I love music. A few bars of a long-forgotten song can instantly transport me back in time to the moment I first heard it, evoking all kinds of memories”]. The first dance with someone special; the song played over and over again just after a breakup; (perfect for having a good sob to), or the one that I just HAVE to get up and dance to, despite having two left feet
The other night my husband and I were listening to an old 70’s CD, and I was musing over how music had changed so much over the years. My elder sister was desperately in love with Donny Osmond, so my earliest memories were of the sweet, and innocent (might be a song title in there somewhere) songs that he and his family used to churn out prolifically throughout the 70’s. In a similar vein there was David Cassidy (oh so handsome), David Essex (he’s still got it), and the Jacksons (always loved their music, not to mention their crazy outfits)!
Then towards the end of the 70’s suddenly Punk Rock burst onto the scene with their spiky hairdos, safety pins, and bad language (You’ve got to love the Sex Pistols’ Friggin’ in the Riggin’). What a complete turnaround! Gone were the saccharine sweet lyrics, and the wholesome teenage heart-throb. Say hello to lyrics written to offend, SHOUTED, rather than sang, and the bands as well as the fans, puking all over each other or fighting just for the sheer hell of it.
The 80s though were my favourite, a bit classier. The New Romantic look had taken off and bands like ABC, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, were dominating the charts. God knows they probably gave a huge boost to the cosmetics industry as well, with their carefully applied, perfectly made-up faces, (It didn’t put me off Phil Oakey from Human League, though, and I still have a bit of a thing for him)!
Disco was big through the 70s and 80’s as well, with groups like the Bee Gees (not blessed in the looks department, but still had a huge following), Chic, and The Jacksons, (particularly Michael. He really came into his own in the 80s, and their music guaranteed a full dance floor at the one and only nightclub we had in our town back then),
Oh, yes, how I loved the music. Of course, there were also the rather dubious ‘fashions’ that went along with the music, but the less said about those the better! I cringe anytime a photo crops up of me in that era, with my garish makeup, awful, clothes, and even worse hair. I was blissfully unaware at the time, as everyone else looked just as bad, (or good as we thought then)! Even my poor bald husband had spiky hair and highlights, (He does miss his hair, Bless him).
Teenage music now
My daughter despairs whenever she gets in my car, and Gilbert O’ Sullivan is singing a jaunty little number, or Kate Bush is wailing pitifully from the CD player. She has not quite learned to appreciate good music yet, no matter how much I exposed her to it!
The stuff she likes to listen to (like Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Justin Bieber etc) involves people ‘twerking’ or some kind of bump and grind routine. (The most risqué band I can remember were Imagination or the bloke from Cameo that used to wear that ‘codpiece’ over his trousers)!
She also likes Eminem (actually so do I), but it is hardly easy listening for a young, impressionable child. I remember when Frankie Goes to Hollywood released ‘Relax’ and Radio 1 banned it, sending it soaring to the number one spot! Once I twigged what the lyrics were about, I was shocked they had managed to get away with it for so long. (Even though the Sex Pistols were around before them, the DJs were not allowed to play their music the radio). Now though they just blank out or bleep the bad bits. It is pretty obvious what is being blanked out, though.
Another thing, not many recent artists have managed to produce a decent Christmas song. Who can compete with Slade, Wizzard, Elton John, Wham, and even good old Cliff Richard ?(you got to hand it to him, he does try). When I was younger, we watched ‘Top of the Pops’ Christmas Day to see who had made the prestigious number one spot. Now, though it’s always the winner of X Factor or some such show that gets the Christmas number 1. Not exactly a surprise.
Still, although I do enjoy some of the music that is around now, I am more than happy to live in my little musical time warp, as I merrily screech along to my favourite songs from yesteryear blaring out in my car.
As you may already know, from the post here, music is something that makes me happy, and I have taken my inspiration for today’s post from my local radio station. One of the presenters chats to a guest about music throughout their life, and I am going to write my take on it. You may also like to join in with Hugh’s weekly nostalgic look at some of his favourite music and add your own too as I have done. There are some cracking tracks on there to enjoy and take you back a few year too!
