Tag Archives: music

Silly Love Songs

I was picked on by our minister in our morning service this week to answer a question on the spot with no preparation. I failed to come up with any sort of useful, amusing, appropriate or otherwise answer. Normally I’m not this lost for words, at least coming up with something half witty, only to refine it beautifully as the opportunity passes. But this one had me stumped.

The question – “Tell us the name of a song that describes your love for Rhys“. (Rhys, by the way being my husband of nearly nine years in case you don’t know us and thought the minister was being ,really odd.)

So being me, a fan of Richard Thompson, June Tabor and various other expounders of love gone wrong, I had a thousand inappropriate songs going through my head. There are other songs that as a couple we have adopted as our songs over the years. None of these have anything to do with love, other than occasionally in the aforementioned ‘gone wrong’ capacity. One of the songs played at our wedding reception by friends who know us very well was Matty Groves (incidentally I just tried to link to a blog post I made about that song in mid May 2003, but it seems to have been written before the days of permawiblinks. It appears I was having a very bad day that day, so I’ve taken my own advice and am typing this post into Word first too). It turns out that there were people in the congregation willing me to come out with something highly inappropriate and therefore hilarious. Not being one to totally disappoint, it’s a little too late for the sermon, but the one I should have said was “Great Balls of Fire” – can anyone do any better?

Really there is no song that describes my love for Rhys, or any significant part of our relationship. We are two unique individuals, just as God intended, and therefore make a unique couple. Neither of us are popular songwriters (thank goodness), and no-one without an inside knowledge of our relationship could write a song about it. So even when you take away all the songs where love goes wrong or was never meant to be or is cruelly cut short, you are left with a (small) handful of songs that mostly don’t quite hit the mark. One or two other people were asked, and gave the answers; “It Must Be Love” (Which is admittedly a weak point in my argument, being a good song and fairly good at describing love, I think it’s just too cheery for me though.), “When I’m Sixty Four” (The respondent being that age), something by Dire Straits (reflecting husband’s music tastes) and “Wonderful Tonight” (vomit)

As the sermon went on, the point was made that these songs are different to the love songs we sing as part of our worship together. (‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ titles apart), yet this is where we really have to rely on the words of others to describe our personal relationship. And maybe this is why so often that act of congregational singing can be so difficult. Sometimes those words seem a million miles away from what we want to be saying to God. I would never serenade Rhys with a rendition of ‘Wonderful Tonight’ (partly because I can’t sing and don’t know the words to be fair) because it just isn’t what our relationship is about. So what does God think when I join in with a song just because everyone else is singing. What does He think when I sit one or two out?

By the end of the service none of these questions were answered. It had occurred to me though that ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ was as close to the mark as I’ll ever get to a song that describes my love for Rhys. I whispered it to him as the music group started up the closing chorus and he smiled, so that’s the one.


I could go on typing this blog entry and deleting it and re-typing it differently all morning. There are no right words. I wish I’d known Mike better, but what I did know of him was a man that didn’t waste a thought or a minute. And a man that sang a lot of Kate Rusby songs. I’ve had one of her songs going round my head ever since I heard that he’d been found dead, I don’t know how apppropriate it is in others’ eyes, but in my confused and numb state of mind it seems strangely fitting. The lyrics are here in case they are of help to anyone else:

Who will sing me lullabies

Lay me down gently, lay me down low,
I fear I am broken and won’t mend, I know.
One thing I ask when the stars light the skies,
Who now will sing me lullabies,
Oh who now will sing me lullabies.

In this big world I’m lonely, for I am but small,
Oh angels in heaven, don’t you care for me at all?
You heard my heart breaking for it rang through the skies,
So why don’t you sing me lullabies,
Oh why don’t you sing me lullabies.

I lay here; I’m weeping for the stars they have come,
I lay here not sleeping; now the long night has begun.
The man in the moon, oh he can’t help but cry,
For there’s no one to sing me lullabies,
Oh there’s no one to sing me lullabies.

So lay me down gently, oh lay me down low,
I fear I am broken and won’t mend, I know .
One thing I ask when the stars light the skies,
Who now will sing me lullabies,
Oh who now will sing me lullabies.

Who will sing me to sleep
Who will sing me to sleep
Who will sing me to sleep
Who will sing me to sleep

Kate Rusby

Rest in peace Mike.

If out, leave at Number 12…

We’re getting our first organic veg. box delivered tomorrow. All very good we hope. Today we had a delivery of tinned stuff, meat and toiletries from Tesco. Every other morning Brian delivers our milk. Our DVDs come through the post, as does quite a lot of other stuff in the way of entertainment thanks to Amazon and other select sites. Do I actually need to go out? Probably not, which is a little scary.

My extra time in the house – and therefore on the internet – has yeilded this great site (not work safe) though. type in a lyric, and it will sing it! It works best with American spellings, and is still a work in progress, but is very cool. Thanks to Claire on Neighboursfans.com for the link.

