My Awkward Moment of the Day

Even though my entire life is an exercise in awkwardness and social discomfort, there is a silver lining. Whenever I find myself thrust (sometimes literally…) into the middle of an embarrassing scenario, I think to myself “I can’t wait to blog about this.” So, you see, it’s not all bad.

Today I decided that I wanted, nay NEEDED, croissants in my life. Possibly chocolate filled, my inner fat kid mused…fattily. So I decided to drive (my inner fat kid doesn’t like when I walk) to the local shop. Since it’s a five minute drive through multiple speed bumps, I decided against wearing my seatbelt. I also wanted to air-guitar/air-drum my way through “In Bloom” by Nirvana and my seat belt restricts my mojo slightly. Okay, that’s stupid. You should ALWAYS wear a seatbelt. ALWAYS. And I always* do. Except today.

I drive to the shop. I buy croissants (not chocolate-filled, because diabetes) and I drive home, again sans seatbelt. My iPod is on shuffle. I’ve got pastry. Life is good….

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If you’re offended by this, sorry. I’ll go pose with a leprechaun or something.

…Until I notice a Garda checkpoint directly in front of my house. For my dear foreign friends, a Garda checkpoint is basically a police blockade where they check things like tax, insurance, licence, NCT (the Irish equivalent of the MOT, basically that your car has been certified road-safe) and of course, that you are wearing your seat belt. It is enough to strike fear into any person’s heart, never mind a person who is eating a croissant, air-keyboarding (to The Doors, FYI) and definitely not wearing a seatbelt. Needless to say I panic slightly.

The male Garda** motions for me to stop. I’m in a state of panic. I have to indicate, I have to change gears, I have to roll down the window, I have to reach for my licence but most of all, I have to try to smoothly and subtly put on my seatbelt without him noticing, which is pretty much impossible since he has been maintaining ice-cold eye contact with me the entire time.

OHMYGODWHATIFHEPUTSMEINPRISONFOREVER.

Now I want you to picture this, reader. I want you to visualise this scenario because I promise you, you will have all the LOLs. And I won’t ever say that again.

I nervously pull over. I have four croissants on my lap (don’t be silly, there’ll not all for me. Jack will have one). One is in my mouth and I’m chewing furiously, frowning at the flaky pastry stuck to my chest. Dignity? Nope, never heard of it. I’m trying to veeerrrrry slowly put on my seatbelt while also reaching for my licence. I’m also rolling down the window. My iPod is still blaring out songs on shuffle, but I don’t think to turn the dial down, and also, I’m not an octopus (…yet, it depends how the surgery goes).

Are you with me, reader? Are you picturing all of this? A panicked girl with a seatbelt half on, half off, covered in pastry being approached by a very stern looking man? Okay, good.

Just as the guard gets to my window,
I’m about to explain that I only travelled to the local shop and that I’m sorry and he’s probably about to ask my for my licence. It could of all been very simple. A deserved slap on the wrist for me, a pretty forgettable encounter for him. But no. My life is never that simple.

Before either of us could utter a word, my iPod shuffle decides “hey, you know what would be hilarious? To play the most awkward and inappropriate song at the exact moment that you don’t want to hear it. Har hat har. I may be a robot but I’m hilarious.”

So just as both of us are about to speak, this song plays. I want you to picture the scenario. An already awkward encounter between two strangers, and before anyone speaks, this. Blaring through my stereo.

PLAY IT!

http://youtu.be/s7eTOnNBwYU

Reader,
I’m not sure if the thumbnail of this song is appearing or not but I think it’s more hilarious if it doesn’t. So, surprise!

There’s a moment where I have no reaction, but to just freeze. As the iconic intro begins, we both turn to each other and make the most awkward eye contact ever. Garda’s mouth twitches slightly. He’s going to laugh. He clears his throat.
I reach for the dial and manage to turn the song down just before the titular line is sung and I actually die of awkwardness.

“Am, you’re grand. You’re grand. Drive on there.” He motions me forward. I understand, Garda. Any extension of this encounter may result in us both dying from awkwardness. I complete the fifteen second drive to my door where I decide that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Ever.

*I may need to revise the definition of the word “always”
**Member of the Irish police force, An Garda Síochána

A present for you guys

So I wrote a rap to name check some of my favourite bloggers as a massive thank you to you all. I have provided you with a SICK beat to listen to so that you can actually rap along with this. Please, ignore the name of the song, I do not want to see your genitals.

