Peterís "Desert Island Discs" Selection

The "Desert Island" List | MY MUSIC: A select playlist | My Favorite Films

Iíve often thought while listening to "Desert Island Discs" on BBC Radio 4, What ten records, and what "Luxury Item" I would bring to My Desert Island?

So that yeíll know when I do eventually get picked!
(Okay so I know there are only 8, but I have one CD containing 3 of them!!!)

The following are what I think my selection would be and the reasons why. If you have any comments or further recommendations please e-mail me.


Beethoven's 9th Symphony:

I think possibly the most encompassing and passion inspiring piece of symphonic classical music I know and The "Anthem" of the European Community (Or Schillers choral "Ode to Joy" part of it anyway). What is also incredible to contemplate is that it was written by a man who at this stage in his life was completely deaf. Finally got to see this performed live in Fort Lauderdale in July on 1999 by the Florida Philharmonic (Beethoven on the Beach concert series)

Van Morrison "Daring Night" from Avalon Sunset.

I once spent an entire six months listening to literally nothing but Van Morrison and Beethoven. Itís hard to pick one particular Van the Man track though. The title track from "A Sense of Wonder" comes a very close second and other contenders include "These are the days" from "Avalon Sunset" (This entire album evokes great memories of my first summer living in London 1989.), In the Garden from "No Guru No Method No Teacher", Sweet Thing from Astral Weeks (The Waterboys also do a great version of this on "Fishermanís Blues"). And The Healing has begun from "Into the Music".
As an influence Van credits such diversities as Ray Charles, Little Richard, Sonny Boy Williamson, Jackie Wilson, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke and "Blind" Willie Dixon along with the greats of English & American Literature, Keats, Byron, Eliot, Donne, Blake, Wordsworth, Wilde, Yeats, Coleridge, Kerouak, Fitzgerald.
As a collaborationist heís worked with the greats and not so greats Dylan, The Band, John Lee Hooker, Dr John, The Chieftains, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, Phil Coulter,
And as a musical influence heís influenced people as diverse as Springsteen, U2, Bob Seeger, Paul Brady, Brian Kennedy, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Elvis Costello, Hot House Flowers, REM, Sinead OíConnor, Cassandra Wilson, Öthe list goes on.
Wow that covers an awful lot of music and literature. And in that context, I figure I could still survive for six months on the music from Van Morrisonís albums alone (With perhaps a bit of Ludwig Van B thrown in too!).

Slow Irish Air by Davy Spillane

or anyone else: I just love Irish slow airs, They evoke the beauty and loneliness and sadness and solitude and pureness that can be found in rural Ireland. Sean OíRiada in addition to "Mise Eire" composed a wonderful slow air for Limerick

Nkosi Sikelelai Afrika "God bless Africa" (SA National Anthem) from Soundtrack of Cry Freedom (Track 9):

This most passionate and spine chilling rendition of the African National anthem conjures up to me not just South Africa itself but a musical rendition, symbolic of the entire continent. Before it became the National anthem I believe it was the banned unofficial anthem of The ANC. This recording, used in the film for a funeral scene reflects all the power and emotion and significance of a record made before the end of Apartheid.

Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings:

Just a beautiful piece of music, canít say anymore about it. Other "close seconds" to check out in the same category include Albinoniís Adagio, Bachís Air on a G string and Mascagniís Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana.

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major (Adagio):

Another fab piece of music, perfect for kicking back with yer shoes off, used to great effect in the movie "Out of Africa"

Pucinni: "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Scicchi:

Enthuses everything that is great about Opera, The pain, passion, sorrow, heartbreak and power. Opera was what there was before Blues, for the ultimate in musical emotional expression. A close second must be "Che gelida manina"(Your tiny hand is frozen) from La Boheme also by the bould Giancomo or "Di Provenza" from La Traviata by the other great of opera; Guiseppi Verdi.

Mary Black: A Song for Ireland:

This song epitomises everything that is great about Ireland and conjures up wonderful summer holidayís and evenings spent in pubs with loads of craic. This along with perhaps Liam Reillyís "Flight of the Earls" are my choice for the Irish Emigrants Anthems of The 20th Century.

U2: "One" from Achung Baby:

A classic song that seems to say all there is to say about when a relationship goes wrong and the hurt this causes. Another song that invokes similar sentiments is "Go Now" by Eleanor McEvoy from her first album.

