Songs for an Island Full of Tigers

The Gathford Format Guide: 

Jonathan is bold
Hannah is italic

Following our first post, we’ve been thinking a lot about Jon’s ‘questionable’ music taste. We decided the best way to do this was to follow the set up of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs – which involves picking your top eight tracks, a book, and a luxury item to take with you if you found yourself stuck on a desert island.

And yes, Jon was a little annoyed that it’s desert, not dessert…

Jon’s choices

#1 – Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd

Firstly, the best guitar solo ever! But it also has a lot of childhood memories, from Dad showing me the song, to sitting and watching Austrailian Pink Floyd Play it at Beaulieu House.

#2 – Still Got The Blues, Gary Moore

Second best guitar solo. Couldn’t tell you why but I have always loved this song after my brother showed it to me. It is a corker to sing along to on a long journey.

#3 – Ramble On, Led Zeppelin

Their band is legendary, Jimmy on guitar, Plant’s vocals and Bonham on drums. Just legendary. The mix of chilled acoustic tp rock riffs? Yes please.

#4 – Bat Out of Hell, Meatloaf

A song introduced to me very early on by dad. Whether you want amazing guitar or brilliant lyrics. In my mind this song has it. Yes, Meatloaf vocally can be a bit ropey but I think that adds to it. Rock shouldn’t be polished but it should be brilliant and this song does that.

#5 – Take Heart, Hillsong

Being brought up as a Christian, I have had ups and down with my faith. But this song has always been a rock. It talks about how through our ups and downs we have a rock. No matter what you face, there is hope. It is a great song live with Joel Houston’s vocals and has a building anthem feel. But it is also fun to learn and play by yourself. When I pick up my guitar it is always a favourite to play.

#6 – All My Life, The Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl: enough said. I loved this album and song. It is one to sing/shout along to especially when you’re in a bad mood. But the song really changed when is aw it played live. Something about it was just perfect. Basically, listen to the Foos and go see them if you get the chance.

#7 – Leave A Light On (Acoustic), Tom Walker

This is a song I originally wasn’t massively keen on. But as soon as I heard the acoustic version and actually listened to the words. Wow. A fantastically emotional song. Last year we got the heartbreaking news that a friend and role model who had been suffering from brain tumours had finally lost his battle and passed away. We were watching stand up to cancer and Tom walker performed this acoustic version. And I sat, listened and broke down in tears as it hit me. But the song also reminded me that even when someone has gone, their light still shines. That light is left on for others and they will continue to be that rock and inspire even long after they are gone. Listen to the song, listen to the lyrics.

#8 – Brothers in Arms, Dire Straights

Dire straits will always be a favourite of mine. From the awesome guitar work to mark Knopfler’s unique style and that headband. Knopfler’s finger style guitar playing is phenomenal and if I could play guitar even to a 10th of his ability I would be a very happy man. I was tempted to put Sultans of Swing or Money for Nothing in this list. But Brothers in Arms has such a delicate touch and sound. The feel and emotion in the guitar playing never stops amazing me. Sometimes a rock song doesn’t need to be load and crazy. Sometimes the best songs are the soft emotional songs.

Book – The Martian, Andy Wier

Firstly, this is the first book I ever read cover to cover. And I know what you’re thinking “Jon it came out in 2011, and I know for a fact you did GCSE English, you must have read something all the way through before you were 16”. But in all honesty, I hadn’t read a book properly. I always struggled to read books with my dyslexia but for some reason, I just got the martian. It is written in a different way and has a very scientific feel about it. It is a brilliant read. Whether it is the book or audiobook, I love it every time. Also if he can survive on Mars and get home it gives me hope I can get off this godforsaken hypothetical Island I’m stuck on…

The Martian

Luxury Item – Guitar

This is struggled with. I’m not very materialistic. Hannah will tell you I’m the worst person to buy for. When asked what I want, I always say “I don’t need anything”. I’ve been told I’m not allowed a boat or jetski to get off the island with. So I guess I have to go with my guitar. Something that could bring me a bit of joy, keep me busy and, if needed, would be a good weapon to fight off any roaming tigers (because I imagine this island is riddled with those stripy cats)

Hannah’s Choices

#1 – I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Franki Valli & The Four Seasons

I had to start with a Jersey Boys song. I’ve always been a sucker for songs a bit of cheese, so December 1963 was also in the running but this song is a real fun one to sing along to – just try not to smile at the way Valli sings ‘baby’. Also, The Jersey Boys was my first ever musical!

#2 – I Love a Rainy Night, Eddie Rabbitt

This is the first song I danced with my Dad to. One of his favourites, I think. Whenever I hear it, I can’t help but think back to dancing around the living room with him on a Sunday Night, or spinning away on the dancefloor at his 60th Birthday. Brings a smile to my face everytime…

#3 Help!, The Beatles

The Beatles had to be on the list. I remember listening to their music when I was younger (so much younger than today) on my parent’s music player. Help! is just such an iconic song and never fails to make me think of life at my childhood home.

#4 – Today is a New Day – Jadon Lavik

I really wanted to include a song about my faith in this list. I didn’t want to go too heavy on the ‘listen to this and hear the words of God speak to you’ so I decided to share my morning song. I listen to this song almost every morning to remind me of just how much there is to be happy about and thankful for in the world.

# 5 – People Should Smile More, Newton Faulkner

I love Newton Faulkner. My sister introduced me to his music way back when and he’s been a sturdy favourite ever since. Admittedly, I did go through a phase of wanting ginger dreadlocks, but thankfully that feeling has passed.

#6 – Strong As An Oak, Watsky

George Watsky is an inspiration. He has such a way with words that really speaks to me. I love the way his music has so many layers of meaning and that a single metaphor can convey so many things to so many different people. Watsky also has epilepsy. I know this because when I found that out it really gave me a feeling of ‘oh, my life isn’t over. I can do this if he can’ – also, his song seizure boy is great when answering the question ‘what is it like to have epilepsy’

#7 – Waltz of the Flowers, Tchaikovsky

Did you really think we’d make it through the list with no mention of ballet? You fool. This is the first classical song I remember listening to. My Grandpa Whiskers showed it to me when I was still very much ‘his little blondie’ – I may not have grown very much since then, but The Nutcracker is still very much a firm favourite.

#8 – How Long Will I Love You

This is my ‘leave a light on’ in the fact that I hated the first version that I heard. This version was introduced to me through the film About Time and has so many memories attached. Most prolific? The time that my mother and I were driving with this song in the background, she suddenly turned it up and belted the chorus on the traffic-laden M25 – yes, the windows were down and she CRUSHED it.

Book – Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Matthew Green

I loved this book. Wicks has such a great way of writing and is so imaginative in exploring difficult subjects. With a sister that works with children with Special Educational Needs, I found this book so moving. I started it at 6pm on a Tuesday and finished it at 1am. I read it again on the Wednesday.

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Luxury Item – Duvet

I assume that this desert island doesn’t have much by way of covering. I need a duvet, it brings comfort and doubles as a hideout for when the Tigers arrive.

Find a link to our Desert Island Discs Playlist below (contents may be subject to change)

3 thoughts on “Songs for an Island Full of Tigers”

  1. […] This is one of Jon’s favorite. The science has me falling asleep quite quickly, but Jon enjoys the style of it. He just ‘gets’ the science. It’s also the first book that he read cover to cover – and the one he would take if he was stuck on an island full of Tigers. […]


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