Monday, 16 February 2009

Songs on the brain

Songs this week that have ricocheted irritatingly around my head (due to their sharing a title with a book I can see from where I'm sitting) include the following:

"American Boy" - book by Andrew Taylor, song by Estelle
"Almost Blue" - book by Carlo Lucarelli, song by Elvis Costello
"Angel" - book by Elizabeth Taylor, song by Gavin Friday
"Thieves Like Us" - book by Steve Cole, song by New Order

Equally annoying and more contrived are the ones that suggest a song - I've been singing "Revelation" (by C J Sansom) to the tune of "Isolation" by Joy Division, "Holes" (by Louis Sachar) to "Gold" by Spandau Ballet, and most annoyingly of all, "Two Caravans" (by Marina Lewycka) to "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. Don't bother telling me you love Neil Diamond, I don't care. This is torture. I've resisted having an iPod for years, partly because the length of my commute hasn't warranted it since 2001, and partly because I quite like hearing the world as I go home (how else would I be finding the karaoke pub in Hammersmith such good auditory value?). But I think I may need one, as a kind of homeopathic remedy for the earworms. Because it's either that, or become one of those strange book-industry people who lurks in the stock room singing hymns really loudly to drown out The Voices, and I'm definitely not ready for that.

A couple more snippets because you all seemed to like them (honestly, I bet you're the sort of people who could live on unlimited snacks):

The TV advert for a thrush remedy (yes, the fungal infection, no not the bird) which said "It will leave you feeling yourself again" - possibly unwise on the basis of "If you pick at it it'll never get better"?

The rugby match I wish I'd watched = Nancy vs Nice. I bet that was amazingly civilised. And well-dressed.

Overheard on Saturday night from lovey-dovey couple holding hands over champagne glasses: "..and outside the laundrette I just puked pure water."

Apologies to anyone who got this three times on their feed - never again will I over-edit...

33 comments:

mantua maker said...

The one and only rugby matched I've attended was Newcastle v. Toulouse at Kingston Park and you actually could tell which was the stand with the French supporters because they really were very well dressed.

Lucy Fishwife said...

But were they nice or nancy? Mr Fishwife loves his rugby (as you may have gathered) and always claims it's vastly superior to football because the supporters can mingle without punching each other. Makes me worry it's all full of Boden-wearing men on Prozac saying "Good try there" in a vague sort of way when the opposing team scores...

Steve said...

Only an angel could puke pure water surely?

Personally I love eavesdropping. Especially in pubs. Best one I ever heard was some guy saying to his girl, "I do love you but you're just so... vacant." To which his paramour turned a glassy eye on him and merely said "Eh?" Perfect.

As for seeing hearing songs and song titles... the time to start worrying is when you start rewriting all the lyrics. I think your "Gold" rewrite could be very funny indeed.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Oooh Steve how sheltered a life have you had? There comes a time on every major binge-drink when it's all just pouring back out, one way or another, as fast as you put it in (although one as classy and refined as me wouldn't know about that, obviously). I LOVE random overheard comments, and in fact the other day a guy walked past me talking very loudly on his mobile, and I swear he said "Total papal stitch-up, yeah?" but I may be wrong...

Steve said...

Nice to know that even today Pope Joan still has her supporters!

Brother Tobias said...

I loved this post - especially the snippets. Don't buy the iPod; keep picking up those overheards.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Steve - well, it's the last remaining glass ceiling, isn't it?

BT - It's free stuff. That's what it boils down to. Just more free stuff. I am such a mooch. You're quite good at overheards too!

French Fancy said...

I hate music on the go - I much prefer to listen in to other people's conversations. As a result, if I am with someone and they want to talk within earshot of other people, I make my replies sotto voce - just so that nothing I say ends up in some sitcom or other.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Well, anyone whose children are called Ocean or Jocasta deserves to end up satirised in a sitcom (or my blog)! You can take it too far though - I met Muriel Spark at an author do once and found myself being completely colourless and bland in case she took a dislike to me and put me in a novel as some simpery and pretentious bookshop minion.

