My project for this year (2024), will be to select favourite songs to share.

The reason for which song I pick and when, could be anything. Maybe the birthday of artist, death of artist, seeing them live, hearing the song somewhere, remembering a song, a memory triggered by an event, in a movie, etc - so many songs, and so many possible reasons.

I think that I will enjoy this.


Song 13: Best Part Of Me
Version by: Busby Marou
Featured on: their 2017 album, Postcards from the Shell House'
Written by: Thomas Busby & Jeremy Marou in 2016

I first heard this duo when they did the support for Elton John. They have a very attractive style - laid back, great and catchy melodies. I have seen them a couple of times since and I just enjoy the pace and energy of their sound and their seemingly effortless way. This song is simple and enjoyable, and the video was filmed on Great Keppel Island up in Queensland - where they wrote and recorded most of the album.

youtube clip (skip 1st minute of video to get to song)

Song 12: Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
Version by: Colin Hay
Featured on: his 1994 album, Topanga
Written by: Colin Hay

Colin has written many songs and they are mostly crackers. This is a favourite of mine, and having seen him a few times live, this song always gets a great reaction - it's a beauty. He wrote this song after Men at Work had ended and his career wasn't going as he had hoped. He was hoping for a big break to kick-start things, but then realised that this was his life and he should stop looking back, but embrace it and be free of the past. The song is written about the version of him that existed before this realisation - while he was determining what to do with the rest of his life.

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Song 11: Both Sides Now
Version by: Seal
Featured on: 'Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration'
Written by: Joni Mitchell in 1966

Joni Mitchell has written so many great songs, but this one stands almost at the top of the pile for me. It is appreciated by many and has been covered and used multiple times. When I watched the concert put on for her 75th birthday (2019), Seal came on and performed a version that feels faultless to me. He's got the intonation and feel and he allows the song to shine. It was hard not to pick Joni singing it, but a good cover is worth a listen.

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Song 10: Think about you
Version by: Sam Burke & The Wifeys
Featured on: their self-titled 2008 album
Written by: Tiffany Eckhardt in 1998

I can't remember whether I saw Sam Burke perform as a busker or she was supporting somebody - it was a lot of years ago. I bought one album and it featured a couple of songs that stood out to me, but I selected this one because it stays in my head after each listen. It has great harmonising (starting half way through, during the chorus) and it always makes me stop what I'm doing to listen and sing along (in my head). Not sure why this song gets me, but I love it.

Listen here

Song 09: Tennessee Whiskey
Version by: Stan Walker & Parson James
Featured on: Released as a single in 2018
Written by: Dean Dillon & Linda H Bartholomew in 1981

I like a lot of what Stan Walker has delivered, and last year I came across this single that he recorded with Parson James, and it blew me away. Such great voices and harmonies and the song is gorgeous anyway. Stan always surrounds himself with great musicians and creates some fantastic sounds that cover a few genres. Stan is a proud Māori who has done many songs in his native tongue. I don't know much about Parson James - other than he does a great job on this song.

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Song 08: Dublin Rain
Version by: Gallie
Featured on: Dublin Rain (2023)
Written by: Darren Gallagher in 2022

I have seen Gallie many times - lots of venues, lots of lineups - every show a classic. The man has so much talent as a songwriter, guitarist, arranger, and singer. He is the complete deal and it amazes me that he isn't bigger than he is. His songs tell good stories - captivating and real - he captures tales with the right words, great melodies and a lot of feel to them too. He has written about many things, and this is one is about missing home - though he loves it here, Ireland is in his heart.

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Song 07: Thorn in My Heart
Version by: Kim Richie
Featured on: Thorn in My Heart (2013)
Written by: Kim Richie in 2012

I first heard Kim when she was the support for Eddi Reader a few years ago. I've seen her a couple of times since when she's visited, and it was beautiful on both occasions. She is a great songwriter with a wonderful feel for music and melody. Her sweet voice makes songs roll along and she adds the required emotion to any song. She is simply a delightful performer and I love this song, though there were a couple of others than tempted me, but this won out. In second place was 'Once in your life'.

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Song 06: Love Like Blood
Version by: Mollie O'Brien
Featured on: Big Red Sun Blues (1998)
Written by: John Hiatt in 1983

Not sure when I first heard Mollie O'Brien, but she is a rare talent - love her voice, song writing, and song choices. Picking a song to share was tough, but I love her version of this John Hiatt song - it shows what her voice can do for a song and it is so well produced. Always happy when she randomly comes up when I shuffle my music selection. This is a great cover. I just shuiffled through some Mollie songs online, and there isn't a bad one there - what a talent.

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Song 05: Took The Children Away
Version by: Archie Roach
Featured on: Charcoal Lane (1990)
Written by: Archie Roach in 1990

This song is very moving as it tells the story of Archie's experience of being forcibly removed from his family and moved across the country and put in the home of a white family - as happened to thousands of indigenous kids. I saw Archie perform this song several times, the most moving being when he sang it in Federation Square on Sorry Day (2008). So a great song and an important song - it will remain with people and be a reminder, and I've already heard it covered a couple of times.

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Song 04: Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)
Version by: Melanie
Featured on: Candles in the Rain (1970)
Written by: Melanie Safka in 1969

Following news of her passing today, I want to share my favourite Melanie song. She was a hippy to the core and was quirky and interesting and remained authentic throughout her time. This song captured me when I first heard it and I loved the choir (the Edwin Hawkins Singers), the rhythm of the verses and the power of the chorus. The song describes what she felt as she looked out at the sea of people in the audience when she played Woodstock in 1969.

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Song 03: You Will Surely Love Again
Version by: Chris Wilson
Featured on: Live at the Continental (1994)
Written by: Chris Wilson in 1993

This week marks the 5th anniversary of the passing of one of my all-time favourite performers, Chris Wilson. Fantastic harmonica player and singer, played a few instruments well, good song writer, and a top bloke. I have seen him perform more than anyone else, and every time was a pleasure. He just created the best experiences and I miss having him around. Recordings don't do him justice, but this is a live recording of a gentler number and a favourite.

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Song 02: Jersey Girl
Version by: Andy Cowan
Featured on: 10:30 Thursdays (2001)
Written by: Tom Waits in 1980

I've always liked this song and in 2001 I heard Andy Cowan do a version that has become my favourite. Andy used to be performing quite a lot in Melbourne as he drifted between the blues and jazz scenes. He was temperamental, but that is because he cared about the music and it being heard. I used to enjoy when he'd stop a song to tell somebody to shut up asnd then start again. I haven't heard mention of him for a few year, but regardless,he did a great version of a great song.

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Song 01: What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
Version by: Alma Zygier
Featured on: Paul Kelly's Christmas Train (2021)
Written by: Frank Loesser in 1947

This is a beautifully crafted song with a graceful flow to the melody. I've liked it since hearing Ella Fitzgerald do a version back in the 1980s. I found myself humming it the other day and I think that is due to hearing Alma perform it in her Christmas show with her dad, Willy Zygier, on guitar. I love most things that Alma does, and this captures some of her magic and vocal control. She is also one of those talents who is better live than on record, so see her if you can.

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