Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Divine Comedy>Absent Friends

One of my favourite bands of the last decade has to be The Divine Comedy. Standing somewhere in the line between The Smiths and Pulp, they are a band with their tongue firmly in their cheek. Well, when I say 'band' basically I mean the work of Neil Hannon - who is just a great songwriter. If you've never heard one of their songs, then think again because if you've seen the great comedy Father Ted and remember the theme tune - that was written by The Divine Comedy.

Not long ago in a small group meeting at our church we all shared a song that helped us to connect with God. It was my friend Nick who played this particular track: 'Absent Friends' (Absent Friends, 2004). I can't actually remember what he said it did for him - but for me the lyrics are clever, quirky and somehow moving. Each verse tells a real-life tale which evokes a cheerfulness that belies the tragedy lurking beneath. There's a feeling of loss about it - an acknowledgement that we miss those who've been and gone. Those who've made us happy amidst the cruelties that life also throws us. So listen to this song and lift a glass to absent friends and thank God for each of them.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Roy Orbison>It's Over

What's the greatest break-up song ever? Thing is, I'm looking for the best because today is a momentous day. At 3pm I kissed goodbye to the love of my life over the last few months - my dissertation! And as I passed it over to my tutor I could hear strains of Roy Orbison beginning in my head: 'your baby doesn't love you anymore.'

I'm no expert on break-up songs but I just cannot believe there is one better than this one by Roy Orbison (More of Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits, 1964). It's so good it's almost worth breaking up with someone just so you can send it to them as a kind of parting gift! There's just something amazing about that voice and the backing singers - it's heartbreaking.

So it's offical - me and my dissertation are no longer an item. Praise God!