Tracks of my years

Tracks of My Years – Baba a Fi

This week taking us on a trip down the Tracks of their Years is the lovely Jess from Baba a Fi. In her own words, she can also be found on Facebook and (mainly over on) Twitter.

So, Jess, it’s over to you and the Tracks of Your Years.

Here are some songs which were special to me then and that I still love now. Even the embarrassing ones. (Especially the embarrassing ones!)

Rush – Tom Sawyer

These days music for your bump is a must, at least if my midwife was to be believed, but back in the distant past (the 1980s) no special consideration was given. Instead you got whatever your parents wanted to listen to and lumped it. As my dad has been obsessed with Rush for the greater part of his life, it’s no surprise that this song (and much of Rush’s back catalogue) is indelibly seared into my consciousness.

Billy Williams – When Father Papered The Parlour

This is an old music hall hit, recorded in 1909. We were reckless lawbreakers and recorded it off a tape of kids’ songs we borrowed from the library. I loved the sound quality of it, all old and creepy, and I still like to sing it now, even though Anthony, my partner, tells me my singing voice reminds him of an injured cat!

Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

This was my favourite track on my parents’ ‘in the car’ tape. I remember staring out of the window as we drove along in the rain, trying to work out what it all meant. Could my hair really turn bright white overnight? Why would you lurch over a church floor? Wouldn’t it be cool if the singers were actually animate crash test dummies, like the ones in the Volvo adverts? So many questions.

Lolly – Viva La Radio

This single was the first CD I ever bought, aged 8. I later got the whole album for my 9th birthday and thought it was just awesome. I even used to channel her style and wear my hair in multiple ponytails.

Slipknot – Wait and Bleed

At secondary school, my self-image was starting to change. I was still the biggest swot who ever goody-two-shoed through an academic career but, while my friends were covering their bedroom walls in Westlife posters, I was busy expressing myself through punk-rock and nu-metal. Out went the glitter make-up and the pastel cargo pants, and in came the baggy jeans, wallet chains, and black. So much black.

O-Zone – Dragostea Din Tei

This was my guilty not so secret right in the middle of my goth phase. I was really into penpalling at the time, and did loads of swaps with girls in Russia and Romania for O-Zone posters, CDs and magazine clippings, and downloaded all their stuff on LimeWire which took roughly three years. (I’m exaggerating, but not by much.) I was especially incensed when I wrote into UK teen mags asking for a poster or two, and they printed the letter with the request edited out and didn’t get me my poster either. Sad times. Still, I’ve got my collection of their solo stuff to get me though…

Green Day – Ha Ha You’re Dead!

For many years I classed Green Day as my favourite band, so it was kind of hard to just pick a single track! I figured I’d just go with one of the lesser-heard songs and be done with it. Everything Green Day really makes me think of my teenage years, and how lucky I was with my parents. Instead of saying no, they let me listen to whatever I wanted. If I couldn’t get it (in those pre-youtube days) for being underage, they’d get it for me. My mum went with me to get my eyebrow pierced, and let me go to gigs so long as I was home on time, and didn’t even say ‘I told you so’ when I drifted more into pop-punk instead.

Liza Li – Ich könnte dich erschießen (I Could Shoot You)

German was my second favourite subject at school – after history – and in my late teens I was listening to a lot of German music. This one reminds me of an old boyfriend, but it’s a good, ‘I am so better off without you’ kind of memory!

Soft Cell – Tainted Love

After a year of working, I decided the better option was to go to university after all. I went to Cambridge to study modern history, but I was really most interested in immersing myself in early 1980s inspired electro-pop world. (I sometimes ventured into the late 1980s hair metal sound, but that’s neither here nor there.) I refused to own a bike, so I spent much of my time at Cambridge walking and listening to my iPod, and this was always on my playlist.

Less Than Jake – The Science of Selling Yourself Short

LTJ always make me think of my brother because we usually go to gigs together, and it’s usually to see ska bands. Although probably the most memorable gig was the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival; it was laugh or cry funny what with the leaking tent, running out of money, and seeing Rhys’ face when the 60-minute folk opera by the Tasmanian Grassroots Union Choir was announced…

Dizzee Rascal – Bonkers

By the end of the course, I was shifting genres again, this time into dancehall, grime, and bassline, so this song was really music to my ears at the time. (Geddit?) One of my best memories of uni is having almost made it to the survivor’s photograph (confirmation of pulling an all-nighter at a May Ball), jumping about like a loon to this in a dance tent. 🙂

Sidney Samson – Riverside

This track represents my last summer with no responsibility. No more exams, no job to go to, no worries. And no money come September because I’d blown it all on having a good time. It was worth it though.

Marina and the Diamonds – Numb

I absolutely adore Marina and the Diamonds and play her whole discography way more than is healthy. This one is my especial favourite, even though it always creeps me out, just a little. I listened to it over and over when I was reading up on the Black Dahlia murder (as you do), and I think it fits with her life and the fact she only ever got the fame she sought in death. That sounds really morbid, but historical true crime is one of my hobbies so it makes slightly more sense to dwell on it than you might think!

Kate Rusby – Drowned Lovers

This timeless tale of doomed romance is slightly less morbid than the last choice. I listened to so much folk music when I was pregnant, and this one more than most. It soothed me in a way nothing else could, and is probably part of the reason why Marianna is so obsessed with 1970s kids shows with folksy singers, so completing the circle of musical indoctrination.

Steeleye Span – The Dark Morris Song

Sticking with folksy, this tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett has really brought us together as a family. Anthony and I are usually polar opposites when it comes to taste in music, so I was really excited to come home to find him listening to Steeleye Span. Anthony didn’t have quite the same history of imagining himself a medieval maiden while listening to Steeleye Span through headphones and had only found them through the Pratchett connection. But it gave us something we all love to listen to, with Marianna dancing about around us. He still draws the line at Seven Hundred Elves, though.

Prides – Out of the Blue

Me now! I’m on another electro kick and these guys have become my go to band. It just makes me want to dance. (Badly, and on video, to embarrass my daughter with for all time.)


Jess what can I say about your tracks – there are some in there that are very (very) cheesy – although not as cheesy as some of the songs I or others have shared already. Soft Cell brings back memories of my mum and dad getting ready to the pub on a weekend – my mum in her heels (until she sprained her ankle and has never worn them since).

What I love about creating this series is that every week I get to find new bands, artists, songs and music. Some I really don’t like, others I like and have grown to love – so thank you to the bloggers who have taken the time to share your tracks with me I am truly grateful to each and every one of you. I can’t wait to see who we have joining in next week.

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