Welcome to the latest edition of the Words & Sound podcast, where I am joined by author and tutor, Sarah-Jane Page. We talk about her South American adventures, her writing and her booming tutoring work too. We also test her knowledge on her chosen subject of Spain in… The Quiz!
For more info on any of SJs work please see:
Bat out of hell MEATLOAF
When I was a young teen, my brother told me he’d discovered a band that he thought I ought to listen to. But because back then I favoured finding my own way in the world over having it shown to me, I avoided the band in question.
Once at university in central London, I saved up and bought my first car – a clapped-out mini. The only part of the car that worked without the need for jacks or jump leads was the cassette player and speakers.
My brother (somewhat determined to prove a point) bought me Meatloaf’s Bat out of hell album on cassette. As I only had a handful of other tapes for the car, it got played a lot, and, despite all attempts to prevent it from happening, the music grew on me. Blossomed until I knew the lyrics by heart.
This particular song brings back memories of driving through the West End in the dead of night trying to find a 24-hour store to buy ‘Marathon’ bars and Diet Coke to get me through the all-nighters of my final year.
Naturally, it took a while for me to admit to my brother that his gift had turned into a go-to album. Indeed, still, to this day, if I’m cynical about something he’s recommending, he simply raises an eyebrow and utters a word that’s now become code between us: “Meatloaf.”
No es lo mismo ALEJANDRO SANZ
I fell in love with the Spanish language at the age of eleven. I remember my very first lesson in school when the teacher spoke in Spanish. It was the first time I’d heard the language spoken out loud, and I was mesmerised – the words seemed to leave her mouth like butterflies. In that moment I promised myself I’d be fluent in Spanish one day.
Mid-way through my A-Level studies, I went to Almeria for the summer to live with a Spanish family. It was one of the most defining periods of my young life, turning my interest in the language into a life-long love of all things Spanish.
The music of Alejandro Sanz is one of the many things the family introduced me to, and this song is one of my favourites. It’s when you can listen to music in a foreign language and understand the delicate nuance in the lyrics that you know it’s reached your blood. This song reminds me that although my veins run red, white and blue, there are splashes of red and yellow too.
A case of you JONI MITCHELL
A timeless classic for me with its quirky off-beats and touching lyrics. The line ‘I could drink a case of you and I’d still be on my feet’ is just so beautiful, capturing the essence of spending time with someone special.
Always BON JOVI
Perhaps stemming from my Meatloaf phase, I developed a light love for soft rock in my early twenties, and Bon Jovi featured highly. This is one of my favourite songs from the band – not just because of the composition, but thanks to the way the lyrics stay significant, always.
All I ask ADELE
I love to sing, especially when I’m driving. Not only does Adele’s voice fit snugly into my alto range, but all of her work is music to my ears and heart.
I selected All I ask partly because it’s a belter of a song with a cracking key change that makes for great car-singing, but mainly because it explores the sense of an ending and the struggle to accept that finality.
This song reminds me of all the times things have ended in my life (journeys, jobs, relationships, phases, experiences) and how challenging endings can be, especially when you don’t know they’re coming.
The song also touches on the idea that perhaps we’d play things differently if we knew we were doing something for the last time. How important it is to wrap something up in your life in a way that reflects the quality of the experience. To find an ending that pays homage. To live everything fully so we regret nothing deeply.
Audition (The fools who dream) EMMA STONE – La La Land
La La Land is one of the most poignant films I’ve ever seen. When I first watched the audition scene where Emma Stone sings this song, it literally choked me – I couldn’t breathe for sobbing or see the screen for tears.
I’ve always been a dreamer. I’ve always followed my dreams. And on many occasions, I’ve leapt without looking.
But having captured a feeling under a sky with no ceiling for as long as I can remember, I’ve come to understand that it takes dreams to make life real.
My Sweet Lord GEORGE HARRISON
This song evokes cherished memories and I can recall the precise moment it went from being just a song, to a connection; a sense of oneness.
Every time I hear this song, I’m re-immersed in the thin thread of light on a face; the smell of old books and washing powder; the amber-green colour I’d come to feel most at home in.
I’m so grateful this song found me when it did.