A-Z Blog Challenge 2018 – Reflection

A-Z Blog Challenge - Reflection Post - Lauren Mayhew AuthorThe Most Played Songs on my iPod A-Z

The A-Z Challenge has reached its end for 2018 and I’m glad to say it was a success for me! I’ve gained a few followers and I’ve spoken to many more people this time round compared to the last time I participated in 2016, so thank you to all of you that came along and commented or liked my posts!

2016 was my first year of doing any kind of challenge on my blog, so I was a little unsure about what I was doing. Although I did explore a few blogs through the month, I didn’t really take part in the way that I should have done, only really commenting on one blog throughout the whole thing. This time I made sure it was different. During the theme reveal, I made a spreadsheet (always a spreadsheet) and noted down the URL’s of the blogs that I thought would interest me the most. These are the ones that I’ve visited since day one. A few others I’ve picked up along the way, either because you visited me, or I looked at the daily letter list. Continue reading


Z – Zero to Hero from Hercules (and Zombie by The Cranberries)

A-Z Blog Challenge - Zero to Hero from Hercules - Lauren Mayhew AuthorZero to Hero from Hercules (and Zombie by The Cranberries) – 2 Plays – 1 ‘Z’ Song in Total

Welcome to the last day of this year’s A-Z Challenge! Can you believe how quickly this month has gone? I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with myself after this. Here’s ‘Z’. It’s another one of those days where I only had one song in the category, but this time I don’t really feel like I can talk about it that much. I’ve only listened to Zero to Hero twice since I put it on my iPod, so it’s not a song that I know very well. It’s a good song, but Hercules never has been one of my favourite Disney films, though I’m pretty sure Meg is my spirit animal/ cartoon. The video for Zero to Hero is at the bottom of the blog.

So, instead of talking about Zero to Hero, I’m going to talk about the song Zombie by The Cranberries. It’s not on my iPod, but a friend mentioned it to me a few days ago when I said I was going to struggle with this post. I can’t believe I’ve never listened to it before. It really is an incredible song. Very political, but incredible. Dolores O’Riordan’s voice is so pure and strong, it’s a shame that she’s no longer with us. I’m definitely going to check out some of her other music, not just the stuff with The Cranberries. The video for Zombie is also at the bottom of the post. Continue reading

Y – You Belong with Me by Taylor Swift

A-Z Blog Challenge - You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift - Lauren Mayhew AuthorYou Belong With Me by Taylor Swift – 27 Plays – 24 ‘Y’ Songs in Total

You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift would have hit my radar back in 2008/ 2009 when it was released. I don’t know if I purchased the album, Fearless, straight away, but I’ve definitely been listening to Taylor for a long time. There are some absolute gems of songs hidden in her albums that I wish had become more well known, unfortunately, none of them reached the tops of any of the lists except for this one. Maybe in a few years time she’ll start creeping up higher, but for now, you’ll have to make do with this being her only appearance.

You Belong With Me is one of Taylor’s first songs and it still has that country twang to it. I have a soft spot for country music and I really should listen to more of it. A lot of Taylor’s later music deviates into pop rather than country, so I appreciate her older albums because of their country roots. It’s quite a light-hearted love song too. It’s not dreary or depressing so it’s easy to listen to, no matter what mood you might be in. The video for You Belong With Me is at the bottom of the post. It’s a really cute video, so definitely worth a few minutes of your time. Continue reading

X – 3am by Busted

A-Z Blog Challenge - 3am by Busted - Lauren Mayhew Author3am by Busted  31 Plays – 0 X Songs in Total

3am by Busted was released way back in 2003. I would have been 11 years old. That was back in the days that I absolutely loved Busted but refused to listen to McFly. I thought McFly were copy cats, never having realised that Tom from McFly worked closely with James from Busted to create albums for both bands. I was young. I didn’t realise that I could love both bands at the same time. I’m so glad I changed my mind though. This challenge would have looked a lot different without McFly to fill in a few of the gaps.