So go on, press play, and proceed:

There once was a girl, we’ll call her Jane
She set up a blog, and its content’s insane
But she met some people who’ve made it so easy
So she wrote this rap to rival Jay-Z

She wants these guys to know one thing
That she once had a weird crush on sting
And also, she loves you all
Ok…that’s two things

First there’s Ben, who’s been here since the start
His blog is bitter
But he has a heart

Then there’s Trent, who’s so talented
And I can’t think of a word
To rhyme with talented
So I’ll just say that Trent is…really talented

Everyone say hi to Julie
I’mgonnagiveheranewnicknameforthepuposesofthisrhyme and call her “luley”
She’s one of the best
And her blog kicks more ass than chuck Norris’* (if he has a blog. He probably doesn’t…)

Then there’s Rob, who has a great name for rhyme (take note, Julie)
His blog is wonderful, all the time
Between weight loss tips and recipes
He showed me how to get guys drunk with ease (neat whiskey, I believe)

Lisa is one of my favourite chicks
I know you think the obvious word to use next would be d—
But get your mind outta the gutter
And check out this superstar of a blogger

Say hi to Z she’s one cool lady
She’s a teenage blogger with talent so crazy
She’s also as sweet as a bee
I’m actually allergic, but not to Z

Robin reminds me of my mom
Except she’s cooler than my mom
Now I feel bad for my mom
I’m going to stop rapping about my mom
Robin has the sweetest blog and it makes me smile
It’s a place I spend a while
Yes, that totally does make sense
Because it’s a rap, that’s the difference

Hacker, ninja, hooker, spy
This blogger is ill, she’s so fly!
You don’t need to go out foreign
To see a chick as hot as Aussa Loren(s). Ahem. (And in my case I do, because I live in Ireland.)

Helen likes wine and tea
But not together, is that just me?
She’s funny, she’s cute, she has blond hair
Her blog is great so head over there (but then come back because I’m not finished)

I can’t forget Sean cause he cracks me up
He’s reminds me of my guy friends that used to feel me up
His blog is great and he’s also cool
I can never read his stuff when I’m in school

There’s also Shit Show
Who speaks her mind
She is hilarious
Her blog is quite a find!
You’ll be hooked to her naughty anecdotes
And I really want to go drinking with her, like, TOTES!

The ‘S’ word also is a great blogger
Why don’t more words rhyme with blogger?
Anyway, she’s funny and talented in equal measure
Go check her out at your leisure (but really, do it now, she has good boobs. Apparently.)

Cheryl is a multitasker
What’s your favourite shark?
Mines a basker
Oh, is basking?
Well that just sucks
Because this rhyme now doesn’t work
Anyway, I love Cheryl to pieces
Not literally, cause that’s weird…Jesus

Minnie is as adorable as she is kind
Her blog really is one of a kind
Did I just rhyme kind with kind?
It’s my rap,so I’ll do what I want, kind

Running Betty likes to run
She also likes to blog, and it’s fun
I think that she’s one kick ass chick
And again, I’m not going to use the word d…

An upturned soul is classy and smart
So I hope she doesn’t mind being in my rap
I’ve also made a tenuous rhyme right there
But I wanted her to know that I care

Pouring my art out has the coolest name
And his blogging skills are so insane
He’s funny, he can draw and he looks like Jeffrey Lebowski
Oh crap, I’m never going to get a word to rhyme with Lebowski

The Hook sounds like a movie villain
But he’s actually really nice
He has a cool job where he meets some weirdos but I’m also weird and wait, I’ve always wanted to use the word kudos in a rap and it totally would have fitted in there…crap.
The Hook writes so hilariously
And I love his blog so *mumbles*

Mikey B runs a movie blog
It’s funny and clever and what rhymes with blog?
He’s an all round cool guy
and on a completely unrelated note,
Why can’t hens fly?

Melanie can rhyme a lot better than me
Check out her page and you will see
Her poems are amongst the best I’ve read
You won’t get her words out of your head
(Kind of like Vanilla Ice lyrics. But good.)

Speaking of poets, there’s too full to write
David Ellis, he’s the shite
Just to say, that’s a total compliment
And he deserves it, he’s a total talent

Ispontein is spontaneous
There’s a little inside all of us
His blog is clever and fun to read
Check him out and you’ll agree

I also cannot forget Whitney
She’s totally awkward, just like me
She makes me laugh with her awkward tales
Tales not tails cause what the hell?!

