favourite songs

P is for Praying by Kesha

Every time I listen to this song I get chills. Praying is such an emotional and powerful song that at times it’s almost like a punch in the gut.

Praying’s lyrics are just so touching and thought-provoking. It’s a song about healing, finding your inner-strength and leaving toxic people behind. It’s a really important message and hear the lyrics while watching the music video makes it even more passionate and striking.

I really like the way the music is secondary to Kesha’s incredible vocals. It’s easy to think of Kesha’s early dance music that had a lot of production to it, with Praying you really get to hear how talented of a singer she is. This video of people reacting to Kesha hitting that high note with a scream, always puts a smile on my face and makes me feel irrational proud of a woman I have never met.

Praying is an inspiring and powerful song and I love it. Whenever I listen to it I feel stronger and more confident in who I am. It’s an emotional song but also a motivating one.

Praying is one of my favourite songs from last year. I’m someone who very rarely actually buys songs or albums, but I bought Praying, and the album it’s a part of, on the day of its release and I’m so glad I did because the whole album is brilliant.

O is for The Other Side from The Greatest Showman

I adore The Greatest Showman and all its songs. It’s such a feel-good film (I know it seriously glosses over the fact that P.T. Barnum wasn’t a good guy) and I was dancing in my seat in the cinema by the end of it.

I like all of the songs – This is Me is a worthy Oscar nominee – but my favourite song from the film is The Other Side. I think the reason I love it so much is because it feels like a proper musical song. While some of the other songs from the film feel like an interlude, The Other Side actually moves the plot of the film forward and you get an insight into these two characters.

You have Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron singing together, with Jackman trying to convince Efron to join his circus and Efron saying he’s fine as he is. The scene in the film is brilliant as the two of them dance around a bar together with the choreography being some of the best in the film.

I was impressed with myself when I learnt all the words to The Other Side because some of it is a bit of a tongue twister. It’s a really fun, fast-paced song that I can’t help but tap my foot along to. I also enjoy belting out the chorus at the top of my lungs!

I can’t wait till The Greatest Showman is out on DVD so I can watch it repeatedly – this song and the dance that accompanies it will be a part a watch over and over.

N is for No Man’s Land by Rupert Gregson-Williams

Wonder Woman was one of my favourite films from last year, and its soundtrack was the first film soundtrack I’d bought in a few years.

The No Man’s Land sequence in the film, stands out because it’s Diana realising her true potential and becoming the hero she was born to be. She doesn’t believe it when she’s told there’s nothing they can do, nothing no man can do, and instead inspires and leads people in what’s right.

The music that accompanies that scene adds to its power. I love how the beautiful music slowly builds, it starts off so quiet but as Diana walks across No Man’s Land it gets louder and more self-assured.

I think this piece of music is inspiring and emotional. I listened to it on my way to job interviews as it makes me feel confident in my abilities and makes me feel positive that I can tackle whatever is thrown my way.

I said earlier on in this A-Z Challenge that Gimme Shelter used to be my ringtone but was replaced by another song that I’d be talking about. Well, my phone ringtone is this song, more specifically the Wonder Woman theme with all the electronic string instruments that kicks in at 3:23.

I just love this musical work, the whole of the Wonder Woman score is great, but No Man’s Land is an instantly memorable piece of music.

If you want to see the music in action in the film, it starts in this scene as our heroes walk through the trenches and continues in this scene where they fight to save a town. I’d definitely recommend them, I find myself watching them every now and then when I need a boost.

M is for Mr. Brightside by The Killers

There was no other possible choice when it came to my favourite song beginning with M.

I am trash for Mr. Brightside. If there’s any kind of meme on Twitter that’s somehow referencing Mr. Brightside I will retweet it. One of my oldest friends is getting married next month and with the wedding invitation, when you RSVP’d, you could also suggest a song to play at the reception, and I of course suggested Mr. Brightside. Can you imagine a bunch of wedding guests jumping and screaming along to this song?! To be honest, I don’t have to as the last wedding I went to the band there played Mr. Brightside and we did all shout along enthusiastically with overly dramatic gesturing.

I really don’t know what it is about this song that makes me love it so much, and how it’s become “that song” for me and so many other people of my generation. It was released when I was 13 so I’ve probably been dancing along to it and screaming the words from school discos, to night clubs, and to weddings.

It’s a song that has definitely been a part of my formative years and one that I have so many vivid memories of. With different friends, at different points of my life, I have sung along to this song – in a friend’s kitchen, in a piano bar with new work colleagues, and in my uni nightclub.

Mr. Brightside is a song that brings people together, especially millennials I feel. I don’t know what makes it so special, but it has some magical quality to it that makes it a song I can never get tired of.

L is for Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble by PJ & Duncan aka Ant & Dec

I don’t think this song is one that’s made it internationally and I would be very surprised if Americans have heard of it, but it’s a very British attempt at a hip hop song.

Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble is a bit of a nonsense song, the lyrics don’t make much sense and those that do are corny, but the beat of the song and how catchy the chorus is you can’t help but dance. I just love this song a lot, it’s pure 90’s nostalgia for me.