There’s something quite simple about 3am that I absolutely love. It’s a very repetitive song with regards to lyrics and melody, but it doesn’t make it boring like with some other songs. It’s another breakup song, like the majority of songs I’ve written about in this challenge. However, it’s a song with some hope in it too. I like to think that the couple got back together again. That’s if the girl’s car didn’t break down before she got to speak to her boyfriend. I think I also love the power in Matt’s voice here. There’s so much passion, it’s hard not to like the song. You can see the video for 3am at the bottom of the post.   Continue reading

W – Warzone by The Wanted

A-Z Blog Challenge - Warzone by The Wanted - Lauren Mayhew AuthorWarzone by The Wanted – 52 Plays – 87 ‘W’ Songs in Total

I heard Warzone on The Wanted’s second album, Battleground, not long before it was released as a single. It was one of those songs that I had to listen to again and again. There’s something so pure about it. For the second and final time in this challenge, I will admit to Warzone not actually being the number one song in the ‘W’ category. Number one was Weakness by The Wanted. I loved it when I first heard it, but the more I played it, the more I realised how weak the song was lyrically – no pun intended. It’s not the best song they’ve done, but you can have a listen here.

I love how half way through Warzone they start to hum, it reminds me of the Misty Mountain song from The Hobbit. (Watch here.) However, it’s another one of those frustrating songs that I can’t sing. To begin with it’s way too deep, but then the chorus is a little too high. I literally can’t win. It’s a very powerful song too, though it’s difficult to find a good live version. Maybe it had a bit too much power for some of the singers. You can find the official video at the bottom of the post. Continue reading

V – I Won’t Let You Go by James Morrison

A-Z Blog Challenge - I Won't Let You Go by James Morrison - Lauren Mayhew AuthorI Won’t Let You Go by James Morrison – 60 Plays – 0 ‘V’ Songs in Total

So… As you’ve probably already noticed, I Won’t Let You Go doesn’t begin with a ‘V’. I have zero ‘V’ songs on my iPod. Of all the letters I thought I’d struggle with, ‘V’ wasn’t one of them. Instead, I’ve decided to talk about a song that I absolutely love, and I’m sure a few of you will be pleased to know – it’s not by The Wanted. James Morrison has always been one of my favourite artists, see yesterday’s post for more information about him! When I first heard I Won’t Let You Go I knew that it would be one of my all-time favourite songs ever. I stumbled upon it on YouTube I think. Although I still listened to James Morrison on my iPod, I hadn’t been following him closely enough to realise that he’d released his third album. As soon as I found out, I think it might be the quickest I’ve ever purchased anything in my life, except for the Harry Potter books of course!

It’s not just James Morrison’s voice that I love, it’s the whole song. The music, the lyrics, the meaning behind it. Everything. The song is from Morrison’s third album, The Awakening. It has some good songs on it, one of which I would use as the soundtrack to my first book if I had the rights to use it! The song that I’m talking about is actually called, The Awakening too. Listen to it here. You can also find out about my books here! You can watch the video for I Won’t Let You Go at the bottom of the post. Continue reading

U – Undiscovered by James Morrison

A-Z Blog Challenge - Undiscovered by James Morrison - Lauren Mayhew AuthorUndiscovered by James Morrison – 27 Plays – 18 ‘U’ Songs in Total

I think I would have first heard Undiscovered in 2006 ish. It’s almost twelve years since James Morrison first reached my ears. How crazy is that? I remember the day that I discovered him too. I was watching one of the many music channels and his second single, Wonderful World started playing. I immediately fell in love with the song and must have asked for his album for my birthday or Christmas that year. He has four albums now and I can’t wait for the next one, whenever that may be. The video for Undiscovered can be watched at the bottom of the post.