Finally, there’s Cats at the bar
Whose cats are adorable, they really are
I think he has about 18 cute cats
And cause he’s not a single lady
It’s not creepy

If I’ve left someone out
I’m awfully sorry
You can come over here
and scissor kick me

*for the purposes of the rap, just pronounce is nor-is-aaazzz. Go on. DO IT.

My Jams

Julie over at Musings of a Workaholic wrote a great post about the music she likes, so I thought I would do the same because I’m unoriginal like that. I think someone’s taste in music reveals a lot about them so hopefully this will reveal a little more about the type of person I am. And then we can be friends and do each other’s hair. Yay.

Here is a list of my favourite songs/musicians.

Jeff Buckley

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When my boyfriend and I first fell in love, we lived far apart and saw each other infrequently. It was a difficult time for us, where our main method of communication was furtive love letters to each other. On one occasion, Jack left behind his copy of Jeff Buckley’s 1994 album Grace.
Missing him desperately, I listened to the CD repeatedly. It has long been one of my favourite albums.
Buckley is perhaps best recognised for his beautiful cover of Leonard Cohen’s Halleluljah.

His voice is so hauntingly beautiful that it touches me every time I hear him sing. Sadly, Buckley drowned in 1997 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Eva Cassidy

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I wouldn’t consider myself an overly emotional person, but I have yet to listen to an entire Eva Cassidy song without shedding a tear. Her voice is so gut-wrenchingly and achingly beautiful that I could listen to listen to it for eternity. She is known for her fantastic covers of other artists’ songs, and she often manages to improve on the original. Her covers of Sting’s Fields of Gold and Judy Garland’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow are sublime, and are guaranteed to stir even the hardest of hearts. It is her rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird that is my personal favourite, however. Excuse me a minute…*wails*
Tragically, Eva died of Melanoma in 1996.

Jack White
>

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What can I say? The man is a musical genius. I particularly love his work as part of The White Stripes. For anyone who doesn’t appreciate his talent, listen to this song:

Sheer brilliance.

The Smiths

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Yes yes. I know. The Smiths are to hipsters what Rebel Without a Cause is to angsty teenagers. But that doesn’t mean that they’re as vacuous or as vapid as hipsters (I really don’t like hipsters), on the contrary; their songs are timeless and full of substance. Although their are dozens of songs that I could choose, a particular favourite of mine has always been one of their best known:

Creedence Clearwater Revival
ccr

I adore CCR. My favourite song of theirs is Down on the Corner and I like it so much, it is my alarm to get me up for work 🙂

Pearl Jam
pearl-jam

I could listen to this song forever:

So there you have it, some of my favourite songs. Who is your favourite singer or band and what is your favourite song?

10 things we repeatedly do that make absolutely no sense

1. When someone asks us if we have a pen, we pat ourselves down to check, even though we know we don’t have one.

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2. When we are gesturing and mouthing to someone who can’t hear us, we talk aloud anyway.

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3. We have conversations with our pets, even though they have no idea what we’re saying.

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4. When we don’t know the lyrics to songs, we replace them with our own non-sensical gibberish.

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5. We criticise reality TV, but we watch it anyway.

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6. When we become frustrated with our inanimate objects, we shout at them.

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7. We remain friends with people who annoy us on Facebook despite constantly complaining about their status updates.

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8. We get into heated arguments with complete strangers on the Internet over seemingly trivial matters but will defend our opinion to the death.

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9. We keep paying to see Michael Bay films.

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10. When we’re drunk, dancing becomes a matter of great importance.

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Another of my favourite Irish songs

Mammy Jane is coming to visit with my sister and her two kids (my check-squeezable nieces) for the next few days so I’m going to be playing Lego and Wii doing important aunt duties.

I want to leave you guys with another beautiful Irish song. This is really one of my favourite songs ever. It is by Paul Brady, a fantastic Irish singer/songwriter who wrote this song about the senseless violence in Northern Ireland. Give it a listen, it is truly beautiful and it also has such an important message.

Paul Brady, “The Island”

Here are the lyrics:

They say the skies of Lebanon are burning.
Those mighty cedars bleeding in the heat.
They’re showing pictures on the television.
Women and children dying in the street
And we’re still at it in our own place.
Still trying to reach the future through the past.
Still trying to carve tomorrow from a tombstone…

Chorus

But Hey! Don’t listen to me!.
This wasn’t meant to be no sad song.
We’ve heard too much of that before.
Right now I only want to be here with you.
Till the morning dew comes falling.
I want to take you to the island.
And trace your footprints in the sand.
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We’ll make love to the sound of the ocean

