hide and seek


Oz isn't great at it.

This is...incredible.

I had no idea that every bit of dialog in Airplane! is taken directly--DIRECTLY--from a 1957 movie named Zero Hour.  I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone.

(Hat tip to my friend Ben)

Don't Tell Anyone


We had been married for six or seven years
when my wife, standing in the kitchen one afternoon, told me
that she screams underwater when she swims--

that, in fact, she has been screaming for years
into the blue chlorinated water of the community pool
where she does laps every other day.

Buttering her toast, not as if she had been
concealing anything,
not as if I should consider myself

personally the cause of her screaming,
nor as if we should perform an act of therapy
right that minute on the kitchen table,

--casually, she told me,
and I could see her turn her square face up
to take a gulp of oxygen,

then down again into the cold wet mask of the unconscious.
For all I know, maybe everyone is screaming
as they go through life, silently,

politely keeping the big secret
that it is not all fun
to be ripped by the crooked beak

of something called psychology,
to be dipped down
again and again into time;

that the truest, most intimate
pleasure you can sometimes find
is the wet kiss

of your own pain.
There goes Kath, at one PM, to swim her twenty-two laps
back and forth in the community pool;

--what discipline she has!
Twenty-two laps like twenty-two pages,
that will never be read by anyone.

- Tony Hoagland

from Poetry, July/August, 2012.

I promise the post after this one won't be of my cat


for those of you who think my cat is incapable of taking a bad photo


There you go.



#211: New York Dolls by New York Dolls


New York Dolls by New York Dolls (1973)

Favorite Tracks: "Lonely Planet Boy" and "Trash" and "Jet Boy"

Thoughts: It has been a shitastic day so far, so I was very welcoming to some proto-punk.  It's pouring rain outside in the middle of June and I LOVE it.

Still, while I was in the mood for this kind of music, I was still left pretty cold by the New York Dolls.  It was good.  But I think I am much more impressed by Roxy Music, MC5, Big Star and The Velvet Underground. 

I mean, if you can't tell, I'm getting a bit burnt out on this list.  We are in the low 200s.  I'm expecting my life to be changed by this music.  I'm expecting to want to add every album from here on out to my personal library to cherish and re-visit for the rest of my life.  And it's just not happening right now. 

Is This Better Than The River?:


photo of the day


From this great collection I recommend checking out, which I found via my friend Jennifer.

#212: Bo Diddley / Go Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley / Go Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley (1959)

Favorite Tracks: "Bo Diddley" and "Before You Accuse Me" and "Who Do You Love?" and "I'm Sorry" and "The Great Grandfather" and "Don't Let it Go"

Thoughts: [Bo Diddley:] Alright, I know that Bo Diddley was absolutely formative to popular music and rock as we know it today.  And he should absolutely be on this list.  BUT SINCE WHEN DID WE START THE TWO-ALBUMS-IN-ONE-RANKING SYSTEM?  That is so unfair.  And rude.  And unfair.  I don't care who you are!  I'm sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.  According to wikipedia, it's not like this was a double album or they were released the same month or something like that.  And as far as I can tell, the track lists are totally different.  Anyone have a decent explanation for this that I'm missing?  Rude.

Anyway.  The music.  I recognized "Before You Accuse Me" from Eric Clapton's cover.   And "Who Do You Love?" from The Doors'.

Observation: Bo Diddley likes to mention his name in his songs.  Often.  (Orphan?)

[Go Bo Diddley:] More of the same.  Which isn't bad.  I just get tired of this style of music pretty quickly.

Is This Better Than The River?: I know Bruce would kill anyone for saying otherwise, so...yes?




Oz was in some kind of mood last night, as you can tell from his ears. But I took photos of him anyway, because I can. And because he secretly likes it.

father's day weekend


was quite a treat.

#213: Two Steps From the Blues by Bobby Bland


Two Steps From the Blues by Bobby Bland (1961)

Favorite Tracks: "Two Steps From the Blues" and "Cry Cry Cry" and "Don't Cry No More"

Thoughts: I think I expected very traditional, slow blues, and instead this album was very lively and even pop sounding in its blues.  Bobby has a fantastic voice, and he sang (at least to my ears) much more like Ben E. King than B.B. King.  (See what I did there?  Did you see it?)

