Sunday, September 18, 2011

The theme song to my life

The original meaning of the word Babe
I don’t profess to be a musical genius of any sort. I’ve never really been that up to date with all the latest songs (though I suppose it’s hard to avoid not knowing about Lady Gaga’s latest hit) and I find it extremely awkward if someone asks what music I like, because I really don’t know how to answer that question. I like a bit of alternative rock but at the same time, am a sucker for an assortment of 90s classics (the “Love God” Richard Mercer would be proud of my Love Songs Dedications Hits knowledge).

But there have always been certain songs at the top of my lists – theme songs. I don’t know if I’m alone on this one, but theme songs just get me everytime (probably to the point where I’d say I’d get emotionally attached to many of them).

I put this down to the fact that I’m a huge sucker for nostalgia, and a lot of these songs remind me of particular places or good laughs I’ve had with family or friends (for example, the time my mum and I were playing the PM’s Love Theme from the movie Love Actually on the way to school a couple of years back, and as we were driving up the hill, we were in hysterics as we waved in a very royal fashion out the window to people walking by – trust me, we still find it very funny to laugh about. You need to listen to it to get the vibe we were channelling).

I suppose it’s also just one of those things where everyone wishes they had a soundtrack playing to their life. There are some moments where an orchestra playing in the background would be very apt, but as this is a very unlikely possibility, you’ll just have to keep imagining :)

For all those theme-song-lovers out there, here is my top 10:

1. Star Wars – I don’t think anyone would not know this tune. Where would the opening “In a galaxy far, far away” credits be without it? I can hear the “bzz-bzz” of lightsabers already!

2. Titanic: Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On – so much loved-up drama, set within a historical context. I’m sorry, but I have to say you’re a bit heartless if you don’t tear up inside a little when you hear this one. Poor Rose and Jack :(

3. Harry Potter – perhaps we’ve heard it a few too many times over the past decade, but I think that’s exactly what makes it so great. To still hear the same piece 10 years after I saw the first movie at the cinema when I was eight – that’s something pretty special. Definitely one that evokes the nostalgia within me.

4. Man From Snowy River – I don’t think I’ve ever actually even seen this movie, but it always reminds me of when I was younger and the live show was first staged at the Easter Show. Armed with bundles of showbags and blocking my ears from the booming fireworks, I’ll always link this song to a part of my childhood.

5. Jurassic Park – this one in particular gives me the goosebumps. I remember standing with my mum at Universal Studios in Hollywood on my first big holiday, as we waited for my brother and dad to come splashing out of the boat tunnel that a T-Rex supposedly pushed down. I was too small (and most likely, too scared) to go on the ride, but it’s pretty special when a song can take you back to an exact place, over 10 years ago.

6. Babe – back in the day when the word “Babe” immediately connotated thoughts of a cute, squeaky-voiced pig that lived with a family of Border Collies and a naughty, clumsy duck, rather than as a term you’d casually call your best friend – so seems to be the case these days. Sung by three mice that popped up on the bottom of the screen with the conclusion of each scene, it’s definitely one of those feel-good classics that you’ll continue to watch over and over.

7. Home Alone – another John Williams success. The song conjures up images of a mean cousin’s tarantula, a blow-up doll dancing in a bathtub, a seemingly mad bird-woman who is in fact very kind, a pair of turtledoves and a never-ending loop of traps designed to get the baddies! “KEVINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!”
(note: you should probably watch Home Alone 1 and 2 if you haven’t because, a. not only would you think what I’m writing is utterly strange, but b. you’re totally missing out if you haven’t seen them).

8. Forrest Gump – who can resist saying that “Life is like a box of chocolates”, and screaming, “RUN FORREST, RUN!” at someone who is running by? A beautiful movie with a beautiful score to match (and in my opinion, the best actor alive starring in it, Tom Hanks), what isn’t to love about the piano tinkle of this piece?

9. Pirates of the Caribbean – the first movie was my favourite for quite some time (I remember getting full marks for my dodgy glue-stick pictures/words collage combination review of it in Year 6), but the following movies for me went downhill from there. Still, a lively piece of music that evokes memories of a nighttime boat ride in Disneyland (the place that really is the happiest on earth, no kidding) – it’s a keeper.

10. And the best one of all… the Raider’s March from Indiana Jones. Does Dr Jones need any explanation? The man with the hat can get himself out of any situation. Wa-chhhh.

While there are a lot theme-songs that are at the top of my music charts (that sounded incredibly lame, but you know what I mean), for those that are looking for a SOUNDTRACK to their life, here are a few of my favourites:

Mary Poppins: yes, it is a musical but I will always love the movie version – Julie Andrews IS Mary Poppins, there’s no doubt about that. Favourite tracks: Feed the Birds, Fly a Kite and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (the best one is when Mr Banks goes insane at the end with his popped-out top hat and starts merrily singing through the streets).

Love Actually: it’s slightly rude but very funny – Love Actually is one of my favourite movies of all time. As mentioned before, the PM’s Love Theme is a great one to play if you want to pretend you’re royalty in the car when sitting in traffic, but other favourites in the movie are Christmas Is All Around (though I don’t condone outbursts of swear words, Bill Nighy’s version at the beginning always me giggle) and Jump – who can forget Hugh Grant’s awkward bum-wiggle dance through his house in beat to the song?

Father of the Bride: back when Steve Martin didn’t freak me out, I love both the first and second installations of the film (and I will continue to talk like Franck). Best tracks are of course the wedding classic Canon in D, and The Temptation’s My Girl, pretty much the epitome of the whole father/daughter bond through the film. Here's another song, Today I Met The Boy I'm Going To Marry:

Tarzan: all I need to say is, Phil Collins. Oh, and I can’t help but laugh whenever the song “Moves Like An Ape, Looks Like A Man” pops up onto my iPod. Reminds of of a PE lesson at school where Sarah and I both quoted the song simultaneously and proceeded to move like apes across the hockey field. Weird, I know. But hilarious.

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: it takes a special sort of person to appreciate a film like this. I’ve hyped it up and shown it to some friends before, who’ve then raised their eyebrows at me, forcing me to turn the film off as I was the only one laughing BUT I know there are people out there that love this 90s classic. There are many songs in the movie that I love (e.g. Naked Eyes’ Always Something There To Remind Me), but the three-person interpretative dance that went to Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time is the best.

And with that, I’ll leave you with this:

Are you a sucker for theme songs? Do they give you goosebumps when you hear them? Vote on the poll on the right of this page as I’d love to know I’m not alone on this one (or perhaps I am…).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Springtime through a camera lens (well, an iPhone to be exact)

I have been terribly slack with this blogging business lately, and although this won't be a very long post, I've followed what seems to be a blogging trend and posting photos I've taken using the Instagram app on my iPhone - makes even the worst photo look instantly "arty"!

Emma and I had lots of fun on our lunch break today at interning trying to take as many arty photos as we could. Here are just some, and as the title suggests, you really can sense the start of spring in the air. It was a little bit cold to start with, but soaking up the sun at lunch was so good - was definitely hard going back to the office, away from the beautiful sunshine.

I will post something properly soon as I'm on a short break now, and I can see I'm still getting page hits (so please keep coming back!)