Going For A Song: ‘Call it Dreaming’

Iron & Wine – Call it Dreaming

After an album (2013’s Ghost on Ghost) and a couple of collaboration albums (Sing Into My Mouth and Love Letter For Fire) which left me nonplussed, I’m looking forward to the release of the new Iron & Wine album Beast Epic, after hearing ‘Call it Dreaming’, the first song taken from it.

The song, for me, encapsulates what Iron & Wine do, which is to create this intersection between a world we recognise and a world summoned up by the words of Sam Beam and the music of the band.


Going For A Song: ‘Jerusalem’

Paul Robeson – Jerusalem

I’ve always liked the song ‘Jerusalem’ – William Blake’s poem and Hubert Parry’s music set in harmony and perhaps in a little tension.

I heard this version by Paul Robeson when listening to the Radio 4 Programme Soul Music. In this episode dedicated to ‘Jerusalem’ one Pamela Davenport is interviewed. She talks about her Dad, a former mill worker in Manchester, and his relationship with the song:

To my Dad, ‘Jerusalem’ was not anything to do with ‘Land of Hope & Glory’ or ‘Rule Britannia’. It was to do with people’s lives, people who work hard day in day out; and sometimes they don’t get the justice, the wages, the rights they should do.

There are calls now and then for ‘Jerusalem’ to become the English national anthem. I don’t think I’d object if those calls at some point were ever to be seriously considered.

Going For A Song: ‘Emotional Rescue’

The Rolling Stones – ‘Emotional Rescue’

In an interview with Stuart Maconie about a compilation, English Weather, he and Pete Wiggs had compiled, Bob Stanley was asked if they were trying to evoke a certain period with the songs they had chosen? In reply he said the day after the 60s; before the 70s knew what the 70s were.

A song like 1980’s ‘Emotional Rescue’ (and Dylan’s ‘Jokerman’ [1983] comes to mind also) evokes for me, if I can adapt Stanley’s phrase, the day after the 70s; before The Rolling Stones (or Dylan) knew what the 80s were. However, where Stanley means his positively, I don’t necessarily.



Going For A Song: ‘Slow Show’

The National – Slow Show

As if sensing The National were to imminently announce a new single and tour I had begun listening to them again rather a lot recently. And now after the release of the single and, through some enterprising work undertaken by my friend Euan, securing a London ticket (this made even more exciting because – for reasons to lengthy to go into now – this will be my first big gig for some years) my listening has continued; playing their 2007 album Boxer quite a few times, off which ‘Slow Show’ is one of my favourite songs.


Going For A Song: ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’

Mogwai – Take Me Somewhere Nice

I’ve been listening to Rock Action, the album that ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’ is on, this week. It’s my favourite Mogwai album. In fact it’s probably the only Mogwai album I have really properly got into. I can even remember where and how much I bought it for: MVC Bromley for £1.

Going For A Song: ‘Rise’

Public Image Ltd – Rise

Anger is an energy

It’s a lyric which has always stuck in my mind. It’s not just the way Lydon lodges it in there by drawing the vowels of each word out, but perhaps, because more so than ever, as an idea, it goes against the thinking of anger as something destructive, something to avoid, an emotion we should try not to “give in to”.

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