My Desert Island Discs – Thank you BBC Radio 4 for the inspiration

Ask everyone, they remember their first love. It’s embedded in their emotional map.

Radio 4 Desert Island Discs

Radio 4 Desert Island Discs

My Desert Island Discs

BBC Radio 4 transmit Desert Island Discs and have done so since 1942.(Copyright probably BBC, I did look but couldn’t find the official reference for it)

The programme has the same theme tune as the original, it’s now become a radio institution, recognisable across the globe.

The radio programme has one presenter, currently Kirsty Young, who interviews a celebrity, academic or public figure about their life. The conversation is held against a back drop of their favourite pieces of music and the reasons behind their choices. If they were stuck on a desert island, which eight pieces of music, discs, would they like to have with them.

A extra dimension is also which books would they need with them on the island. The guest is ‘given’ the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible. Remember this did start on the BBC back in the forties. The Bible can now be exchanged for any other book of religion or philosophy.

At the end of the programme the guest must decide on ‘saving’ just one book. They are also allowed one luxury item.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have every intention of becoming a best selling author and will therefore get on the radio show for real at some point soon. However in the meanwhile I thought I’d share my current Desert Island Discs  shown below in no particular order.

Michael Jackson – This is it

Well everyone has to have an MJ track don’t they? I have so many favourites, why this one? Well, the film made me cry and every time I hear the first few notes I get the lump in my throat again. I also chose this for my ‘walking down the isle’ music at my wedding. If I’m stuck on an island I’ll also choose to embrace the situation, sing out loud and have a good old cry.

K D Lang – Hallelujah

This song is apparently Leonard Cohen’s most covered song EVER. Sadly he had been forced onto the road again in his eighties due to someone ripping off his savings – grrrr. I have yet to hear a more emotional version that K D Lang’s. When I am feeling spiritual or practising meditation on the island this will be the perfect song to get me in the right frame of mind.

Rise of the Valkyries

Despite, or maybe because, my Dad played classical music REALLY loud when I was growing up I didn’t like it for some time. Maybe it’s an age thing as I’m now coming round. This piece is the one which accompanies the helicopters flying from the distance in my favourite film Apocalypse Now. Did you know the film makers borrowed the helicopters from the despotic leader Pol Pot, who actually borrowed them back mid-filming to use in battle?

I’ve also seen some amazing and not so amazing bodybuilders pose to this music. Guys, if you aren’t the best, don’t!

Candi Staton – Young hearts run free

For no other reason than this was a track in the charts when I was a teenager and fell in love for the very first time. Parents, do not tell teenagers it’s a crush. It’s not! It’s love. It hurts. Ask everyone, they remember their first love. It’s embedded in their emotional map. Never demean or torment anyone about it, it’s a key part of growing up. Allow them to feel and then grow past it as they learn, or not. My friend married her first love and they are still happy some 40 years later.

The 70s had the worse fashion, however David Bowie and Bryan Ferry were in the charts at that time too, so I get bonus tracks triggered in my memory for free.

Marilyn Monroe – Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

OK, I’m a Marilyn geek. She inspires me. Enough said.

Pharrell – Happy

This huge chart success was a film track in Despicable Me 2. I challenge anyone to watch the film and not laugh out loud or wiggle just a bit to this track.

The video was similarly addictive, with people dancing in the streets. This will be the one I play when I’m a bit down and my food stocks are low, or my shelter is letting water in. Never fails to make me smile.

Arctic Monkeys – When the sun goes down

My daughter was a swimmer at National level. Anyone who has a swimmer or athletic offspring knows this involves training at 5am before school. Cue me prying a sleeping person from her bed into a car and driving to the pool in the dark, shoving cereal bars down our necks.

Arctic Monkeys are a genius Sheffield band, as that’s where I call home due to the length of time I lived there, I couldn’t really go without. This track in particular always reminds me of the working girls who were out on the streets at 5am, plying their trade.

Why choose this track, well it always reminds me of the hours I spent in awe of my amazing daughter and her dedication, hard work and love of her sport.

Maria Callas – “O mio babbino caro” (Puccini)

I know nothing about opera, or operas, or Puccini. However I love this evocative aria. You may recognise it from Morse TV show, from TV adverts or if unlike me you are educated in Opera will instantly recall Ms Callas’ amazing interpretation of this wonderful piece. Inspiring, it will keep me calm and centred when I’m losing my sanity chopping fire wood or feeling lonely.

Near Misses

These almost made the boat, but I’ve had to accept I can only take 8. Boo!

Dolly Parton – I’ll Always Love You

Madonna – Express Yourself

Louis Armstrong – Wonderful World

George Benson – Greatest Love of All


Whole collection of Shakespeare

I studied Othello and other plays so this will be my chance to finally get to grips with all his work, and start to understand and memorise it. He has a quote for every circumstance.

Bible / similar religious book

I’m in agreement with a recent guest who wanted to take them all, she wasn’t allowed. I guess I’d choose the bible, just because I’m familiar with it and it has lots of stories. The Old Testament fascinates me, such awesome old names.

Other Books

How to Survive Anything Anywhere – Chris McNab

Fairly obvious choice to me.


Spanish Dictionary

My chance to use the solitude to FINALLY learn Spanish, I wouldn’t want to waste the time altogether.

If I only get to keep one book, I’d choose How to Survive Anything Anywhere – Chris McNab. I need to survive to get home to my beloved family, and talk Spanish fluently to someone other than a palm tree.


My pens, miles of paper and crayons.

You may also like:

Throughout this post I make references to pieces of work, I hope I have linked to the most ‘official’ You Tube videos. If I have not acknowledged the appropriate copyrights it is not through malicious or deliberate intent, I’ve shared the pieces to share the love of them. If anyone has any problem with this please contact me.


I’m a storyteller focused on sharing my love of literature, travel, photography and all things arty. My blogging supports my writing and I’m committed to encouraging others to pursue their dreams through travel and the arts.