Here is my story, Lilly’s tale, as told through the medium of my desert island disc selections. ‘DID’ can be heard on BBC Radio 4, nine o’clock each Friday morning, it’s a long running and always interesting show.
I rarely stray too far from the radio or my Spotify account. Music is the sound track of my life; here are eight records that express my feelings and my outlook on the world. I hope you this little bit of self indulgence. Mine is a happy, joyful story.
‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA – dedicated to Serena, my inspiration, my mentor, my confidant, my shopping partner in crime, my friend. Why this song? Well last year Serena, the beautiful Rachel (will you stop getting compliments please) and I went to see La Voix in Norwich. Oh what an evening, what fun; we were just three women having a wonderful time. The place was packed with a cross section of people. ‘Dancing Queen’ finished the show and everyone was up and dancing, all inhibition were well and truly gone. Serena lives in the real world and helps me do the same, she keeps me grounded. ‘Anybody could be that girl……. ‘ but this time it was we three.
‘Girls Just Want Have Fun’ by Cindy Lauper – dedicated to Dee and all the girls living full time. Dee and girls like Dee, Petra and Petra for example, walk the walk and talk the talk. Living full time is Dee’s dream and she has made that dream come true. Suffering the slings and arrows, she remains strong and determined to make her new life work. Every day during the lock down, Dee and I exchange a song for the day. This is one of her favourites; expressing how we feel and valuing what we what we are currently missing. We are certainly intend to have lots of fun when we all meet again. Oasis meetings will not be taken for granted, ever.
‘We are Family’ – Sister Sledge dedicated to Oasis. It’s two years since my first meeting, which is now such a treasured memory. I was made to feel so welcome, so special. Oasis has created a wonderful safe space where we can meet new friends and catch up with old ones. A place where we can experiment with our look, live out some of our dreams and discover we are no longer alone and oh, have a wonderful time. We are all custodians of Oasis, but I cannot give enough thanks to those who created, nurtured and developed Oasis. There are too many people to thank but nevertheless I insist on saying thank you to the brilliant Beccie, for that she has done and continues to do. Beccie always has a wonderful ability to make me smile. Thanks to all our partners, our friends, our Phyllis and Barry, our delicious Vicki, our Joanna, our Geri and Michelle (how much washing-up do you do? A thankless task). Thanks to Barbara Ross and the founding members, I’m sorry I don’t know you all but I’m thinking of Jenny, Rachel R, LTS, Carole, Alison… I’m thinking of the wonderful Lana, such an inspiration. ‘I’ve got all my Sisters with Me’, have I? Oh yes I have!
‘Rebel Girl’ – Bikini Kill dedicated to Angela, Anne (with an ‘e’) and all the girls out there, that don’t quite fit in. On our travels, I’ve been lucky to meet so many interesting and stimulating people, some Trans, some not. I guess we all know what is like to be an outsider; me, happily I did find a little home in the Punk scene. Though it may appear so, Punk wasn’t all about boys and there were also many amazing women too. Later, after Goths and Grunge, along came the Riot Girl movement and some brilliant girl bands. I choose this track simply because A & A will like it. Girls can’t play guitars. Oh I beg to differ!
‘Shame’ Evelyn Champagne King dedicated to all Trans Girls everywhere. Einstein said that he had stood on the shoulders of giants, one of whom was the brilliant female mathematician Emmy Nether, who helped him construct the mathematics required to express the 4D universe necessary for the theory of relativity. We Trans women are also using the shoulders of giants, those who have pushed back the boundaries that allow us the freedom to express ourselves in relative safely, here in the UK. Thank you to our predecessors, those brave Trans activists, those who have risked their health and their personal safety fighting for our rights. We in our turn, we must try to make this a better world for those who follow us. Small steps, little acts of kindness, and a generosity of spirit. ‘Shame’ is one of the greatest dance recolds ever, let’s dance around our handbags ladies.
‘This is Love’ – P.J. Harvey dedicated to all the women in the media who are helping us to get us through this current crisis. My favourite is Lauren Lavern, who presents on BBC Radio 6 and more recently Desert Island Discs. Lauren’s infectious enthusiasm for life shines through and always puts a smile on my face. I think of the wonderful pioneering DJ, Anne Nightingale. When Anne started in the 60’s, the male DJ’s made her life very difficult; she was subjected to a great deal of sexist abuse and belittling behaviour. Anne is strong, and she is still pushing back musical boundaries 50 years later. If you don’t know P.J. Harvey, she is a brilliant song writer, poet and musician. I love this song, I absolutely love Polly Harvey.
‘I’m every women’ by Chaka Khan, dedicated to the Feminist cause, dedicated to The UEA’s Feminist Book Club, dedicated to Women’s Hour, dedicated to all the female scientists, astromeners, mathematics, physicist, artists and authors written out of history. History is written by the winning side, it is certainly written by men! Take the case of Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Jocelyn discovered radio pulsars in 1967 but later when the Nobel Prize was awarded for this discovery, she was not included as a recipient, instead the prize was awarded to three men. The western world is slowly changing but if you have any doubts there is a long way to go, look up Laura Bates’ Every Day Sexism Project. The world needs to change for every woman, equal but different.
‘Like a Prayer’ by Madonna dedicated to all members of the LQBTQI+ community. We are a community, though some times not always in complete harmony. On my way to my first Norwich Pride, on the radio I heard a story of a gay man, and how Madonna and her songs, helped him through the sadness and isolation he felt growing up. Later as we paraded through the streets, I found myself walking with and talking to, a young gay man in a Madonna T-shirt. I wonder if he was the same boy?
I hope you have enjoyed my little selection. If you would like, please send me your choices. Stay safe, lots of love to you and your families.
I was amazed to find the first record I ever bought with my own money. No not ‘We’ll Meet Again’ but, from WH Smiths in Margate High Street, sometime in 1972.