Friday, 28 September 2012

The Sun, Moon and Stars

 Hello my dear readers!

 It is Friday night and I have come home from Uni for the weekend. I have had a busy week - my first week of lectures and classes.

 There have been some problems, mainly getting lost around the huge university, but on the whole I have enjoyed this week. I have had the chance to meet people doing the same subjects as me, and I have made some new friends.


 You never realise just how many people you will meet at university. People in your halls of residence, people in your classes, people in societies you have joined. It is amazing how many people you meet.

 And although I feel like I must have met all the students in Manchester, I know in reality I can only have met a tiny percentage. It's amazing to think how many more friends there are out there for me to make, if I only meet them somehow. Ah well, fate often brings people together who were meant to end up in each others' lives.

"I do believe, love came our way, and fate did arrange for us to meet."

 A line from Almost Unreal, one of my favourite songs by Roxette, who are one of my favourite bands. Actually, this song has been stuck in my head, not because I have been thinking of fate, but for reasons I can't quite put my finger on... it just floated into my head! Anyway, it is a brilliant song so I will share it with you.

 "Yeah, come on and do the hocus pocus to me; 
The way that you touch, you've got the power to heal."

 I love Marie Fredriksson's voice! She is so beautiful and has an air of wisdom about her. The song is so incredible; I think it is one of the mist underrated songs I have ever come across. It is up there with the best ballads of the 90s. 

 And the video is so ahead of its time; it is technically stunning and you could think that it had been made today, rather than back in 1993.


 People are like songs; you can think you know all the ones worth knowing and then you discover one that is incredible and you wonder how you lived without it/them. That is my deep and meaningful observation for the day!

 An example of a song I discovered just yesterday, and which I love very much already, is The Sun, Moon and Stars. The version I know is sung by Nanci Griffith, but the song was written by Vince Bell.

 I love how she does a typical Nanci introduction to it - one of the things I love about Nanci Griffith is the way she introduces most of her live performances with a bit of information about the song, or an anecdote related to it.

 They are so endearing, and teach you things about the song you never knew or realised, which make the song so much more special and dear to you. 

 And I may not have understood the exact meaning behind this song had she not said what she said at the beginning. A few words made everything so clear. It is a song about the importance of friendship, something I am very aware of at the moment. I will probably always associate this song with my starting university now!

 Not that you would have found me, "drunken in a bar, with the fan turning," as I don't drink alcohol... But the message still stands that friends are one of the most amazing things we can have in our lives! Don't take your friends for granted. Never forget how amazing they are. Yes, I know I use the word amazing too much. It is my word. And here it is the right word; the only word that will do.


 Watching this video and listening to the song, I realised what people mean when they say Nanci has an angel's voice. I had always thought her voice was beautiful and powerful, but it was her songwriting rather than her voice that endeared her to me. 

 Seeing the way she interprets this song, the way she uses her voice so cleverly, so carefully, so sincerely to tell a story, to convey every ounce of emotion in her, to make every word beautiful and significant... 

 I realised listening to this just what an amazing gift she has vocally, that she can sing other peoples' songs as if they were her own story - and with this song you get the idea that she understands and empathises with every word. She is amazing. Nobody deserves higher praise than Nanci Griffith. She really is an angel.


 This song has also taught me not to be prejudiced and judge a song based on the first line - another life lesson that can be applied to people as well. I heard the beginning of the album version of The Sun, Moon and Stars once and I didn't think a lot of it, so I stopped listening.

 The live version changed my mind, and so I listened to the album version again (from Late Night Grande Hotel) and I really like it - maybe not as much as the live one posted above, but it is a very beautiful and special song in its own way.

 Nanci is one of those gifted few who can do an equally good job on a recorded and a live version of a song; making both incredible in their own right. I've said it before and I'll say it again: she is a genius.


 In other news, I have started the new term of my Mandarin Chinese course, and it was lovely seeing my friends from the course again. We meet once a week to learn Chinese, and I love it - the group is so friendly and we all get on really well.

 Also, for those who have been keeping track of my Cornerhouse antics, tomorrow is the day we compile our shortlist of artists for the exhibition we are planning. I am really looking forward to getting back to Cornerhouse, and seeing my fellow curators Alex and Neetu again.

 Our family friend Tommi is visiting, which is lovely. He lives in Germany and hopefully one day I will be able to converse with him in German - it is a language I have always wanted to learn and maybe now I am at Uni I will have the chance to.


 The moon is very bright tonight in Wigan; we were all looking at it through binoculars. Kind of fitting that I have written about a song called The Sun, Moon and Stars!

 Thanks for reading,

 Liz x

Songs: Almost Unreal - Roxette - 1993
The Sun, Moon and Stars - Nanci Griffith - album version 1991; live version here 1990

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