30-Day Song Challenge Day 21

Day 21 of the 30-day song challenge and we arrive at a prompt that is a lot easier to chose than some of the previous days. Today I am picking a song with a name in the title.

The 30-Day Song Challenge, for anyone new to this, is indeed a challenge. For 30 days, I have to choose one song from the list below. I made this a lot harder by deciding it would be a good writing exercise to write a blog post about each of my choices. It sounded like a good idea at the time…

DAY 21

Day 21 and compared to the previous two days of this challenge, this one feels much more comfortable. Not only easier to pick the song but to write about it. Early on, I set out to be more open in my posts and to be honest about how I feel, what I think and things that have happened in my past. It’s unusual for me, and I’m still not sure if I am ‘good’ at it.

I still veer off into trying to make things fun as much as I can. Old habits certainly die hard on this blog. Or maybe this exercise had been a good thing. Perhaps my writing style, if indeed I have one, is to mix the funny with the honest. Isn’t that what good writers do? Or do I reign it all in and say, “I’ve tried to be different, but I should just stick to writing comedy”? I guess this, now, is being open and honest as I am genuinely torn. Should this blog be about me and my thoughts or musings, or should it go back to being about my days out in Thailand? I guess it can be both but would that make it harder to earn a following on here?

I spoke to someone that works at a publishing house recently, and one of the things they told me was about building a ‘following’. That got me thinking, “how do I do that?” By writing posts like this? Like my original idea or should I scrap it all and go balls deep into writing comedy?

I’m sounding confused.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m whining, I’ve just been thinking (too much) recently on how best to spend my writing time.

Up At Eight, Can’t Be Late

Anyway, on with today’s choice of song. I first heard this song when I was 17. I was sharing a house with two other guys who I had met in the youth theatre I was part of. We had no money and a TV that hardly worked. But we did have a stereo. Or should I say, Steve had a stereo. Steve was a bit older than me and Russell, the other flatmate and he had albums that neither of us had heard.

I heard so much new music during the eight or nine months I lived there, much of it I still listen to today and ranks as some of my favourites. I first heard Neil Young during this time, as well as Pixies, Tom Waits, Joy Division and many more. Another artist I heard for the first time and to this day remains a favourite is Cat Stevens, so when I saw today’s prompt, I instantly knew what track I was going to pick.

Watch Them Run Down To Platform One

Matthew and Son by Cat Stevens is, I think, one of the first songs I remember hearing that was about working in a shit job, of being slaves to other people. It was released as a single on 30 December 1966 and appeared on Stevens’ debut album, of the same name. The track reached number 2 in the UK charts and remains Stevens’ highest-charting single.

It doesn’t sound like a song that’s making a social statement about people working for slave wages. It’s upbeat tempo and elaborate horn arrangement lull the listener into thinking it’s a sweet, jolly song about someone going to work.

The Work’s Never Done

It’s quite odd seeing the young Cat Stevens in the photo above as he quite soon grew his hair, started sporting a beard and generally became a hippie. That’s how I have always pictured him. He went on to write many brilliant songs, songs that I will admit are better than this. But I had to get a Cat Stevens track on this list so, if you haven’t heard it, I hope you like it.

If you like my writing, please stick around, make a cup of tea – Street Art in Chalermla Park Bangkok

Or head over to Spotify to see the songs that are making up this list –


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rivergirl says:

    Again you throw Neil Young at me… and then don’t choose him.
    That’s the definition of wrong.
    Cat Stevens? Meh.
    As for attracting followers, I find you have to follow other blogs and interact with others if you have any hope of them following you. Spread yourself around.
    I mean, I know I’m the only follower you really need…. but if you feel the need to boost your numbers.

  2. Yeah it’s the interacting/finding ones I’d enjoy reading and then finding the time to read them that’s a big stickler for me. I’m more wondering what kind of blog I want really. The ‘helpful’ Thai thing or just nonsense (which you do so well at). As for you not liking Cat Stevens – I’ll let it go but I will never forget.

    1. Rivergirl says:

      One man’s nonsense is… well, okay nonsense. But you have to find your niche. Blogging is entertainment for me, that and I enjoy meeting people from all over the world. So I like reading about your life in Thailand. People worry too much about what their blogs should “be”. Unless you’re a professional trendsetter with 2 million followers? I say just enjoy it.

  3. I have to agree with Rivergirl. Not about Cat Stevens. Love Cat Stevens. But about your blog. I’d say write what you enjoy and you’ll get your best writing out of yourself. The only command I’m giving you is to not give up on including comedy in your blog, even if you’re blogging about your days out in Thailand. I don’t think it has to be an either/or proposition. I think you hit the nail on the head: honesty and humor are a winning combination.

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