They’re raising banners over by the markets
Whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls
Witchdoctors praying for a mighty showdown
No way our holy flag is gonna fall
Up here we sacrifice our children
To feed the worn-out dreams of yesterday
And teach them dying will lead us into glory…

Repeat chorus

Now I know us plain folks don’t see all the story.
And I know this peace and love’s just copping out.
And I guess these young boys dying in the ditches.
Is just what being free is all about.
And how this twisted wreckage down on main street.
Will bring us all together in the end.
And we’ll go marching down the road to freedom….
Freedom

Daily Prompt: Putting the “fun” in funeral

For today’s daily prompt, we are supposed to discuss what kind of legacy we would like to leave once we shed our mortal coil.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now (hi mom) know that I don’t like to take myself too seriously. Sure, I could write about how I want to be remembered for the kind and generous person that I am (hey, quit laughing) or for my contributions to medical research (limit of tequilas one can ingest before singing Barry Manilow in a karaoke bar: four). But that would be cliched, and if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s Mexican. Or cliched (okay, two things).

Instead, I decided to share with you what I have discussed with my friends regarding my possible untimely demise. I’m sure you too, magical internet friend, have thought about what would happen if you passed away prematurely. Would people come to your funeral? Would your best friends howl at the moon every night for their lost comrade? Sure, it’s morbid, but we all wonder from time to time, right?

About a year ago, I was in a serious car accident. My car was completely totalled and I was really, really lucky to escape virtually unscathed. After my friends had comforted me and liquored me up good, we began to discuss (as you do) what would have happened if I hadn’t been so lucky. My friend turned to me and said something that got me thinking:

“Jane, I know you hate funerals. I know you don’t consider yourself catholic anymore, so what kind of funeral could you possibly have? I mean you’d just hate all that serious and solemn hymn stuff, and I’d know that, so it wouldn’t feel right. What would we do? How could we say our final farewell to you?”

Okay, I’ll admit that it was a weird conversation to have but it seemed necessary. My friend was right, I hate funerals. I don’t want to cause any offence here, but the traditional Irish funeral is not the way I want to be sent off. And the thing is, you might say “why do you have to be different? Why should you get special treatment?” but I’m not religious so I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I’m not saying I want a send-off of Hunter S. Thompson proportions, but I certainly don’t want a funeral where a guy who doesn’t know me postulates about what kind of person I might have been with generic statements. Irish funerals are also expensive and I don’t want to put that expense on my friends and family. I mean, I’ll be gone. They will be devastated…right? RIGHT? Hey, is that tumbleweed?

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So we all decided to share with each other how we would like our lives to be celebrated. When it got to my turn, my friends knew to expect the unexpected. I wanted something that would be memorable and that would confuse the heck out of everyone attending. I’m also a bit of a prankster, and in the words of my favourite poet W.B. Yeats “in balance with this life, this death”.

So, without further ado, here is what my memorial service is going to be like:

(This is not a religious funeral and there is no offence intended here. If any offence is caused, it’s possibly because you’re Bill O’ Reilly.

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1. It must be held in oneof the following: a hay barn, a medieval town hall or on a moving bus.

2. The following music will be played as the congregation piles in: (Because I’m so popular*, I chose two songs.)

A) Sex on the Beachby T-Spoon
B) The Next Episodeby Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

3. The narrative of my life must be told through an interpretive dance off between my friends.

4. A video of me performing the Thriller dance by Michael Jackson must be played. (Note to self: Learn Thriller dance. Buy red leather clothing. Make video.)

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5. My mother must give the eulogy in the form of a gangsta rap. (She doesn’t know this yet.)

6. Someone (I’m looking at you, Jack) must play Wind Beneath my Wingson a kazoo.

7. The service will close with a musical number. I’m thinking a Greasemedley. I have been promised spirit fingers and jazz hands galore.

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8. Closing song: Celebrate by Kool and the Gang

For those of you who think I’m kidding, I assure you I’m not. I’m also not trying to be disrespectful to anyone here; I would just like to bring a smile to the faces of those I love during a time that would otherwise be depressing and somber. I would like my legacy to be this: that people remember how, erm, unique I am. And that my funeral was like a Stanley Kubrick dream.

If you’re reading this, you’re totally invited. Because, let’s face it, it will be the most fun funeral ever. Jane: putting the “fun” in funeral. Welcome.

