Saturday, 27 May 2017

Music to brighten your life.

One of my fellow bloggers wrote a post about the soundtrack to her life and asked anyone who wanted to join in.

I knew straight away that she was younger than me because she said her parents listened to the Beatles.

We' ve all got a soundtrack to our lives, especially the early years, and I know some people who can only listen to Sixties music. We get stuck in a time warp with our music, maybe because the music of our youth stirs all our bright, enthusiastic, exciting,  romantic, hopeful emotions and ideals. The first beats of our favourite music from our youth and we are young again. We might twirl around the house, dancing with our eyes closed and remembering the excitement and anticipation of all that we hoped was to come. Just put on some Tamla Motown and I can smell Brut, Charlie, Old Spice, the husky voice of Rod Stewart and I'm in the pub peering through the mists caused by cigarette smoke and thinking how wonderful it was to have friends, for it to be a Friday night and the whole weekend ahead.

So here's my soundtrack, so far, just as it comes, from the depth of my heart,

My first memories of music are entwined with my sweet memories of my precious mum. Her voice was a golden thread through my early years, she would sit beside me singing softly or hold my hand and twirl me round. She had a whole host of bedtime songs,

Have you seen the Muffin man?
Poly Wolly Doodle
There is a Tavern in the town
Molly Malone
Goodnight Ladies
to name but a few, it probably took a long time for me to drop off, she always ended with my favourite
The Mountains of Mourne, sweep down to the Sea. if you would like to listen to this then see comments where Derval and posted a link

Next came Helen Shapiro and 'walking Back to Happiness. My  brother and I were facinated by the courting couples, we called them lovers, who would kiss and hug in our local park, the girls wore tight skirts and we invented the Waggle Bottom dance, marching up and down singing Helen Shapiro's song at the tope of our voices. We loved all the Fifties rock and roll, anything that would make our feet tap and have us dancing and shaking all over the place. This music held all the exciting promise of being grown up, nit that we were in a hurry because we were very happy climbing trees and scraping our knees.
My all time favourite was Brian Poole and The Tremeloes ' Do you love me?' Closely followed a while later by Hey Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds version.

Most Saturday mornings I would go my auntie's and be allowed to stack up all my cousins' records and I learned all the words to 'I wanna be Bobby'girl,' 'James, James Hold the ladder steady,' and of course Elvis.

We didn't have a dishwasher then and took turns washing and drying up.
Whenever I hadn't washed something properly my auntie would hand it back with a smile, singing
'Return to Sender..'
Then there was Adam Faith and Cliff Richard, for my friend and I a real dilemma to decide which one we would like to marry.
Oh what magical musical days.

One day when my brother and I were about 11 and 9, my dad brought us home an LP each as a present, he was like that, kind and generous. My brother being older had first choice, he chose 'Billy J.Kramer and the Dakotas, I was left with 'The Beatles'!! Yes, can you believe it? No-one had heard of them then. It didn't take long though, the rest is history.

I soon learned all the words to every song on that LP. That was the start of my love affair with the early Beatles songs. My whole existence was influenced by their songs of love, hope and joy. The Beatles told us young girls that romantic love exists with a vengeance, I want to hold your hand, Till there was you, If I fell, And I love her, She loves You, Please, Please Me.' The secret of a happy life was there in all these songs, you just had to find someone to love and then look after each other. It was just what I had hoped for and dreamed of.
 Even now when I listen to 'I feel Fine', my heart skips a beat, I feel a flutter of excitement and joy and remember how easily I twisted away at the Primary School Christmas Party. My knees never let me down then.

The Beatles were soon joined by The Rolling Stones in our record collection.
They were slightly less straight forward, less innocent, more sensual. As Tears go By, Satisfaction, and the daring Lets Spend the Night Together, which made me blush and squirm if my dad was present.
That was the moment when my parents taste in music parted company with ours.
The Who, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, they were all considered a horrible noise. They had to compete with Acker Bilk and Mantovani on Sunday lunchtimes. Acker Bilk usually won.

Then came the era of gatherings, parties, dancing in village halls. Rod Stewart, Elton John, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, they all that made us get up and dance and made us feel happy.

Then I started to fall in love and have boyfriends and were given records as presents, Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Country Joe and the Fish, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, many songs had a message that I still hold close to my heart.

It's all heady stuff this sound track, it's reminded me of when I went o see Forrest Gump. I came out of the cinema with my face soaked in tears. I had just heard the soundtrack of my youth. Nostalgia and homesickness for the days when you go home to your mum, when you can go out in the evening and be a bit daring and loud but there's always mum and dad like a cushion, like a haven, waiting for you.

Fast forward to my children's early years and there is a blur, nursery rhymes, Disney songs, interspersed with Blondie, the Bangles, Sting, George Michael, but I wasn't so involved as before because I had responsibilities. I might be walking on sunshine and driving round the country lanes belting out Close your eyes, give me your hand, but it wasn't really my music, it was another generation's.
 If I ever wanted to remember who I was, where I'd come from, I'd listen to Rod, the Beatles and Neil Young and be back, in harmony again.

Then came the years when I enjoyed listening to my childrens teenage music, Jon Bon Jovi, Blur, Oasis, The Cure, the Cranberries, Counting Crows, Red hot chilly Peppers, The Ramones, I loved the soundtrack to their youth. Again, it was more their soundtrack than mine.

Then last week I was watching the Eurovision Song Contest with my grandchildren. It was Saturday night and we were having a bit of a party, popcorn and fizzy drinks, while mummy and daddy were out.
 When the Italian entry came on, I watched in amazement as they leapt up, singing and dancing at the top of their voices
There, in their little faces,was the same ecstatic joy, the same excitement, the same love of life that my brother and I had dancing to Helen Shapiro, exactly the same.
They loved the Italian entry, they loved the singer, they want him to come and see us, he's Italian like them, they loved him.
That's when I felt it, they were on their way.
They have started the soundtrack to their young years.

My first LP

The long and winding road? Once there was a way to get back home again ? Beatles lovers will know


  1. Angela - I went to find a good rendition of the Mountains of Mourne for you - listened to it and burst into tears. That song holds so many fond memories for me, mainly of wonderful beloved members of my family now long gone. It's such a heartbreaking song for those who had to travel to London to find work, so many of whom never made it back home. It's one of my mother's favourites (and I have no doubt a song that she cried to many years ago when she was forced to spend Christmases away from her family because Barclays refused to give her the time she needed to travel home). Bless!

    Here is the best version I could find for you - such a lovely post. Thank you x

    1. thank you so much Derval, that is so kind of you, looking forward to reading about your soundtrack now xx

  2. I loved reading this blog and a wander through your memories xx💜

    1. thank you very much Tanya, for reading and commenting

  3. What a moving post, full of memories and emotions! It's incredible how powerful music can be, how it can bring u back to the past and how we associate it with people places, moments...!

    1. Thank you very much for your comments and reading, always lovely to read your comments