Originally released in 1994 by PJ & Duncan aka Ant and Dec (the guy’s real names are Ant & Dec but they used their characters names from the show Byker Grove when they attempted to have a music career after leaving the show) it reached number 18 in the UK charts. But! When the duo performed the song on their show Saturday Night Takeaway in 2013, it only went and reached the number one spot! I remember watching the show and I cheering and clapping when the music started because it was so unexpected and so much fun seeing these guys perform their best-known song after about 15 years. They’re entertainment presenters now and have left their attempt at a music career far behind them so seeing them “rap” was very funny.

The video below is of that performance in 2013 because it puts a smile on my face every time I see it, but if you fancy seeing the original music video it’s here.

K is for Kings and Queens by Thirty Seconds to Mars

I love how this song starts off so quiet with almost ambient sounds and then kicks in with the vocals and instruments. It’s a song that constantly ebbs and flows and builds with Jared Leto’s vocals at the forefront of it all.

I think Kings and Queens was the first Thirty Seconds to Mars song that I ever heard, or at least the first that made me sit up and take notice. I bought the album this song was on and it was an album I listened to a lot when I was at college, I distinctly remember working in my college’s library with my headphones in and this song playing. It’s funny how some songs can take you back to a certain place and time so easily.

Kings and Queens is one of those songs I listen to when I want to feel inspired and motivated. It’s about the endless possibilities we have as people and how we can be the leaders of our own story. The choric sound that’s present in the song at different parts gives me chills. I think it’s because I love it when you can hear a crowd singing along with an artist and it reminds me of that – that sense of togetherness.

J is for Jack Sparrow by The Lonely Island ft. Michael Bolton

This song is so stupid but so fun and ridiculously catchy – I love it!

This was the first Lonely Island song I’d ever heard. I remember being in my first year at University, watching the music video for Jack Sparrow on repeat so I could learn all the words and I was instantly sold on The Lonely Island as a group. I went back and watched so many of their other music videos and instantly bought the album Jack Sparrow was a part of – “Turtleneck & Chain”. I can’t remember how I came across the music video for Jack Sparrow (probably Tumblr) but I’m so glad I did.

The way Jack Sparrow jumps between being a hip-hop song about going to clubs and getting with girls, to an almost love ballad about Jack Sparrow really shouldn’t work but it really does. The way members of The Lonely Island comment on Michael Bolton’s lyrics as he sings, and how Bolton also jumps in singing “Now back to the good part!” is funny. It’s tongue-in-cheek and I love that.

I love the different movie references in Jack Sparrow and how Michael Bolton gets into costume. It makes the music video brilliant, and the lyrics themselves are funny though crude. The chorus of Jack Sparrow just feels epic and I can’t help but sing along to it.

I is for Independent Women, Pt. 1 by Destiny’s Child

This song is on my Kick-Ass Inspirational playlist and its place there is well deserved. It’s a feel-good song and a feminist one too. I’m very much an independent person, and probably thanks to my mum, I definitely makes sure when there’s something I want, I save and buy it with my own money.

I think the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack was one of the first CD’s I bought, and it was definitely the first CD I listened to repeatedly because I liked how different the songs all were, and I wanted to learn all the words.

Destiny’s Child were a group whose music I grew up listening to on the radio, but they weren’t an act whose music I bought (to be honest, I never really bought many individual artists albums when I was growing up – I was all about the compilation albums) so Independent Women was my go to Destiny’s Child song for the longest time.

I just really love Independent Women. I think it’s a great song for a film like Charlie’s Angels, it’s an inspiring song and it’s a great song to sing along and dance to.

H is for Hold On! I’m Comin’ by Sam & Dave

I feel like I’m going to say this for many of these A-Z posts, but I’m not sure where I first heard this song. It was probably in a TV show, film or trailer because it goes so well with scenes of people running and potentially heists as well. I know it’s used in The Blues Brothers but that’s a film I haven’t seen. There’s been tonnes of covers too – always a sign of a great or influential song in my opinion.

Hold On! I’m Comin’ is such a fun song. I love the music, the instrumental introduction with horns is just fabulous, and whenever I hear it I can’t help but bop along to it.

Soul and R&B music from the 60’s isn’t exactly my forte, a lot of the time when I hear music from that era I enjoy it or have heard it before but it’s not music I grew up on or anything. Sam & Dave are a musical duo and I think how their voices work together is beautiful, and the music itself is fun and energetic. The soul music of the 60’s is definitely unique. I mean, it’s rare that we get songs released with big bands that aren’t just covers today. Nothing beats the sound of a brass band and a couple of great vocalists.

G is for Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones is one of those bands where I probably know more of their songs than I realise, but as they were never a band I grew up listening to, I don’t count myself as a fan.

Gimme Shelter is my favourite song of theirs and not only because it’s pretty much the only one I can name. I love the guitar intro and how it slowly builds with the female vocals joining in. I love the rhythm of the song, and how Mick Jagger’s voice works so well with Merry Clayton’s. I love how the song comes to a close and she almost screams the final stanza. It’s got so many great elements that come together to be one great rock song.

Gimme Shelter has been used in so many films, TV shows and trailers, like The Departed and Layer Cake, that in my mind the song is almost synonymous to gangster films and guys running from the law. I think it’s because it’s got this dark, gritty edge with it that helps me visualise that kind of scenario when listening to it.

For a time, Gimme Shelter was my ringtone, I love it that much, now it’s been replaced by another song that will be featuring in this A-Z Challenge so keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for that!