*with my pets

A LETTER TO MY FIFTEEN YEAR OLD SELF

Hey fifteen year old Jane,

It’s twenty six year old Jane. There’s probably lots of things you’d like to know, like which Backstreet Boy you’re gonna marry or how the career of that cute girl from ‘The Parent Trap’ is going. It’s bad news on both counts. Don’t sweat though, I’m not writing this from the maximum security wing of some futuristic women’s prison. That’s all I’ll say about where I am, I remember how much you like surprises.

So you know the way you’re the bane of your teachers’ existence with your constant chatter and witticisms?(In your head, anyway.) Well, GUESS WHAT? You are now the recipient of this behaviour; you decide (I think you’ll be around seventeen) that it would be just WONDERFUL to become a teacher. And you know what? It is wonderful. You’ll have a pretty stressful few years in your career (you’ll be thrown in to teaching a maths class and you know how crap you are at maths), but you’ll love it and you’ll even get gifts from your students from time to time (as well as grief, but it’s all part of the job). Remember this one tip: teenagers will work insanely hard for rewards of a chocular variety.

Also, stop messing with your hair. At the moment, it’s a very bright blond and you look RIDICULOUS. I’m sorry, but have some sense woman/girl. You’ll get to eighteen and you’ll realise that being a brunette suits you so much more. And also, the bleach will actually result in some of your hair falling out when you’re seventeen. I’m sorry, ok? You were going through your obsession with The Simple Life and it got out of hand. But right now, I have very long and thick hair (I don’t really care anymore but I know you’ll appreciate this). Also, an amazing invention known as hair straighteners will mean you won’t look like Melanie Griffiths anymore #winning (sorry, a little futuristic humour for you there).

Now, you’re gonna need to sit down for this one (maybe on that really cool bean bag that you end up losing in college). By twenty six you still won’t be married. Or have kids. Or a very stable job. But hear me out.

Soon enough, you’re going to meet the person that will change your life. You won’t know it at first but he will make you happier than playing snake (which I know is totally your thing right now). He’s handsome, funny and intelligent and you’ll even start a little pet family together (really, you could open a petting farm). I won’t tell you anything else because the journey you’re about to take is the best thing that will ever happen to you so just act surprised when you meet him, okay?

You will think about marriage and babies for a long time, but then you’ll realise that you’re happy just being in the moment and going with the flow. The moment is pretty great.

You have some tough times ahead. You know Mam and Dad? Yeah, they split up. And you know the way you faint sometimes? That’s not low blood sugar like you self diagnosed (thank you, dial-up Google), it’s epilepsy (but you kinda kick its ass so don’t worry). You’ll be in a car accident. But look, you’re still here. You’re alive, you’re relatively healthy, your family are safe and you currently have a cat sitting on your shoulder…how cool is that? (Just to clarify, you have the cat there by choice, you’re not in some dingy alley way somewhere surrounded by stray felines.)

The friends you have now? You keep lots of them, but you also lose a few. One of your male friends will profess his undying love for you and you’ll both laugh about it years later. Try to guess which one.

You’re gonna end up moving around a bit, but strangely, you’ll enjoy it. You’ll end up far away from home (and so will your brother, who you’ll miss terribly) but you’ll be okay. In fact, you’ll thrive. You gain far more confidence in your early twenties and you will learn to be more assertive. It won’t be an easy process but you become a person that you finally feel proud to be and because I know how low your self-esteem is right now, that’s pretty amazing.

Your sister (who you’re probably squabbling with right now, HEY PUT HER HANSON CD DOWN) will become one of your best friends. I know you don’t believe me now, but no one will ever make you feel as loved and protected as she does.

I want to say one last thing: you’re a teenager which means you’re…well, you’re kind of a bitch sometimes. Stop pouting at me, we both know you’re not scary. When you get to my age, you’re going to really regret how shabbily you’re treating Dad. I know you find him annoying and embarrassing now, but you’ll look back and realise that he loved you and nurtured you in the most selfless of ways and you were just a big bag of nasty hormones. Go hug him right now.

So Jane, twenty six year old you is not that much different to fifteen year old you. You still watch Kenan and Kel. You still wear jeans (they don’t really go out of fashion but they become a lot tighter) and you still love spaghetti like Miley Cyrus loves twerking (I just realised that pop culture reference makes zero sense to you, just take my word for it). Things have changed though. You’re living with a real life boy. You have a career. You drive (you just got a speeding ticket tut tut) and you haven’t seriously injured anyone yet. All in all, you’re happy.

Just please, please don’t get in anymore photos where you’re wearing dungarees. They will come back to haunt you in ways you can’t imagine. And stop over-plucking your eyebrows, you look like a meth addict.

