Back to Lyrics

I was walking home the other night, and it was later than I really should have been walking alone, and I didn’t have earphones, so I listened to some music out loud, relatively quietly on my phone. I felt like some of the songs really struck me, applied to my life and I was singing along quite passionately. And like I was in a music video. As one does.

My love for good lyrics featured strongly in my idea for this blog, and appeared a lot more in the beginning.

I have thought about giving up this blog recently, partly because ‘social’ media can be such a pain when you have other things pressing, and no one should feel like they have to explain hard, hard things to the internet. (When they’re still trying to figure it out themselves) I find this fascinating but also awful when it comes to the lives of youtube stars, and how they get hounded to share really personal stuff before they’re ready, because the subscribers have questions about what they have shared thus far. I think there’s a thesis to be written somewhere.

But I do love it, and I want to try harder as always! I have recently been thinking about how it’s ok to not have a ‘niche’ to blog in. And in fact the blogs I most love to read are snippets of someone interesting’s life, their views, their experiences.

Here are some lyrics that are comforting and encouraging me at the moment. Feel free to share any that you’re loving too.

  1. Open Arms – Elbow

The first line of this is the tag line of my blog, at the moment. I think the lyrics that most make sense to me at the moment is the chorus, “We got open arms for broken hearts, like yours my boy, come home again.” It’s like a celebration for someone’s return, and the comfort and backwardness of coming home. You’re always you when you’re home, and people know you. “The table’s are for pounding here, and when we’ve got you surrounded, the man you are will know the boy you were.” Ha, I’m crying thinking about it. It’s a whole community coming together to cheer someone up. It’s funny and comforting and deep. I said it before, Guy Garvey is a genius. “And you’re not the man who fell to earth, you’re the man of La Mansha, and we’ve love enough to light the street, cause everybody’s here…”

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Lisa in the Knots video

2. Knots – Lisa Hannigan

A great beat, a good shouty chorus. “In my high heels, and my old dress, with my new keys in the wrong city.” This could apply to so many situations. And she ties knots to remember in her heart. Knots are usually not a good thing either, if your stomach is in knots or even if your heart is tied up in knots. It’s stifling. It’s such a good image. Lisa has a real way with words and it has been myself and Caoimhe’s pleasure to see her live a handful of times.

3. Slow Show -The National

This is my very good friend Lynn’s wedding dance first song. I have recently downloaded it because I kept singing it to myself and thinking about it. It definitely makes me cry sometimes. I can’t admit to understanding the whole of this song. But I think the singer is uncomfortable in the social situation, and he sings, “I want to hurry home to you, put on a slow dumb show for you, and crack you up.” But the most special part of this song comes right at the end, and is the reason my good friend chose it. “You know I dreamed about you, for 29 years before I saw you. You know I dreamed about you, I missed you for 29 years.” My Mum always tells me how she prays for my future husband everyday, and this just make me think of that. And how it is so beautiful!

4. Remember Me (lullaby) – Coco Soundtrack

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Miguel and his beloved great-grandmother Coco, who doesn’t really speak or understand anymore but whom they all treat with such respect and love.

I took my two youngest sibling to see this new Disney Pixar film a few months ago, and we were all in tears! I think everyone could relate to it. It’s basically about death, but portrayed in such a gentle way. The protagonist Miguel somehow gets stuck in the land of the dead during Dia de Muertos. This is a song Coco, Miguel’s great grandmother’s Papa sang to her when she was a tiny girl and he was going touring with his music, “Remember me though I have to travel far, remember me each time you hear a sad guitar, know that I am with you the only way that I can be, until you’re in my arms again, remember me…”

5. Wedding Song – Anais Mitchell

I saw Anais support Josh Ritter in Belfast in December. I thought she was wonderful and talented. This is a song from her musical Hadestown, which I would love to see! It is the courtship of Eurydice by Orpheus. She is coyly asking him, a poor musician living in a deep economic depression, how he will afford to marry her, “times being what they are?”

“Lover when I sing my song, all the rivers sing along, they’re going to break their banks for me and lay their gold around my feet, all a-flashing in the pan, all to fashion for your hand, the river’s going to give us the wedding band.” I think it’s really about faith and trust that things work out, and everything is provided in good time.

 

What I read: January 2018

This long old month is finally coming to a close. I have written 2017 almost every time I have had to write the year, as usual. Only managed 2.5 books this month, there has been a lot going on! I have really enjoyed them however and would like to share.

Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

This was started in 2017 and finished at the beginning of the year. I was really enjoying Master of None on Netflix, and remembered someone recommending this about a year ago. I don’t really know what to comment on the recent accusations against Aziz. This is a great investigation by Ansari and the social psychologist Klinenberg. It begins by polling elderly residents in US residential homes about how they met their partner. And so many were from the same block, or same apartment building! And they were so happy. Now that the whole world is open to us through online dating etc, are people still so happy? It’s witty and thought-provoking, and uses a lot of actual data without being boring at all.

