Songs to make you cry

Here are the Top of the Blubs

  1. Brian Kennedy – Captured
  2. Jade – Fly on Strangewings
  3. Van Morrison – Coney Island
  4. Joni Mitchell – A Case of You
  5. Clifford T Ward – Home Thoughts from Abroad
  6. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
  7. Tom Baxter – Almost There
  8. Wendy & Lisa – The Life
  9. Tracey Thorn – By Piccadilly Station I sat down and Wept
  10. Indigo Girls – History of Us
  11. Simply Red – Maybe Someday
  12. Mount Desolation – Coming Home
  13. Amy Macdonald – What Happiness Means to Me
  14. Olafur Arnalds – 3055
  15. A Certain Ratio – The Big E (I won’t stop loving you)
  16. Bob Dylan – Workingman Blues #2
  17. Cat Stevens – Lilywhite
  18. Cathy Burton – Hollow
  19. Clare Maguire – Hope there’s someone
  20. Damien Rice – Cold Water
  21. Five for Fighting – 100 Years
  22. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
  23. Gerry & the Pacemakers – You’ll never walk alone
  24. Horse – Careful
  25. Leon Russell – A Song for You
  26. Level 42 – It’s Over (remix)
  27. Mike Scott – What do you want me to do
  28. Renaissance – Northern Lights
  29. Shelagh McDonald – Stargazer
  30. Something Corporate – Konstantine
  31. The Fat Lady Sings – Arclight
  32. The Hollies – He ain’t heavy
  33. The Psychedelic Furs – The Ghost in You
  34. Guillemots – We’re Here
  35. Willie Nelson – you were always on my mind

Nick Clegg recently admitted that he sometimes cried when listening to certain pieces of music. In the same interview he also said that he didn’t want to become a ‘human punchbag’ for the Coalition Government. It is not recorded whether the two things are connected. As someone who is urging us to put on a brave face as his Government do a ‘repair job’ on the economy, I would ask which of his two faces should we emulate? Anyway, as CS Lewis put it, we are sometimes ‘surprised by joy’ in our everyday lives and this can include music, inducing tears and other forms of emotion. An experience triggered by strong memories, the loss of a loved one, the start or end of a relationship or by just experiencing the wonders of nature on a beautiful Spring day whilst listening on an iPod. For the first time, Nick set me to thinking. Which songs have moved me to tears of exhilaration as well of sadness? Tear smudged and peppered with sparkles of happiness they follow below:

  1.  Brian Kennedy – the most beautiful male voice in the world kills you in the last refrain
  2. Jade – for a moment in the Sixties everything was possible..
  3. Van Morrison – ‘Why can’t it be like this all the time?’
  4. Joni Mitchell – Joni the woman sings Joni the girl. The insight of age tugs at you.
  5. Clifford T Ward – a small death abroad, Keats, Browning and other romantic poets..
  6. Tracy Chapman – We’ve all driven a fast car and left people behind.
  7. Tom Baxter – A relationship that didn’t quite make it. Exquisite.
  8. Wendy & Lisa – Not just any life, the Life.
  9. Tracey Thorn – The saddest voice in the world singing about crying. Perfect.
  10. Indigo Girls – Don’t listen to this alone. The references to Paris will pierce your soul.
  11. Simply Red – Mick Hucknall knew how to manipulate your heartstrings. On this he means it.
  12. Mount Desolation – Keane with emotion. Come home.
  13. Amy Macdonald – Happy and sad all at the same time.
  14. Olafur Arnalds – The sole instrumental. You’ll understand why it’s here.
  15. A Certain Ratio – Manchester in the rain. You won’t stop loving this.
  16. Bob Dylan – A hymn – or an elegy to the working man?
  17. Cat Stevens – Once we were all lilywhite..
  18. Cathy Burton – One of the saddest post-breakup songs ever – and she’s from Littlehampton, the other LA.
  19. Clare Maguire – sings Anthony Johnson in a style so intimate and sad you can hear her crying inside.
  20. Damien Rice – As cold as it gets. The strings alone will destroy you, even before the ‘If I lost you’ refrain and the eery reverse vocals.
  21. Five for Fighting – a commentary on getting old. ‘Fifty, there’s still time for you.’ Phew.
  22. Fleetwood Mac – On the impossibility of rebuilding lives and relationships. Stevie Nicks should know.
  23. Gerry & the Pacemakers – It’s a football thing…
  24. Horse – Unimaginably beautiful Scottish voice. She’s a secret few people know about. Never has being captured sounded more liberating.
  25. Leon Russell – four decades on, this gets me every time..
  26. Level 42 – Beautiful and unbearably melancholic lament to the end of a relationship.
  27. Mike Scott – Whispers ‘I’m listening’. Who to? God, of course.
  28. Renaissance – ‘The Northern Lights are in my heart and my mind, they guide me back to you..’ Beautiful song, beautifully sung by Annie Haslam.
  29. Shelagh McDonald – a choir of what sound like monks join in and create havoc with the emotions
  30. Something Corporate – 9 minutes of angst. By now you’ll be able to handle it..
  31. The Fat Lady Sings – ‘When you shine, you burn me down..’ The Irish always do this sort of thing best..
  32. The Hollies – Yes, it was used for a beer ad. No, Neil Diamond hasn’t written anything better.
  33. The Psychedelic Furs – There’s a ghost in all of us.
  34. Guillemots – Making the most of every day. We’re here. It’s as simple and as profound as that.
  35. Willie Nelson – Even when he’s happy, Willie still sounds sad. This song will finish you off.

