I love music, I listen to it different times and ways. Sometimes I’m in the mood for current music, other times I discover new songs or artists who’re just breaking. I find listening to songs from my past, they take me back to that era. I’m sharing a playlist that is a timeline of my early life.
At breakfast when I was a kid we listened to music on the radio. At weekends, the show was aimed at children. The song I always hoped they would play also made me sad. It’s about my favourite mythical beast – how we have no unicorns because they were too self indulgent to board Noah’s ark.
- The Unicorn Song – The Irish Rovers
I have older siblings. Appreciating the cool music blasting from their bedrooms put me ahead of my friends. School chums were discovering The Glitter Band and Donny Osmond, while I was vicariously listening to David Bowie, Alice Cooper and Roxy Music. I can’t tell which mesmerised me more, Bryan Ferry or his glamorous backing singers on Top of the Pops, which was watched religiously on a Thursday night.
- Love is the Drug – Roxy Music
Abba won the Eurovision song contest before I went to boarding school. They began conquering the charts with their harmonious and catchy songs. Unable to listen to music at school (radios were banned), when I came home to find everyone talking about Money Money Money (mistakenly, I thought they meant Liza Minelli’s song in Cabaret). Of all the brilliant Abba songs which peppered my teenage years, that’s my choice.
- Money Money Money – Abba
In an earlier post, I explained how Sunday Girl was a track with which I identified. By the time I was 16 and doing my exams, many new and exciting artists came on my radar: Squeeze, Gary Numan, the Specials. Here’s a favourite – it spoke to me as I teetered on the edge of adulthood, hinting at troubles and joys to come from my blossoming sexuality.
- 7 Teen – The Regents
As I studied for my A Levels the new romantics burst onto the scene. Now encouraged to dress very individually, charity shops did a booming trade. Going out to discos many of us looked as if we’d fallen into a dressing up box! Adam Ant, Marc Almond, Spandau Ballet – each strutted their individual style. I modelled my look on the girls from my next group. I still proudly sing along to this, their biggest hit.
- Don’t You Want Me Baby? – the Human League
I went to a local college to study office practice, shorthand and typing. While there I started dating a guy who had a car, but no job. At last, my social life had begun, going to pubs with him, where I met his friends. This song was popular at the time and appropriate, because it’s about happily, easily falling in love.
- Zoom – Fat Larry’s Band
The B/f and I bought a place together, so could no longer afford to go out much. Like a middle aged couple, we watched TV, walked the dogs or visited our parents. After moving to a bigger place, it became clear B/f couldn’t hold down a job, being workshy and mouthy. My job supported us, meaning I couldn’t make those necessary early job hops, to seek something more stimulating, as our mortgage payments depended on my salary.
I felt increasingly down. Then I suspected B/f was playing around, despite being very jealous anytime I talked to other people. I identified with this rocking track, feeling weighed down with responsibilities.
- Tied Down with Battleship Chains – Georgia Satellites
My oldest friend from childhood days was in Australia for a year. He sent me a postcard every couple of months. My depressing relationship gave me a longing to talk, so I sent my old friend a letter pouring my heart out. So began a sporadic, but supportive correspondence. By Christmas, when this melancholy song hit No. 1, I’d decided to take drastic action. I knew my boyfriend would fight my decision to split and try hanging onto the last vestiges of what we had.
- Stay Another Day – East 17
Planning how to untangle our lives was hard; No option to move back with my parents, they had retired and moved to another county. This song gave me a push, it’s sentiments motivated me. When my old friend returned from Australia he was my knight in shining armour, helping me finally break away.
- Perfect – Fairground Attraction
So for the timeline style mixtape of my life, that’s volume 1. I hope it included a song or two that you like or remember. Submitted for #MusicallyRanting week 2 Soundtrack of Your Life