I don't tend to write a lot about the music that I listen to/participate in, I have sort of obscure tastes by contemporary standards, and have been known to go on somewhat eccentrically. In any case, I wanted to write briefly about two different kinds of "good music:" the great song, and the "desert island album."

Great songs are songs that I love to listen to on endless repeat. I've spent, literally days listening to a single song, they're songs that I know most of the lyrics to (though interestingly the songs I like to sing with other people aren't always the same "great songs.") Here's a tentative list, in no particular order:

  • Louis Killen's singing of "The Leaving of Liverpool."
  • Finest Kind's singing of "The Rose in June" (My dad, by contrast hates this song because it's too religious and it "takes him too long to drown," I think it's a good song in any case.)
  • Martin Simpson's "Love Never Dies," from the Righteousness and Humidity Album.
  • Joni Mitchell's "Case of You" (though "For Free" is a close second).
  • Richard Thompson's "Andalus/Radio Marrakesh" (The first tune on this list, and though I like a lot of tunes, this one is amazing.)
  • Rufus Wainwright's "Hallelujah" (with due respects to Jeff Buckely, actually it's a tie, and Wainright, very rightly cribs from Bukley.) This song shares a brain cell with Josh Ritter's "Harrisburg," thanks to an old roommate, and I think I might like this song more, but in any case.
  • Michelle Shocked's "Come a Long Way,"
  • The Kippling/Bellamy (by anyone) "A Pilgrim's Way"

Desert Island Albums are something completely different, Judy and some other people started playing around with the question "what's the album you'd take to a desert island, if you could only take 1?" I think we decided that it couldn't be done in less than three, but never the less, there are some albums which are just divine as complete entities in themselves, and this doesn't necessarily overlap with the great song category very much. Here's a tentative list of my desert island albums (order not important):

  • Nic Jones' The Noah's Arc Trap (this is Judy's suggestion, and I agree completely.)
  • Eliza Carthy's Rough Music (It's her latest)
  • Jethro Tull's Thick as A Brick
  • Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run
  • Martin Simpson's The Bramble Briar
  • Brian McNeil's Back of the North Wind
  • Fairport Convention's What we did on our Holidays

I think the former category is more subjective than the later, albeit only slightly. Do you have any good suggestions that I might have left off.