Because there are so many songs I love, picking just one from every stage of my life is going to be tough…! I love a good ballad but I mostly really like music that cheers me up. WARNING: This list is full of cheesy pop songs.
Childhood – My mum and dad had a huge impact on my tastes in music, particularly my mum since she was DJ for pretty much every road trip (Poor Mr Routledge and MUNers will know I now take this very seriously…). Like me, my mum loved a range of artists, mainly 80s and 90s pop, from Billy Joel to Bananarama, and Abba to Genesis. We also used to listen to many musicals, the family favourite being Phantom of the Opera! Given how often we listened to it and sang along to it in the car, I’m going to go for ‘Can’t Hurry Love’ by Phil Collins (cover of The Supremes!)
Teenage years – Throughout my teenage years, I got more into music and deciding more of what I liked myself. I was completely in love with Westlife, A1, Backstreet Boys, 5ive, Busted, McFly, Savage Garden and NSYNC with Vengaboys, Steps and S Club 7 thrown in there just to confirm the label of “teenybopper” that I had at school. My bedroom, school folders and diaries were plastered with pictures of these bands! While many people at school were going through an emo/goth phase at that time and perpetuating their teenage angst with Cradle of Filth, I was much happier bouncing around to ‘Reach’ and ‘Year 3000’. However, my song from this time has to ‘When You’re Looking Like That’ by Westlife. This summer, I was bridesmaid for the girl who was my best friend at school and I played this song as she was walking down the stairs looking gorgeous in her wedding dress, bringing back memories of when we danced around our form room to it at school and when we went to see Westlife at the MEN (my first concert!).
University – Somehow, when you reach university, cheesy pop music appeals to pretty much anyone (including most of the people who insist that cheesy pop is the worst thing in the world!) and I dread to think of the number of nights I spent in what was, in my opinion, the best nightclub ever – Oceana in Nottingham. Oceana had different rooms for different types of music, but ultimately we all ended up in the “cheese” room; a flashing disco dance floor, a mirrored ceiling, and the best of the 80s, 90s and 00’s. There are two songs that stick out the most (because they were played every Oceana night): ‘I’ll Be Ready’ – also known as the Baywatch theme tune – by Jimi Jamison (sadly, the video is terrible!) and ‘Never Forget’, by Take That. Both were played at the end of the night, both brought everyone together to belt them out and both make me remember how lucky I am to have some amazing people in my life and to “never forget” it, even if I’m having a bad day! The key change and crescendo at the end of Never Forget always give me goosebumps!
Teaching – Tough one. I’ve worked in two schools and both have distinct songs that make me think of them. For Loreto, it has to be ‘Attention au Départ’ by Les Enfoirés, a group of celebrities that release a song each year – a bit like the bi-annual Children in Need song – to raise money for a homeless charity called “Les Restos du Coeur”. I played it for some of my classes and they loved it to the point that the majority of my Y7/8/10/11 groups went off and learned the lyrics and re-made the video!