Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Music meme

Gary tagged Sally, and Sally tagged me...

"Think of eight memorable musical moments, not necessarily all time favourites, but those when, for example, you felt compelled to wait in the car when listening to this amazing song on the radio because you just had to know who it was by. Or the piece you heard on the tv in a drama that drove you straight onto iTunes to download... (remember once we spent the princely sum of 6s 8d on a vinyl single?!). Optional details for each song give where, why and Spotify or youtube links ...

So in no particular order..."

Good morning Little Schoolgirl
This could have been any track from a choice of about 200 (and that includes rock-n-roll and country music too, but I was definitely *not* into Tamla or T-Rex) that remind me of the angst of being 16 and not at all sure if I wanted to leave childhood behind, and if I did, who was I going to be?  Various memories of sitting on bedroom floors listening to music, shaking heads of long greasy hair (eugh), of 'parties' attended in gangs "we know nnnn", Watney's Party Seven, gut-rot wine, too loud music, upstairs at the Salisbury (since demolished), bubble lights on the ceiling, lads in afghan coats trying to sell 'roll-ups' and other associated substances.  I do still own a couple of vinyl Ten Years After LPs though, but no record player.

In the Summertime. 
A sunny day in mid summer, four of us in a car, singing along, driving to the outdoor swimming pool at Hatfield Polytechnic for an afternooon of complete idleness and fun, and this was playing on the radio.  I suddenly realised that we, on our summer holidays, young, fit, suntanned and with our lives in front of us were the 'Beautiful People'.  Yes, we all wore cheesecloth and the guys really were that hairy :-)

Hallelujah Chorus
This is one of two occasions when I really did sit in the car one day after a long trip.  This had been playing on the radio and I'd listened from the very beginning, with just a few minutes to go - how could I leave the car?  I don't remember the business meeting that I was almost late for, but I do remember the music.

Ode to Joy
And this is the other one. Of course the song stands on it's own - as the EU has shown - but like all the 'best bits' excerpts of music, the build up is part of the journey, and it was a rare treat to hear the whole piece from start to finish.  It is also the only meaningful memory from a temporary and not-very-meaningful relationship after my divorce.

Once again
This was one of those moments that still makes my spine chill to remember.  A 'looooong' time ago I was in St Andrew's Church Chorleywood, packed to the gunnels, on a clergy conference (how prophetic was that?), when their music leader - a certain Matt Redman - stood up and said that he had written a new worship song.  As the musicians played and sang, it was clear that we were in one of those moments when the Spirit was moving in power, and of course, each time I've heard or sung this since the layers of meaning have increased.  Actually, as a piece of music, it wouldn't make my favourites list.

Chariots of Fire
Two reasons for this.  Firstly, I once worked in marketing, and had the great good fortune to meet the members of the Amateur Athletics Association governing body, which included Harold Abrahams, an old and very polite man who shook my hand as if used to dealing with star-struck admirers.  At the time I was only 19 and didn't know who he was...  The second reason is that when I was training for the London Marathon in 2003 this song was one of two that helped me to keep focus.  And as I was running said marathon I passed a church that was ringing out this tune on a carillon of bells.  The juxtaposition of church, music, and my own history made it one of those moments when I simply choked up and had to talk very sternly to myslef to even be able to keep on running.  Which, of course, I did. 

Can I sneak in the partner piece of music too at this point? (The music starts just after a minute)

Marble Halls
A reminder of a failed relationship that meant a huge amount at the time, but still a beautiful song.  Included to remind me of two things:
1. She who dreams of knight on white charger always ends up shovelling horse-shit.
2. That we are given reason for a reason.

What a wonderful world
Peter and I danced to this at our wedding in 2004.  The ultimate song for optimists - and remarriage after divorce is a genuine example of optimism if ever there was one.  It's a song that I hate to leave 'unfinished' when it starts to play, and it's a  reminder that even in dark times, this is still a most beautiful world.

Well that was fun.  I wonder if Holger has been tagged....


  1. Hate to say this.... but I like the Enya version of "Marble Halls" better. But being of the Cockney diaspora, I find the phrase funny anyway...

  2. Don't know why I hadn't spotted this before Helen, I enjoyed it. I love Louis Armstrong!