A soundtrack

On the notes of Back to Black, I start this post.

It moves onto the beautiful After the Storm, by Mumford and Sons, and, as always, every song is filled with meaning, sensations, sometimes memories… This song and these people remind me of the man who told us about them, my husband’s friend Croce. He’s a fantastic singer, a proper, really good one, who can freak you out by sounding just like Dave Matthews for a DMB song, or just like Thom York for a Radiohead song, and UNCANNILY like Eddie Vedder for a Pearl Jam song. He also happens to be a sunshine person, one of the best of all the many many friends I met of my husband‘s. Hey he also told my husband I was still looking good at 40+, so he can do no wrong in my books 😉

This is a fair bit of thought from a simple song isn’t it?

Let’s see, this morning I set out to walk my precious Zoom with an iPod for the first time in a long time. I tend not to bring music because: there is usually something I need to watch out for (other dogs, cars, whatever). OR something’s wrong with the bloody headphones and I get unnerved. OR, if all else is fine, I could just walk and walk and walk and walk. And sometimes you got to go back for dinner, back to get the girl to school, back to make a sandwich, back to your house your life your family, so walking on and on just won’t do.

Now I hear Neil Young’s Don’t let it bring you down (Find someone who’s turning, and you will come around”). Yeah that’s been in my favourite songs tape since as far back as I can remember.

So yes, this morning when I set out I had Lisa Hannigan’s Teeth, and I had to think what a crime it was that our friend Dave didn’t know her. I am trying to remedy that with the help of Dropbox. Then another lady came on, this time the soulful, passionate and desperate Janis came on with her Maybe. And I was instantly brought back to a white Citroen BX and days of rock, friends and lovers desperately trying to get out of drugs, mostly failing except for one, my man at the time. It was the 80’s, and drugs weren’t just in a David Bowie soundtracked film. Heroin was a very real thing, so was smoke and warm jumpers and alcohol and BMWs driven (quite fast and with much pleasure) by not-yet-licensed 16 year-olds (me). So were the many car accidents and deaths and yet so was driving for ours up and down mountains with cosy friends and laughs and cold sunshine outside and warmth in the car. It was all very real and dear old Janis made me relive it all in those 4:01 minutes.

Then we switch decade, we’re in the late Eighties with The Cure’s Disintegration and I remember a trip to the States with a girl I’d just met who would then become my bestest friend for many years. I remember sleeping with some Mexican guy just ’cause that album was on, that’s how powerful it was. He was really rather useless. His friend, who was in love with my friend, was even worse. They kissed and we made out, I was always the “let just get it over and done with” one, and I had just split up with the aforementioned ex-heroin-addict boyfriend. But had that album not been the constant soundtrack of that trip, I doubt anything would have happened with Miguel or whatever his name was.

That album continued to mean trouble until well into the Nineties. Many a man got lucky thanks to it.

Being able to put a huge amount of songs all together in an iPod, and all 3 stars at least, is an insane luxury. It can also be, for someone as sensitive to music as I am, an incredibly head-splitting surreal schizophrenic experience, where a simple thirty-minute walk becomes an hour and in that hour I span decades, bring back ghosts, experience the forgotten and cry and laugh and shiver.

My present husband blew me away introducing me to Muse, and to some Dave Matthews songs I never knew existed and he just inloved me completely. Had he not woken me up that first morning with Massive Attack I doubt I would have fallen so impossibly in love with him.

Music is not just important. Music is powerful, essential, life, mind, heart, fire, drenching rain. Denying yourself music is like denying yourself ideas, thoughts, passions, electric touching between two souls. It is renouncing a spiritual religious mystic experience. It is living with your hands over your ears and eyes closed going blablablablabla because you don’t want to hear what life wants to tell you, what your mind is capable of thinking, what your soul is yearning for.

Nothing replaces it. Nothing visual, no sense of smell, however powerful it surely can be, we know. Nothing spoken, not even touch. Nothing can replace the incredible variety of moods and sensations music can give you, the infinity of people you can be, the infinity of sensation you can have. Music is sacred, like love, and passion.



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