My broadband procrastination ended this week, and I am happy to report that I am the only person I know who simply plugged in the wires and started surfin’. Despite being a hotbed of American IT enterprise [there’s a town in County Kildare that was known as Celbridge; it has been rechristened `Dellbridge’], and despite the fact that Dublin has, I believe, devoted more square footage to internet cafés than any other city in the world, this internet-at-home thing has been a bugbear for many, a series of phone calls to service folk who rattle off strings of numbers to be input into the nether regions of one’s computer.

So, lucky me. Whilst I’m not too crazy about enabling my email addiction— not even for writing, just for checking— I had to get it so I could keep my iPod updated. One of my favourite on-the-job time-wasting activities has been downloading tunes from the iTunes store, an exercise ultimately cheaper than buying CDs here, where most of them go for €14.99 [$21!]— if you’re lucky. Imagine my dismay when I realised those canny feckers at the web shop require an internet connection to ensure you’ve bought your music!

The most important thing, of course, was facilitating my Horseplay playlist. And imagine my dismay when I plugged in Apollo [that’s, er, the name of my iPod] and found that seventy per cent of my list wasn’t showing up!

Nothing like dread to get the auld brainbox operating. The list was showing up in my library— what was the problem? I hurried to burn it to CD, only to be told, ah, needed to authorise my computer to connect with the watchdogs. Whew. I can’t imagine my journey to the yard without my equine melodies. I’ve always associated events with songs, as most of us do [and I’ve always wondered what cognitive/emotional connection is made in the brain and body…] and as I compiled the list in, like, my second week of lessons, every time I play it, which is twice a week, I get that fantastic feeling of being on the number 63 bus, heading off on my newest adventure.

The top ten thoroughbreds from my herd, then:

1] HorseChannelRingtone1: It all leads off with the digitised sound of a horse neighing [this is also my mobile’s ringtone]. Choose one of four for yourself here. Mine’s the first one, ‘Hello, Where’s my Dinner?’; I may download ‘Get Snorty’ as my text message alert…

2] ‘Wildfire’. Well, in fairness. How leave out Michael Martin Murphy’s super anthemic contribution to mid-Seventies commercial radio? I’ve only got a live version, and would much prefer the studio set, but can’t find it. Bummer. Bigger bummer, and the thing that saddens me about the whole iPod culture, is that I can’t sing along. I suppose I could, but I make enough of a show of myself on the bus in my jods.

3] ‘Ride On’, Christy Moore. The first iteration of the list was comprised mainly of songs that turned up having searched ‘horse’ in iTunes; when Shauna found out I hadn’t had this on there, she was appalled. It opened up another search around ‘ride’, a somewhat fruitful if disturbingly rap-heavy endevour.

6] ‘A Horse in the Country’, Cowboy Junkies. A good girl tune. Except that the narrator only ‘gets to see him/Every second Sunday’. I’d go mental. Every two weeks? Geez.

5] ‘Ride Like the Wind.’ Christopher Cross! Yeah!

6] ‘Ride a White Horse’, Glodfrapp and ‘White Horse’, Wonderland Avenue, both funky and dancey and bass-y. And yes, I know they’re about heroin, but I pretend they are not.

7] ‘Horse’, and ‘Sue’s Last Ride’ [yaaaaay!], both by Dirty Three, Australian instrumentalists, whose sound emulates exactly what it feels like to ride. Both are from an album called Horse Stories. I prefer to think that ‘last ride’ means ‘most recent’ as opposed to ‘fatal’.

8] ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’, Glen Campbell. Nothing needs to be said.

9] ‘Let That Pony Run’, Pam Tillis. ‘I got a divorce and a chestnut horse…’ Still waiting on both. Another tune I’d like to give a good auld belt out.

10] ‘On Horseback’, Eileen Ivers. This Irish-American fiddler rips it out, and is the song I’d most like to hear playing in the arena during a blistering canter.

And, yes, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, that Cardigan’s tune ‘A Good Horse’, The Thrills ‘One Horse Town’, ‘Run For the Roses’, America, ‘Tennessee Stud’, and a handful of instrumentals ranging from Moby to Ali Akbar Moradi [‘Gallop’]. I’ve got forty three ditties in all… and I think it might be time to shake things up…

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