All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Freedom Calling

Day 25: A song you could listen to all day without getting tired of.

Freedom Calling | Colin Hay

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Me looking like a tad (too) happy next to my hero, Colin Hay! [2006]

Before Serena Ryder stole my heart there was only one singer-songwriter I had a massive crush on; Colin Hay.

For those not in the know, Colin Hay rose to super-stardom as the lead singer of Australian rock group Men at Work, authors of perennial classic ‘Down Under’. After leaving the group Colin Hay struck out on his own, releasing a series of mainly acoustic solo albums of his self-written songs. They contained classics such as ‘Wayfaring Sons’, ‘Dreamtime in Glasgow’ and ‘Can’t Take This Town’. And then, in 1998, he released an album called Transcendental Highway – the first album of his that I heard – and on this album was a little song called ‘Freedom Calling’.

For over six years – until Serena wowed me with ‘Weak in the Knees’ – this was my all time favourite song. A haunting meditation on life, love and longing. For years it was my anthem; a song I carried close to my heart, a song whose lessons I tried to live my life by. When I moved to Australia in 2002 it was the last song I listened to on UK soil and the first song I listened to after arriving down under. When my relationship with Louise broke down, it was the song I turned to in order to help me through the heartache. And it was the first song I shared with my new girlfriend, Kathy.

There are no words to describe how much I love this song. It is pure, unadulterated bliss (with bagpipes!)

Freedom Calling
by Colin Hay

If you hear a voice call out your name
Saying you can stop yourself from falling
And if he strikes you in his fear and shame
Well you can leave him to his ruin

If your dreams they wake you in the night
And your heart it is a pounding
If you cry out as you wake in your fright
And the wind it is a-howling

Maybe it’s time to find another place
Where nobody even knows your face
There is no need to be afraid
For it’s only freedom calling

If your tears begin to overflow
As you walk against the undertow
There is no need to be afraid
For it’s only freedom calling

If you’re sad ’cause you’re all alone
And your hands they are a shaking
And your miracle cure’s not working anymore
And the flood bank’s close to breaking

Suddenly you’re on an open unknown road
Passing all the heavy, long wide loads
It is time to make your great escape
And you can hear your freedom calling

I want to dive into the sea of love
But my knees they are a quaking
I can see myself high up above
And there’s no time left for faking

I no longer need to understand
What it is to truly be a man
Only when I gave up on my masterplan
Did I then hear freedom calling

Did I then hear freedom calling

I couldn’t have chosen a better song to end this 25 Songs, 25 Days Challenge. I hope you’ve enjoyed the music, tales and memories I’ve shared over the last twenty-five days. To view a complete list of songs that have featured, simply click here!


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Common People

Day 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend

Common People | Pulp

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I’m not one for nightclubs, parties or rave like shenanigans. When I dance, I dance; tango, waltz, salsa, pasodoble…you know, proper dancing. But now and again, when the mood takes me, I have been known to boogy on down to contemporary tunes.

One such occasion occurred in Glasgow with my friend Samantha. After a morning of chilling out and minor adventures, we decided to hit up a pub and ended up drunkenly performing to the Pulp classic Common People. Although it was more a karaoke session than a dance session, we both shook our bootys in between breaking down in fits of laughter.

A rather wonderful memory, if truth be told.


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Let It Be

Day 23: A song that you cannot stand to listen to

Let It Be | The Beatles

The-Beatles

I’m so tempted to repost yesterday’s song in response to today’s prompt because I stand my comment that it is, without doubt, one of the worst songs ever recorded. But that would be a cop out, as there are certainly songs other than I’ve Never Been To Me that I cannot stand listening to. And Let It Be by the Beatles is one of them!

I’ve never been a huge fan of this massively popular musical group. I accept they are instrumental in musical history, but I find a lot of their songs somewhat banal and uninspiring. In fact, I rate only Hey Jude and Yesterday as songs that I would recommend to other people. But the nadir of their musical output, for me, is Let It Be, a most turgid, grating and unpleasant song that I simply cannot stand to listen to.

So, if you’re a Beatles fan…enjoy!

If, like me, you’re not…perhaps go listen to nails on a chalkboard instead!


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25 Songs, 25 Days: I’ve Never Been To Me

Day 22: A song that someone has sung to you

I’ve Never Been To Me | Charlene

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Personally, I think this is one of the worst songs ever recorded. I hate it. I despise it. I find it galling, sentimental and the closest thing to musical trash the universe has ever produced. But, for some inexplicable reason, my abuser loved this song. She loved listening to it. She loved singing it. And on one occasion, in an effort to convince me it was a great song, she sang it to me in its entirety.

Surprisingly, all she did was convince me how truly bad this song really is. So honestly, truly, I apologise profusely for it being today’s selection. But the truth is, very few people have ever sung to me, and outside of lullabies, this is the only tune that came to mind.

Probably because my abuser’s rendition of it is burned forever onto my psyche.

Yes.

It was that bad!


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Weak in the Knees

Day 21: Your favourite song

Weak in the Knees | Serena Ryder

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For my birthday in 2006 I treated myself to the album If Your Memory Serves You Well by Canadian singer-songwriter Serena Ryder. I had become a fan of her soulful music after hearing her perform at the Port Fairy Folk Festival earlier in the year, so was eagerly anticipating another trip into her melodic, intoxicating world. The album itself consists mainly of covers of classic Canadian songs, each and every one perfectly suited to Ryder’s talent and style. But the last few tracks on the album are her own, unique compositions. One of these tracks is Weak in the Knees, and from the moment I first heard it, I knew it was something special.

The day after purchasing the CD my parents arrived in Melbourne for a three week holiday. Unable to pick them up at the airport I traveled to their accommodation to meet them from their taxi. Throughout the journey to the B&B I listened to Weak in the Knees, on repeat, for over an hour. I must have heard the song over two dozen times in that short space of time, and never grew tired of it.

And in the years since, I have listened to it thousands of times, and have never once grown tired of it. It is a song that reminds me of a positive period of my life; a time that saw all of my hard work finally paying off, a time that I was happy, and loved and full of hope for the future. It is a song that reminds me of the time I spent with my parents during their 2006 Melbourne adventure. It is a song that reminds me that, if you look close enough, life doesn’t suck.

If you’re not familiar with Serena Ryder’s work I suggest pouring yourself a nice glass of wine, settling into an armchair and pressing play on the video below. You will be moved. You will be rendered speechless. And you will thank me for introducing you to her exquisite talent.


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Zero

Day 20: The last song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes

Zero | Yeah Yeah Yeahs

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I don’t know much about Yeah Yeah Yeahs. There are certain artists that exist within my iTunes only because one (or more) of my voices are fans. And Yeah Yeah Yeahs is one of Audrey’s favourite bands. She loves their lyrics, adores their energy and relishes rocking out to their indie vibe.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an American indie rock band formed in New York City in 2000. The group is composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. They are complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring member in 2009 and replaced Imaad Wasif who had previously held this role. According to an interview that aired during the ABC network’s Live from Central Park SummerStage series, the band’s name was taken from modern New York City vernacular.

~ from Wikipedia ~

So today’s installment of the 25 Songs, 25 Days Challenge is dedicated to my most rocking of voices.

Audrey, this one’s for you! :)


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25 Songs, 25 Days: Abattoir Blues

Day 19: The first song alphabetically in your iPod/iTunes

Abattoir Blues | Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

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I ruminated on my love of Nick Cave only a few days ago. His music is full of emotion, rife with exquisite rhythm and chock full of intelligent, despairing lyrics. Abattoir Blues, from the album of the same name, is no exception.