You know how it is. You're walking past the radio on a Sunday morning (or a Friday, if you're a lazy slacker like me), a bit of Radio 4 accidentally gets in your ears and, before you know where you are, it's out with the paper and pencil and you're committing your carefully considered 8 discs (plus luxury item and book other than the Bible or Shakespeare) to paper just in case you ever get famous enough to be asked to participate in a long-running British radio institution!
Or is that just me?
Anyway, having long ago failed to narrow down the possibilities of my Desert Island Discs Vanilla to under 1000, I've recently taken to categorising them (being an ex-librarian) into subgroups: Desert Island Folk, Desert Island Patti Smith, Desert Island Classical, Desert Isalnd Kazoo Orchestras and so on.
So today I offer for your entertainment Desert Island Weepies – the eight records which, above all others, make me blart my eyes up (or “cry” as I believe you call it on this planet) every time I hear them . If you have tears to shed, prepare to shed them now:
- 1952 Vincent Black Lightning – Richard Thompson Not the whole song (though it is damned good) but just the bit where he sings “I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome/ swooping down from heaven to carry me home”. Even typing it now brings a lump to my throat.
- Bloody Motherf***ing A**hole – Martha Wainwright She sings the refrain with such desolate passion – gets me every time
- Mama Hated Diesels So Bad – Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen So corny, so cheesy – a real quesadilla of a track – but so very, very touching once you get past all that.
- Bridge Over Troubled Water – the Johnny Cash version Not got much time for the original, which is far too sweet for my taste, but Johnny Cash plays a blinder and you just know he's singing it for June.
- No Man's Land – June Tabor Quintessential WWI story, quintessential English folk voice. I love June Tabor so much I want to have her children.
- Bandera Del Sol – Tish Hinajosa Not all my weepy songs are sad songs. This one is beautiful, triumphant, celebratory and makes you want to go “yeah!” very, very loudly
- Beneath the Southern Cross – Patti Smith What can I say - she is a god, I am her acolyte and this makes me cry.
- Individual – Rose Kemp 17-year-old scion of folk royalty sings about being as good as anybody else: “Every girl wishes she was/ thin like all the other girls and / pretty like all the other girls and/ smart like all the other girls are”. My own story exactly.
Luxury item: neverending box of tissues. Book: The Nation's Favourite Poems for Funerals. And bring on the blartathon.
OK, I've shown you mine, now you show me yours. You know you want to.