Les ailes de la Rolls effleuraient des pylônes
Quand m’étant malgré moi égaré
Nous arrivâmes ma Rolls et moi dans une zone
Un endroit isolé

Là-bas, sur le capot de cette Silver Ghost de 1910
S’avance en éclaireur
La Vénus d’argent du radiateur
Dont les voiles légers volent aux avant-postes

Hautaine, dédaigneuse
Tandis que hurle le poste de radio
Couvrant le silence du moteur
Elle fixe l’horizon
Et l’esprit ailleurs
Semble tout ignorer des trottoirs que j’accoste

Ruelles, culs-de-sac
Aux stationnements interdits par la loi
Le cœur indifférent
Elle tient le mors de mes vingt-six chevaux-vapeur

Princesse des ténèbres, archange maudit
Amazone modern style que le sculpteur, en anglais
Surnomme “Spirit of Ecstasy”

Ainsi je déconnais avant que je ne perde
Le contrôle de la Rolls
J’avançais lentement
Ma voiture dériva
Et un heurt violent
Me tira soudain de ma rêverie
J’aperçus une roue de vélo à l’avant
Qui continuait de tourner en roue libre
Et comme une poupée qui perdait l’équilibre
La jupe retroussée sur ses pantalons blancs

“Tu t’appelles comment?”
“Melody comment?”
“Melody Nelson”

Melody Nelson a les cheveux rouges
Et c’est leur couleur naturelle

And so begins the Histoire De Melody Nelson with another contender for an Opening Tracks ICA, Melody by Serge Gainsbourg. This is of course chapter one, so it focuses on the narrator’s first encounter with the titular character, knocking her off a bicycle whilst driving around night-time back streets in his Rolls Royce. The implication is there from the start, but the narrator is subsequently painted as an obsessive who seduces and objectifies the 15-year old Melody. I won’t spoil the ending if you’ve not listened to the album. Gainsbourg’s spoken word narration is underpinned by Herbie Flowers’ bass, with Jane Birkin briefly giving voice to Melody Nelson at the end. The original 1971 album version runs for seven and half minutes, but the 2011 deluxe edition includes an alternative version, extending the climatic wig-out for another two minutes.

Melody (Prise Complète)

Roughly a quarter of a century later, David Holmes covered Melody on his album Let’s Get Killed, albeit as an instrumental track retitled Don’t Die Just Yet. It was released as a single and the CD contained ‘remixes’ by Arab Strap, Delakota and Mogwai.

SWC posted about the Arab Strap version way back on Christmas Eve, 2013 as an example of a great remix, and he’s spot on. Each of the versions radically rework the song, taking it in very different directions. However, in a nod back to Gainsbourg’s original, each version reintroduces a new, spoken word narrative: Arab Strap recalls ‘The Holiday Girl’; Delakota recounts another tale of abusive, destructive love; Mogwai reads a transcript of US astronaut James Lovell’s alleged sighting of UFOs, set against a musical mash up of the Melody bass and strings with Slint’s Good Morning, Captain.

I’ll be honest, the transcripts are a bit questionable: a ropey Arab Strap version is ubiquitous on t’internet although I’ve tried to correct the mistakes where I can; Delakota’s narrative is a little more straightforward; I gave up on Mogwai completely after a few attempts. Musically, all of the versions are worth your time.

I’m telling you it’s the same girl
She’s always there on holidays when you’re wee
She never grows up and she’s everywhere
She was in the lift in Covent Garden underground last week and she was in Torquay when I was thirteen
She said she was called Tina then and she claims she was from Germany
I watched her from the balcony as she swam in the pool and tanned herself all day
And spying her from hotel windows when she played tennis with her mum and dad
I would try and impress her with my sensitive side by being unusually affectionate to my wee brother When she passed us in the lobby
There was a royal wedding, I dunno which one
But the hotel was having a fancy do, some sort of celebration thing
She sat at the table she usually sat at at dinner just across from ours
It was the first day I’d had a drink in the four of us
A champagne on ice cocktail affair
Later when there was a dance and all the parents were drunk
And her dad tried to make me dance with him in this conga
I wasn’t into it so I went outside and stood on the patio, staring at the night sea trying to look deep
She came out and she stood beside me
Her naked elbow touched mine, she turned round and smiled…but I couldn’t say a thing

The Holiday Girl (Don’t Die Just Yet) (Remix By Arab Strap)

“Hi man, I was just gonna leave a little message to tell you about a story that I just read
It might be of some help to you in your present predicament
I just read about this Australian couple, I don’t know, I think they were newly weds”

Well, I guess they must have been fighting for two or three hours
Before she reached beneath the seat, pulled out the knife and stuck it in his throat
And the car they were driving just came off the road as he was grabbing her
Holding her down and stabbing her back

Out in the middle of nowhere
Slumped in their seats like a couple of stuck pigs
Hand in hand, smoking away their time
As they know they’re dying

And they left the hospital, arm in arm, not long after they came round
And they’re rescued by some trucker guy, who was still shaking by what he found
And the doctor shook his head and turned to the man and said
“Oh, don’t worry son, these two do this all the time”

Hand in hand, we’re together, man
Yeah, hand in hand, we’re together, man
Hand in hand, we’re together, man
Yeah, hand in hand, we’re together, man
And hand in hand, we’re together, man
Yeah, hand in hand, we’re together, man
Ah, hand in hand, we’re together, man
Yeah, hand in hand, we’re together…man

“I believe that’s a real strong love
And if you ask for my advice
If I could find love as strong as that
I think I could be satisfied”

Don’t Die Just Yet (Delakota Mix)

Don’t Die Just Yet (Mogwai Mix)





Today’s friend electric describes herself as a ‘music obsessed cooking freak’ which always makes me laugh.

