Music has such power. It can transport you back to a time or a place without you having to leave the comfort of your sofa and with no need to build a time machine. This is why it can be so dangerous....
I recently sat there wondering how Alexa has the knack to pick out all the songs that remind me of my dad and make me cry. I sat there on the sofa sobbing to Fleetwood Mac and asked myself why does she keep doing this to me? Is she psychic? Does she spy on me when I'm talking about music? Is there a mean little elf inside that speaker?
Is Alexa psychic? Does she spy on me? Is there an elf inside the speaker?
I realised it's none of the above. It's the fact that music is such a huge part of me and the life I shared with my dad, it's rare that a song on the radio won't stir an emotion one way or another.
I have always loved music. Growing up in our house the TV never really went on until it was time for Neighbours, in the daytime the radio was our best friend. One of Mom's fondest pre-school memories is of me standing on a table (it was the 80s, health and safety hadn't been invented) dancing along to Give it up by KC and the sunshine band. I smile from ear to ear when that song comes on the radio even now! We'd listen to everything from Barry Manilow to Meat Loaf and all that comes in between.
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, now! Baby give it up! Give it up! Baby give it up
After dad died I couldn't listen to the radio for days and days, and I know my mom couldn't either. I was just worried about what they would play and how I'd cope. One of my last memories of something meaningful mom and I did with dad was the Sunday of his hospital admission. He was in a side room, isolated until he was certified covid free so we took his radio in and we listened to it, just the three of us. Smooth Radio. So many songs, so many memories, and the hope that when he was home we'd be arguing about which decade had the best music (it's the eighties by the way if you were unsure!) The day before he died, the day we thought he seemed better and that things might not be as bad as we thought, he was tapping along to an Elvis song that was on the TV in the bay. In that moment we had hope and faith like we'd never had before. Our miracle was sadly short lived but we enjoyed it while it lasted. Even now I hold on to the fact that Dad was still in there and he knew we were there and he could hear what was going on.
Today my mom gave me my dad's original copy of Sgt. Peppers - she hates that album, she says "it was the worst the Beatles did"! Dad was a huge Beatles fan and loved everything they did. I will treasure it forever as I will the CD he bought me of his favourite Beatles record With The Beatles. We were in HMV in Wolverhampton and dad bought it and when we got back to the car he gave it me and said it was his favourite album and he wanted me to have it.
"Sgt. Peppers is the worst Beatles album ever" - quote from someone who claims to be my mother! I'm considering I may be adopted!
Mom offered me a couple of other albums that she knew held good memories but I didn't need them as they were already on my shelf! One of them was an album I'd always moaned about - Travelling Wilburys vol. 1. Dad had it on tape and used to play it when we were out in his van, and I used to tell him I hated it, but then when I got older I'd borrow it, listen to it and I still know every word to every song to this day and it's one of my favourite albums of all time
You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (at the end of the line). Waiting for someone to tell you everything (at the end of the line, of the line). Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (at the end of the line). Maybe a diamond ring?
Most of the times since the funeral that I have cried about dad have been triggered by music. Everything we ever did and everywhere we went together had its own soundtrack. The Beatles and John Lennon are the hardest but I love their music so I just have to cope with the tears.
I can't remember if I cried, when I read about his widowed bride. But something touched me deep inside, the day the music died.
I did consider this week that maybe one day the radio won't make me cry anymore. Surely life would be easier that way because let's face it sitting at the traffic lights crying and turning up at your destination with panda eyes is not a good look. But then I thought a bit more and decided that no, if I stop crying at music it means I've stopped feeling and if I stop feeling then it means the memories have gone and I never want to forget the love of music that my dad taught me and that we always shared.
My dad may have died that summers day in July 22, but the music will always live on and I promise you, he wouldn't want it any other way