Rol said...

I love Neil Diamond.

Lucy Fishwife said...

You would.

Lucy Fishwife said...

FF - You did know I meant the Islington Yummies in my last post rather than you, don't you?

Can Bass 1 said...

My dear, you are at the mercy of the aural equivilent of potato-crisps. May I recommend some Delius?

usedbuyer 2.0 said...

My favorite overheard comment of recent years: young college group walking by the bookstore while I was smoking, one boy raises his hand to a diminutive Japanese girl and was told by same, "Oh, no. High five hurt Japanese people."

Lucy Fishwife said...

CB1 - I do love Delius (you did say Delius, didn't you, and not Delibes?) but my current classical of choice is Britten's "Ceremony of Carols", mostly because of its total unseasonality. All together now.. hodie christus natus est...

Usedbuyer - Liked it! I'm collecting visual instances of twatty media types going for a high-five and being blanked by the intended recipient, which happens far more often than you'd think, and very satisfying it is too.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Who needs an iPod with a shuffle brain like yours Lucy...? ;- )

I've got a terrible habit of fixating on the same half a dozen tracks and having them go round in my head too - latest one is M.I.A. video 'Galang' whose graphics are superb, even if the song takes a little getting used to. There's something strangely mesmeric about her.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Hi Laura - yes I'm realising I need to investigate M.I.A further especially as she contributed largely to the Slumdog soundtrack. Will quest forth when I'm at home with audio capability.
I think I like "shuffle brain" even better than "kaleidoscope brain".

Reluctant Blogger said...

OMG I'll have Two Caravans stuck in my head all day now. That Sweet Caroline track is a real earworm for me - urgh!

I am always eavesdropping and often have to literally clamp a hand across my mouth to stop myself shouting something in response to what I hear.

I wrote a post about thrush a while back but didn't publish it - wasn't sure it was suitable really. If I continue to suffer writer's block I might dig it out cos that ad would fit very well with it if it is on youtube.

Brother Tobias said...

BTW do posts really appear on feed things every time you edit them? I've done it several times on posts in the past; must have been driving people up the wall.

Quail said...

iPods do not make effective commuter aids unless one has ears like Shrek. They are however the improved equivalent of 'mix tapes' recorded off the radio in the early 80s.

Perfumeshrine said...

I can live on unlimited snacks all right :-)


I can't resist the wonderfully cute accent wordplay of Nancy vs Nice. Its' too good to be true!! LOL!! Great one!

Perfumeshrine said...

Oh and how lovely that you're wearing Oeillet Sauvage, that's one of my favourites (such a shame they discontinued it!)

Lucy Fishwife said...

RB - hi jetlag girl (actually it's probably worn off by now?) - I find myself laughing out loud at what I overhear people say and having to pretend it's the book I'm invariably reading. Of course you can write about thrush, it just might be better to steer clear of discussing its actual LOCATION.

BT - I had problems with the date - it started off as a draft I did a while ago and the first time I pressed "publish" it published 6 weeks ago, if you see what I mean (blogging as a form of time travel - discuss). I'm not sure if edits mean you re-publish - Mr F (my harshest critic) has only once told me he got it three times, although it was his birthday.

Quail - I miss mix tapes so much! It is possible to have mix CDs but somehow they're lacking the clunky homemade charm of a cassette - bit like those "remastered" VW Beetles, which just look like a Transformer. Odd how the ones you recorded off the radio ALWAYS had a bit of "Dr" Fox's voice on them, no matter how hard you tried..

