Category: Music

Whenever I hear The Waterboys – This Is The Sea, after the 1st minute of just basking in its glory my mind goes into a mental sideshow of the fun times of my seagoing career.

I wish I’d taken more photos of it all,had more physical reminders but I didn’t so I don’t have them, but I still have the memories of it.

They are memories of pratting about ashore in far flung corners of the world
They are memories of pratting about in far flung corners of a ships bar
They are memories of laughing & joking with others & strangers
They are memories of fixing & mending for others
They are memories of smiling & laughing about the pratting about
They are memories of nearly falling off a tender after a particularly fun fact finding mission in Pussers Rum Factory
They are memories of making people laugh
They are memories of things that can never be taken off me
They are memories of working at sea
They are memories of things that have changed me
They are memories of things that have made me
They are memories of all that is me, & things yet to come.


Music Ownership Pt2

OK so a while ago I did a blog on music ownership and its ties to your life It was only a brief pre-amble before I launched into the top 5 most memorable/most owned songs of mine.

Anyway I thought I’d develop it a bit more.

Dick Dale once seaid that “Music is the soundtrack to our life” This is a stupid thing to say,what else is going to be a soundtrack? But I get the meaning behind it.

How often have you heard a song and its brought back a memory that, despite how hard you try, results in a gormless grin across your face as you remember the time you thought it would be a good idea to do 40 shots of Southern Comfort in one cocktail party to break fleet record (Walkie talkie Man – Steriogram) or the time when you got cruelly dumped just before you left for a new job (several years ago Linkln Park – In The End).

Its amazing how songs can bring out memories we thought we had hidden deep in the back of our minds. You cant remember why you walked into the kitchen, & all that changed was the colour of the walls, however 10 years pass and you hear “The Troggs – Wild Thing” and you suddenly remember the smell of the perfume of the girl and the time you and 15 of your best mates serenaded her with that song.

Music holds a lot more memories about the past than a lot of us realise. And it doesn’t have to be about the first time you heard the song. I 1st heard Dropkick Murphys – Bar-room Hero at college when I was 18 but it will forever be the song of the time and nights and early mornings I spent partying hard in the Wardroom on the Queen Mary 2.

Certain songs we can’t listen to without a twinge of sadness or bad times come flooding back to us. I can’t listen to Johnny Cash – I Hung My Head without a massive wave of shittyness washing over me. But I listen to it at least 5 times on the 14th Of September every year. We shouldn’t avoid these songs permanently. These songs are as much a part of out life as the memory they help resurface. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be associated with those memories.

We can’t help choose the memories that go with the songs. The same way we can’t help which memories we save for the long term.

All we can do is enjoy the songs that remind us of them. And pray that it isn’t a Daphne and Celeste song that reminds us of certain happy memories (Like one of mine is).

Cheers and ta


Some songs you hear and are emotionally owned by other people. As soon as you hear them they remind you of the, and no matter how many years ago it happened, that song is inscrutably tied to them for posterity.

Through the nature of my work a lot of people come in and out of my life, I spend more time living with a bunch of strangers than I do with my family. Working on ships usually means you end up spending more time with your ships crew in a year than you do with your actual family. Some of these people I come into contact with do get attached to songs I’ve heard. Whether it’s because of a brilliant night out I had with them and it was because I was in a relationship with one of them or what ever.

So here are my top 5, most memorable songs that are tied in with ex crew members / people Ive met at sea

#5 – Dropkick Murphy’s – Bar-room Hero – This actually reminds me of my time working on the QM2. I was a bar-room here (well Wardroom hero as that’s what the officers bar is called). I was out drinking to the extreme every night and if truth be told drinking myself slowly out of reality. I had a great time, but I was turning into the character the song is sung about. One of the reasons why I had to leave that particular chapter of my sea career behind me.

#4 – Beyoncè – Halo – Sangeeta Nagar. I’m not going deep into what happened or why or who did what to who. I have lots of very nice,happy,emotional, proper life improving memories courtesy of that girl and this song. Sorry girls but this song will forever be hers.

