Day five of Linda’s Just Jot it January and we have already had some cracking prompt words to use. Sorry if I am a bit behind on my reading of your posts, I will try to catch up tomorrow
Anyway without further ado, here is today’s prompt word.
Your prompt for January 5th, 2018, brought to you by friendly “gender undefined female” (click to read the post) Cage Dunn, is “Memories.” Use it any way you’d like in your post. And make sure you visit Cage at Cage’s blog, “Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-Tall-Tales” to read her post and say hi! Here’s Cage’s blog: https://cagedunn.wordpress.com/
of fun and play
in time for tea
I wrote about how the Christmas Countdown has already started here, and of course, Christmas music plays a massive part in creating the festive atmosphere.
Was it really 1973 that Slade first assaulted our eardrums with “It’s Chriiiiiiiiiisttttmasssssssss”? (Merry Xmas Everybody). Wizzard also came out with their timeless ‘I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday’ the same year. I loved the video, especially when the kids sang their bit at the end. Elton John and Paul McCartney also had a go with their Christmas attempts, although they are not my favourites, and good old Sir Cliff Richard (bless him), trots out a Christmas song almost every year although he has been quiet lately. You have got to love him for trying, and I think he hit the number 1 spot with a couple of them.
Johnny Mathis with his version of ‘When A Child is Born’ always brings a tear to my eye, as does Mud’s ‘Lonely This Christmas’ (despite his dodgy Elvis impersonation). Boney M’s ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ however, will have me jigging about as it is so upbeat and cheery. Jonah Lewie’s ‘Stop the Cavalry’ is great too. Shakin’ Stevens singing ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ reminds me of my great friend Karen and the Christmas back in 1985 when we were both in the Army, and had landed up on duty over the entire Christmas period. (We did manage to have some fun, although the less said about that, the better)!
The other great Christmas songs of the 70s and 80s have got to be Wham’s ‘Last Christmas'(I have to say, that one does get on my nerves a bit now), and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over).’ My favourite of them all though has got to be the Pogues and Kirsty McCall with ‘Fairytale of New York’. I just love the story of two drunks, scrapping one minute, lovey-dovey the next.
Of course, Christmas songs were around way before then, and many of those are included on the typical festive compilation album that gets dragged out by the shops and offices around mid-November to get us ‘in the Christmas mood’. Everyone loves Nat King Cole singing ‘The Christmas Song’. It can’t fail to bring a warm and rosy glow to your heart. Good old Bing and his ‘White Christmas’, so moving. Then we have the sultry Eartha Kitt with her ‘Santa Baby,’ Ooooh, saucy! I also like ‘Let it Snow’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ for a bit of sentimentality.
The 90’s and 2000’s do not have a lot to offer though in the Christmas song department. The one huge exception, of course, is the dulcet tones of Mariah Carey belting out ‘All I Want For Christmas is you’. Oh, and Destiny’s Child did ‘The Eight Days of Christmas’.Personally, I love the Darkness and their ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bell’s End), a catchy song and great video. (Where the hell do they get those leotards?)! Lastly, in this period, I love ‘Stay Now’ by East 17. Not exactly Christmassy lyrics, but add a few bells to the music and a bit of snow to the video and Bingo, a Christmas hit is born!
I also love some of the traditional Christmas carols as well, ‘Silent Night’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Once In Royal David’s City’ to name but a few! These are even better when sung by a children’s choir. I remember taking my daughter to the Christingle service at church when she was about 4, and it was so lovely hearing them singing ‘Away In A Manger’. I was also moved to tears when a primary school choir were singing Christmas carols in the town centre where I live. It just sounds so pure and magical to me.
I know a good many of these songs are re-released every year, or they are on the compilation albums, but it seems we can never get enough of them.
What’s your festive favourite?
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
Today’s video poem is about music; how it can transform your mood and transport you to another place and time.
If you enjoyed those poems, and have time for a cuppa then you might like to check out my book Rhymes of the Times. It has many more poems like this and is perfect for dipping in and out of when you fancy a little pick-me-up.
Click here to be taken to my author page where you can purchase the book.
It is Colleen’s turn again this week for hers and Ronovan’s Writer’s Quote on Wednesday Challenge. She has given us ‘memories’ as our prompt word. I have found the perfect quote to base my poem on this week:
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
– Dr Seuss
I remember going to my Nan’s house
When I was very small
Her and my aunty were so strict
I would hardly talk at all!
Yet she would bring us cups of cocoa
and lay on lots of food
But I was on my best behaviour
It wouldn’t do to be rude!
Walking around the harbour
Days spent on the beach
Those carefree days of childhood
That are so now far out of reach.
Long and nauseous coach rides,
Those made me feel so bad
But in the end were worth it
As I got to see my Dad!
Childhood friends and fun times
Muddy and soaking wet
Giggling with my girlfriends
Over a gorgeous boy I’d met!
My first job in the café
The worst waitress that ever was
Trying to avoid the groping hands
Of my rather randy boss!
Married for the first time-
Then the second, now number three
Giving birth to a daughter
Spending time with family
Finally passing my driving test
Life is full of moments
that have meant so much to me
And they are always with me
As my precious memories.
Ron is in charge of the prompt word this week for the Writer’s Quote Challenge that he and Colleen host, and has given us ‘beauty’ to work with. I already had an idea of how I was going to go with this, and the following quote matches it perfectly:
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
When you think of beauty
What is it you see?
The woman with a six-inch scar
From where her breast used to be
The old man at the graveside
Of where his wife now rests
The charity serving dinner
For their homeless special guests
The brightly coloured birthday card
Your children made for you
The moment at a wedding
When the couple say, “I do”
A song heard on the radio
That has blown away the years
The birth of a newborn baby
As it cries its first real tears
The bashed and battered teddy bear
You’ve had since you were a child
The home that you grew up in
The garden now overgrown and wild
When you think of beauty
What is it you see?
The world is full of beauty
Or at least, it is to me.