The songs were also quite short and sweet, which I appreciated.  A very good album to me, not great.  I would never place it at #213, but then I'm not into blues that much.

Is This Better Than The River?: Nope.

Maryann's Top 5 Emotional Instrumental Film Scores


My rules for this top 5 list were very strict: no musicals, cartoons, 'action' films, sci-fi, westerns, suspense, or sports movies.  I could easily pick 5 scores in each of those categories. This top 5 list had to be specifically for movies that have an emotional hold on me because of the FEELINGS the music gives me, not necessarily because of childhood nostalgia or their levels of excitement, though that's part of it.  The scores below, when I hear them make me want to stop everything else and exist inside  them.  We're talking scores I would walk down the aisle to, scores I want played at my funeral, scores I listen to more than any others.  Not because they're necessarily the best ones ever written.  They just hit me in a place no other scores do.  As you can see for yourself, they were all composed, or at least released, within about ten years of each other--a decade that was particularly formative in my own young life.

5) Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) (2001) by Yann Tierson 

How many hours did I spend sitting in my college dorm rooms listening to this soundtrack?  HOW MANY HOURS?  The answer is: many.  Many, many hours.  Dear, charming film aside, Yann created some gorgeous, lovely music for it that stands all on its own.  It makes me feel hopeful, romantic, wistful, at peace with my life.  I had a difficult time trying to choose between "Comptine d'un autre été : L'après-midi" and any of the versions of "La Valse d'Amélie."

4) The Power of One (1992) by Hans Zimmer

I did not take easily to the soundtrack of The Power of One.  I saw the movie in a high school social studies class, and then promptly forgot it until my freshman year of college in Canada.  My RA had hopes to be a missionary in Africa someday, and she was obsessed with this soundtrack.  She used to kindly give me and my roommate rides back into the States for holidays and breaks, and this soundtrack was on eternal repeat in her car.  My roommate and I moaned about it at the time, as the RA would repeat trivia to us like, "Did you know the penny whistle is native to South Africa?"  We didn't know and we didn't care.  But something about this sweeping music written for South Africa lodged itself inside my heart, and I bought the soundtrack (and the movie) a year later.  To this day, it gives me incredible chills and I could listen to it forever.

It was really tough to pick one song (other favorites are "Mother Africa" and "Woza Mfana") but "The Rainmaker" is just KILLER.*  Please, please, please listen to it, and be sure to get through the lull that starts about 3 minutes in, because if you can get to 3:32 and beyond, HANS ZIMMER WILL MAKE YOUR HEART EXPLODE.  Then the soloist!  Aaaaand I'm crying.  So moving.

3) The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) by Howard Shore

I am a pretty big LOTR fan.  Not the biggest by any means, but pretty big.  When the 3 movies came out I was obsessed.  I glued pictures of my face over Liv Tyler's so it would look like I was standing next to Orlando Bloom, I got a massive scar on my right leg because I FELL trying to get my dad to come watch The Two Towers trailer, and in 2003 my sister and I attended a concert of Howard Shore conducting our local symphony in the score of the trilogy.  I am very, very excited for the Hobbit movies.  (I can't comprehend how anyone wouldn't be.)

I don't know how many times I've seen each of the films, but it would probably be embarrassing so let's leave it to mystery.  Suffice to say, I LOVE them.  And I owned all their scores on CD.  As I will say with all these movie scores, it was super hard to pick one song.  But I picked "The Lighting of the Beacons" from Return of the King because, to quote CSNY, it thrills me to the marrow.  At 1:59, my face melts off.

2) The Last of the Mohicans (1992) by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman

I didn't see this movie until many years after it's release, probably not till college.  But I knew the soundtrack.  In my high school psychology course we had to do multiple writing assignments in class.  To aid our concentration, the teacher would put on one of two soundtracks: Last of the Mohicans, and some other one.  Can you tell which score stuck?  I could have easily gone with "Main Title", "Elk Hunt", "The Kiss", "Top of the World", or "Cora."  But that's why I went with "Promontory": it's like "The Kiss" and "Main Title" combined into one song.  Its slow build is breath-taking and, let's be honest, makes me want to make out with Daniel Day Lewis, so it's gonna win out in the end.  When I think of my favorite film scores, this movie is one of the first to come to mind.  Thanks, Mr. Gasser.