Sad, yes, but all these songs are emotional in a good way. Keep your ‘kerchiefs handy, crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy the emotional slalem.

http://www.mediafire.com/?ayf3spnvm6nix51

Hey, I made a film today

I, too, am now a film maker.

It’s always been an ambition of mine to make a film. A proper movie with characters, script, dialogue, a beginning and an end. Ok, I still haven’t done it. But with the help of YouTube I have moved closer to it.

www.YouTube/create

This week with a colleague from Zerofiftyone I attended the Social Media Summit 2011 in Holborn along with around 200 other adherents of new media.

www.thesocialmediaacademy.co.uk

All of us twittered away to our hearts’ content before, during and after the conference. A friend of mine, Ben Lancaster (#benlancaster), picked up a tweet that said I was in Holborn and working around the corner suggested meeting for a pint.

We repaired to The Gunmakers in Clerkenwell (13 Eyre Street Hill, Clerkenwell EC1R 5ET – www.thegunmakers.co.uk). It, too, is social media savvy and had picked up a tweet from Ben that we were coming and welcomed me by name as we entered. The pub now follows me on Twitter (#thegunmakers) and I follow it. It worked, as the next day in the same vicinity with different people I went there again. By then it felt like home. Ok, better than home..

The Conference was  brilliant. An array of great speakers followed one after the other. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare. Among the best was Bruce Daisley, who is Sales Director for YouTube & Display UK.  In June 2010 New Media Age awarded Bruce ‘The Greatest Individual Contribution to New Media’. 

He has worked in radio, spends his days selling open video as a medium and he uses humour to great effect. What’s not to like?

He delivered a disarmingly humorous talk rich in content and insight that started with a large knitted video screen of a Google home page with a space in it for Bruce’s face, which he obligingly placed in the hole.  His Grandmother had knitted it for him.  The audience, won over, obligingly disappeared into his pocket. After a few serious points, he played a succession of videos that show how YouTube is becoming a mainstream search engine platform. He is a passionate evangelist for video and convinced the audience that it is worth exploring. Consider these points:

  • Video creates engagement with your community
  • ‘The most creative communities are those that cultivate the greatest diversity.’ (Charles Landy: The Creative City)
  • One-fifth of YouTube traffic comes from Facebook
  • YouTube is the second most tweeted brand on Twitter
  • 20% of consumption on YouTube is via mobile
  • Mobile views trebled over the last year (the iPad effect)
  • Video is creative, stimulating and open as a platform
  • Video is 50% more likely to appear in SEO results

He threw in a gem amongst the humour. YouTube has adopted video processing software online that enables complete novices to create their own short animated films. You supply the dialogue and direct the facial expressions, choice of set and background music which are available in a wide palette of options, ready to go. Aside from slightly mechanical American voices and transatlantic drawl in the on-screen menus, it is possible to create highly sinuous, fluid action clips in less than an hour.

I know. I’ve done it. Using one of the platforms, Xtranormal Movie Maker, I made a short animated film entitled ‘The Floating Voter’ and uploaded it in about fifty minutes last night. Here’s the lowdown: The days are passing quickly before the political event of the Millenium – the Referendum on the new voting system. Two contemporary characters sit in a clean white office in Hoxton debating the issues of the day.

He is using politics as a means of speed dating. He is keen, anxious and supplicatory. She is savvy, cynical and unmoved. They represent the Zeitgeist. They could be you and me…

You can watch it here. It will probably make you laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3fq6Lw7_vM