The blog is called I Sing In The Kitchen and the genius behind it is Tricia.

I say genius and in this case I think it’s an accurate use of the word for it really does take someone special and talented to come up with the idea of a blog which has a daily recipe linked into a piece of music or a singer or band. And she’s been entertaining us in this way since January 2011 never ceasing to amaze with the extent and variety of the recipes and the music.

Tricia has an incredible taste in music and is forever using her blog to recommend all sorts of new stuff with a fair bit of it featuring singers and bands from Scotland, many of which were previously unknown to me. The thing is though….Tricia isn’t from my part of the world – indeed she lives a long long way from my part of the world.   Vermont, USA to be precise and it never ceases to amaze me the depth or her knowledge and the extent of her enthusiasm when it comes to Jock’n’Roll.

By most reckonings, I should be getting as far away as is humanly possible from a food related blog.  My taste in food is about as bland, unimaginative and boring as you could imagine and therefore so much of what Tricia so lovingly describes is wasted on me. My idea of cooking is to remove something from the refrigerator, pierce a hole in the cover and press the appropriate buttons on the microwave.

Tricia though, has a real passion for here recipes and recommendations.  Have a read at this from February 2011 and please note the photos are taken as Tricia prepares and completes the recipe:-

Ooh La La! French Macarons With Raspberry-Rose Buttercream.


Recently my daughter needed to make a French recipe to share with her French class at school. We decided to have a go at making macarons and I am so glad that we did. French style macaroons, or ‘macarons’ en français, are two delicate meringue style cookies sandwiched together with a rich buttercream or ganache. When you bite into a macaron the crisp exterior of the cookie gives way into a slightly chewy center that in turn gives way to a delectable cream filling. Delicieux.

I had never used rose water prior to this recipe. The buttercream recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon and the smallest bottle sold at my supermarket was 300 ml! Holy Rose Water! Please, if you know of any other good recipes using rose water send them my way!

Please indulge me while I have a momentary flight of ideas:

Rose + Water= Titanic——>Sinking

Kills me everytime!

Back to the baking.

French Macarons With Raspberry-Rose Buttercream


2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup sifted almond flour

3 large egg whites

2 Tbs plus 1/2 tsp sugar


16 oz frozen raspberries

1 cup plus 6 Tbs sugar, divided

2 large egg whites

10 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, softened

1/4 tsp rose water


1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

2. Sift confectioners’ sugar and almond flour into a large bowl.



3. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites, sugar and a pinch of salt until medium peaks form. Add egg white mixture to almond mixture and fold to incorporate.



4. Working in two batches, fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch diameter plain pastry tip with batter. (Batter will be thin and will drip from bag). Pipe batter in 1 1/4 inch rounds on baking sheets, spacing one inch apart. (Cookies will spread slightly). Let rest on baking sheets at room temperature for 20 minutes.


5. Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven.

6. Preheat oven to 375℉.

7. Bake cookies 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325℉. Continue to bake cookies until puffed and golden on top, about 10 minutes, reversing sheets after 5 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets on rack. Carefully peel cookies from parchment.

(The cookies can be made one day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.)


1. Bring raspberries and 1 cup sugar to boil in a large saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook until berries are soft, juices thicken, and mixture measures about 1 1/2 cups, stirring frequently, 7 to 9 minutes.



2. Measure 1/2 cup of raspberry mixture and strain into a small bowl. Cool strained jam and jam with seeds separately.


(The jams can be made one week ahead. Cover them separately and refrigerate)

3. Combine egg whites, 6 Tbs sugar and 1/4 tsp salt in bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water. Heat until candy thermometer inserted into mixture registers 140℉, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes.


4. Using whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture at high speed until stiff meringue forms and mixture is at room temperature, 5 to 6 minutes.


5. With mixer running, add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until each piece is incorporated before adding next. Beat in rose water. Add 3 Tbs seedless jam, 1 Tbs at a time. (If the buttercream should ever appear curdled, place bowl over medium heat and whisk to warm slightly for a few seconds, then remove from heat and beat again. Note: I never had any curdling and have no idea how common a problem that is.)

6. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Using 1/2 tsp jam with seeds for each, spread jam over flat side of half of macarons. (These are super delicate cookies. Handle very carefully or they crush.)


7. Spoon buttercream into pastry bag fitted with a 1/4 inch plain tip. Starting at outer edge of flat sides of remaining macarons, pipe buttercream over in spiral. (I had to hold the macaron in one hand and pipe with the other since the dang things would move all over the place if I tried to pipe the buttercream while they were sitting on the parchment.)


8. Gently press macarons, jam filled side down, onto buttercream coated macarons. Place on sheet. Cover and chill overnight.


(The macarons can be made 2 to 3 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving)

Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine. (They said they got about 3 dozen sandwiched macarons. Even when I realized, early on, that I was piping the cookies too big I still only ended up with about 24 sandwiched macarons.)


Here are a few French songs to get you in a macaron mood.

Lloyd Cole-Si Tu Dois Partir

Serge Gainsbourg-Sea, Sex And Sun

DeVotchKa-Viens Avec Moi



I was lucky enough to meet Tricia, along with her incredible family, when they all came over to Scotland as part of a vacation a few years back.  I read on someone’s Facebook page that she’s heading our way again in the not too distant future….my fingers and toes are crossed.