1) Little Women (1994) by Thomas Newman

Thomas Newman hit it out of the park with this one.  I saw this movie in theaters with my family, and it will forever make me think of them.  We like to watch it at Christmas, as it feels like a Christmas movie.  And the score is on all my Christmas music playlists.  This music is delicious food, warm hearths, snow!, blankets and cocoa and mittens and sing-alongs and tears.  Forever my favorite score of all time.  I picked "Orchard House" but every single song is written on my heart.  Love, love, love, love this music.

Honorable Mentions: Home Alone by John Williams ("Somewhere in My Memory"--*SOBS*) Hook by John Williams ("You Are The Pan"--*SOBS*), Titanic by James Horner ("Rose"--*SOBS*), Legends of the Fall by James Horner ("The Ludlows"--*SOBS*-- maaaybe counts as a western, I DON'T CARE) Dances With Wolves by John Barry ("Buffalo Hunt"--almost definitely counts as a western--I DON'T CARE), The Man From Snowy River by Bruce Rowland ("Main Theme"--*SOBS*--possibly a western, I'm beyond caring that you care), Lawrence of Arabia by Maurice Jarre ("Main Theme"--*SOBS*)...I could go on and on.

The tears.  They are LEGION.

What are some of your favorite scores?  What did I completely forget?  And you don't have to keep to my strict parameters, unless you want to do so.

*I know what you're thinking: "But Maryann!  "The Rainmaker" has human voices in it!  That doesn't make it instrumental!  You said only instrumental songs."  And to that I say, non-diegetic voices get a pass.  If the human voices aren't characters or taking place in the narrative, I'm going to allow it.  Also, "The Rainmaker" can do whatever the hell it wants.  I will put it on every  top 5 list, no matter what rules it breaks!  Just watch me!

this one's for da ladeez

Once, just ONCE I would like to go to a liturgical church service and have this as one of the hymns.


My heart skips a little beat every time I see a song called "Alleluia" on a service bulletin, and then dies a tiny bit when it isn't this song.

#214: The Queen is Dead by The Smiths

The Queen is Dead by The Smiths (1986)

Favorite Track(s): "The Queen is Dead" and "I Know It's Over" and "Cemetry Gates" and "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side" and "There is a Light That Never Goes Out"

Thoughts: This is our final Smiths album on the list, as Strangeways, Here We Come, the band's last album, didn't make it.  This album has two of my favorite Smiths' songs on it, so I'm fine with it being so close to #1.  Because it's all about ME.

This was my first time hearing many of these songs.  Some were great, some BLEW ME AWAY.  Like, for instance, the lyrics to "I Know It's Over."  I mean, they're incredible:

if you're so funny
they why are you on your own tonight?
and if you're so clever
then why are you on your own tonight?
if you're so very entertaining
then why are you on your own tonight?
if you're so very good looking
why do you sleep alone tonight?
I know because tonight is just like any other night
that's why you're on your own tonight
with your triumphs and your charms
while they are in each other's arms

it's so easy to laugh
it's so easy to hate
it takes strength to be gentle and kind
it's over, over, over

it's so easy to laugh
it's so easy to hate
it takes guts to be gentle and kind
it's over, over, over

love is natural and real
but not for you, my love
not tonight, my love
love is natural and real 
but not for such as you and I, my love

I mean, COME ON. Good grief.  I was thinking the other day about doing a top 10 list (because I have waaaay more than 5) for songs about being single, and now this song, which I have only just heard, gets a definite place on that list.  Mother of all that is holy.  I will be listening to this song for days  now.  Which is why doing this list, while sometimes taxing, is so rewarding in the end.

Also on this album is the fantastic "The Boy With the Thorn In His Side" which I never took much notice of until I saw Blackpool.  If you are a David Tennant fan and haven't watched this show, look at your life and look at your choices.  And then come over to my place and watch it with me, because it's only available on import/non-region 1 DVD.  I can no longer listen to this song now without doing the choreography:

Finally we have "There is a Light That Never Goes Out", which is one of the greatest driving songs ever. Well, it's also just one of the greatest songs ever, period.  It describes youth and young love so perfectly.  And yes, I first heard it in 500 Days of Summer.  I'm that unoriginal. 

