My Life in Songs: Caitlin O’Connor

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This week, our Books editor Caitlin strays from her regular path into the territory of music. Having selected five songs that define her life, we’re fruitlessly resisting the urge to make a comment about now being able to read her like an open book. So, without further ado, take it away Caitlin!


Kingston Town // UB40

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c4KAnQpdGw&w=740&h=422]

The general rule in my house is that those who don’t like or don’t grow to like ‘Kingston Town’ are not to be trusted. This song is a huge part of my childhood, and because of this I don’t understand those who can’t find a slight bit of joy in ‘Kingston Town.’ The reggae beats and Midlands accent make me indefinitely happy, and the charm of ‘Kingston Town’ is hard to find in other songs. It’s forever my go-to karaoke song and the only guilty pleasure I’ll never feel guilty for loving.


Enchanted // Taylor Swift

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npi5U4w4Go8&w=740&h=422]

I don’t think I’ll ever not love Taylor Swift. Her Speak Now album was released in 2010 and I think I listened to it every night for about a year. My favourite song on the album by far was ‘Enchanted,’ the tale of a heartbroken girl meeting a boy she’ll never see again. It’s the ultimate song to dance around your room to, even now, and no girly dance party/sleepover is complete without it. This song reminds me of a simpler time when I, like most daydreaming girls, believed in fairy tales and true love and all that jazz. I saw Taylor in Manchester in 2011 and I remember being a glitter-clad, blubbering wreck when she sang this song. It was definitely the highlight of that concert, if not the highlight of my life at that point.


Born To Die // Lana Del Rey

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bag1gUxuU0g&w=740&h=422]

I thought I was the coolest fifteen year old because I listened to Lana Del Rey. After the release of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ debut album I vowed to stop listening to the music I only liked because my friends did, so One Direction and about four years’ worth of Now That’s What I Call Music were replaced with the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack and Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die. Now, this was around the hipster hype of 2012 and I, a misguided wannabe indie kid, gravitated towards the first songs I could find. This meant traipsing through albums by the Temper Trap, Foster the People and other bands I now don’t really like. But there’s something about Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die album that is timeless, almost regal and unlike anything else I had heard before. A persona of a troubled but elegant girl could be created around this album; I could be artsy and existential, and I think I needed this album to tell me that I didn’t have to be what people expected of me. ‘Born To Die’ marked the point where I grew up.


It’s Alright Now // Bombay Bicycle Club

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7ZSI4-MHWg&w=740&h=422]

One of my biggest regrets is not listening to Bombay Bicycle Club earlier. I finally started listening to them last summer and they quickly became my favourite band (behind Oasis, of course). ‘It’s Alright Now’ is easily the song of my past year.

The point I remember most from Leeds Festival is crying along to this song, like an idiot, but not feeling like an idiot for it. It was one of the last acts of the last day, I was exhausted and I had nearly died twice over the weekend (seriously guys, bring your inhaler to a festival; having a panic attack and not being able to breathe isn’t rock and roll), but I was still so happy. I saw Bombay Bicycle Club live in Manchester with my best friend a few months later and all of that joy came back. The band and this song created one of those moments where everything stops and is happy and forever, only if for a four minute song.


The Masterplan // Oasis

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPPi2D6GK7A&w=740&h=422]

‘The Masterplan’ is arguably Noel Gallagher’s best song. I agree. This song states that we shouldn’t spend time worrying about the future because “We’re all part of the masterplan.” I don’t know whether this is a religious belief or just idealistic, but this song has a beauty and honesty that could pass as scripture (Noel did once win the NME Godlike Genius award). The lyrics alone have helped me through a lot of sadness, with the beautifully composed music acting as an anaesthetic to help this.

As dramatic as all that sounds, there is a genuine reason behind it: this song reminds me of my dad. When he died, Oasis’ music was the only definite thing that stayed. The power of this song lies in the fact that it can never be a sad song; ‘The Masterplan’ is far too triumphant to ever be tainted. It’s easily my favourite song of all time.


Which songs would define your life? Tell us@indie_pendent_

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