On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Anohni – Drone Bomb Me (2016)
” Drone Bomb Me” is a song by Anohni, the lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons. It is the first track and second single from her debut solo studio album, Hopelessness , and was released digitally on 9 March 2016 on Rough Trade Records.
Welcome to 2016, dear reader. After just one song in 2015 we have a selection for you in 2016. We’re remaining in the US today and find ourselves in New York. Anohni, formerly Antony Hegarty, began her career in 1995 with the group, Antony and the Johnsons, with the band going on hiatus in 2015 after 20 years together. When we join Anohni in 2016 it is with the release of her debut solo album, Hopelessness, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Drone Bomb Me.
The premise to Drone Bomb Me is painfully poignant. It was written in response to the modern world of drone warfare and the devastation it inflicts on people. For this song, Anohni imagined a young girl in Afghanistan who has seen her entire family killed by drone bombs. Now alone the girl looks to the heavens and longs for the drones to come back and to end her life also. The lyrics are beautiful and poetic, making the coming of the drone an almost celestial event to this girl, not an enemy but a liberator from the pain she carries in her heart. On and on she begs to be released but the drone does not respond.
I was not familiar with Anohni prior to this challenge but Drone Bomb Me is a truly moving piece with vocals that are pained and tortured, juxtaposed with some wonderful music from the piano. The subject matter here may be controversial to some but I was swept away by the imagery and this unifying of an innocent girl with a deadly means of waging warfare. A former winner of the Mercury Music Prize and nominated for an Academy Award in 2016, Anohni’s star continues to shine brightly.
Favourite songs so far: