Today’s Writing 101 assignment stumped me for a short while. I have never been good at plucking my best 3 songs, or best 3 reads or best of anything out of thin air, nor the most important in that respect either. I am able to to tell you the most important people in my life – I won’t name them here as that would be unfair to them but in general they are my immediate and close family – this includes those that are still with us and those that have sadly passed away over the years, and a handful of very close friends. Of course, two of the most important people in my life include my husband and son.
Moving on to the assignment in hand; after reading the brief several times over and still reading ‘the best songs’ and not ‘important songs’ for most of those times – I was able to finally narrow my extensive song list down to three – well kind of three! Read on to find out more.
I can’t say the following three songs/pieces of music I am writing about are the most important to me, maybe they are but I just don’t see it that way. They are however pieces that either hold strong emotional memories, or put me at a certain place in time, or have just simply been with me since I was a young carefree child dancing around the living room floor, while listening to Top of the Pops on a Sunday evening, squawking away at the top of my voice!
The first definitely throws me back right into that living room when I was still in single figures for my age. A time where I loved this song, and still do. A time where I copied her dance in the living room singing at the top of my voice. A time where everyone took the mickey out of me for screeching (singing in my world!) out songs just like this extremely talented lady – oh believe me my singing does not even come anywhere close to what this lady can achieve with her voice by any stretch of the imagination. Out of the however many songs this lady has recorded since her debut album in 1978 it was hard to choose one that I would consider important. Having been a fan of hers for nigh on 35 years there are songs across that time that would be important in their own way at different periods of my life. Songs such as:
The single – Breathing – set in a nuclear war – this was very poignant in my mind during the 80’s, I was fearful of nuclear war, fearful of my life being cut short at the press of a button. As an adult I can see that this was an irrational fear to have – after all I could not have done anything about it. As a child though, the talk of nuclear holocaust, the visions it evoked, were of nightmarish proportions.
The album – The Red Shoes – which came out the year my son was born so listening to it brings back vivid memories from that time in my life
The song – The Sensual World – released in 1989 was re-recorded and re-released on her album The Director’s Cut in 2011 as Flower of the Mountain. Not only did this song resonate completely differently listening to it as an adult, and not a teenager, it also seemed to have more meaning and more depth the second time round. Although the Director’s Cut was released in 2011, I did not get the disc until 2012. The opening words on the disc were from this song:
Yes, first I gave him the bit of seed cake out of my mouth
And it was leap year like now, yes
16 years ago my God after that long kiss
I nearly lost my breath, yes
Although I liked the song as a teenager, I found I loved it as an adult. It seemed as though it had been written just for me at that precise time in my life. It was meant to be that I would first listen to this disc in 2012, which just so happened to be the year of my 16th wedding anniversary. Plus my husband and I got together in a leap year and were married that same year! Since that day in 2012 it has become one of my most favourites and it instantly takes me back in time to that year.
Then of course there are a selection of songs, along with her conceptual pieces of the Ninth Wave and Sky of Honey that she played at her first concerts in 35 years at the Apollo Hammersmith – all of the songs played are now so much more important to me and will form some of my best memories that I will take to my grave – I certainly do not think I will ever forget the experience of seeing Kate Bush live in concert. It was certainly a fabulous experience.
Well that kind of takes me back full circle to where my little tangent on Kate Bush started – to the song that really set me off on my life’s journey of enjoying the wonderfully creative world of Kate Bush. A song based on a book by Emily Bronte set on the moors about an intense story of love and revenge, I set myself a task to choose just one of Kate Bush’s songs and this had to be the one – Wuthering Heights
So Kate Bush took over this post, when I really wasn’t intending that to be the way. I had deliberately chosen three different pieces of music so I wouldn’t get sidetracked in the wonderful world of Kate Bush – I did though – ah well such is life and the assignment did say free write!
So onto the other two pieces of music I intended to write about.
Firstly anything by The Eagles, one that springs to mind straight away is Hotel California. Any music by The Eagles reminds me of a very special lady who had an important role in my life – my Godmother, a remarkable lady who was the best friend of my mum, and someone us kids to looked up to. We had lots of highly anticipated trips to see her out in Lincolnshire, and on the east coast when she moved to the sea. She has sadly been gone now for 23 years, however she will never be forgotten, I can still see her face like I was only with her yesterday, even without looking at a photo. I remember her giving my mum a tape (showing my age!) of The Eagles after we had listened to it at her house one time when we were staying, and then travelling the long journey home with it blasting on the car speakers. The songs certainly bring back happy memories of this wonderful lady who is so sadly missed.
The last piece I want to share with you is not exactly a song more a piece of music. Three years on from when this was first on the TV I still watch this with intense goosebumps all over. It was released by the BBC for the Olympic Torch campaign in 2012. I am not sure whether it is the music that sends me goosebumpy or whether it is the visuals that go with it. A very cleverly put together piece for a very special moment in time for those 8,000 people who were olympic torch bearers – giving them their moment to shine. You will probably watch it and it will do nothing for you, I know that is what I would probably have felt had I not been one of the 8,000!