Is This Better Than The River?

I would say it's as  good.

I can't handle this cat


Song of the night.


"Gold" performed by the cast of Once  the musical.  When they start dancing?  CHILLS.

#215: License to Ill by Beastie Boys

License to Ill by Beastie Boys (1986)

Favorite Track(s): "Rhymin and Stealin" and "The New Style" and "Slow Ride" and "Girls" and "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)"

Thoughts: (Pre-Listening) So it's just Beastie Boys, not The Beastie Boys.  Good to know.  Can you tell I'm not very familiar with them?  I think the only Beastie Boys' song I can readily recognize is "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)."  Should I be embarrassed about that?  Probably.  I was when Adam Yuach passed away last month and I had zero context for him or his influence on music (though it was clearly substantial considering the response).  I just never got on this particular classic hip-hop train.  This is their debut album, and I expect great things.

(Post-Listening) Well, I was wrong.  I definitely recognize/know "Girls" and "Brass Monkey."  So that's THREE songs!  Impressed, aren't you?

As expected, this is my kind of hip-hop.  I loved how much hard/classic rock music there was--it emphasized the rhymes so well.  Overall the music was very fun and memorable, but I confess over time the guys' voice got a bit grating on my ears.  I probably won't return to this album any time soon, but I wasn't disappointed with it.

Is This Better Than The River?:

Not to me, but very good.  I can definitely see why it's ranked so high.

Some nights Oz likes to kick back after a long day of work and watch his shows

He's always very lady-like, too.

Today's post is brought to you by the letter U


#216: Look-Ka Py Py by The Meters


Look-Ka Py Py by The Meters (1969)

Favorite Track(s): "Look-Ka Py Py" and "Funky Miracle"

Thoughts: What the what?  I have never heard of this band!  But they are New Orleans funk, and I suppose that isn't quite my area of expertise.  The album title makes me laugh, though.  Sounds a bit like a failed Greek fraternity (speaking as someone whose entire knowledge of fraternities/sororities comes from watching Greek and knowing my friend Kristen).

Anyway, after listening to the album, I can only assume it was ground-breaking for its time, because the majority of this funk felt mediocre and generic to me.  I so prefer Parliament or Funkadelic or Prince or James Brown.  Compared to those artists, this felt like elevator music.  According to wikipedia, The Meters are considered progenitors or funk, and that they went on to influence many other funk bands.  So I guess that's why they're so close to #1.  But personally I won't be revisiting this album.

Is This Album Better Than The River?: Nope, nope, nope.  Come on, RS  List, at this point I should be hearing albums that will CHANGE MY LIFE.

For Desire


Give me the strongest cheese, the one that stinks best;
and I want the good wine, the swirl in crystal
surrendering the bruised scent of blackberries,
or cherries, the rich spurt in the back
of the throat, the holding it there before swallowing.
Give me the lover who yanks open the door
of his house and presses me to the wall
in the dim hallway, and keeps me there until I’m drenched
and shaking, whose kisses arrive by the boatload
and begin their delicious diaspora
through the cities and small towns of my body.
To hell with the saints, with the martyrs
of my childhood meant to instruct me
in the power of endurance and faith,
to hell with the next world and its pallid angels
swooning and sighing like Victorian girls.
I want this world. I want to walk into
the ocean and feel it trying to drag me along
like I’m nothing but a broken bit of scratched glass,
and I want to resist it. I want to go
staggering and flailing my way
through the bars and back rooms,
through the gleaming hotels and weedy
lots of abandoned sunflowers and the parks
where dogs are let off their leashes
in spite of the signs, where they sniff each
other and roll together in the grass, I want to
lie down somewhere and suffer for love until
it nearly kills me, and then I want to get up again
and put on that little black dress and wait
for you, yes you, to come over here
and get down on your knees and tell me
just how fucking good I look.

