The most excellent Emma Williams-Kennedy has started a feature on her website called Ultimate CDs
where everyone gets to send in their ultimate compilation album, encompassing 12 tracks that don't necessarily have anything to do with each other. This is mine, thrown together as songs occur to me. I'll be changing it tomorrow.
1. Joni Mitchell - All I Want
This is the best feel-good song I know, the only thing that is guaranteed to shake me out of a bad mood. I leap about the house singing it really loudly and annoying the neighbours. It reminds me of my strongest, longest running friendships and makes me feel warm, fuzzy and secure.
2. REM - Swan Swan Hummingbird
I was listening to my cassette copy of this album - my favourite REM album of all time - on a beach in Galway while on holiday with my family, and my walkman fell in to the sea and got destroyed, along with the tape. I cried because I loved it so much, so my Dad bought me another copy. A long time after giving out to me for throwing a proper teenage sulk.
3. Mundy - July
Reminds me of Dublin, Whelans, my sister Edel, Edinburgh, my cousin Olivia, my family, the month of July... plus as an added bonus you can play this incredibly loudly and it just improves the sound. Mundy is genius.
4. Ben and Jason - Best Imitation
This is a B-side from one of their singles, and a cover of a Ben Folds song, and it's just damn brilliant. It reminds me of a time when I was falling out of love with someone and it was really difficult to take, but also reminds me that things happen for a reason, and happen for the best.
5. Bonzo Dog Band - Humanoid Boogie
Someone from the internet once completely uninvited sent me a compilation tape, and this song was one of them. It reminds me that people can be really nice for no good reason at all.
6. David Gray - Late Night Radio / Faster Sooner Now
Has to be the live version, where they splice these two songs together and play it really fast and loud.
7. Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You
When this song was out I had two simultaneous, really big crushes on two people, and listening to it still makes me feel high and bouncy and great.
8. Doug Anthony All Stars - Throw Your Arms Around Me
9. The Frames - Lay Me Down
All of my friends, family, people who meet me at bus stops etc are sworn to eternally remember that both of these songs are to played at my funeral. The DAAS song is beautiful and haunting, and should simultaneously make people cry and make my close friends laugh to remember that it's from the same album as the song I F**k Dogs.
10. Mic Christopher - hey day
My sister told me that Mic Christopher had died over the phone. The Frames played this song at New Years Eve that year, with the backdrop showing video footage that best friends Mic and Glen had shot of each other, and a big bunch of us - friends and strangers - put our arms around each other and cried and yelled the song out at the top of our voices.
11. The Bluetones - Bluetonic
In first year in university I played this album over and over until the CD refused to play any more and I had to buy another copy. I didn't know you could do that to CDs. A group of us once walked through Dublin city centre looking for a cab at about 3 in the morning, screaming this song at the top of our lungs.
12. REM - Its The End of the World As We Know It
One summer when I was 16, I sat in my bedroom and listened to this song over and over and over and over until I knew it off by heart to impress a boy. I learnt it all in one day, displaying the sort of commitment I didn't dedicate to my schooling. The only other person who I've ever seen that knows all the words to this song is Ross Noble, who once screamed it at Late N Live in Edinburgh back when it used to be good. I was suitably impressed.