Moving on is kind of a speciality of mine – I’ve moved house 13 times in my life, and three of those times was me running away from an intolerable situation; so, what with that and the situation we all find ourselves in just now, it’s been a bit of an emotional week. (Several of these songs have just acquired a new level of meaning, but I won’t labour that – I’m sure you’ll notice it for yourselves.)
Sometimes moving on is a physical business, sometimes it happens inside our heads; for the chap in Further On Up The Road, it involves hoping that it’ll cause his significant other to realise what she’s missing. Not that he wants her back, oh no. He just wants her to be sorry. And that’s actually a healthier attitude than that of the rather creepy, stalker-like narrator of Kodaline’s Moving On who knows his ex-partner is still beautiful – how? – and hopes that one day they’ll meet again. Not if I see you first, sunshine.
I’m a bit of a sucker for the wild Romantic swirl of Karnakata, whose The Gathering Light describes the ending of a relationship in an Arthurian, Burne-Jones kind of way. No, it’s not realistic, but it’s gorgeous and lush. House For Sale by Lucifer is where the realism comes in – the neighbours are gossiping, the possessions are being divvied up, and no, you’ll never see those roses you planted in the back garden again. Ewan McColl’s travelling people don’t evenhave houses, so in The Moving On Song they’re always on the move.
Bleaker still is The Chalet Lines, in which a young woman who’s been raped knows she must move on, but doesn’t know whether the friend she’s running to will take her in. And she’s too scared to do a pregnancy test. You just hope that the friend is a sensible one, like the one in Walk Away by Gabby Young and Other Animals who gives good advice to people who have got themselves in a tangle and can’t see their way out.
Bob Marley’s Exodus describes the longing of Rastafarians to move from their exile in Babylon back to the land of Zion, which they identify as Ethiopia. They may never go, and if they get there it may not be what they hoped for.
Is 17 Hippies’ The Moving Song the first time a Jew’s harp has been featured in the Marconium? I think it might be. (And did you know that an old English word for a Jew’s harp is a Trump? Thought not.
The Features are pretty clear about their plan to move on – they’re just going to Leave It All Behind. It’s not always as easy as that though, as Jackson C Frank found, because you’re not in charge of your destiny - the Blues Run The Game. Such a sad life. He moved on, but it didn’t help.
And finally, to cheer you all up, here’s the Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, one of the founders of Afrobeat. He lives in Paris now but, should he feel like Moving On again, I bet there isn’t a band in the world that wouldn’t have him.
Further On Up The Road – Mike Bloomfield
Moving On – Kodaline
The Gathering Light – Karnataka
House For Sale – Lucifer
The Moving On Song – Ewan MacColl
The Chalet Lines – Belle and Sebastian
Walk Away – Gabby Young and Other Animals
Exodus – Bob Marley and the Wailers
The Moving Song – 17 Hippies
Leave It All Behind – the Features
Blues Run The Game – Jackson C Frank
Road To Nowhere – Cult Maniax
Gotta Travel On – The Boxcars
I’m Moving On – Cynthia Richards
Bus Station – Tom Russell and Nanci Griffith
Come A Long Way – Kate and Anna McGarrigle
When I First Came To Town – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien – Edith Piaf
I’m Moving On – Yoko Ono
Outbound Plane – Nanci Griffith
By The Rivers Of Babylon – Boney M
Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodleloo – The Grateful Dead
Maggie May – Rod Stewart
Goodbye Boys, Goodbye – Jay and the Americans
Swingin’ – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Songs about moving on ... The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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