So (yes, I say that a lot when writing and talking, it’s a kind of way of allowing myself to think before acting, saying or doing anything), this is my second post in response to a prompt posted on the WordPress Writing 101 course. Confusingly, or not, I am actually responding to the prompt to Day Three after posting my response today to the prompt for Day Two and giving some thought, although perhaps not enough, to the prompt to Day One to which I might, or might not return and respond. We shall see what we shall see. Or not.
So (there, see, I’ve gone and done it again), the challenge, prompt or task, for today is to write about “the three most important songs in your life and about what they mean to you”. And, so the prompt goes, this is best done by “free writing” which apparently involves emptying your mind, not censoring yourself, not thinking, and more specifically, letting go and allowing the emotions or memories connected to those three songs to carry you. Presumably, just before the men in white coats begin to knock at the door?
On top of that, those people at WordPress can be hard task masters, the twist is a challenge to commit to writing practice, with a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.
So (again), that introduction has used up pretty much half of my allotted time to free write about songs that mean something. Yes, I write so slowly.
Also, I can’t help sharing how I am writing this, I’m using an app on my Mac called iA Writer Pro, the reason I love it, is that it allows you to type on a blank white screen, in a great old fashioned typewriter font. The idea being to facilitate free writing perhaps? Of course, as you may be able to tell from the photo at the top, I also stopped to take a photo of me writing freely in a non-distracted way. Fail?
Turning now to the three songs, yes, I almost forget that part. A charming trait I seemingly (and yes, I hate adverbs) developed during those long Summer days of my (long ago) youth not answering the question on all those examination papers.
Hell, I’m nearly out of time, maybe I will never get round to those three songs?
And, yes, here are three songs, they may not be the “three most important songs” in my life (and I really do hate such confining questions) but, for better or worse, I do remember them.
So (that word again), I start with “Fanfare For The Common Man” as interpreted in 19XX by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Why do I remember this? Well, I had fallen hopelessly (adverb alert) in love with a perfect Romanian gymnast at a time when I was convinced I was going to run at the Olympics one day. A perfectly misaligned set of goals and dreams.
She did, I didn’t.
But I never forget the feeling or the power of that dream.
The song was used as a theme tune by the BBC for the Olympics (or something like that). And I went out and bought the 45 vinyl in a paper sleeve, I felt such a rebel. And her biography, in a cheap light blue paperback, with her picture on the front, did I say I was so in love? Oh, and the B side (yes imagine) was the offbeat “Brain Salad Surgery”.
Song number two. Imagine, a Ford Transit van, light blue in colour, wooden slat seating, minimal provisions, everything in a borrowed rucksack. Cash in ten different currencies in a rucksack (Euro, hello, what Euro?). Tents, minimal hygiene, border crossings and girls from foreign parts. And, oh, the friend who actually owned a portable cassette player. And one tape, yes, one tape that we (eighteen of us, all boys) listened to over and over for three weeks as we camped our way around Europe. The song, “Runnin’ Blue” by The Doors. All I can say is “pretty little girl with the red dress on…”, but that’s another post for another day.
And so, the climax.
The third song, just a few years later. “The Knife” by Genesis.
And, no, I really can’t tell you that story.
Not tonight at least.
(for wordpress writing 101 – day three)