U2: "Bad" from "The Unforgettable Fire":

Coming from a country of begrudgers Iíve always been incredibly proud of U2 and their achievements, even if I too had a propensity to sometimes regard Bono as "a bit of a wanker". Unfortunately itís in the Irish nature to put our own down, especially if they do as well as someone like U2 or The Cranberryís or Sinead OíConnor or even The Corrs or Boyzone. This is a mighty powerful song apparently about Heroin addiction. I remember the first time I saw U2 live was in Croke Park in Dublin in 1985 and a month later they damn near stole the show at Live Aid with their rendering of this. There's also a great live version of it on a live US released EP called "Wide Awake in America"

I most recently went to see U2 in Florida in March of 2001 - Here's the review

At U2 in Cork, August 1987
Niamh, Peter, Donald, Tony (Nellie) and Martin


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When one starts to think about this it quite quickly turns into a list.
Often though thatís Iíd probably be practical and bring a Swiss Army Knife, A Victorniux with at least 10 gadgets on it.
However now I sometimes wonder how Iíd manage without e-mail and a computer. I guess thought that one can always write out their thoughts on paper which is still probably the best way so I figure a good supply of writing paper and pens is a necessity. And a SW radio is always a good companion to have anywhere.

A Book apart from The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare? On my last European Trip I brought JM Roberts "The Penguin History of The World" and the Collins Pocket Gem "SAS Survival Guide". Donít think Iíd change them if I was choosing again. Two great and useful books.

In Association with

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I like "World" and traditional and folk music.

The following is a sample playlist of the type of stuff I like to listen to.


Music annotated as thus:
Artist Title of Piece and Album from which taken (in brackets)

Nollaig Casey and Arty McGlynn Lios na Banriona (Fort of the Fairy Queen) from (Causeway)
Ennio Morricone: "The Mission" (OST)
Geoffrey Oryema "Ye Ye Ye" (Exile)
The Rankin Family "Fare the well love" (from North Country)
The Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra "Tov LíHodot" from (The Travelling Gypsy Wedding)
Davy Spillane & Andy Irvine "Chetvorno Horo" from (Eastwind)
Ceol Batucada "Dagda" from (AhAon)
Terry Oldfield "The March of a Thousand Days" (Spirit of Africa)
Les Negress Verts "Zobi la Mouche" (Mlah)
Screamin Jay Hawkins "Hong Kong"(Smoke OST)
Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares "Polegnala e Todora" (Les Mystere des voix Bulgares)
Dead can Dance "Rakim" (Towards the Within)
Portishead "Sour Times" (Dummy)
Steven Cooney and Seamus Begley "The Straithcairn (polkas)" from (Meithal)
Robbie Robertson & The Red River Ensemble "Coyote Dance" from (Music from The Native Americans) (Check out the Photos of Edward S Curtis!)
Dublin Screen Orchestra "Main Title" from (Quiet Man OST)
Tom Waits "Frankís Wild Years" from (Swordfish Trombones)
"Solo on Tambal" (Dulcimer) by Romanian Legend(Romanian Legend)
Baab Maal: "Dende Lenol" featuring Davey Spillane from Laam Toro
Davy Spillane "Digeridoo" (From Pipe Dreams). (Blues played on Uileann Pipes and a Digeridoo!
Loreena McKennett "Marco Polo" from (Book of Days)
Pink Floyd Title track from (Dark side of the moon)
Led Zepplin The Battle of Evermore from (Led Zepplin IV)
Phil Thornton "Through the Valley of the Flowers" by Phil Thornton (From Tibetan Horn)
Bob Dylan "Brownsville Girl" from (Infidels?)
Sean Maguire "Czardas" from (The Master Maguire)
The Sawdoctors "Clare Island" from (Same Old Town)
Sinead O'Connor "Thank you for hearing me" from (Universal Mother)
The Cranberries "Dreams" from (Everybody is doing it so why can't we)
Deacon Blue "Cover from the Sky" from (Our Town - The Greatest Hits)
Mary Black "Trying to get the balance right" from (By the time it gets dark)
Vangelis "Main Theme" from (1492 OST)
Tommy Fleming "Inisfree" from (Restless Spirit)
Luka Bloom "Diamond Mountain" from Turf



 IF I WERE ON THE RADIO, this is the type of music I'd be inclined to play.
After being a travel writer my second (or perhaps combined) career of choice would be a radio presenter. So, at the risk of repeating myself, IF you have a job for me on radio e-mail me.

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The following are lists of my favourite films divided into three categories, classic, modern and foreign and in descending order of preference.

Classics:(and links to my my reviews)
The Quiet Man, Ben Hur, Doctor Zhivago, Casablanca.


Dangerous Liasons, The English Patient, Age of Innocence, Braveheart, Dances with Wolves, The Misson, Truly Madly Deeply, Forrest Gump, Dead Poets Society


Manon of the Springs, Cinema Paradiso, Jean de Florette, Cyrano de Bergerac, Il Postino,
Un Coeur en Hiver, Touts les matins du le monde

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This site is maintained and updated by Peter Jordan,

Last Updated 10th April 2002

© Peter Jordan, 1999-2002