Over the coming months, I’ll be posting my favourite songs of all time – the one’s that made me fall in love with music all over again the first time I heard them, and cause me to fall a little deeper each time I hear them now.

Firstly, the goose-bump-inducing “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush, and it’s accompanying video.


This is one of those songs where the video plays a key role in understanding the song – a man sits alone in a waiting room, impatient, upset, while a woman’s spirit tries to console him; tries to get close to him; but he pulls away again and again. He slips into a reverie where the spirit, his wife, wraps a jacket around him, and we see their love. A nurse pulls him from his reverie, checking on him in the waiting room.

A meal. The wife collapses, and he rushes her to hospital, his last touch of her arm one as she’s rushed away by gurney. Finally, we’re back in the waiting room; the nurse reappears; and she looks positive. She says something to the man, and he sits, in shock, but what seems like relief.

This song will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman’s work, this woman’s world.
Ooh, it’s hard on the man, now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father.

I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking…

…Of all the things I should’ve said, that I never said.
All the things we should’ve done, that we never did.
All the things I should’ve given, But I didn’t.

Oh, darling, make it go, make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.

Kate Bush – This Woman’s Work

www: Kate Bush

A few short weeks ago, something massive happened. Something has changed.

No, I’m not talking about Obama*, but about something nowhere near as important.


The Kings of Leon – those wonderful brothers/cousins/sons of a United Pentecostal evangelist who grew up on the road between Oklahoma City and Memphis – released their forth album, Only By The Night, to critical acclaim. Don’t you love that phrase?

But…but…after the huge first hit single, “Sex on Fire”, they’ve now released their second, “Use Somebody”. And while listening to it, something occurred to me. Kings of Leon have gone rock. Proper rock. From their initial slightly alternative, slightly rockabilly, and mainly catchy-but-weird beginnings, Kings of Leon are now churning out anthemic, lighters-in-the-air four minute mini-epics. Somewhere between U2 and Snow Patrol, Kings of Leon have managed to claw themselves a nice little piece of land, and combined with Caleb Followill’s wonderful voice (listen for the vocal turn on the phrase “use somebody”), I like them even more.

And isn’t that the pinnacle for any artist?

You know that I could use somebody
You know that I could use somebody
Someone like you

Off in the night,
While you live it up, I’m off to sleep
Waging war to shake the poet and the beat

Kings of Leon – Use Somebody

www: Kings of Leon

* For the record – the man can talk the talk. I just hope that he’s ready, willing, able and allowed to walk the walk.

Starting with an insistent guitar motif and some shotgun drums, the Gaslight Anthem are my current favourite Alkaline-Trio-a-like band, with their punk-rock thang. Well, that is, until you listen carefully to their lyrics, which are far darker than you’d expect – moving from the repetitive “Young boys, young girls” call-and-response from “The ’59 Sound” at 2 minutes and 5 seconds, to the overlaying “Ain’t supposed to die on a Saturday night” at 2 minutes 17 seconds.


With lyrics as simple, yet as hard-hitting, as

Well, I wonder which song they’re gonna play when we go. I hope it’s something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow. When we float out into the ether, into the Everlasting Arms, I hope we don’t hear Marley’s chains we forged in life.

Did you hear the ’59 Sound coming through on Grand Papa’s radio? Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls? Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over? Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

And I wonder were you scared when the metal hit the glass? See, I was playing a show down the road
When your spirit left your body. And they told me on the front lawn. I’m sorry I couldn’t go, but I still know the song and the words and her name and the reasons.

if this doesn’t get your foot a-tappin’ and your head a-thinkin’, nothin’ will. Sorry, I’ll use proper grammer now.


The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound

www: The Gaslight Anthem