P.S. No, they don’t have flying cars yet but they do have something called ‘Facebook’ which is just as creepy as it sounds.

If you could write to your fifteen year old self, what would you say?

A beautiful Irish ballad

Usually, I try to make you guys laugh…. and I fail, but the important thing is, I try. Today, I’m posting something that may make you cry.

This song was first played to me by a friend and I remember trying to hold back tears as the final verse played. I’ve since played it for my own students and they have also found it moving and poignant. It is a moving song about emigration and its effects not only on the people who have had to leave but also on the people left behind.

The song was written by two American men, Steven and Peter Jones. Their great-great-grandfather, Brian Hunt, had written letters from Kilkelly, Mayo, Ireland, to his son and their great-grandfather, John, who had emigrated to America in the nineteenth century.
The letters were found by the men in an attic in the United States and they were so overcome with emotion that they decided to write a song based on the content of the letters.

The writings revolve around local and family news being given to John by his father Brian. John had emigrated during the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-1852 and the letters cover a period of time from 1860-1892. As Brian was illiterate, the local schoolmaster, Patrick MacNamara, wrote the letters down. His sense of isolation and loneliness at the loss of his family to emigration is obvious, but he remains jovial and kind in his letters.

Here is a beautiful performance of the song by Robbie O’ Connell and I’ve also included the lyrics. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 60, my dear and loving son John
Your good friend the schoolmaster Pat McNamara’s so good
As to write these words down.
Your brothers have all gone to find work in England,
The house is so empty and sad
The crop of potatoes is sorely infected,
A third to a half of them bad.
And your sister Brigid and Patrick O’Donnell
Are going to be married in June.
Your mother says not to work on the railroad
And be sure to come on home soon.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 70, dear and loving son John
Hello to your Mrs and to your 4 children,
May they grow healthy and strong.
Michael has got in a wee bit of trouble,
I suppose that he never will learn.
Because of the dampness there’s no turf to speak of
And now we have nothing to burn.
And Brigid is happy, you named a child for her
And now she’s got six of her own.
You say you found work, but you don’t say
What kind or when you will be coming home.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 80, dear Michael and John, my sons
I’m sorry to give you the very sad news
That your dear old mother has gone.
We buried her down at the church in Kilkelly,
Your brothers and Brigid were there.
You don’t have to worry, she died very quickly,
Remember her in your prayers.
And it’s so good to hear that Michael’s returning,
With money he’s sure to buy land
For the crop has been poor and the people
Are selling at any price that they can.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 90, my dear and loving son John
I guess that I must be close on to eighty,
It’s thirty years since you’re gone.
Because of all of the money you send me,
I’m still living out on my own.
Michael has built himself a fine house
And Brigid’s daughters have grown.
Thank you for sending your family picture,
They’re lovely young women and men.
You say that you might even come for a visit,
What joy to see you again.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 92, my dear brother John
I’m sorry that I didn’t write sooner to tell you that father passed on.
He was living with Brigid, she says he was cheerful
And healthy right down to the end.
Ah, you should have seen him play with
The grandchildren of Pat McNamara, your friend.
And we buried him alongside of mother,
Down at the Kilkelly churchyard.
He was a strong and a feisty old man,
Considering his life was so hard.
And it’s funny the way he kept talking about you,
He called for you in the end.
Oh, why don’t you think about coming to visit,
We’d all love to see you again.

Picture Source

Most Romantic Songs (Now with 50% less nausea)

Most Romantic Songs

There’s a song for every mood. And a flavour of ice-cream. And a pair of shoes, and a breed of dog… Ok, there’s a lot of things for a lot of moods. But there’s something about a love song that just hits me right there (I’m pointing at me chest, not my genitals you dirty so-and-so). I’m just going to randomly pick some of my favourite love songs cause if I really had to think about it, my head might just explode, and nobody wants that, right? *interminable silence* Right.

Also, I’m trying to avoid cliches and contrived mushy songs, although I can’t promise you won’t feel slightly nauseated.
I’ve even included links to the songs cause I’m that thoughtful. Your mom would love me.
Lastly, I’m also going to do a ‘Least Romantic Songs’ list soon to counterbalance the cheese here.

The Smiths, ‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out.’

The Smiths, There is a Light

There’s something almost tragically comical about these lyrics.

Driving in your car, I never never want to go home… because I haven’t got one, anymore.

Oh, Morrissey.

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die

Romantic and er, specific. I like the absolute morbidness of the lyrics though.

