I love Hoda Afshar's portraits and videos from Manus Island (it's Australia's Refugee Devil's Island - you go in but you n...
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)
Ooh, it's September already; the right time for some photographic education advice. One of the prime concerns one should have before taking up a photography course is the songs that accompany the host university city or town - go to Dusseldorf and you're condemned to Kraftwerk and the Autobahn. Study in New York and the bombast and self-delusion of a whole rack full of songs will leave one clutching for reality.
But go to the University of Wales in Newport ( I did an MA there) and what a treat awaits, with Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind). This version of the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys song hits all the spots and is just fabulous - so fabulous EMI had it yanked off Youtube after a couple of million views. But it's still there in all its glory. For all new students ( especially Photography students) at the University of Wales, Newport, indeed for all visitors to Celtic Manor for the Ryder Cup it is the only introduction to the cultural life of Newport you will ever need. Check these lyrics out. Pure genius. Dusseldorf eat your heart out.
Yeah, I'm up at Ridgeway,
Now I'm down the moorings, right next to the Debenhams
and I'll be Port forever
Yes it is my lifeblood
these streets they are a part of me
the yin to my yang
the Craig to my Bellamy
Catch me in the kitchen
I've got cheese - I'm melting it
Caerphilly, bread and ham
Hey presto it's a rarebit
Head out to Caerleon
Off white transit
Fabreeze on the dash for the stain where my nan sits
Out for a big one, sniffing on the miaow miaow
Djs on the ones and twos, spinnin' Little Bow Wow
On the dancefloor raving, pack of 16 Benson
Someone's fighting bouncers... turns out it's Gavin Henson
Big up to Plaid Cymru, and the Welsh Assembly
Big up to Millennium: we don't need no Wembley
Keep your Big Apple... We'll have a tangerine
Bugger off Alicia, Shirley Bassey is our queen
Round here we stick together, like birds of a feather,
...Except we're not from Chigwell,
We're from the small Welsh town of...
Concrete jungle, nothing in order
Not far from the border
When you're in Newport
Chips, cheese, curry makes you feel brand new
Washed down with a Special Brew
Repeat the word, Newport, Newport, Newport.
Catch me at Gwent Dragons in my fleece watching real sport
Shit, I make the Dragons' fleece more famous than the Argonauts
And now that I've made it here I can make it anywhere
Signed a girl's babbles when I headlined at the local fair
Yeah you know the D to the V to the LA
Dad said 'Get a job with them', but Swansea's too far away
So look me up on Google - I'm seven pages in
Was in the local paper, Mam threw it in the bin.
She didn't see the article calling me a rap star
Ripped it into pieces, and used it for the hamster
Tom Jones, Steve Jones, Zeta Jones, traffic cones
If you come and visit use the Designated Parking Zones
There's a snooker hall, see
But I'm not a member...
And a lovely shopping centre opened in December
So head over the water...
On the transporter...
Fifty for the toll booth
Male Voice Choir singing out...
Twinned with Guangxi Province in China
There's no province finer
Josie D'Arby's from Newport
Yes, it's strange, we didn't know either
Thank you Wikipedia
Let's say some more Newports, Newports, Newports
One hand in the air for a taxi
Fifty quid if you're sick on the back seat
But all those bendy roads make me queasy
Can someone hold my hair?
Access from the A4042
Traffic will enrage you
On your way to Newport
Our shopping centre is quite new
Big leeks will inspire you
Repeat to fade, Newport, Newport, Newport.