Task – to write in response to a prompt, adapting it to the style of your blog and giving it a personal interpretation.
Music by its very nature reaches into our emotional centres and moves us as much as we move to the music. Listening to music is intrinsically an emotional experience, and so it is not surprising that strong associations are formed between particular pieces of music and events in our lives. If music be the food of love, then I need to change my diet…
The most evocative songs for me are those linked to important relationships, beginning with “Do it Again” by the Beach Boys. Why would a young lad growing up on the suburban streets of Croydon, far from the beach, be interested in West Coast surfing music? Jenny. That’s why. I remember her long brown hair, and the name of the street where she lived. Sadly, we never got to surf those love waves.
Rather than recount my whole back catalogue of evocative, memory-stirring songs, I will share a general observation. A song has a beginning and an end. The beginning is usually very evident – a single chord on keyboard or strings – while the ending can sometimes be less precisely located. There are songs that fade in a series of repetitions (a classic example being The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”), others that end on a definite chord, a crash of drums or cymbals, a gentle sigh, or a climactic cacophony. In exceptional cases, such as the live version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird” – oh, more memories, always the last song to be played at the Rock Disco at university, and invariably no-one to share the slow dance with! – the song appears to reach an ending on a number of false occasions before finally falling into silence.
And the observation? Only that relationships can similarly end in so many different ways – the dramatic endings, the slow fade, the false endings…I think my song-book has them all.