Help Wanted – Happiness Incomplete

“Oh, gimme some time,

Show me the foothold from which I can climb,

Yeah, when I feel low,

You show me a signpost for where I should go.”

  • Bevan, Gervers, Bevan, Gervers

After a week of very serious people being very serious while saying very serious things, some light relief appeared. My brother Darth’s family succumbed to The Lurgy and were all confined to barracks. Darth had a wonderful plan for them all to watch the whole Star Wars saga , one movie per night, cinema style, popcorn, him explaining who everyone was, in typical ‘Bond Dad’ style.

He started where we all started , the original first movie, Star Wars, now referred to by uncultured Philistines as ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’. He had high hopes. Darth’s kids are now of an age where they have read and watched all of the Harry Potters.

It did not go well.

Darth’s long suffering partner Leia/Linda was laughing as Darth came down for breakfast the next morning, she’d overheard their daughter ,  my evil Goddaughter, Caitriona, telling her BFF Sarah, “ I’m sorry we couldn’t play Minecraft together last night , Dad made us all watch Star Wars.”

Darth watched The Empire Strikes Back alone that evening.

I told him that when our own Monkees were a similar age to his now, I asked Robyn to write a page of a story and then I’d write the next page, and then we’d alternate. It was great fun. So if his girls emailed me the start of a story, I’d add a page , send it back, they’d continue it and so on…

Darth’s girls and I have been trading insults all week as we add to each other’s stories. At this point I don’t care if they’re enjoying it…I’m having a blast !  

“Why did you call her your evil Goddaughter ?”

Two simple reasons.

She is my Goddaughter.

She is evil. She plays the Kerry Polka …repeatedly !

Oddly my other Goddaughter, Eimear, is also evil.

“How evil ?”

Well , a couple of years ago I offered to take her to any concert she desired.

She made me go to The 1975. That’s how evil she is.

I on the other hand have nothing but love in my heart…and am taking her , with my SoulMate and daughter, to see CMAT in Belfast in March.

My other, other goddaughter is only 2 and so far the signs are good…no Kerry Polkas as yet.

Another musically themed ray of sunshine came from a reply to last week’s blog. My friend/mentor Karl asked me to tell him six songs that made me happy.

This was a tougher request than it first appeared.

My main playlist on Spotify has 1,208 songs , and I picked them all because I like them, so they make me happy at some level.

I sent him a playlist of 7 songs. One of them is only a minute long, so I considered it a bonus track. I based them on the fact that I involuntarily sing out loud along with them and, after a fashion, dance. They also have memories attached.

  1. ‘There She Goes My Beautiful World’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

The lyrics obviously remind me of my SoulMate. She is indeed my world, and it is absolutely fucking beautiful. I also love Nick Cave. I came to him later in life. The ‘Dig , Lazarus, Dig !’ album was played regularly as a cd in our car on travels to and around Wales. Then ‘Push The Sky Away’ made a deep impression. But it was when my friend Baz asked me to go and see them in concert in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham that clinched it.

I devoured the back catalogue. And now Jake is also a fan. So , lots of boxes ticked.

  • ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ – The Kooks

Yes, again , reminds me of my SoulMate…and it is 2 minutes and 49 seconds of pure , unadulterated , foot stomping joy.

  • ‘Killer Queen’ – Queen .

My best friend Micky’s older brother John left him a bajillion Queen records when he left home. So Micky was a fan. And by default , so was I. We went to see them in the Simmonscourt venue in the RDS in Dublin on their Radio Gaga tour and a couple of years later they did the soundtrack to one of the best movies of all time , Highlander. Yes , I will die on that hill. So we saw them play Slane on their ‘It’s A Kind Of Magic’ tour…it wasn’t. But , any Queen song , reminds me of summers cycling out to Hollywood lake with Micky, playing Queen on our tape recorder, not impressing anyone.

My daughter Robyn has now resurrected my love of Queen , and this is one of her favourites. It also has given me an excuse to buy Moet & Chandon for our Saturday night family dinners on more than one occasion.

And of course, it is a truly brilliant song.

  • ‘Tea For The Tillerman’ – Yusuf/ Cat Stevens * Bonus track*

In the olden, olden days before Spotify , I would make/burn playlists on blank CDs and when out and about with the family I would educate them with wonderful tunes. This one was a particular favourite because it was so short. Always reminds me of those days.

  • ‘Hermit The Frog’ – Marina

Robyn introduced me to Marina last year and this is my favourite. Last summer we went on a family holiday to Doolin and this song was played a lot !

  • ‘Feel Good Inc.’ – Gorillaz

This version is a live recording from the Demon Dayz Live album/film/concert, and it’s class ! In the Brit Pop wars I flip flopped between Blur and Oasis , I had all of their albums, and saw them in concert, but it’s the Blur songs I come back to most often. Robyn and I saw Gorillaz in Malahide a few years ago and this song was a highlight. De La Soul came on stage to sing with them. Epic !

  • ‘Caravan’ – The Band & Van Morrison

The Last Waltz is a brilliant live concert of The Band’s final performance, and this song, Caravan is a highlight. My SoulMate and I saw Van The Man in Leisureland ,Galway in 1990. I’d never heard the song before, but Van was in top form , and it was fantastic. An older couple turned to us a one point and asked if we’d seen Van live before and when we said we hadn’t they told us to never go again,  asthey’d seen him over 50 times and that this was the best they’d ever seen. On one occasion he’d come on stage , didn’t acknowledge the crowd , sang 5 songs with his back to the audience and left.

We followed their advice.

You can listen to these tunes on my wee playlist – Happiness Take#56 on Spotify.

And I need your help. What I’d like is for you to tell me about a song that makes you happy and I’ll add it to the list…as long as it’s not Country& Irish…or Boyzone…or The 1975…



P.S. The song lyrics at the start are from Foals’ “Mountain At My Gates’ and is the only song that I’ve played that Elliott has asked to hear again. High praise indeed.

Author: paul

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