- Kim Addonizio 

[I am on such a Kim Addonizio kick right now.  I've ordered all her books (from my library).  This woman's poetry hits me right in the e v e r y t h i n g.]

crazy eyes

To quote Tom Hiddleston, this picture makes me go, "Ehehehehehehehehehehe."

#217: Loveless by My Bloody Valentine

Loveless by My Bloody Valentine (1991)

Favorite Tracks: "To Here Knows When" and "Blown A Wish" and "What You Want" and "Soon"

Thoughts: Hey!  We're back.  Did you miss this series at all?  I did.  Thanks for holding while I DID'ed out.

So the things I know about My Bloody Valentine are as follows: they're Irish, alternative, and for many years I confused their name with the movie--which came first?  The movie, it turns out.  Still, great name for a band.  But is the music worthy of #217?

Well, I'm afraid that on my first listen, and this may be wholly to be expected for non-alternative listeners, that the music didn't open itself up to me.  Too often the melody did not triumph or work in conjunction with the 'noise.'  Here and there what I consider music would sort of shine through the fog of distortion, and I felt something or liked what I heard.  But in general this album left me pretty cold, and with no understanding as to why it's ranked so high.  Are any of my readers fans who could help me out here?  I think I just don't understand most alternative music, and probably never will. 

Is This Better Than The River?:  Yeah, that's a no from me.

first poem for you


I like to touch your tattoos in complete
darkness, when I can't see them.  I'm sure of
where they are, know by heart the neat
lines of lightning pulsing just above
your nipple, can find, as if by instinct, the blue
swirls of water on your should where a serpent
twists, facing a dragon.  When I pull you

to me, taking you until we're spent
and quiet on the sheets, I love to kiss
the pictures in your skin.  They'll last until
you're seared to ashes; whatever persists
or turns to pain between us, they will still
be there.  Such permanence is terrifying.
So I touch them in the dark; but touch them, trying.

- Kim Addonizio, Poetry

(Can you imagine someone writing this poem for you?)

Currents, June 2012


Current Movie: Snow White and the Huntsman!  I know many people didn't care for it, but I enjoyed every minute.  I felt like I was flying through a fantasy land made up of The Never-Ending Story, Lord of the Rings, The Princess Bride, Joan of Arc, and Monty Python's Holy Grail.  Yes, there were some plot/characterization wrinkles, but the beautiful care and creation of this film made them matter naught to me.  I can't wait to watch it again.

Current Food: This butternut squash pizza at a local restaurant.  My mom ordered it once (I'm not naturally drawn to squash, so I probably would never have discovered it otherwise), and I'm so in love.  It's spicy and creamy and light.  It's merely butternut squash, goat cheese, pancetta, and hot peppers on an olive oil base.  Delish.

Current Worry: I will never get my dead Christmas tree off my deck because I can't deal with life and it will turn into stone and be a monument to my laziness and inadequacy.  Can you tell I'm getting a fake tree this year?  Either that or just pulling the dead one in to recycle.

Current Book: Quite a few right now: See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity by Amy Frykholm, the sequel to my favorite anthology of poetry (Staying Alive), which is called Being Alive, compiled by Neil Astley, and finally I'm re-reading The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz.

Current Obsession: One time I was over at my friend Bridget's house (she is in ITALY right now--go look at her pictures and drool), and used some of her kitchen hand soap.  Side note: Does everyone have kitchen hand soap?  I find it essential.  I hate, hate, hate having to wash my hands with dish soap.  Though now I'm questioning myself, and maybe this soap was in Bridget's bathroom, not her kitchen?  Forgive me.  Anyway, I used some and it smelled diviiiiiine.  I told her I loved it, and she said, "Oh, it's just from Target."  It was so heavenly I thought for sure she'd found it in some small boutique on a cobble stoned road on one of her many travels (ITALY, guys.  Italy.).  So the other day at Target, I came upon it by chance, not even looking for it!  Naturally I bought the hand soap.  And dish soap.  And counter-top spray.  But I stopped there!  I daresay it sort of reminds me of the Yankee Candle, Holiday Sage.  It's Herbs of Provence by Caldrea:

