I listen to BBC radio over the interweb quite regularly and today I tuned in to a show while doing my dishes and this came on:-
I was immediately transported to my childhood. I have five older brothers and they were all into their music. One of them owned the War of the Worlds album and we often listened to it. In the dark to make it scary. The thing is this piece of music – nor any of the album ever scared me. When I heard the opening bars of this I just grinned the biggest grin I’ve had all day! If you want to scare me, play the Dr Who theme music!
It made me think of the things I listened to or was exposed to as a child :-
There are the nice, kiddie things like The Wombles (I had the record, the mug, the Madame Cholet toy, the lunch box) and The Muppets. Then there are the music tastes of my older brothers; Neil Diamond (as a 4 year old I’d play the base hand of Jonathan Livingston Seagull for my brother to play the rest on the piano!), Pink Floyd (Now “Another Brick In the Wall” video DID scare me – those marching hammers!), Abba, Simon and Garfunkel, Bread, Genesis, Kiss, Queen, The Eagles. All considered pretty easy listening middle of the road stuff these days. Although I remember my mother back then saying some of “that modern stuff is awful”. Funny how by the time I was a university student she tuned into my radio shows on a rather alternative student radio station and “liked most of what you played today, love”. Seven kids’ varying tastes must have broken her!
Music is powerful. How often do you hear a piece of music and it prods your memory – it’s as powerful as the sense of smell in that way, perhaps more so. And tonight it did just that, prompt my memory and take me back to dark nights in Dunedin with the lights out, torches on, blankets over our heads, listening to the War of the Worlds.
In my list of gratitudes, music and the ability to play music, hear music, sing to it, dance to it – all feature high. I’m also grateful for the bizarre mix I was exposed to – from the old time ballads and folk songs of my grandparents’ and parents generations (think singalong around the piano), through to a bit of metal from my brothers, I’ve got a broad knowledge and appreciation of rhythm, melody, syncopation, discordance, and harmony. It is one of the greatest gifts I have been given.