Off to make some lemon cakes now, and spread the love… or something.

Catch you.

Oh dear

It’s not that I’ve done nothing this morning, but was wondering why the quite so severe lack of motivation until I realised that I was listening to Marvin Gaye – doh.

We had a great weekend, flying kites with no wind (again, doh), lovely tortilla wraps, refried beans do really make a difference and some great films – The Third Man, The Woodsman and Kes. OK not particularly happy films – the lodger likes her films to be a bit more entertaining and braindead (I think that’s what she said) and left us to it, but as I think I’ve probably said before, I’m a sucker for a miserable ending and would choose One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest over Shrek every time (for oh so many reasons but I won’t bore you today)

It was not a great weekend for liquids around me however, an entire large teapot full of (thankfully lukewarm) tea got upended over the breakfast table, narrowly missing the lodger. This should have been a good sign that I should opt out of communion serving in the evening service, but no, one of the pew cushions and a section of the floor will never be the same again. Good job we’re beginning major renovations really, whether they’ll let me serve when we get the nice new chairs remains to be seen…

…Well the Marvin Gaye CD has finished, need to find something with a bit more oomph – Any suggestions?

Also any suggestions for the Guardian quick crossword – we seem to have a Gilbert and Sullivan theme, which makes me a bit lost – to quote a certain recording artist – “What’s Going On?”


So I’ve worked out I only need to update one or twice a month, as the comments keep everyone going in the between times. Just kidding, but no more promises to update with any more regularity, these are busy times (which probably means I’ll be updating in order to hide from all I have to do…)

The festivals review (that’s probably been so long awaited that most of you went past caring months ago):

The Gower Folk Festival

This was a really chilled out and relaxed weekend, no camping as it’s about 25 minutes drive away and a fantastic lineup. We had really been looking forward to seeing The Old Rope String Band again, and introducing their unique humour and skill to friends who had yet to come across them. Tragically only a couple of days before the festival Joe Scurfield of ‘TORSB’ was killed in a hit and run incident on his way to the pub in Newcastle. There were many songs and tributes dedicated to Joe, but the overall feeling whenever we thought of it was just one of disbelief. The thing about folk music is that it’s about real stuff a lot of the time. Often it has an emphasis on the tragic, but there is always a lot of poignancy at events like these, this one was just even more so. There were some great sets from Steve Tilston, Spiers and Boden and the Wrigley Sisters. We went also to the ceilidh and to the church service (a fantastic little place where the minister has trained as a postmaster so as to use the schoolrooms as a Post office during the week – sadly under serious threat of closure by the URC) and had fab veggie breakfasts and watched the ducks and caught up with old friends and met new ones.

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

Or just Cropredy really. This was my 11th Cropredy, but my first on a canal boat – in fact my first stay over on a canal boat full stop, getting my ‘sea legs’ (technically ‘canal legs’, but that sounds odd) was fine, it was the land legs that were the problem (especially with everyone around swaying to the music) We were sharing the boat with Wood and Tracy who were, but are no longer ‘Cropredy Virgins’ according to the festival parlance. Wood was having a little trouble adjusting to some of the expressions and assumptions prevalent at Cropredy – especially the use of the word ‘god’ for Richard Thompson – an expression that I’m not going to argue against as long as it stays a small ‘g’. Musical highlights for me included Richard Thompson – always at his best at Cropredy, the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain and Beth Neilson Chapman. Jah Wobble was ok and Fairport started out a bit rough but got better. The boat meant that we managed to aviod the rain pretty much completely and it didn’t rain during Richard Thompson’s set for the first time in many many years. Fab weekend – but then it always is.

Pontardawe Festival

Another local one that we stopped in on for the afternoon, Rhys did some morris dancing along with my dad, and soon after decided to give it up (I thought he was quite good, but what do I know?). A pleasant enough festival, but I’d rather enjoy the atmosphere from the point of view of a punter than of the spouse/daughter of participants.


Was as fab as ever, introduced Jacqui to it’s delights, and discovered a few new delights of my own – mostly in the form of pancakes. The new site layout worked really well once we all got used to the fact that it took a while to get from Stage 1 to Cedar etc. Didn’t do a lot of worship stuff, or spend quite as much time in the (relocated) Tiny Tea Tent as in previous years, but enjoyed a lot of talks and comedy stuff and bits of music. Jim Moray was as (thinks of polite words) diametrically opposed to my music tastes as I thought he would be. Wasn’t fussed over Duke Special either – went and looked at a thoughtful display of shoes at that point. Karine Polwart and Martha Tilston were both pleasant enough, and the Proclaimers were brilliant. Great to meet some wib-people at the meetup, and to hear the bloggers panel too.