PS - as long as the snacks were salty rather than sweet I'm right with you. Apparently Nancy v Nice was football rather than rugby, and if I was a tad more girly than I am I'd shrug it off as "men stuff" but I feel a bit embarrassed for having confused two things people feel very strongly about (Olivia Giacobetti and Antoine Maisondieu for instance)! I got Oeillet Sauvage from www.theperfumedcourt.com who seem to have enormous amounts of everything as long as you don't mind buying it in 8ml sprays...

Cassandra said...

What's the story re the Glen David Gold book? Am interested if you can be arsed to explain.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Oh it's a massive and annoying travesty - the new novel will be available EXCLUSIVELY to waterstones in July and not a single other bookshop in the UK can get their hands on it till October. We're all more than somewhat annoyed about it (massive understatement there but hey, I'm cool and laid back). It's not just the unfair advantage, it's the fact that we're all worried it may set a precedent in future for other publishers, bigger name novelists, etc... If you want more of the story it's on http://www.thebookseller.com/news/77864-indies-fail-to-see-the-sunnyside.html ... Are you back in blogworld btw?

Cassandra said...

I think that's awful and I bet he isn't best pleased either - surely an author wants to be sold everywhere? I must read the whole thing though. One of my most dramatic overheards was on Charing Cross Road - a couple were appearing out of a doorway and he shouted: "I don't want you back, BITCH!" At her. It was totally brilliant, like being in Albert Square. Yes, am back!

Cassandra said...

Totally agree re AS Byatt btw. What about Drabble? Do you like A Summer Birdcage?

Lucy Fishwife said...

Cassandra - given that he's part of the McSweeney's gang (with Michael Chabon, Dave Eggars, etc), all of whom are very very indie-friendly, I'm surprised he's let this kind of thing happen, but who knows how his publishers have sold it to him - possibly they've tried to panic him by reminding him that it's been 9 years since his last (and indeed only) novel and nobody in the UK knows who he is, etc etc...
It's been years since I read any Margaret Drabble - I love the fact that in most A S Byatt novels there's a flashy novelist character who is obviously MD, as opposed to the quiet donnish sister who is obviously ASB - have you read "The Game"?

Titian red said...

Airports are always good for the astounding overhear - "If you didn't want me to eat the fish we shouldn't have bought both suitcases" - I have never managed to make a connection.
I hope you fight off the lurg, Nightnurse is not nearly as effective as a good whisky (green food colouring anyone ?) and have a wonderful holiday,what is the drink of choice for this idyll ? For me the next 5 days will be red wine,art galleries and reading. Bliss.
Oh, "Love for Lydia", do you remember the TV adaptation with Mel Martin ? Introduced me to H E Bates, sadly not all as good as LFL

Lucy Fishwife said...

It was Mel Martin, thank you, I couldn't remember! Quite enjoying the book but it's taken me this long to get past my horror of "The Darling Buds of May". Drink of choice for the holiday idyll will be (a) Chang Beer (b) Mekong and coke (c) some ludicrously alcoholic concoction in a half-coconut... That was the most random overheard I have ever seen!!!!

Cassandra said...

Oh yes, read "The Game" a LONG time ago but loved it. I consider the sister volume to A Summer Birdcage - literally. Day Nurse and Night Nurse are really strange and dodgy. I gave a friend a dose of Night Nurse once and he ended up TRIPPING. No joke! Hope that you feel better soon. Oh and I get the impression that you might be the kind of girl who squirms in the limelight of compliments, but I've praised you on Liberty London Girl's blog. I think that you should have made the Sunday Times top 100.

mantua maker said...

Do you remember Christopher Blake in "Love for Lydia"? I got a shock recently when I found out that he died in 2004.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Cassandra - I squirm in that secretly-delighted typically middle-class way. Pour it on. (And thank you!) I still love Night Nurse but am so freaked out by Day Nurse (and its potential as a weapon of mass tranquilisation and hypnosis) that I may never use it again. Am on ibuprofen and thankful...

MM - Oh my god I've just Googled him. I remember him, he was in EVERYTHING. Didn't know he was dead!