"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Music is my tardis

A good friend wrote the above phrase on my facebook after reading my last blog, just about the time that I realised that I hadn't mentioned music in my list of memory inducing 'prompts'. So I dedicate this blog to Carl with the hope that he will listen to all my favourite 'tunes' and not suffer too much at some of them....

Like humour, one's own musical tastes are so subjective. I have seen really good friends nearly come to blows over the 'best' rendition of a song. Just this last week I entered into a really fierce facebook debate on the best version of Leonard Cohen's wonderful Hallejuah - obviously John Cale although not everyone agreed....

And memories induced by music don't always mean that the particular piece of music is one of one's actual favourites! For instance whenever I hear Dexy's Midnight Runners' Come On Eileen it reminds me of a holiday in Woolacombe in the 1980s. I like the song but it wouldn't be one of the pieces I would chose for Desert Island Discs.

I know you are all waiting for me to start quoting all the Bob Dylan songs that mean a lot of me and all the memories they hold. Well there are so many that I will just give the one song, from the first Dylan album I ever bought [Bringing It All Back Home] way back when. The song is Love Minus Zero and reminds me of hours spent in my mother's front room with my old mono record player [yes that was what they were called back along!] I can't find a YouTube that does justice to Dylan singing it so have mixed two musical memories to link to this version by Joan Baez.

Most couples have their own tune and we have ended up with
Where do you go to my Lovely? by Peter Sarstedt . How this happened we have no idea but it is a ripping good tune...

I am hopping all over the place with these memories, why Queen appear next with Bohemian Rhapsody I have no idea, except memory is like that - random and not orderly! We used to listen to Queen constantly when we were 'exiled' in Germany [working for Ford] in the late '70s. And to the embarassment of all my children Other Half and I both know all the words to this whenever it is played anywhere and sing along with it - loudly!

Back to the late 60s and hippy times, to when we first heard Arlo Guthrie singing Amazing Grace. Since then we have heard lots of artists perform this, including massed bands, but there is still something unique about Arlo's performances. We have had it played at Christenings and Funerals and I am dropping hints for a forthcoming wedding!

Another completely random choice would be something by Paul Robeson. A favourite of mine, but he was also a favourite of my Father's. The trouble is, I really don't know which one song I would choose - the lullaby my mother used to sing, one of the Welsh songs he sang to support the miners, the hymns ..... Oh well Mum, here's your song Curly Headed Baby!

Roy Bailey is the music man I probably go to see most frequently these days. So my song from him I Ain't Afraid would be and the memory is of him and Tony Benn doing a great set at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2000. A set we have seen many times and enjoy every time!

I could go on for ever but must stop but before I do there are two songs I cannot ignore. Family know why I have Joan Baez singing Dylan's Forever Young. A very special memory.

And lastly, Billy Bragg's version of The Internationale. This song encapsulates so many memories: Family, friends, beliefs, hopes and ideals. And it is my ringtone on my mobile. And Billy and I are both 'Made in Barking'!

No photos today - the PC won't play.

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