John Lennon, ‘Woman
John Lennon, Woman

This song captures the vulnerability and desperation that often accompany love. It is bittersweet really. Here’s a guy basically saying ‘I’m a bit of a screw-up but please don’t ever leave me because I need you.’ And man, does it say it well.

Woman I know you understand
The little child inside of the man
Please remember my life is in your hands
And woman hold me close to your heart
However distant don’t keep us apart
After all it is written in the stars

I would literally have let him away with anything if he had written this for me. Punching giraffes? Yes, even that.

Bob Dylan, ‘To Make You Feel My Love’

Bob Dylan, To Make You Feel My Love

For all of you saying ‘this is an Adele song, no?’ please pinch yourself in the arm, hard. While some may argue that Adele sings it better, the beautiful and heart-wrenching lyrics belong to Bob Dylan and knowing they come from the heart makes this song so amazing. Also, the sheer desperation an sadness in his voice makes his rendition all the more powerful. Nothing against Adele, she’s great, but this is Dylan’s song.

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

Excuse me while I curl into a ball and wail.

Elton John, ‘Your Song

Elton John, Your Song

Simple. Perfect.

I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words,
how wonderful life is while you’re in the world.

(Honourable mention to ‘Something About the Way You Look Tonight’.)

The Way You Look Tonight, various

Tony Bennett, The Way You Look Tonight

I think it was Fred Astaire who first sang this but most people will be familiar with the Tony Bennett version. Whichever you know best, this is one of the most beautiful love songs to listen to when it’s just you and that special person. Even if you’re just playing Jenga. Again, it’s simple but so moving.

With each word your tenderness grows
Tearing my fear apart
And that laugh that wrinkles your nose
touches my foolish heart

Aww.

Eric Clapton, ‘You Look Wonderful Tonight’

Eric Clapton, You Look Wonderful Tonight

In keeping with the theme of flattery, this one is also so romantic it hurts. It might be over-played at this stage, but that doesn’t take away from its effect. And the guitar, oh the guitar.

It’s late in the evening, she’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make up and brushes her long blond hair
And then she asks me, “Do I look alright?”
And I say, Yes, you look wonderful tonight

Is it any wonder he was a hit with the ladies?

Shania Twain, ‘You’re Still the One’

Shania Twain, You’re Still The One

Please don’t hate me for this. I know, I know. This song reminds you of countless first dances at weddings you wish you never attended. But I have my reasons. A few years ago, a friend of mine told me that this was her parent’s song. They had my friend when they were only teenagers at a time in Ireland when having children out of wedlock was akin to punching a bishop square in the face. 26 years later and they’re still together. So every time I hear the following lyrics, I get a bit weepy

Looks like we made it
Look how far we’ve come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we’d get there someday

They said, “I bet they’ll never make it”
But just look at us holding on
We’re still together still going strong

See, SEE?

Faith Hill, ‘This Kiss

Faith Hill, This Kiss

There’s something so infectiously cheerful about this song. And this is coming from the human form of Grumpy Cat. It kind of makes me want to go twirling around on mountain tops… You know, if that didn’t look crazy.

It’ s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this
It’s centrifugal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
It’s, ah, impossible
This kiss, this kiss
Unstoppable
This kiss, this kiss

I just did a lovely interpretative dance for you. Did you like it?

Elvis Presley, ‘Love me Tender’
Elvis Presley, Love Me Tender

This song made me fall in love with Elvis, who died a full ten years before I was born. That’s almost supernatural.

Love me tender,
Love me sweet,
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete,
And I love you so.

He was singing to future me, right?
I also ADORE ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ just as much.

Amy Winehouse, ‘Love Is A Losing Game

Amy Winehouse, Love Is A Losing Game

This song possibly doesn’t quite fit here but I love it none the less. This song is difficult to listen to especially knowing Amy’s turbulent personal struggles. But it is so real, so relatable and so heartbreaking. RIP Amy.

For you I was a flame
Love is a losing game….

One I wish I’d never played
Oh, what a mess we made
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game

Eva Cassidy, ‘Song Bird’

Eva Cassidy, Song Bird

I’m well aware that Eva didn’t actually write this song or originally perform it (Fleetwood Mac?) but her version is the one that will resonate with me forever. It is so pure and beautiful that I find it difficult to listen to without welling up.. FOR NO FREAKIN REASON! That’s the power of Eva Cassidy though.

For you, there’ll be no cryin’
For you, the sun will be shinin’
Cause I feel that when I’m with you,
It’s alright, I know it’s right

If you’ve never heard her sing, go listen to her now. It will change your life*

Fields of Gold (originally Sting but even he preferred Eva’s version) also deserves a mention here.

