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Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Part of Speakers' Corner

19th December 2014

Festive 50: From “Every Little Bit Hurts" To "Stay With Me"

In Swaziland, 1964 (wearing shorts)
In Swaziland, 1964 (wearing shorts)

It’s a delicate business judging how much personal stuff to put in a blog.  In the past I’ve written official blogs with a rich mix of personal and work entries.  Then Twitter came along and much personal material, such as my famous series #reasonstolikeIstanbul, was swept away into the Twitterverse.

I’ve so far tweeted out around 270 #reasonstolikeIstanbul, by the way, on @leighturnerFCO.

Many people like personal material in official blogs and Tweets, as evidence that you are a human being.  But what to include?

So I was intrigued when, about a year ago, somebody said: “You like music.  Why don’t you tweet about that?”

I decided to try it.  In December 2013 I began to tweet out “my favourite 100 songs”, one at a time, often after midnight, with the hashtag #LTfaves.  Number 100 was the plaintive “Every little bit hurts” by Brenda Holloway.

The bad news is that with few exceptions, the list shows me to be still stuck in the 70’s.  Or possibly the 80’s.  Or the 60’s.  It’s a far cry from the “Festive 50s” of legendary, late lamented British DJ John Peel, famed for their originality and obscurity.

For current music on the BBC, check out eg BBC iPlayer.

So far I have gone through my favourites from number 100 to number 51 (the awesome “Stay with me” by Lorraine Ellison).  It’s been an enjoyable year-long journey.

So here’s my own 2014 “Festive 50” comprising songs 100-51:

100   Every little bit hurts – Brenda Holloway

99     Tonight I’ll be staying here with you – Bob Dylan

98     I’ll be your man – James Blunt

97     I’d rather go blind – Chicken Shack

96     Till there was you – The Beatles

95     Sweet home Chicago – The Blues Brothers

94     Something so right – Paul Simon

93     I don’t want to spoil the party – The Beatles

92     Dazed and confused – Led Zeppelin

91     No Regrets – Midge Ure

90    So long Marianne – Leonard Cohen

89    Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield

88    I like you so much better when you’re naked – Ida Maria

87    Mercy – Duffy

86    The Snake – Al Wilson

85    20th century Boy – T-Rex

84    Nothing Compares to you – Sinead O’Connor

83    Lochinvar – New Riders of the Purple Sage

82    You make me feel – Carole King

81     Jersey Girl – Bruce Springsteen

80    The Nearness of You – Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

79     I Just Can’t help Believing – Elvis Presley

78    Teenage Kicks – The Undertones

77    The Best – Tina Turner

76    Avalon – Roxy Music

75    If I can’t take it with me when I go – Eartha Kitt

74    What is and what should never be – Led Zeppelin

73    Send in the Clowns – Judy Collins

72    Shopping for clothes – The Coasters

71    Even so – Everything but the Girl

70    Crazy Love – Van Morrison

69    Come go with me – The Staple Singers

68    Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones

67    Sketches of China – Paul Kantner, Grace Slick & David Freiberg

66    Man! I feel like a woman – Shania Twain

65    How sweet it is to be loved by you – Junior Walker and the All Stars

64    Du hast – Rammstein

63    Come Softly to me – The Fleetwoods

62    The Stroke – Billy Squire

61    Riders on the storm – The Doors

60    Since You’ve Been Gone – Rainbow

59    I only have eyes for you – The Flamingos

58    Rocket Man – Elton John

57    Come on over to my place – The Drifters

56    Bohemian like you – The Dandy Warhols

55    Love in an elevator – Aerosmith

54    Luka – Suzan  Vega

53    Mannenberg – Dollar Brand/Abdullah Ibrahim

52    Yesterday once more – The Carpenters

51    Stay with me – Lorraine Ellison

If anyone would like to guess what songs are in the top 50, let me know.  I plan to tweet those out during the year ahead – on @leighturnerFCO.

Thanks for listening.

About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.