Songs of My Youth

I was driving my girls to school yesterday morning listening to my usual Ian Dempsey on Today FM (I can’t believe how long ago it was when I used to watch Dempsey’s Den with Zig and Zag…..).

The song “Maniac” came on the radio and I immediately felt my mood lift as I tunelessly belted out the words, much to my girl’s amusement. I was also reminded of a night of dancing at my hen party but that’s a story for another time!

I got to thinking about what, for me, would be the songs that defined the stages of my growing up. Not the Desert Island Discs list of my all time favourite songs – that is definitely one to come back to but that would take much, much thought and consideration.

So, here are the songs that defined my growing up – the “Songs of my Youth” (warning – high embarrassment degree attached to some songs but it is what it is!).

1.”The Locomotion” – Kylie Minogue

Little did we know as we watched Charlene and Scott fall in love on Ramsey Street that these two would soon leave Neighbours – one to become a global super popstar and the other, though he also became a singer, he may have sold more posters to teenage girls than he did records.

Her cover of “The Locomotion” will hardly be remembered for its witty lyrics or electryifying guitar solos but it certainly got us dancing and made us feel good.

I vividly recall, aged 9 I think, my class performing a dance routine to the song at our National School Concert. We all wore luminous coloured pink and yellow cycling shorts (actually one leg was plain luminous pink while the other leg was neon yellow with luminous pink polka dots). This was topped off with a beautifully co-ordinated luminous pink t-shirt tied at the front, of course, and topped off with a side ponytail held in place by a neon yellow scrunchie – tres chic! The most embarrassing part is that I don’t think my Mum had to buy the outfit for me, It was already part of my wardrobe……..

I just had to include the full official video – Enjoy!


I’m just thankful for the lack of camera phones to record 9 year old me’s stage performance!

2. “Paradise City” – Guns n’Roses

My musical interests took a sharp turn around about 6th class of national school. We were the big kids in the school, soon to leave these kids behind for the cool world of secondary school.


I was also an avid reader of Smash Hits which told me which bands were cool (remember how it also printed the lyrics?).

And so, I came to “Paradise City” by Guns n’ Roses.

I clearly remember my friend and I trying to record a mix tape with this song on it. We waited and waited for it to come on the radio, ready to pounce on the record button on my tape recorder and then with finger hovering over the stop button to stop the recording before the d.j.s voice came on. I’m sure everyone of my era has a similar memory!

3.Brewing up a Storm” – The Stunning

Now that’s what I call a TUNE!

Source: the

This one definitely was secondary school to me.

No need to say anymore about this one really, except to say that it’s one of the few songs on this list that would make it across to my Desert Island List.

Now, If I am to be completely honest, than this lady should probably make it onto this Songs of My Youth playlist from around this time too:


It’s not like we did the routine or anything though………….

Did you notice that Whigfield never actually does the dance in the video – so where did the routine come from then???

4. “Everything I Do, I Do it for You” – Bryan Adams

The album was “Waking up the Neighbours” and it was the first album I ever owned.


My parents had bought me the tape (yes, tape!) for Christmas in 1991 and I felt so grown up owning my own album.

Being one of 4 sisters growing up, anything that was just yours was a big deal…….

Of course, the popularity of this album very much came from the song “Everything I Do, I Do it For You” which featured in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.

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Remember this scene??

5. “Wonderwall” – Oasis

And so, we reach the university years and another song on this list that would make it onto my Desert Island List.

It is also probably one of the songs most butchered at singalongs! Still, it’s always a sign of a good night when someone bangs out Wonderwall on their guitar to the accompaniment of a raucous sing along.

The antics of Liam and Noel also kept us entertained in the 90’s, not to mention their never-ending feud with Blur. The legendary competition between the bands even produced a Father Ted reference!

I recently watched the Oasis documentary “Supersonic” – those brothers really did not like each other. I think it is safe to say that we are unlikely to ever see an Oasis reunion!

Alanis Morissette was a close contender for this slot but, for me, it had to be Oasis. “Isn’t it Ironic?” – see what I did there……..

6.All the Small Things” – Blink 182

It was the Summer of 1999 – I had just graduated from university and set off to the Costa del Sol with some friends to celebrate together before we were all to split up and start our next chapter as responsible members of the workforce. Between 6 of us we were bound for London, Dublin, Cork and Cardiff so it really was marking the end of an era for us.

Our days were spent on the beach and our nights were spent dancing. It was the summer of dance anthems like “Hey Boy Hey Girl” by the Chemical Brothers, Moloko’s “Sing it Back” and “The Music Sounds Better With You” by Stardust.

Of course, It was also the summer holiday of Ricky Martin’s “Livin La Vida Loca” and who could forget Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5”!

Blink 182 had a massive hit with All the Small Things which I really liked. I loved the video that went with it – taking a not very subtle dig at the cheesy boy bands of the time. Still makes me laugh!


7. “The Beautiful Ones” – Suede

My first gig……

I was sharing an apartment with a friend in Cork at the time and we came to Dublin for the weekend, crashing on a friend’s floor (as one used to do at that age) to go and see Suede at the Olympia.

Good times………

8.Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana

Next, I discovered my love for rock music – bands like The Pixies and The White Stripes.

I was late to the discovery of Nirvana, much too late unfortunately (RIP Kurt Cobain) but this grungy rock band quickly became a firm favourite with me.

Predictable choice maybe but “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would have to be the defining song of the time for me – that opening guitar riff followed by the drums! It still wakes me up and gets me going! Definitely one for my Desert Island Discs List too.

Did you know that “Teen Spirit” was the name of a girl’s deodorant and that’s where the song title came from?

9. “Fix You” – Coldplay

My husband and I have very different taste in music. He is a big fan of the acoustic guitar (or that sad slow stuff as my daughter calls it) while grungy rock is much more my thing.

So, the choice of a song for the traditional first dance at our wedding proved quite a challenge!

We eventually decided on “Fix You” by Coldplay – it had a long slow opening build up for him with a strong guitar eventually kicking in for me.

Of course the music quickly descended into cheesy 80’s and 90’s tunes, full of nostalgia for our friends of a similar age and of course “Don’t Stop Believing” made 2 appearances – guaranteed dance floor filler!

10. “I Knew You Were Trouble” – Taylor Swift

As a Mum, I am subjected to my daughter’s music choices.

Luckily (for my eardrums), my kids have moved on from this guy:

On the school run in the morning they listen to the radio in the car with me. Initially, they would ask me to forward to the next song when something they were not keen on was played.

When I explained the concept of the radio to them, my 8 year old asked incredulously “So that man is sitting in a room somewhere, playing his music and we have to listen to whatever he wants to play?”

Well, when you put it like that……….

My 8 year old is crazy about Taylor Swift.

I can live with a bit of Tay Tay. To be fair, she sure knows how to write a catchy tune.

My 8 year old has pretty good taste in music – she is definitely her mother’s daughter in this regard, loving a rocking beat. For Christmas she got a MP3 player and her playlist includes the likes of Imagine Dragons, George Ezra, the Black Eyed Peas and Avril Lavigne (old school!). I can totally listen to her music.

Her 6 year old sister is still a fan of all the Disney soundtracks. Although, movies like Moana and Frozen have thrown out a few catchy numbers too. You mightn’t love them but I bet you know all the words!

This made me laugh:


I’m feeling quite nostalgic after writing this piece with a sudden urge to wear luminous green and a side ponytail.

Ok, maybe not, but I could certainly be tempted to a karaoke

bar …………..

What about you – what would you consider the songs that defined your growing up??


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Thank you xxx

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