On the day that I was born, ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ by Nancy Sinatra was number 1 in the UK charts. A good strong song, by a feisty woman, with a no-nonsense message! That’ll do for me; even if I still quite haven’t got the degree of feistiness that she has yet! I am getting there though. I am not as shy, by any means, as I was, and have become much more assertive.
One of the first records that I bought with my pocket-money was ‘Morning side of The Mountain’ By Donny and Marie Osmond. My older sister probably influenced me there, as she worshipped the Osmonds, Donny in particular. I did, however, love them as well, and luckily, as she was older than me and could afford to buy their albums, I spent many a happy time with her listening to them.
As a little footnote to that story, about ten years ago, Donny was performing at Leeds Castle, which was not too far away from where we live, My sister and her friend had got tickets and invited me to go with them. It was wonderful. Beautiful surroundings on a balmy summer evening (no, it didn’t rain). He had a few large screens up which showed pictures of his family as they were then (which made me cry when I saw how old they all looked). The mostly middle-aged female crowd of around 6500, still swooned, and crooned along with him, singing his most famous numbers.
As a teenager, I was into all sorts of music, but I mainly remember ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ by Rainbow, as well as Meatloaf’s ‘ Bat out Of Hell’ album. My Mum and step-dad used to go away at weekends sometimes in their caravan by themselves. My older sister and brother would look after us, which was great as we would inevitably have a house party! I remember the extremely loud music, loads of teenagers, and a lot of smoking and drinking going on! However, it was pretty innocent really, as we never got busted.
I left home at 18 to join the army, which is where I initially met Mr Grump. For me ‘Love Is A Battlefield’ and ‘We Belong’ by Pat Benatar pretty much summed up our relationship back then! I also used to listen to a lot of Bruce Springsteen with my best mate Karen as well. She was responsible for Mr Grump and I getting back together 25 years later!
The song at my wedding to Miss Hap’s father was ‘Eternal Flame’ by the Bangles. A beautiful song and it was a good day; unfortunately though, the flame went out.
When I was in labour with Miss Hap, my two sisters were with me in the delivery room. It was a boiling hot evening around 11 pm, and I knew my daughter was about to be born. We had brought some CDs in with us to while away the hours, and for a bit of distraction. Anyway, as Miss Hap came into this world Tom Jones was belting out ‘It’s Not Unusual’. Probably not the first choice for many, but I love that number!
My step-dad was very good with Miss Hap when she was a baby; I had moved back home with him and Mum just before she was born, and they both doted on her. He would proudly push her pram around the town when we went out and was very good at soothing her when she cried (or bellowed, as she was VERY loud)! Sadly, he became ill with lung cancer and died when my daughter was only four years old. My Mum chose ‘ The Power of Love’ by Jennifer Rush for the funeral. A very emotional song that I find is still quite hard to hear.
Mr Grump and I decided that we would have a small, family wedding, and luckily for us, my brother-in-law is an excellent musician and singer. We chose ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol as one of the songs we would like him to sing for us, which was wonderful. He also sang ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles which we all love, and everyone sang along. A very touching moment. He and my sister recorded it for our 1st anniversary which was brilliant.
My Dad always loved the musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. I think he and my step-mum had been to see it several times. When he sadly died a couple of years ago, she chose a couple of the songs from it for his funeral. However, for me, it was the hymn ‘Going Home’ that was more poignant, as well as very apt.
I know I said I was going to be upbeat, and yet I have included some songs that have been at terribly sad occasions. However, they still evoke happy memories of two men that were very influential and positive figures in my life. It’s funny how we associate songs with people as well as events in our lives.
Do you have a particular song that is extra special in some way?
For as long as I remember
You have always been around
Like a blanket of security
That I can wrap around
I’ve turned to you when happy
You’ve comforted me when sad
You are there for all occasions
For the good times and the bad
Sometimes you know just how I’m feeling
And you reflect that in your voice
You know when I am being playful
And just want to make some noise
You are soulful, you are sexy
Sometimes spiritual and serene
You are raucous, you are raunchy
And nearly everything in-between!
Whatever I have been through
You have been a huge part of
Music, you are my salvation
And my never-ending love