I have a lot of fond memories of James Morrison. He helped me get through a lot of Maths homework back in the day. I distinctly remember listening to his music as I sat at my dining table working through something like simultaneous equations. I just love his voice and he’s a fantastic lyricist too, which only makes things better! He was the first artist that I ever saw live in convert. It was a relatively small theatre venue, but it was fantastic to hear him live. This was back in 2008, just after the release of his second album, Songs For You, Truths For Me. I had such a great time, but I do remember that the rest of the audience was quite tame. I think he was a little disheartened with the fact that no-one seemed to be dancing or getting up on their feet. I had fun though. Continue reading

T – Too Close For Comfort by McFly

A-Z Blog Challenge - Too Close For Comfort by McFly - Lauren Mayhew Author

Too Close For Comfort by McFly- 38 Plays – 88 ‘T’ Songs in Total

Too Close For Comfort is from McFly’s second album, Wonderland. I didn’t really get into McFly until just before their fourth album was released, so I would have listened to Too Close For Comfort around 2008. It was a long time ago, so I can’t be too sure how I first felt about the song, but I’m sure I loved it from the first time. You can see a fan video at the bottom of the post.

Now, to be completely truthful, Too Close For Comfort was the second most played song in the ‘T’ category. I just couldn’t write about the most played song, as I honestly don’t like it anymore. I also don’t know how it got so high on the list either. It was Torn by One Direction. The version they sang live on the X-Factor. The terribly out of tune version they sang on the X-Factor. I’m almost certain the majority of the plays for Torn were within the first year of it being sung live. After that, I never really got into One Direction until their album Made In The A.M.. You can listen to it here, if you dare. Don’t judge me… Continue reading

S – Set Fire to the Rain by Adele

A-Z Blog Challenge - Set Fire to the Rain by Adele - Lauren Mayhew Author

Set Fire to the Rain by Adele – 56 Plays – 118 ‘S’ Songs in Total

I didn’t really know who Adele was until after she released her second album, 21. I wouldn’t say that I’m a hardcore Adele fan and by that I mean there were a few songs on her album that I didn’t love. However, the songs that I do love, very quickly became my all-time favourite songs ever, Set Fire to the Rain being one of them, Hello being the other. My sister had Adele’s albums, so I first would have heard Set Fire to the Rain when I borrowed it from her. I’m sure it was the soundtrack to my walk to work many times in 2015 and 2016.

Adele has such a powerful voice and I love that in a singer, male or female. It also seems so effortless when she sings which makes me extremely jealous. She’s got such a fantastic personality as well. She gives the impression that she doesn’t care what you think about her. An absolutely care-free spirit. I basically want to be Adele. A live performance of Set Fire to the Rain can be watched at the bottom of the post. Continue reading

R – Right Back in the Water by Jesse McCartney

A-Z Blog Challenge - Replace Your Heart by The Wanted and Right Back in the Water by Jesse McCartney - Lauren Mayhew Author

Right Back in the Water by Jesse McCartney & Replace Your Heart by The Wanted – 69 Plays – 49 ‘R’ Songs in Total

Here we have the second blog with two songs that have the same amount of plays. The winner for the letter ‘R’ is… Right Back in the Water by Jesse McCartney. It’s from his second album Right Where You Want Me and I think I loved it from the moment I first heard it. It was a long time ago now, so I can’t really remember. When the album was released in 2006, I would have been 14 and starting to think about my GCSE’s. I’m pretty sure Jesse McCartney was the soundtrack to a lot of my homework back then. Clearly it worked, as I got brilliant grades.

I like how gentle the song is. It’s half a breakup song and half a love song. It’s a song of conflict within one’s own head about a relationship, and I can imagine a lot of people feel like this at some point in their life. They think they should walk away, but something about the other person pulls them back to them and they stay. It’s very similar to the song Kickstarts, which I wrote about a few days ago. A fan video for Right Back in the Water can be found at the bottom of this post. Continue reading