David Gray, ‘This Year’s Love’

David Gray, This Year’s Love

I just love this song. I often skip it on my iPod though because I find it so hard to listen to. If David Gray was standing in front of me and I could give him a bear hug, or at the very least, a reassuring pat on the back, then fine. But the pain in his voice and the sad, melodic piano just make this song so darn melancholic.
The thing is, he *has* found someone but the lyrics perfectly encapsulate that feeling of paranoia and insecurity that we often feel in the beginning of a relationship. It’s his fear that something will go wrong that is so sad.

This years love had better last
Heaven knows it’s high time
And I’ve been waiting on my own too long
But when you hold me like you do
It feels so right
I start to forget
How my heart gets torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Feeling like you can’t go on

The Beach Boys, ‘God Only Knows’

Beach Boys, God Only Knows

On a slightly more cheerful note, this song is sweet and romantic without managing to be cliched. Take note, boy bands.

If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me

Typical beach boys, slightly dark lyrics hidden behind ridiculously catchy melodies. You’ve got to love it.

The Monkees, ‘I’m A Believer’

The Monkees

It’s cheerful, ridiculously infectious but I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like it. And if you’re thinking ‘I don’t like it’ then that doesn’t count cause I haven’t met you so, ha. And now this is going to be stuck in your head for DAYS. Double ha.

I thought love was only true in fairytales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Love was out to get me
That’s the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams

Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love, I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave her if I tried

Pearl Jam, ‘The End’

Pearl Jam, The End

This is a song so emotional that every time it is played, an angel cries. Or something. But really, this song is so moving that the first time I heard it, I didn’t just do the welling up thing, I full-on sobbed! The narrator of the song is dying of ‘a sickness in [his] bones’ (I believe, anyway) and the lyrics are a plea to his loved one to understand that the stress of what he is going through has made him difficult to be around. He is hopeless. He also, futilely, blames himself for his illness and expresses a sense of failure for not being able to be there for his loved one and their kids. It really is such a beautiful song.

It’s my fault now
Having caught a sickness in my bones
How it pains to leave you here
With the kids on your own
Just don’t let me go

Help me see myself
Cause I can no longer tell
Looking out from the inside
Of the bottom of a well

It’s hell
I yell

But no one hears before I disappear
Whisper in my ear
Give me something to echo
In my unknown future’s ear

My dear
The end
Comes near
I’m here
But not much longer
.

I once played this to a class and the silence afterwards (apart from a few sniffles) said it all. It’s heart-breaking.

Jeff Buckley, ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’

Jeff Buckley, Lover, You Should’ve Come Over

It makes me sad that more people will know the lyrics to ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber than this song… (the same goes for a genius song by The White Stripes called ‘Effect and Cause’) because the lyrics are among the most meaningful and powerful I’ve ever heard. You know when you miss the person you love and you’re lying awake at night wishing they were beside you? Well, Buckley managed to verbalise that feeling in perhaps the most romantic yet conflicted lyrics ever written. Coupled with his vulnerable and aching voice, this song wins every time.

It’s never over, my kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder
It’s never over, all my riches for her smiles when I slept so soft against her
It’s never over, all my blood for the sweetness of her laughter
It’s never over, she’s a tear that hangs inside my soul forever

Ryan Adams, ‘When The Stars Go Blue’

Ryan Adams, When The Stars Go Blue

So, you’re probably getting that I like my love songs simple and they don’t come more simple than this one. The lyrics are pretty, his voice is soft and romantic and the music makes this the perfect song to slow-dance to.

Where do you go when you’re lonely
Where do you go when you’re blue
Where do you go when you’re lonely
I’ll follow you
When the stars go blue

Laughing with your pretty mouth
Laughing with your broken eyes
Laughing with your lover’s tongue
In a lullaby

Mandy Moore, you’re a lucky lady.

Willie Nelson, ‘You Are Always On My Mind’

Willie Nelson, You Are Always On My Mind

I know Nelson didn’t originally write or record this song but his cover of it is by far my favourite. The sincerity of his voice makes the song his. I love it.

Maybe I didn’t love you
Quite as often as I could have
And maybe I didn’t treat you
Quite as good as I should have

If I made you feel second best
Girl, I’m sorry I was blind
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

And so, that’s all for now. I know there’s literally thousands of other songs I could have included but that would be one mother of a list and I actually did this on my phone. Surely I deserve some kind of prize for that? No? Fine, I’ll have cake.

*Not an exaggeration