Bromyard Folk Festival

Last year at Bromyard, Isobel was there, she was 9 years old and although she suffered from Cystic Fibrosis she seemed fine. We played games, mucked around, she was part of the Chinese Dragon parade it was great. She didn’t make it to Christmas, or her 10th birthday. At her funeral there was music from a lot of the people that she had heard and enjoyed at Bromyard and elsewhere. This year she wasn’t there physically but the memories of last year meant that she was present at the turn of many corners. Especially seeing the Chinese Dragon go by.

The first night of Bromyard was also the night that the other to members of The Old Rope String Band took to the stage with Joe’s girlfriend to perform a tribute. The balance was perfect, the right amount of sad reflection, but a lot of the hilariously funny spirit that we associated with the band.

The rest of the festival was thankfully normal Bromyard. A new veggie cafe has opened up since last year, the craft fair was very good as usual. Musically Colum Sands was great as were Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies. Artisan were fantastic as ever, it’s a pity in some ways that they are splitting up to start new projects, but I’m sure they will be just as good in future guises.

So that was the festivals review of 2005. Maybe I’ll see you at one or more of them in 2006?

great game

You’ll need sound for this, and I’m not sure what it’s like on a dial-up connection, but this is the cool game of the day for me, type in the name of practically any artist to get a 10 round music quiz based on their recordings – cool or what? (I did best on Kylie, although I reckon the Richard Thompson one was a little obscure)

(edit: remembered to add that I got the link off of the Neighbours forum general chat boards, where I have spent much of the day discussing the wonderful Alan Fletcher)

Still excited

Martin Carthy: Did you enjoy the gig last night?

Lemly: Yes, it was fab, there were 4 other wibloggers there too, so you should get some more good reviews soon. It was great to hear that Swarb’s out of hostiple too. And as a thank you for signing my CD last night, I will honour you with a (slightly squashed) guest appearence on my advent calendar!

Martin: Thank you! I hope you’ve found some Aussie Chocolate for Deeleeea?

Lemly: Actually, I did a little web-based research and found that chocolate wrappers are remarkably similar down-under, so she should normally be fine. Not sure about the Fair Trade ones though, and yesterdays was. Answers will be posted here before the end of December, so you can catch up on any you missed before the January diet! And so, without further ado, here is day 6:

What's behind the square window?

With a little help from my friends…

Paul: What? How did we help you?

John: Yeah, I mean Yoko and I helped you launch this, and George’s mystic sitar playing would inspire anyone…

George: Ta John

Lemly: Actually I meant help from my husband, who typed up today’s Bible verses, and chose the pictures and jokes. Not that I mean to discount the amazing influence you guys’ music has had on my life…

George: Does that mean that Rhys is still in some small way still blogging?

Lemly: It does indeed George, though he’ll kill me for mentioning this, it’s a sore topic – Oh, sorry John, no offence meant.

John: None taken

Ringo: What would you do if I sang out of tune…

Entire world: Shut up Ringo!

Lemly: Well, it’s been nice chatting to you guys, but I really ought to unveil todays window, see you soon.

Fab Four: Bye!

Worrying isn’t it? Here’s number 3:

What's behind the square window?

Sitting comfortably?

Not something generally possible on the main site at Greenbelt, but nevertheless, a cracking weekend. Highlights included a quiz show, some poets, a birthday party, some French food, a shower off site, inspiring speakers from Scotland, Oz and Cambridge, some good music, amazing installations and tons of ideas to bring back to church. Oh and some new trousers which now need a wash, thanks to all the mud.

Retuned home to spend some quality time with the tv and dvd player. Having survived 17 Neighbourless days, I was glad to come back to a good episode, some great lines between Susan (just snogged a priest) and Sindi (walked in on them). Also watched Aliens (excellent) and the first 4 episodes of Black Books (also v. good).

It is our church day of prayer today, and also time to clear up from Holiday club and prepare for Sunday School. Really I want to stay in and read Salman Rushdie (finally got to the point of really quite enjoying it) but that’s just me, and anyway, I want to get a start on bringing Greenbelt home…

If I were a butterfly… I wouldn’t be inside on a day like this.

A long day spent preparing for a prayer meeting. Not only could I not find the acetates for ‘If I Were A Butterfly’ (which for some reason we decided to sing) we also didn’t have any acetates. The local stationers, although helpful enough to be there and sell acetates charged through the nose, and so when one cocked up I found myself scratching off the words ‘fuzzy wuzzy bear’ so that the 90p sheet would not go to waste.

Another shop opened today, very near the stationers, it is very odd to have a delicatessen in walkable distance from my house (and right underneath the flat of one regular reader of this blog, but she’s away on holiday). They sell very nice cheese anyway, please visit their site if you live near them, and encouraging them to stock fair trade produce would be good. Ta.

Anyway, must go, the prayer meeting and a bacon sandwich calls.