Current Thankfulness: Speaking of Holiday Sage, the incredible Taylors had Jonathan and I over to watch the very good movie An Ordinary Family last weekend, and we got to talking Yankee Candle as one does, and the Taylors revealed a GLORIOUS SECRET: Marshall's sells weird, re-labeled but completely legit Yankee Candles.  Were they returned?  Overstock?  God only knows, but the Taylors had some they didn't care for and when they asked if either of us wanted them I think I made some inaudible noise so loud Jonathan never had the chance.  Because you guys, one of them is Holiday Sage.  With a slightly different scent even, which Jonathan keenly noticed as probably cinnamon.  Hopefully we'll get the gang together and I can show them to you in a video.  The other one is Early Sunrise, and it is citrus-y perfection.  So a big thank you to the Taylors (and Jonathan), because I was going candle-less and my life was sorely less quality for it.

Current TV Show: I am in LOVE with Robin Hood (2006).  The best fantasy show I've watched in ages (kicks Merlin clear out of the water).  I'm about to start The West Wing, and I've been re-watching Scrubs, to mixed results.  On the one hand I think, "God this show is so fucking amazing" and then on the next hand I criticize it mercilessly because it is a medical show. I get all up in arms for the patients, which I never used to do when I watched it.  Before it was, "Will no one think of the doctors?" But now!  Now J.D. will tell a patient that a procedure is "No big deal."  Back in the day I would think, "How nice of him!  That's so calming and kind."  But now I scream at my television: "J.D. have YOU had THAT procedure done to YOU?  If not, then you have no FUCKING RIGHT to tell that patient WHAT KIND OF DEAL that procedure is.  Do you hear me?  NO RIGHT.  You don't know what phobias or pain thresholds that particular patient has!"  And then I leave the TV alone and shout to the universe itself, "I HATE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS!"  Which isn't true at all, so many of them are very nice, but you don't remember those ones.  You remember the lady who basically called you a wuss when you asked her to hold your hand while you lay on your stomach and had doctors inserting things into your spine while you were CONSCIOUS and when thank God you did slip out of consciousness, probably from the pain, you then awoke to find her NOT HOLDING YOUR HAND.  And now I'm crying.  But Scrubs.  Great show.*

Current Wishlist:  The ability to not let other people's opinions/values make me feel like shit just because mine are different.  Oh, you meant something actually attainable?  Another tattoo.  Or three.

Current Music: My Desert Island Discs, of course.  And going around and around about them.  You should have gone with the John Denver!  Where's Kenny Loggins?  Hell, where are Billy Joel and Elton John?  How dare you leave them! Think of Meat Loaf and Jesus Christ Superstar and Fleetwood Mac!  It's like I don't even know you anymore.

Current Reminder: I've been reading some people's old (and current) blog posts lately that write so personally and openly about their individual grief or depression or hardships, and I find my heart opening to them, changed by their honesty and willingness (or at least need) to share.  So often when I try to write posts like that, I worry people's responses are ones of exasperation or discomfort.  I need to remember that most people, the people who love me, will more likely be blessed than burdened by my honesty.  I hope that is true.

*I know what you're wondering: but Maryann, don't you have this reaction when you watch M*A*S*H?  Sometimes.  But rarely because Alan Alda is perfection incarnate.  After Jesus, of course.

honey, you should know that I could never go on without you

Green eyes.

Song of the day.


"Nostalgia" by Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo.  It's the lovely theme song for the excellent TV show Wallander.  The version used for the show has slightly different lyrics, which I prefer:

tram wires cross northern skies
cut my blue heart in two

Best of Desert Island Discs


Well, I finished my 100+ episodes of Desert Island Discs.  Some of them I couldn't completely get through (sorry Luise Rainer), some were less than fun to listen to (Michael Crawford I am looking at you), but overall they were informative, funny, and thought-provoking.  Here are some of my favorite choices, quotes, and anecdotes, as well as my own observations.  

Eric Clapton on Prince (he picked "Purple Rain" and it was his favorite of all 8 discs): "It's a reincarnation of Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, and James Brown in one."

Richard Dreyfuss wanted "The Entertainer" by Marvin Hamlisch as one of his DID.  That is...insane.  Who would want to listen to that every day? But his luxury was a book delivery service, and that is quite good.  But seriously, "The Entertainer"?  On repeat for the rest of your life?  I would drown myself!

