It’s the last playlist from us, so Standard Issue staff are picking a song to say goodbye with.
Look, I know it’s called Good Riddance and it’s actually a spiteful fuck-off from a broken heart to the one who smashed it, but, man, it’s also a beautiful ballad about making the most of what you’ve got while you’ve got it.
The swooping, swooning strings and acoustic picking, far-removed from Billie Joe Armstrong et al’s usual bad-tempered guitar thrashings, shot a bunch of cartoon punkers to megastardom and was used for weddings, funerals and TV montages across the globe.
And so I’m focusing on the brackets, because Standard Issue is by far the thing I’m proudest of in my life. I couldn’t have asked more of what we created: not just a kick-ass magazine with excellent, ground-breaking content, but also a community, a sisterhood, a reminder that none of us are alone even at the times we feel most lonely.
Thanks for reading us. Thanks for all the love. Thanks for being a stone cold pack of legends. It’s been a blast. Viva la podcast.
The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
I’m terrible at feeling stuff. Or, to be more accurate, about talking about feeling stuff. So this, as you’d imagine, is an absolute nightmare. Particularly since I always try to take a Pollyanna approach to life. (Yep, I know that sounds like bullshit, but it’s truer than most things I say.)
And so here’s the mighty Hold Steady, who I’m kind of ashamed to have not found time to write about in the last two and a half years, with the most appropriate Pollyanna message of all. Stay Positive people. It’s been emotional. See you in June.
Little Mix – Salute
Not a day goes by when the pint-sized pop powerhouse that is Little Mix doesn’t offer at least some of the soundtrack to our kitchen.
I should say the original songs are rarely played in this setting, but I think the Little Mix lasses would be pretty impressed with the sound – and indeed vision – of me and my five-year-old singing the shit out of their back catalogue so far.
We usually try to base our pyjama-clad performance on the brilliant Liz Buckley’s description, which features in her Girls Bands 7 Wonders playlist: “When you watch them perform, they look like it’s for a round of the Hunger Games. Gritted teeth, steely-eyed, thighs tensed, ready to be picked off with a crossbow at any time.”
It’s quite the sight.
Although Salute is by no means the favourite track we belt out with gusto while the breakfast crumpets are toasting – and while I struggle to get on board with the notion that Jade, Perrie, Jesy and Leigh-Anne are actually “Representing all the women” – I figured this was the best one of theirs to sign off my very proud part in the first chapter of Standard Issue, which absolutely did. And will continue to do so. Fucking Salute indeed.
“It started out as a feeling / Which then grew into a hope / Which then turned into a quiet thought / Which then turned into a quiet word / And then that word grew louder and louder / ‘Til it was a battle cry.”
Regina Spektor definitely wrote this song about the founding of Standard Issue. But even if she didn’t, I’m pretty certain that, like hymns, there’s a Regina Spektor song for every occasion; births, deaths, marriages, baobabs. And this one perfectly sums up my feelings towards this spectacular organ. “You’ll come back when it’s over, No need to say goodbye” (she wrote that bit about making sure you download the podcasts).
Leonard Cohen – Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye
It’s not often you’ll hear me sing the praises of The Beautiful South, but their 1989 hit Song for Whoever – with its none-more-cynical couplet “Deep, so deep / The number one I hope to reap / depends upon the tears you weep” – echoes resoundingly whenever I hear this song from Cohen’s 1967 debut Songs of Leonard Cohen.
First he’s rhapsodising the nameless woman’s “hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm”, then barely four lines later, chastising her for having eyes “soft with sorrow” as he legs it out of the door. Yeah, Len, you charming bastard. Don’t let the royalty cheque hit you on the way out.
But he does have a point. A relationship (or anything else that ends) isn’t automatically a failure if you’re not still clinging to it on your deathbed; better to mourn the loss and then treasure what remains: “You know my love goes with you as your love stays with me.” Besides, who can sustain melodrama when some genius producer has overdubbed your sensitive lyricism with a mouth harp twanging like a comedy erection? Quite.
Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life
I tried so hard to pick a goodbye song: something fierce, emotional and fitting for a final bow of this glorious online mag. My brain, it seems, had other plans, planting the corny but goddam uplifting riffs from Dirty Dancing’s final fling in my noggin until it drowned out thoughts of ANYTHING that’d spare my blushes.
So what the hell, I’m having (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, a grand finale with a fitting sentiment and a sax-break so bloody catchy it’s impossible to not leave things on a high.*
*Emotionally that is. The rest depends on how many gins you’ve necked before attempting the lift.
Andrea Bocelli – Time To Say Goodbye
One of the best things that has ever happened in sport, if not in the world, was Leicester City winning the Premier League last year after almost being relegated from it at the previous season’s end.
In the celebrations that ensued at the club’s King Power Stadium, tremendous human and arguably one of the most-loved football managers of all time Claudio Ranieri brought out Andrea fucking Bocelli to do a little turn.
The Italian wept as his compatriot belted out the operatic hits and gestured for fans to pipe the fuck down and respect his artistry a la Kanye West at the Grammys, building to a rousing crescendo in which Bocelli ripped off his sports-casual hoodie to reveal a Leicester City shirt, with his own name on the back. Technically, this happened during Nessun Dorma, not the song that followed, but I still can’t hear it without having a little cry.
Of course, the brutal sacking of my pretend dad (I’m pretending, not him, to be clear on this) Ranieri less than a year later left something of a bitter taste in the mouth and a giant charisma vacuum in the Premier League, but as we know (and presumably so does Bocelli) all good things must come to an end, eventually.
Some of Standard Issue's brilliant women's carefully crafted words for your reading pleasure.