Today’s prompt Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you? brings to mind
Congratulations by Cliff Richard a song that strangely enough was always playing on the radio when I came home from school, proudly bearing the report for the term in my hand. In those days Radio Ceylon was perpetually playing in our house, especially when my father was around (he was in a transferable job lest you think otherwise!) and that is perhaps what set the tone for my own preference for the radio. One of the joys of listening to the radio is that you don’t have to keep any music in the form of CDs, cassettes or even vinyl records. COnsidering how technology makes everything obsolete, I’d have to have the same songs in different formats just to keep up with the times! Besides, the other advantage of having only the radio to listen to is that you get to be in tune with current times having access to the latest music. Driving down,listening to the radio is most relaxing and frankly even though I have favourite songs, I’d like to listen to them randomly almost taking the song to be an omen of sorts. Take Congratulations” for instance, whenever I heard the song it was around the time the school exam results were due. Coincidence or divine omen? But there would be a spring in my step as soon as Cliff strummed the first few chords of introduction on his guitar and then began singing “Congratulations and celebtrations” in his umnistakable voice. I knew then that the report card in my hand would make my parents smile and make me beam with pride.
another song that has strong associations for me is Hands Up baby hands up. I don’t even know if this is the name of the song nor do I know who samg ot amd wjat tje progoma; name of the song was. In fact I don’t even know the rest of the lyrics apart from the chorus which went : Hands up, baby hands up, give me your heart , gimme gimme your heart, gimme gimme all your love, all your looove. It had a nice bouncy tune to it and what makes this song special is that I used to sing it to my girls as I placed them on the changing table after their baths. Scrubbed and angelic looking, wrapped in a soft towel, I would haul them up to the changing table so that they would be easier to handle. Thjen as I scr– mopped them dry, I would ask them to put their Hands up so that I could dry their underarms and slather them with talcum powder . Today’s doctors ban talcum powder but for me this is a great way to keep cool during the summer or for that matter any time of the year. Pleasantly perfumed, the talcum powder also provides a better alternative to deodarant and prevents the skin from chafing with all the sweat produced.
The last song is a bit hard to pin down because there are very few songs that really stick in my head. Each song has a different association – Yummy yummy yummy I’ve got love in my tummy is another hit of the 70’s that reminds me of my teenage years in Navy Nagar, the southern most tip of Colaba(Mumbai) where I spent a large part of my childhood. As in all closed neighbourhoods, there were gangs of children – the cool gang of which I was not a part of but secretly wished to be and that song always reminded me of them simply because the song was tweaked to narrate a romance between two of the children who formed part of the gang.
The songs of the Beatles, Yesterday, Yellow SUbmarine,Imagine and a host of others remind me of the 60’s and the nostalgia they evoke is almost palpable. But for some strange reason all the songs of the 60’s sung by Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones and the Carpenters actually make me sad. It would seem that my sound track is frozen in time because I find that I automatically think of old songs whenever music plays in my head.
Undoubtedly I am a product of my generation and even today one of the old songs that brings a smile to my heart is Mama Mia or any of the numbers belted out by the Swedish Pop group ABBA. When you actually analyse the lyrics, you find that there is an actual mismatch between the rhythm and the lyrics. The rhythm is all bouncy and cheery while the lyrics are often sad and depressing. This in fact is the case of most Western music that is written for songs. The words are sad while the music is glad.
While listening to songs while growing up I hardly ever paid any attention to the words that were being sung and was happy enough to tap my feet rather than hear what the songwriter was singing. So perhaps it is this awaremess that has made me realise the “Shallowness” of western Pop music and my favourite songs are stuck in the past when I paid scant attention to the words , preferring instead to be moved by the rhytm. Whatever it is, songs have played an important part in my life and almost every song I hear is associated with an event – the first time I did something, the person I was with when I heard the song, the event that was happening while the song was playing……….
Music which is played as background scores in the movies are actually played in my head and I often hear bells ring and cymbals clash as life unforld before me.
As per this exercise, we were supposed to let thought flow freely, for 15 minutes continuously without paying attention to spelling or punctuation or indeed even flow of thought.