Friday, 17 August 2012

Amazing news and the Kennedys ♥

 Hello, my wonderful readers! Bonjour! ¡Hola!

 I am very happy and excited because I got my A-Level results yesterday and I got the results I needed to go to my first-choice university! I am going to the University of Manchester! Whoooooo!

 Needless to say, I am very chuffed. But slightly scared... starting university is probably one of the biggest, most challenging things I will ever do, leaving home and learning to live by myself and become independent.

 However, I feel well up for that challenge, and will throw myself into university life. As they say, you only get out of things what you put in, and I intend to do everything I can to make my four years at university as amazing as they possibly can be ♥

 I will be studying French and Spanish, but I intend to try studying some other languages in my free time, and I will look for clubs and societies to join - hopefully there will be French and Spanish societies, as well as the chance to keep playing badminton, and maybe even do some more zumba!

 Talking of zumba, I went to a Steps-themed zumba yesterday, and it was brilliant! I enjoyed it so much - more than I had expected to. I had thought that Steps only had a few big hits, but at zumba there were lots of songs that I quite liked, and I may listen to more music by Steps from now on (and maybe do the dances)!

 I've had so many lovely messages from my family and friends congratulating me on my results and getting into Manchester Uni, and I'm so grateful and happy to have so much love and support. Knowing they will always be there for me makes me feel more confident about making the huge jump of going to Uni.

 There's a song that I had heard briefly and liked, but that recently my brother brought back to my attention and I realised I really like it. (And now it's stuck in my head.) It's Express Yourself by Labrinth. Give it a listen if you haven't already. Here is a video my brother made with the song which I prefer to the official video.

 Also, in honour of me starting Uni I have to share one of the most hopeful, beautiful songs I know: Life Is Large by the Kennedys; Pete and Maura.

 This amazingly talented pair were the opening act for Nanci Griffith when I saw her live in concert in Salford Quays for my eighteenth birthday treat earlier this year. I had heard of the Kennedys before then but I hadn't really known their music so it was great to discover them! ♥

  Photos courtesy of my mum.

 I was lucky enough to meet Pete and Maura Kennedy after the show and they were so lovely. 

 I bought their latest CD, which they very kindly signed for me, and it has a live version of Life Is Large, which is one of the most wonderful songs you will ever hear. It is simply gorgeous. The guitar playing, the vocals, the lyrics...

"We've only got one chance to walk this line;
If you should get lost or stuck in time.
Just believe this road does not end here.
How do you want to be remembered; a raging fire or a dying ember?"

 Amazing. I love the version in the video earlier in this blog post which I presume is the album version, but my favourite has to be the live one... It is just incredible. So atmospheric and intimate and emotional and direct. One of the few songs I can listen to in any mood and still enjoy completely.

 I will also share a stunning performance by the Kennedys of When I Go by Dave Carter.

  I feel like I don't even have the right to comment on something so beautiful and perfect but I must say it is the song I wish I had written. I can't say for sure but I feel there is something very Native American in the melody and lyrics and, as I have some of this in my ancestry, this song feels very close to me personally and means a lot to me. 

 It is hard to pick out one lyric to highlight because every line is beautiful, but among the ones which I found most poignant are:

"I'll send this message down the wire and hope that someone wise is listening when I go."

" showers of crimson rubies when I go."

"And should you glimpse my wandering form upon the borderline, between death and resurrection and the council of the pines.
Do not worry for my comfort, do not sorrow for my soul,
Or your diamond tears will rise up in the dawn sky beside me when I go."

 Truly beautiful. If I could ever write a song anywhere near as powerful and moving I would be very happy. I am not too familiar with the work of Dave Carter, but if this song is anything to go by he must have been a very, very gifted songwriter. 

 I really think the world would be a sadder, more desperate place without this song. It almost embraces death, makes it feel like something not to be afraid of. It is also a celebration of this beautiful world we live in which we often - too often - take for granted. 

 When I Go is humbling and magical and unlike any other song I have ever heard. I am so grateful to the Kennedys for bringing to my attention a song I may never have heard otherwise. 

 I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the Kennedys. I will be off to university in September, and I have no doubt that it will be an amazing experience. It will be a journey of sorts, and you, my blog readers, will be able to take it with me as I blog at every step of the way with news and updates and - of course - plenty of brilliant music to listen to along the way.

 This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and I'm hoping it's going to be a good one ♥

 Hasta luego,

 Liz x

Songs: Express Yourself - Labrinth - 2012
Life Is Large - the Kennedys - 1996
When I Go - the Kennedys - 2003

1 comment:

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    Amazing news