The Power- Naomi Alderman

Really fascinating. Women have developed an electric ‘skein’ a power that allows them to hurt and help with electricity from their fingers. That sounds ridiculous, but it is such an eye opener when men are afraid to walk down the street alone…hold on, is that familiar? And what a basement full of enslaved sex workers will do when someone sets them free and gives them power… Some of the personal stories were not completely riveting for me. Although abused Allie who becomes cult leader Mother Eve, like a holy female Mother is truly amazing. This book rewrites history in a way, a fictional female editor recommends that the man writing this particular history publishes his book under a female name to give him more authority. She thinks the image of male soldiers is super sexy because they’re just so unlikely.

Three things About Elsie – Joanna Cannon

Ah, my personal favourite. And not just because it has a Battenberg pattern on the front! I was crying in Cafe Nero today reading over bits to write this.

  1. The fine threads of humanity will connect us all forever.
  2. There is so very much more to anyone than the worst thing they have ever done.
  3. Even the smallest life can leave the loudest echo.

I have read Dr Joanna Cannon’s blog for so many years, shes a psychiatrist who has worked the hospital wards for many years. Her stories are beautiful, and full of care and patience and love. There is at least one beautiful sentence on every page. I remember printing out a blog post she wrote about her mother getting old for my Mother and Aunt. She’s that good!

Florence, an elderly resident at Cherry Tree Home has fallen and she is waiting to be rescued. She goes over the last few weeks, the new resident who is not as he seems, and tries to find a terrible secret from her past in her memories.

It’s a book about loneliness, friendship, kindness and forgiveness. Flo and Elsie are the stars of the book, the friends. I think I figured out one of the things about Elsie early on, but it didn’t take away from the book at all. It’s interesting in this sense how Elsie prompts and helps Florence remember things. They depend on each othter.

Even the secondary characters Miss Ambrose, who is like the manager of Cherry Tree and ‘Handy Simon’ the repair man, I could really relate to their anxiety and worry about their career, and their meaning of life searches and disappointments and hope. I also think its so special that Joanna thinks of these issues, as she is a Psychiatric doctor, surely she doesn’t have these dilemmas?

We walked into the men’s department, and it was coat-hanger quiet.

Jack bought several pairs of socks and a new pullover (which he said would see him out)

Jo’s experience on hospital wards have inspired her, she’s obviously understanding and kind, she can and does teach us about loneliness and caring for each other.

Perhaps the most important moments of all turn out to be the ones we walk through without thinking, the ones we mark down as just another day…we benchmark our lives with birthdays and Christmases and holidays, but perhaps we should think more about the ordinary days. The days that pass by and we don’t even notice. Elsie once said that you can’t tell how big a moment is until you turn back and look at it, and I think, perhaps, that she was right.

7 Year Itch

They seem to get closer and closer together, but I’m writing this with two minutes to go on the 7th birthday of my dear old blog Life Lyrics and Lemon cake ! Although we had a meagre 2017, (I lost two beloved Grannies ) I’m still proud of my wee section of the internet, and I’m glad I have this platform should I see fit to use it. I have higher hopes for writing for 2018, and I am hoping to make exciting changes to my life really soon, and I want this blog to be there as a testament to that.

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Birthday Card by Happy Jackson

My writing has been virtually non-existent in recent months…years. I know that writing is something important to me, I just wish I could find my fire. Maybe I still have to do a bit of living first?! Half a shelf of beautiful blank notebooks have me thinking.

I have finished my first book of 2018- The Power by Naomi Alderman. Impressive! It took me a while to get through, mostly because of life being busy and my visitors from Germany.

I’m now reading Three Things About Elsie by the wonderful Joanna Cannon. (I’ve loved her blog since forever!) It’s just gorgeous and thoughtful so far. It also has pictures of Battenberg on the cover ! So I hope to have a few reviews soon.

This is my 218th post. I still don’t have a specialised niche. thank you for reading as always about books, letters, love, life, friendship and Josh Ritter.

Also a funny lemon cake story from last year, while in a freezing Strasburg with P in November, we went into a cafe bar for coffee and I was too shy to really use any of my GCSE French (Sorry Monsieur Gallagher). I was asking the lovely French waitress for a slice of lemon meringue in my dirty Derry accent while the half German rolled about laughing and she wondered what in the world I was talking about. I still have to work on my Universal English skillz.

I’m attempting the ‘curly girl’ conditioner-washing method on my hair for a couple of weeks. So far, oily scalp is the problem as I knew it would be, and my hair isn’t going curly very much. There were years when I was about 16 when it really did curl up with no effort! Does anyone have any experience/advice? I wonder should I give up or try to persevere. This is random information, but since we were catching up …:)

Anyway, happy 7th birthday to the blog! Thank you to my readers. Please stay with me on my 2018 writing journey. The internet can be lovely place for creatives sometimes.

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