Soundtrack For A Dream Vacation

A mix "discovered" during a trip to England, Scotland and Ireland

In August of 2005, my then-fiancée (now wife) and I took a trip to England, Scotland and Ireland. I had wanted to go to England for as long as I could remember, and taking the trip relatively shortly after getting engaged made this a dream vacation for me.

Part of the reason I always wanted to go was my taste for British music and television and film, and as we visited different places I kept getting song lyrics and Monty Python references popping into my head. Along the way, we kept a diary of the trip, and I kept notes about which songs were coming to mind, figuring putting them all together would create a soundtrack of the trip, hence this mix. The running order matches the calendar of the trip - songs are in the order that they came to mind. A track listing follows, along with my explanation of why the song came to mind.

You can listen on 8tracks.com.

1. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - "Cool Britannia"
based on "Rule, Britannia!" by Thomas Arne, arranged by Vivian Stanshall and Neil Innes
taken from the album Gorilla (1967)

August 11 - Came to mind as we were disembarking from the plane. Looking back, seems like an appropriate way to kick off the mix.

2. Pete Townshend - "English Boy"
written by Pete Townshend
taken from the album Psychoderelict (Music Only) (1993)

August 11 - "I keep going round and round on the Circle Line, like some demented kind of commuter trying to avoid paying for my ticket." The Tube stop nearest the hotel was on the Circle Line.

3. XTC - "Towers Of London"
written by Andy Partridge
taken from the album Black Sea (1980)

August 12 - Visited the Tower Of London. Obvious I guess. Not sure why the song is "Towers" instead of just "Tower".

4. John Lennon - "Remember"
written by John Lennon
taken from the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)

August 12 - There was an exhibition at the Tower Of London on the attempted "Gunpowder Plot" to assassinate King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) and the members of both houses of Parliament. At the end of "Remember", Lennon sings "Remember the Fifth of November" and an explosion follows. Never understood that reference until that exhibit.
Remember, remember,
The Fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot;
For I see no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

5. The Jam - "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight"
written by Paul Weller
taken from the album All Mod Cons (1978)

August 12 - We saw a station on the Tube map called "Morden". We thought it would be fun to go get a picture at the station because we're big fans of Babylon 5 and Morden is a key character in the story. The trip took way longer than we expected and we ended up down in a Tube station at midnight. Fortunately, that's the only sync-up with the song.

6. The Who - "Bag O'Nails"
written by John Entwistle and Keith Moon
taken from the album Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B (1967)

August 13 - Had lunch at the Bag O'Nails pub near Buckingham Palace.

7. Gerry Rafferty - "Baker Street"
written by Gerry Rafferty
taken from the album City To City (1978)

August 13 - Went over to Baker Street to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

8. The Beatles - "Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window"
written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
taken from the album Abbey Road (1969)

August 13 - Went up to Abbey Road to see Abbey Road Studios and the famous crosswalk. You can't tour the studio, but it was still cool to see.

9. Pink Floyd - "Pigs (Three Different Ones)"
written by Roger Waters
taken from the album Animals (1977)

August 14 - Took a train ride down to Hampton Court Palace and saw the iconic Battersea Power Station that appears on the cover of Animals.

10. Joby Talbot - "Journey Of The Sorcerer"
written by Bernie Leadon
taken from the film sountrack album for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2005)

August 15 - The British Science Museum had an exhibit about the The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy film, complete with mockups of Arthur's house, the Vogon ship, the Heart Of Gold, and Slartibartfast's "cherry picker".

11. The Kinks - "Waterloo Sunset"
written by Ray Davies
taken from the album Something Else By The Kinks (1967)

August 16 - Next stop was Edinburgh, and the train left from Waterloo Station.

12. Mike Scott - "Edinburgh Castle"
written by Mike Scott
taken from the album Bring 'Em All In (1995)

August 17 - Toured Edinburgh Castle.

13. Monty Python - "Opening Fanfare / Main Theme / Camelot Fanfare / The Knights Of The Round Table"
"Opening Fanfare" is an extract from "The Big Country" by Keith Papworth, performed by the International Studio Orchestra for De Wolfe Music
"Main Theme" is an extract from "Homeward Bound" by Jack Trombey, performed by the International Studio Orchestra for De Wolfe Music
"Camelot Fanfare" written Neil Innes
"Knights Of The Round Table" (aka "Camelot Song") written John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Neil Innes
taken from The Album Of The Soundtrack Of The Trailer Of The Film Of Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1974)

August 18 - Went to Doune Castle, where most of the castle scenes in Monty Python And The Holy Grail were filmed.

14. Electric Light Orchestra - "The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)"
written by Roy Wood
taken from the album Electric Light Orchestra (1971)

August 21 - Read about the Battle Of Marston Moor in the York History Museum.

15. XTC - "Greenman"
written by Andy Partridge
taken from the album Apple Venus Volume 1 (1999)

August 21 - Toured York Minster and saw lots of carvings of the Green Man.

16. Monty Python - "Crunchy Frog" (aka "Trade Description Act")
written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman
taken from episode 6 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, "It's The Arts" (1969)

August 23 - A candy shop on the bridge in Bath sold chocolate "Crunchy Frogs" (with a different recipe than mentioned in the sketch). They were pretty good too!

17. The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu - "Mind The Gap"
taken from the album 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) (1987)

August 24 - Riding the Tube to Covent Garden. We'd been on the Tube quite a bit, but I think this was the first time we were waiting a bit and heard quite a few of the "mind the gap" announcements.

18. The Jam - "Going Underground"
written by Paul Weller
taken from the single Going Underground (1980)

August 24 - Seeing all the Underground signs around Covent Garden put this back into my head. I know, the song isn't actually about the Underground, but the song popped into my head.

19. ABC Radio Orchestra - "The Merrymakers' Dance"
written by Sir Edward German as part of the "Nell Gwyn" suite.
taken from "The Fish Slapping Dance" sketch in episode 28 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, "Mr. & Mrs. Brian Norris' Ford Popular" (1972)
NOTE: The performer credit is a guess. "The Merrymakers' Dance" was used as the theme from "The Country Hour" on the Australian Broadcasting Company. Found a clip on YouTube and it sounds right.

August 24 - Visited Teddington Lock, site of the filming of the Fish Slapping Dance (Noreen's favorite Monty Python sketch). The people running the lock were extremely nice, letting us go over to take pictures and the like. The office had an autographed picture of John Cleese and Michael Palin from the skit, so we're obviously not the first people to do this.

20. Jeff Lynne - "Stormy Weather"
written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler
taken from the album Armchair Theatre (1990)

August 28 - Our only day to drive the Ring Of Kerry, and this song pretty much nailed it.

21. The Waterboys - "The Kings Of Kerry"
written by Mike Scott, Sharon Shannon, and Steve Wickham
taken from the album Room To Roam (1990)

August 28 - Again, on the Ring of Kerry

22. Mike Scott - "City Full Of Ghosts (Dublin)"
written by Mike Scott
taken from the album Bring 'Em All In (1995)

August 30 - Walking around Dublin. Had we gone more recently, about half of the Once soundtrack would have been in my head as we walked around where the outdoor scenes were filmed.

23. Queen - "God Save The Queen"
traditional
taken from the album A Night At The Opera (1975)

August 31 - Thought of this as we were leaving. And yes, we left from Dublin which isn't part of the Queen's realm, but the song still came into my head. Sue me.

Hope you enjoyed the mix, and maybe found a few new favorites along the way.

Back to Owen's Mix CD Page