One song does plenty

‘So many ways to be betrayed believe me when I say I think that I would die without good music’.

Joan Jett, Goddess of Rock and Roll.

It’s not just music royalty that need tunes to live- music to most people is what cocaine is to crack whores- we need it to get by. It can cheer you up, or bring you down. Forget time machines, music has the power to transport you back to any memory, from the death of a loved one to the time you watched a  Power Ranger get off with Pocahontas (we’ve all been there right?). But, take a minute, what is your most memorable song? Let go of your integrity, stop trying to be cool, and just think of the song that means a hell of a lot to you. It’s a tough one, right?

I asked some of the charming chaps of the North what their most memorable song is and why…


Gary Song

Gary, Paul Weller, You Do Something To me

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“This song reminds me of falling in love with a lass who lives a couple of streets away from me in Southwick. I worked with her Dad and she’s twenty years younger than me but we had such a laugh and just hit it off. We used to get drunk on vodka. She listened to shit music like Steps but this song… even thinking of it makes me cry now ‘cos we split up in January.”

Hoobastank The Reason.
Sharron and Nick, The Reason- Hoobastank 

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“I was stuck in the house for over twenty years looking after my sick Mam and young son. One day I got a babysitter. I went to ‘Annabel’s’ rock night in Sunderland city centre. I was sitting in a booth on my own when Nick offered me a flyer. Before long we were playing thumb wars. He totally changed my life. I was stuck in a rut and he helped me to see that it could be different. We became an item and one day, when we came back from the pub, my guinea pig had gone missing and I was crying on the floor. He blurted out ‘will you marry me?’ I presumed it was just to stop me crying but he was serious. We’ve got two young daughters now. You have to listen to the lyrics to this song to really understand why it’s so memorable.”

Stephen's song

Stephen, Buffalo Soldier, Bob Marley

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“I sing this to my bairns in the car. They know all the words. Of an evening I love chilling out with a smoke to Bob Marley – nothing better. But when my wife gets pissed- she’ll kill me for telling you – she uses the potato masher as a mic and sings ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’.”

Belly dancing picture

Kay, Batwanes Beek- warda

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“Back in the 1980’s I went to a fancy dress party as a belly dancer. My mates were egging me on to dance but I didn’t know what to do. I decided to learn. At first, the music sounded really odd. I didn’t understand it. It was a long painful journey. I missed a whole period of Western music in the 1990’s. I just stopped listening to anything other than middle eastern music for a couple of years to try to connect. Like when you know what’s going to happen next in a pop song I started to get that with Egyptian songs and I fell in love with it. They have an extra depth, and notes and techniques we don’t use in the West. In 1995, I packed in my job with British Telecom to teach belly dancing and run tours to Egypt. Now I run the only accredited teacher training school for belly dance in the country. Warda was an Egyptian singer. This song translates as ‘I Will Cherish You’- it’s a love song and I really feel the emotion. It really makes me want to dance and brings my thirty year journey full circle.”

Find more stories at (Go on, take a look, i know you want to)

By Bella Spencer

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlie says:

    This article just made me cry: how these selected randomers were so open to tell you about times when they’ve been at their most vulnerable (especially the first two). And the idea that music can define/ distort/heighten these emotions in our memory. I hope there’s another instalment. I wanna be all these people’s mate.

  2. Michael says:

    Really beautiful – the power of a song will always evade 100% accurate description, but this is a wonderful exploration of that power. I would like more, please. Thanks.

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