Somewhere over the rainbow… who’d have thought it?

It’s been a bizarre week being a radio critic for Radio 2. For those who haven’t listened, I was picked alongside Peter Oborne of the Spectator as neither of us have ever bought a record, tape or CD in our lives, and music doesn’t play a part. Ten songs were short-listed from viewers’ suggestions, they were then played to us after being championed by a supporter and then we musical illiterates passed comment.

This isn’t as easy as you may think. I’ve no musical education, never listened to it, so it was a very new experience. After the first day the Editor suggested he wanted more ‘music critique’ and less criticism and we both promised to sit back, eyes closed and properly listen.

Was there an epiphany…? No. Did I learn to appreciate music more…? Yes. Especially the lyrics, perhaps the first time I’d tried to understand them. In the end the one that worked for me was “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. Whether due to the music or more the association with the film I’m not sure, but it was without doubt the one that impacted me most on listening and this was called ‘music to change your life’.

My quote for Radio 2’s website is:

“I came to this a music virgin, and having been touched for the very first time, it was by Judy Garland.

It’s based on a personal memory, not any musical merit. It returned to me memories of the innocence of my childhood, watching the film with my mother, before she was tragically taken from us when I was 12. I found myself truly moved by the memory and my eyes welled.???

My personal order of the ten was as follows:

1. Over The Rainbow – Judy Garland
2. I Say a Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin
3. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
4. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
5. Imagine – John Lennon
6. Something Inside So Strong – Labi Siffre
7. Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves – Giuseppe Verdi
8. Everybody Hurts – REM
9. Dark Side of The Moon – Pink Floyd
10. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

To see the result of the listener vote click here

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