Desert Island Discs


I’ve always wanted to be on Desert Island Discs, firstly to play my songs and secondly to be so rich and famous and intelligent that they’d want me on.  So maybe if I put my 8 songs up, together with my book and luxury item then one day I’ll be on.


The Boxer                                                     – Simon and Garfunkel

Father and Son                                             –Cat Stevens

Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding – Elton John

Paradise By The Dashboard                       – Meatloaf

Living Years                                                  – Mike and the Mechanics

The Promised Land                                      – Bruce Springsteen

Lying Eyes                                                     – Eagles

Over the Rainbow                                        – Eva Cassidy


“Well Sue (Lawley) my first choice is The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel, it’s from the first album I ever bought (I’m lying to Sue because actually the first album I ever bought was Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield, but that was on tape so it doesn’t count), and the Boxer is the only song I know all the lyrics to and can sing along to.


“Well Sue my second choice is Father and Son by Cat Stevens, my favourite song.  I got into Cat Stevens after my first few albums and I’ve always loved the song.  The struggle between Father and Son.  The song is more subtle than it appears and those dickheads from Boyzone really fucked the song up by not realising that the Son sings an octave higher than the Father to show some respect, and that there’s a subtle counter song going on in the last two verses.  If only they’d read the album sleeve and listened to the bloody song.”


“Sorry about that Sue, I’m sure you can edit it out.  My third choice is Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding by Elton John, it’s off the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, my favourite because it’s a big album sleeve with lots of pictures, there’s a wide variety of songs, good lyrics, and you get two songs for the price of one because they run into each other, Funeral for Friend is the intro to Love Lies Bleeding.  Is that okay Sue can I have both songs because they run into each other?  In my depressed teens when I just wasn’t getting laid, I used to listen to this song to calm me down, big leather headphones, volume cranked up full, hoping that no-one would come in to my bedroom whilst I was singing and I couldn’t hear a damn thing.”


“Now Sue, Paradise by the Dashboard was all about getting laid for the first time.  Teenage Sex, and I just made it into that category, and this song reminds me of it.  I love Jim Steinman’s music, raunchy and full on, great lyrics.  Oh shit I’ve just realised Sue that Jim Steinman wrote the lyrics to No Matter What which Boyzone sang.  Just play the song Sue.”


“My next and fifth song is Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics.  I love the song, my father died when I was 16 and the song reminds of unfulfilled times with my Dad.”


“Sixth song Sue, the best concert I ever went to was Bruce Springsteen “The River Tour” and I love his early work.  I heard the other day that he wrote “Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann” I much prefer his early work even before Born in the USA, and I think Promised Land has so much soul to it.  Will you play the start of the song please Sue?”


“The last but one song Sue, is Lying Eyes by the Eagles.  I love driving along to this song and Take it Easy by the Eagles as well, which reminds me I should have had a Jackson Browne song in because he wrote Take it Easy.  It’s my cruising along song, although I won’t be doing much of that on a desert island will I Sue? Lying Eyes also reminds me of two of my previous partners’ infidelity.  You know who you are!


“The final song is Eva Cassidy’s version of Over the Rainbow.  It reminds me of my beautiful wife Annie and my gorgeous daughter Georgia.  Annie and I played the song a lot when we first met and we had the song as our wedding dance. “Dreams Really Do Come True”  It has with Annie and Georgie, although now I’m stuck on a Desert Island.”


“If I had to choose one of those songs, now that would be difficult Sue.  I always thought it would be Father and Son, but now I’m here, I think it’s between Over the Rainbow (this is the politically correct thing to say because it reminds me of my wife and daughter.  Although Paradise by the Dashboard, and teenage sex is the real answer) or Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, I think I’ll go for the Elton John song and get my moneys worth Sue.”


“Me, practical?  Of course I am Sue, as my mother keeps reminding my wife, I did cook a meal once!”


“Yes Sue, thank you for the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare, I won’t be reading them much.  It’s a tough one on choice of book, there’s many novels I like, Catch 22, Portnoy’s Complaint, Fever Pitch, but I’m going to settle for Julia Cameron’s “Artist’s Way” it’s a great book for developing creativity, it has lots of spirituality within it.  That way Sue I’d be able to write my own novel, though I would need a pen and paper to go with the “Artist’s Way”, is that okay Sue?”


“And the luxury item, well it’s a choice of two, between my guitar which I’d finally like to learn to play, and a PC with lots of software on including a chess programme.  I think I’ll go for the PC with the chess programme and play chess on my desert island.”


“Thanks Sue”


I hope they have me on Desert Island Discs.  Michael Parkinson Next!



Note.  I’ve managed to sneak a few extra things in beyond the rules.  Firstly, I’ve got an extra song in there with Love Lies Bleeding – Elton John, because Funeral for a Friend is a very long intro to Love Lies Bleeding.  Secondly, I’ve got the pen and paper for the novel.  And thirdly, Sue’s not going to check what’s on the PC.  There could be any number of software programmes, and with a bit of luck there’ll be a satellite link with a fast modem connection.  Ha Ha.


Final Note.  I’ve noticed most of my desert island songs are from the same era of mid teens to early twenties. Did I not have a life outside of those years?  Did they write better songs then?  Someone (it was Paul Doherty) suggested, that most of our favourite songs are about unrequited love or remind us of unrequited love.  He’s so right that Paul Doherty.