Series about pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact
Series about pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact
I Will Survive
"At first I was afraid, I was petrified"... From a breakup to a shipwreck, emotional true stories of what Gloria Gaynor's iconic disco anthem I Will Survive means to different people around the world.
A woman sets out to become the first female rower to cross the Atlantic solo; a woman listens to the song 35 times in a row after a breakup; a drag queen steps onto the stage of a Berlin nightclub; a mother watches her daughters sing karaoke at a holiday club on the first foreign holiday since leaving her abusive marriage; women gather on the steps of the Courts of Justice to sing the song together as they await a verdict.
Featuring Elisabeth Hoff, Latrice Royale, Penny Arcade, Pragna Patel and Nadine Hubbs.
Produced by Mair Bosworth
It's a love song about growing old. Neil Young's Harvest Moon released in 1992 is a nod to the 1970s country rock loved by music blogger Alyson Young. It's also a grown up song about love says singer-songwriter Ricky Ross. How do you make the magic last and how do you keep love alive? People tell their stories about what the song means to them: jazz singer Maureen Washington danced to the song with her late husband. Amanda Legere played it to her premature baby daughter when she went to see her in the ICU. She knows the baby responded to that song. Mary Divine and her husband were serenaded on their wedding anniversary during lockdown. The whole neighbourhood came out to watch a teenage neighbour play Harvest Moon for them. Margy Waller drove to work at the White House on the final days of Bill Clinton's Presidency listening to Harvest Moon because she needed to cry. For her it's a song about loss. She is still touched by it today during the pandemic in what she describes as another period of great loss.
Versions include Harvest Moon by
Neil Young Unplugged
Produced by Maggie Ayre
Alyson's music blog is Jukeboxtimemachine.com
Ricky Ross presents Another Country on BBC Radio Scotland.
Maureen Washington is a jazz singer based in British Columbia.
Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte by Maurice Ravel
Ravel's beautiful Pavane For A Dead Princess touches many people. While it is not actually about a dead princess it does evoke a sense loss. For Carla van Raay it symbolises the loss of innocence she experienced after sexual abuse as a child which led her to make some difficult life choices. Deal Hudson played it to prisoners in Atlanta and was moved by their reaction. At an academy for troubled teenagers in California the Pavane had a similar effect. Genevieve Monneris comes from the town where Ravel was born on the border with Spain. Her film Henri and Pat tells the story of three French airman who were stationed in York during World War Two. Just days before Henri's plane was shot down the three young men went to a concert of Ravel's music in York. So the piece has a strong emotional meaning for Genevieve whose own father was also stationed with the RAF in York. Professor Barbara Kelly of the Royal Northern College of Music explains the background to the Pavane's composition and why it appeals to the emotions in such a powerful way. Although it was written at the end of the 19th century it became more widely known in the 1920s. That was when a young woman called Lucia Joyce daughter of James Joyce danced to it with her avant garde dance group. The writer Annabel Abbs tells Lucia's tragic story of how her life ended in a mental asylum and how she almost became the imaginary 'dead princess'.
Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte
Ravel Pavane arrangement for harp and cello
Producer: Maggie Ayre
The surprising history behind a track made famous by Nina Simone. Feeling Good was written for a now obscure musical and originally performed by Cy Grant, the first black man to appear regularly on British TV. Cy Grant's daughter, Samantha Moxon, describes her father's extraordinary life from Prisoner of War camp to a successful career in the arts. The composer, Neil Brand, discusses why the song has gone on to transcend the almost forgotten musical it was created for. Other speakers are Sam Reynolds, who says the track helped her through challenging times, and musician, Kirsten Lamb, who sings a simplified version with young children at a homelessness project in Massachusetts.
Producer: Karen Gregor
Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay
Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay was written while Otis Redding was reflecting on his life on Sausalito Bay in California in the summer of 1967. Its upbeat, laidback melody belies the loneliness of the lyrics. Just a few months later Otis Redding was killed in a plane crash and the song was released, becoming the first posthumous number 1 record in the US. His musician contemporaries including Booker T Jones and guitarist Steve Cropper, who co-wrote Dock of the Bay, tell the story of the song's genesis, and people in their twenties to their seventies reveal why they relate it to dramatic periods in their lives.
Booker T Jones' Time Is Tight is published by Omnibus Press
Producers: Maggie Ayre and Mair Bosworth
“It’s a goodbye song, but it’s also an inspirational song, It could also mean a new beginning" - Ray Davies
Written by Ray Davies and released by the Kinks in 1968 'Days' had a very different sound to the rest of their repertoire. Sorrowful but uplifting it's been embraced by listeners across the world who have found solace and hope in it's lyrics.
Having been covered by numerous artists (most notably Kirsty MacColl), it speaks to people of all generations and captures moments in their lives.
For Sim Wood it's an anthem to great friendships and discovery whilst for actor Gabriel Vick it's a song that has journeyed with him from a place of fond memories to heartfelt remembrance. John Slater, who was born the same year that it was released, has his own celebratory take on 'Days' and for Laura and John Mapes it's the song that gave them the words they so needed to express.
Produced By Nicola Humphries
With contributions from rock critic and writer Barry Miles
For Help and Support
BBC Action Line support: Emotional distress
Cruse Bereavement Care provides support after the death of someone close including face to face, telephone, group support, as well as bereavement support for children.
SUDEP Action provides information and bereavement support to families affected by Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) and other epilepsy related deaths.
Young Epilepsy is a national charity supporting children and young people aged 25 and under living in the UK with epilepsy.