#3 – Eminem Feat. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie – Stephen Moody. In a totally none gay way this song reminds me of him. He was my best mate on one ship I worked on, and still meet up with him when I can, but over the Christmas trip this song must have been played at least 10 times a day when we were in the TV room, and every time we went up the road, this song seemed to follow us around. I just had a really good time taking the piss, having beers and time up the road being the lads. It was great.

#2 – Beastie Boys – Sabotage – Tristan – This guy is probably one of my closest friends and I can tell him anything, I first met him when I was a cadet, we both started in the the same year, and he lives near me at home. My every lasting memory of Tristan will be sitting in his room at halls after watching England play rugby on the TV in the 6 nations of 2002, drinking Strongbow through a sieve because we wanted draught cider. He wearing his officers hat as appropriate headgear, me a deerstalker. It was a hell of a night this was the song on in the background, as the warden came in as we were half way through this master plan, took one step in stared, shook his head, and said “Well lads I see England won” and walked out.

#1 –The Waterboys – This is The Sea – The number one spot almost went to The Beautiful South – The Lure Of The Sea, to be honest but this song just has more memories attached to it. This song reminds me of everyone and everything I’ve ever seen or done at sea. My entire working career has been about the call of the sea. I found it hard at 1st but once you let the sea in its bloody hard to let it out. There’s guys at sea who think of it as just a job and others of us who see it as more than that, more as calling. I’m one of those, sure I could do a job similar to this ashore, in a power station or water pumping station or in a shipyard even, but it wouldn’t be the same. I enjoy the freedom it gives me, the ability it gives me to leave everything behind me at home and escape. I’m my own man out here, and have none of the stress and strains I have at home. I can disconnect from life and cocoon myself into this world of mine. My favourite verse from the whole song is this

“ Now I can see you wavering
As you try to decide
You’ve got a war in your head
And it’s tearing you up inside
You’re trying to make sense
Of something that you just can’t see
Trying to make sense now
And you know you once held the key
But that was the river
And this is the sea!”

and its true, at sea my thoughts are different from being at home, it all makes sense, everything. The good, mad and bad, in my life runs linear and is not mixed up. Its just that nice out here.

Its the sea.

Music theory

Music and It’s Place In Relationships.

Due to the fact I’m now a relatively sober man, and my mind is now operating on the normal plain its designed to and that I’m recently single I’ve “rediscovered” music. I never meant to lose it but over the last few years I’ve kind of ended up losing it a bit, maybe I turned my back on it, but I knew it was always there, and I always though of it, (yes I know it sounds strange but I do have an intimate relationship with music).

But music. Music is important to me, and as I’ve found out, more important than I realised. I’ve fallen back in love with it in a whole new way. I’ve found new meaning and new feelings in it this time round. So if any future relationship of mine is going to work, it has to involve music more than it ever has before. I need someone who is as passionate about music as I am. I may not be the world authority on music, but I recognise its important to me, and the soundtrack, literally, it has given me for my life. I remember more what music was playing in the background when I first started talking to someone than I can about most other things.

Our music choices HAVE to be compatible, you cant share a music rack when one of you has the entire back catalogue of Sepatura, whilst the other has an unhealthy addiction to the S Club Juniors. I hate the phrase “pop” music. Because to some this can be anything from The Saturdays to The white Stripes, others think its purely Take That, Robbie Williams, commercial pish. Pop music to me is just that POPular music. Music that charts, music that gets played in the street and fills your mind with memories when you listen to it. It actually sets my teeth on edge when describing what music i like as “pop” music.

But the music of your partner has to mesh, you have to be able to relax to the same sort of music, otherwise how could you ever go to similar pubs,clubs, and parties?

I know there are couples out there that don’t fit this concept, but on the whole I have a feeling that at the base core of most couples who are into music you will find a base few songs or albums that are similar. Hopefully not Venga Boys.