Writing 101:Three Songs

I couldn’t name three favourite songs, there are so many I enjoy every time I hear them but I do have some songs which remind me of significant times in my life.

In 1971 my boyfriend and I had a wonderful holiday in Europe. We hitch-hiked through Scotland, England, France, Portugal and Spain. When we reached Spain it was obvious our money was going to run out before our allocated time so I took a job working in a bar in a town called Rota. We were lucky enough to get a free flat because the American who rented it actually lodged on the Naval Base. It was in that flat I first heard, “Sylvia’s Mother” sung by Dr Hook. I loved it then and I love it now.

The second significant song is related to my mother. After a break-in at her house she reluctantly moved to a unit in a retirement village and every day after work I’d go to see her. She had a new automatic washing machine and every time I would explain how to work it then I’d do her washing and she’d complain her clothes weren’t even dirty. I’d pick up the tablets that had dropped out of her Daily Dosette when she rearranged them, I’d throw out the dozens of plastic bags she collected in the kitchen cupboard and I’d try to reassure her that the carer who came to sort out her medications really didn’t steal her cans of peas. It was a very frustrating time. When I’d get in my car to drive home I’d put in my Jennifer Rush cassette and play “The Power of Love” with the volume up high. The power of her voice blew away all my frustrations. I still love to hear it.

The third song is an old favourite of many people, I’m sure. I remember Dad being in hospital, his mind was fine but his hearing wasn’t good and there was nothing to alleviate the tedium of the days. I bought a set of good earphones and took in his cassette player. I put in a tape and selected , “Danny Boy”, put the earphones over his head then watched as a beautiful smile spread across his face. The song had always made him happy and it’s special for me too.

I’m cheating now and claiming a fourth musical piece but this time not a song. It’s music I heard first accompanying the movie, “Elvira Madigan” but I now know it’s actually Piano Concerto No.21 in C by Mozart. It’s just beautiful, it seems to have troubling moments then surging, sweeping,  uplifting passages. It’s a piece of music that can take over my mind.

Does this ring any bells with you?

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