONGS THAT REMIND ME OF HOME


I was lucky enough to grow up in a somewhat musical household - with both my parents having wildly different tastes. My dad subconsciously reared us on Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead and other alternative wonders, but my inner child will always fondly remember Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much and Man! I Feel Like A Woman. My mother is a true former teen of the eighties, and when I think of her and music, I'll always think of ABBA. Truth be told, a lot of our early musical endeavours came from rooting through our parents' CD collections and quizzically listening to whatever we found. One sister loved David Bowie's China Girl, we collectively appreciated Prince, and of course, I can't not credit a lot of my musical beginnings to good ol' Busted, and the hours I spent playing their albums to death, in my little Argos CD player.


THE SONG I WANT PLAYED AT MY FUNERAL

Purple Rain. No doubt about it.

Ciara x

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