Seven Songs You are listening to now Meme

An extra post today! No one tagged me for this, but I saw this on Dave’s blog and thought I’d do it anyway.

As someone whose earliest memories include sitting in front of Top of the Pops and the Chart and being filled with awe and wonder (there’s a great photograph of me when I was about three, watching Barry Manilow with rapt adoration), music has always been a big part of my life. My teenage years meant that every Wednesday was NME and Melody Maker day and wages from any part time work was calculated in terms of how much music I could buy with it. My walkman was my closest friend, with John Peel a close second and I was always taping something. 7.30pm was gig o’clock and I always went to see the support band too.

On conversion, I felt that certain types of music might not be exactly liked, but I was horrified to find out the was a major opinion that music was actually haraam. They might as well have declared my own feet to be haraam.

As the years have passed, I have vacillated between listening and not listening. I know that if I listen to too much music, it distracts me spiritually. I don’t yearn to have music on all the time anymore. I prefer to listen to the occasional song that I really like and enjoy it and may Allah forgive my shortcomings.

With that in mind, here are my seven songs with You Tube Links:

David Bowie – Golden Years. Forever a hero for his role in Labyrinth, aka One of The Best Films Ever, this song is just so groovy. I hope he sings it to Iman when they’re at home.

Lee Dorsey – Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky. How can you argue with a title like that? Native Deen or someone should do a version called “Everything I do gonna be sunnah”. That would be great.

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Stiff Necked Fools. When I was ten, I dug around in my Dad’s music collection and found the Confrontation album. My ears had never heard anything like it before. This was the first album I truly loved and I still love reggae and ska to this day. With someone as iconic as Marley, it’s easy to forget just how talented they actually were. Beautiful lyrics and music. “The lips of the righteous teach many/But fools die for want of wisdom”.

Gregory Issacs – Black a Kill Black. A stunning lament from the Cool Ruler. Sadly just as relevant today as when it was written 30 years ago. The link is to an Mp3 site where you can hear the song for free, the site design is a tad herbacious though.

Queen – Lily of the Valley. Another treasure from my Dad’s record collection. Sheer Heart Attack is the first Queen album I ever heard and it’s still my favourite. A lot of nonsense is said about Queen being a singles band, but any actual Queen fan knows this isn’t true. Sadly, I only started listening to Queen in 1990 and I was soon to be heartbroken (I cried for three days straight) by Freddie’s death. Due to Freddie’s Iranian roots, Queen were one of the few Western bands permitted in Iran, until Ahmedinejad took power. As soon as I heard that, I knew no good would come from his rule. As a side note, it annoys me greatly how people rant about the state of pop culture in Muslim countries. I’d say poverty, corruption and illiteracy are far bigger problems then Nancy Ajram. Anyway, here is a beautiful song featuring one of the greatest voices in Western music, if not ever. 

Modest Mouse – Satin in Coffin. Modest Mouse are one of those bands, I’ve heard about but never heard. I heard this song in a tv advert and had to do some googling and I couldn’t believe it was them. Thundering song, with a great turn of phrase and a bassline which is half menacing/half Dolly Parton 9-5.

U2 – Angel of Harlem. Lots of people’s memes have featured Coldplay, a band so terrible I’d have to swear in Scottish slang to emphasise the depth of my disgust. For me, my Apple Corp running dogs of choice are U2. This is not my favourite U2 song by a long way (that’s probably The Fly), but for some reason, it’s been in my head lately, so here it is.



14 Responses

  1. I got tagged for this meme, too. I love to listen to music, but I am not savvy about bands and musicians and names. I don’t really recognize any of the songs here, some of the bands/artists yes, but not the songs! I feel so lame!

    BTW, it was Jimmy Page (hope you know what I am talking about).

  2. Hey, Freddie had Indian (Gujarat) roots and not Iranian….

  3. Salaam Alaikum,

    Luckyfatima -I’d guessed it was one of Led Zep!
    I’m really looking forward to your list.