So many people had "Some Enchanted Evening" (Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hal Prince), which I think is a very overrated R & H song.  Give me "If I Loved You" any day.  Richard Curtis and Mark Gatiss agreed with me.

Speaking of Richard Curtis: "Record #4 is an opportunity, Sue, for me to make an important public apology.  I wrote a song when I was very young called "Meaningless Songs in Very High Voices" about the Bee Gees.  Which was a mistake.  The title should have been "Fantastic, Long-Lasting Pop Songs by the Greatest Songwriting Duo Since Lennon and McCartney."  (The disc: the song the Bee Gees wrote for Diana Ross, and sung by her: "Chain Reaction".)

John Cleese wanted Michael Palin as his luxury item!  And Sue told him he couldn't because he's animate, but he could have him stuffed.  "That'll do," said Cleese.  So sweet.

Both Margaret Atwood and Emmylou Harris picked "Talk to Me of Mendocino"! And considering the lyrics, it's such a perfect choice. 

Nick Hornby's luxury item: iPod, which Sue had never heard of (it was 2003), and banned after his choosing it.  Too bad.

Richard Curtis' book: Guinness Book of Pop Music, so he would be reminded of songs to sing himself.  And his luxury item: the Pizza Express from Notting Hill.  Great choices, both.

Sue Johnston picked The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York."  Brilliant.

Ewan McGregor's luxury: a chromatic harmonica so he can carry it around with him around the island and make music wherever he goes.

Cameron Mackintosh picked "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" by HUGH JACKMAN!  I recently saw a photo them together on the set of the new Les Miserables movie, 11 years after his DID.

I love it when people have Christmas music on their lists--who knows how long you'll be on the island?--like Emma Thompson ("Ceremony of Carols") and Michael Caine ("Happy Christmas (War is Over)").

Morrissey's luxury was a bed, because 'we all love to go to bed'--and Michael Palin wanted one too.

I love David Mitchell for picking Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass's  "Spanish Flea" as an "appropriate piece of music to go mad to on a desert island."  What's more, on of his song's is Kermit (well, Jim Henson) singing "The Rainbow Connection."  I love that man.

David Walliams picked The Smiths "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" as his one favorite disc because "as soon as that song finishes, you want to hear it again."  Truth.

Ricky Gervais wanted to take a VAT of Novocaine as his luxury.  Not to be outdone, Stephen Fry wanted a suicide pill.  But even better, one of his songs was Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" because Hugh Laurie used to play it on the piano for them all the time.  I nearly died!

Harriet Walter picked "Well, Did you Evah?" from High Society!

Person With the Most Surprisingly Awesome List: Omar Sharif, hands down.  His list:

1) "All the Way" by Frank Sinatra
2) "Wasted" by Donna Summer
3) "Nevertheless I'm in Love with You" by Liza Minnelli
4) "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd
5) "La Vie En Rose" by Edith Piaf
6) "Let the Music Play" by Barry White
7) "Seul Sur Son Etoile" by Gilbert Becaud
8) "Don't Rain On My Parade" by Barbra Streisand


My own Desert Island Discs will be revealed soon!  (Sheesh, I'm really building this up to more than it is.)

Maryann's Top 5 Songs About Burgeoning Female Adolescent Sexuality

Rude!  Why only female?  Because a) that's what I am, so I tend to relate to more music that's about the ladeez, and b) the well is so, so much deeper for angsty adolescent female sexuality music because thanks to our often misogynistic American culture, it sucks much harder to be a girl growing up than a boy.  There's research.  Look it up.  Not to say boys don't have things they have to put up with, but come on: I think whichever sex has to adjust to dealing with a murder scene in their underwear for a week every month wins hand down, OK?

I know you might expect to see more artists like Ani DiFranco, Tori Amos, or Liz Phair on this list, but I personally associate those awesome ladies with a little more adult female sexuality--like college and beyond.  In general.  But if they've written kick-ass SABFAS, leave 'em in the comments and educate me.

