Yesterday’s Daily Prompt struck a chord (as it were):
“Put together a a musical playlist of songs that describe your life, including what you hope your future entails.”
I guess that this is something many people think about doing but don’t actually set about it in a properly structured way. This seems like a good opportunity to finally get it done. The long list of what to include would be very long indeed, but I have whittled it down to ten.
Looking back, I can certainly mark many of the inflection points in my life with songs that were either a musical revelation, in the sense of the discovery of a new genre or new favourite group, or are in some way inextricably linked with an important step in personal development. Surprisingly often, the two are themselves related.
Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles: I was actually watching when the Beatles made their first TV appearance, on an early evening regional news programme in 1962 plugging ‘Love Me Do’. I was only ten years old but still had an inkling that I was seeing something completely new. Five years later, this proved it.
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun – Pink Floyd: The first Floyd song I ever heard, and it is absolutely true that it was on the radio and I was listening under the bedclothes.
How Many More Times – Led Zeppelin: This was a real epiphany. I walked into the sixth form common room at school one lunchtime and there it was. My introduction to the testosterone carpet-bombing of Led Zeppelin and, come to that, the whole rock genre.
Third Stone From The Sun – Jimi Hendrix: There would have to be something by Jimi and this is the epitome of a turning point in musical taste: “..and you will never hear surf music again”. It’s also a perfect combination of rock and psychedelia – “Not necessarily stoned, but…beautiful.”
Stuck In The Middle With You – Stealer’s Wheel: Whenever I hear this I am immediately back in my room at university, studying for my finals. But I still quite like it.
Without You – Nilsson: None of your business.
Isn’t She Lovely? – Stevie Wonder: Our daughter is our firstborn. Enough said.
Terrapin Station – Grateful Dead: October 30th 1990, the click of affinity.
…which, although it was over twenty years ago, just about brings us up to date. However, having just retired from ‘proper’ work and not missing it at all means it has to be:
Stella Blue – Grateful Dead: “All the years combine/They melt into a dream”
So that’s the retrospective element but, as Trollope might say, ‘who among us has not’ also given some thought to the music they would like to be played at their funeral? Finally, therefore, music by which to shuffle off this mortal coil:
Brokedown Palace – Grateful Dead: “Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul”