"....... for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" Psalm 103:14

The A - Z of An Eclectic Music Collection: N......

..... is for Neil Finn, Nina  Simone, Nichole Nordeman & Norah Jones
Quite a few "enns" to get through, so let's get started. Neil Finn was, of course, one of the members of the offbeat New Zealand band Split Enz, along with his brother Tim. I was never a fan of their quirky songs back in the 70s, and even now, if I'm not careful the oh-so-familiar lyrics can get stuck in my head (thanks Countdown) .

After the demise of Split Enz, Neil fronted another band, Crowded House. They were much more to my taste, with great songs like "Into Temptation", "Fingers of Love", "Private Universe", and probably my favourite "Better Be Home Soon". These days I enjoy Neil's solo offerings as well - ambient, alternative rock - songs like "Rest of the Day Off", "She Will Have Her Way", and "Try Whistling This".

I have to be in the mood for Nina Simone. Her vocals can be really raspy and weird in some songs, one example being her rendition of The Byrds' "Turn Turn Turn". But then she also does some awesome funk, like "To Love Somebody", and her voice can be deep, sultry and heartbreaking, such as in "Mr Bojangles", "I Think it's Going to Rain Today" and "Wild is the Wind". Definitely a talent, which is why she persists in my music library, for those moments when I just feel like listening to Nina. This is one of my favourites, "My Baby Just Cares for Me".

Okay, you're forgiven if you don't know who Nichole Nordeman is, but she's been in my music library for many years, first on CD and then individual songs I've purchased in more recent times. I actually don't know where I first heard her, but I think, like many artists in my library, her songs represent different times in my life when the lyrics have particularly resonated. Songs like "Holy" and the one that can have me in tears "I Am". I chose this song "What If" because of the combination of thought-provoking lyrics and the clips from one of the most powerful movies I will ever see, "The Passion of the Christ".

I used to say I enjoyed any genre of music except country, but as I've "matured" I've found that there are even some country-ish songs that I enjoy. Norah Jones has a little bit of country in her, it's true. Songs like "What Am I to You?" and even her rendition of the Elvis classic "Love Me Tender" (for the Princess Diaries fans among us) have a country twang. But mostly I enjoy her sultry vocals, and she features in my "cruisy jazz and blues" playlist. This is the Norah song that first got me curious about her, "Don't Know Why".


  1. The Passion of the Christ was so confrontational wasn't it Sue? I think it was almost too much at times (especially the flogging and the lead up to the cross). It certainly took away all the white flowing robes and "gentle Jesus meek and mild" stuff from Sunday School days!

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    N for Never lie

    1. Yes Leanne, agreed! Anyone with that kind of illusion beforehand would have had it well and truly shattered by the powerful, raw depiction of the gruesome reality!!


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