5) "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian

I learned the truth at seventeen
that love was meant for beauty queens
and high school girls with clear-skinned smiles
who married young and then retired
the valentines I never knew
the Friday night charades of youth
were spent on more beautiful
at seventeen I learned the truth...

And those of us with ravaged faces
lacking in the social graces
desperately remained at home
inventing lovers on the phone
who called to say "come dance with me"
and murmured vague obscenities
it isn't all it seems at seventeen

I can't leave this gem out!  Obviously 17 is a little past 'burgeoning' per se, but I think this song is important to the list because it addresses when one's expectations of adolescence are not met.

4) "The Art Teacher" by Rufus Wainwright

there I was in uniform
looking at the art teacher
I was just a girl then
never have I loved since then

he was not that much older than I was
he had taken our class to the Metropolitan Museum
he aced us what our favorite work of art was
but never could I tell him--
oh, I wish I could have told him

Who doesn't love Rufus Wainwright?  So talented and a matchless voice.  I know what you might be thinking, "A guy on a list about female sexuality?  You've been compromised by the Patriarchy, Maryann!"  But then you listen to this song and you're like, "Yep.  It belongs here."  Everyone had crushes on teachers!  Or at least I did.  Hell, I had crushes on all kinds of authority figures, from orthodontists to camp counselors to...we'll stop there for now.

3) "How Does the Wine Taste?" by Barbra Streisand

how does the wine taste?
does it sting your lips?
what is the fruit like just beyond my fingertips?
just out of reach I see so much
I cannot taste, I mustn't touch
tied to my little world
my safe little world

what would it be like if I broke the string?
would it be lovely and a little frightening?
there is so much I've never understood
how does the wine taste, is it good?

how does does the wine taste?
does it make you glow?
how does the wine taste?
I think I know

I mean, just read those lyrics.  Damn.  Damn.  Enough said.

2) "Rumble Doll" by Patti Scialfa

Now some girls are just born lucky
yeah they're lucky that's for sure
well in my soul I never felt that clean though I
though I know my heart is pure
sometimes I feel like I know too much and
sometimes I feel like I don't know nothing at all

The first time I eve heard this song it was inside another song: SONGCEPTION.  It was actually from the DVD of Bruce Springsteen's New York City Concert from 2000, because if you didn't know, Patti is married to Bruce, and a member of the E Street Band.  During the song "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" Bruce does this massive interlude with introductions for each member of the band.  It's terrific.  And when he's gets to Patti, he sings some of his song "Red-Headed Woman" to make her laugh, and then yells, "Come on!" She then launches into the intro of "Rumble Doll" and when I heard it, I was like, "What IS that?  I love it!"  Some lyrics googling later, I found it, the title song from her 1993 album.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I associate it with adolescence more than adulthood, except for the lyrics I posted.  Feeling like you know too much and then nothing at all--well, that sums it up, really, doesn't it?

1) "Boys in the Trees" by Carly Simon

I'm home again in my old narrow bed
where I grew tall and my feet hung over the end
the low beam room with the window looking out
on the soft summer garden
where the boys grew in the trees

here I grew guilty
and no one was at fault
frightened by the power in every innocent thought
and the silent understanding passing down
from daughter to daughter
let the boys grow in the trees

do you go to them or do you let them come to you
do you stand in back afraid that you'll intrude
deny yourself and hope someone will see
and live like a flower
while the boys grow in the trees

last night I slept in sheets the color of fire
tonight I lie alone again and I curse my own desire
sentenced first to burn and then to freeze
and watch by the window
where the boys grew in the trees
the boys grew in the trees

I really think this is my favorite Carly song (with "Coming Around Again" and "Let the River Run" coming in as close seconds).  As you might imagine, this song inspired the rest of this top 5.  I don't know how much this relates to other girls' experiences growing up, but man oh man, for me and my experience there is a blaze of truth in every word.  'Do you go to them or do you let them come to you...deny yourself and hope someone will see.'  Carly, you've said a mouthful.  Especially for those of us who grew up Christian!  Or maybe that's just me.

Honorable Mention: every acoustic cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."

What are your favorite SABFAS?  Or your favorite Songs About Burgeoning Male Adolescent Sexuality?  What have I completely overlooked and will kick myself later for leaving out?