    Gourmet – True, his family were from Gujarat, but they are Parsi, hence the Iranian connection.

  4. I dont agree with those who say that music is haram. I think it is all about intentions, why are you listening to the music? Do you let your interest in music make you forget your prayers? Also, what are you listening to? Listening to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy would be okay…….listening to various rap and metal songs about drinking and sex wouldnt be.

    I am a huge music fan, always have been. I have some 4,000 songs on my iPOD now, many classical music songs, so the average length of each song is about 20 minutes.

    I love Marley and as a former punker/goth guy I love U2 as well. I’d have to add some classical and Arabic to mine. I always hate these types of memes because I would NEVER know where to start.

  5. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    Freddie Mercury was actually from Tanzania, although his family were Parsis from Bombay or somewhere near there (the Iranians now use the term Farsi rather than Parsi). They had not been “Iranian” for many generations – many of them actually emigrated from Persia to India around the time of the Islamification of Iran. The Parsis in Bombay speak the local language and mostly dress how the locals do, as per their original agreement when they migrated.

  6. Salaam Alaikum,

    Abu Sinan – I respect both legal opinions regarding music. I do see your point, like all activities, there has to be a balance. I found it hard knowing which songs to include too, this is just a taster.

    *dusts down anorak* Yusuf – Actually Freddie, or Farrokh, as he was known then, was born in Zanzibar. I agree, that he wasn’t actually Iranian, I used the term ‘Iranian roots’ to loosely describe the reason for his music being permissible (for a time) in Iran.

    I think it’s great that there are a few Freddie and Queen fans who read this blog 🙂

  7. Man, my list is going to be quite, uh, different. I’ll recommend two now, though:
    * Gnarls Barkeley covering the Violent Femmes’ “Gone Daddy Gone” – link is to the director’s own website because, well, it’s perfect resolution compared to t3h Youtubes
    * Dethklok, “Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle” – if you haven’t heard the Dethalbum, it’s hysterical. It’s a show about a deathmetal band that basically rules the Earth… [adult swim] at its finest. This one is from an episode where they write a coffee jingle – “We’re not selling out, we’re making EVERYTHING METAL!”

    And, uh, if music has to be “good” to listen to… well, I guess taqwacore is right out then ennit? Too bad, I really dig punk and what is more punk rawk than Muhammad?

    And the dangdut-Country-Western crossovers – I saw a band perform “Your Cheatin’ Heart” in dangdut style… I don’t think there’s a Country song out there that would be halaal, and I mean real country, not that candy-flavoured gross stuff you hear on the radio. Nothing is more real Country than Johnny Cash’s final recording after his wife’s death and shortly before his own of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt.

  8. Here’s a link to Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt. Tell me you can watch that and not weep at the brutal grief in his face. It’s his house in the video, and his wife had just died.

  9. Salaam Alaikum,

    Woozy Snookums – Thanks for your reccomendations. I actually prefer Smiley Faces, by Gnarls Barkley, both the song and the video are great.

    You’re right about Johnny Cash, Hurt is a masterful song. I like a lot of his stuff.

  10. As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    Tanganyika (the pre-independence mainland colony named after a lake) + Zanzibar = Tanzania.

  11. Salaam Alaikum,

    Yusuf – I sit corrected.

    Now, are you a secret Queen fan or not?

  12. […] Seven Songs You’re Listening To Now Jump to Comments I saw this meme over at Safiya Outlines and decided to start my own list. Here goes my list (in no particular […]

  13. Goodness. Isn’t it amazing what we know about certain artists, certain bands? I was one of the first people I knew who owned the album “Boy,” U2’s first. It sounds today as if it were recorded in someone’s basement in Belfast, doesn’t it? But it’s raw, and wonderful.
    Didn’t any of you who loved U2 and/or Led Zep find something familiar in Pearl Jam? Although I was never a grungist (I was already in hijab when they hit the scene), something about Eddie Vedder’s voice just couldn’t keep me untuned. It still can’t.

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