Paradise Lost

There’s something about that song that always makes me think of being back there, in that particular time and place, driving around to find a quiet, private spot and parking up so particularly situated on the cusp of everything, ripe and ready for love. The spectacular sensation of surging hormones, heart beating hard and blood-flow burgeoning with typical teenage overkill. I remember the perfect potency of promise and feeling so powerfully alive at the burning urgency of it all…

Before the responsibility of pregnancy got in the way, before the adult realities of married life for two people so clearly unsuited and the sheer drudgery of perpetual poverty dragged me down and divorce divided us so definitively. Yet that song reminds me I was young and uncomplicated once, I yearned and loved and lusted freely along with the best of them. It reminds me with every note played and sentiment sung it is not our song, and never was; rather it is decidedly my song claimed in retrospect, long after you had left my life. Mine alone to carry with me always…

My female experience of paradise by the dashboard light ended not too much differently than Meatloaf’s testosterone-charged version, and all these decades later the thrumming rock music still brings back heated memories of my youthful desire and the oh-so-meaningful tongue-in-cheek lyrics still sear my sated soul, making me smile and shake my head at the fateful inevitability of it all.

I am growing old now and have moved on in life so far beyond every expectation. But watch me still play my song so unapologetically at teenage volume levels and you’ll see my eyes flash with the remembered brilliance of passion personified, the nascent climax of young love, a million sparkling fireworks exploding so suddenly across a long-lost landscape before fading away, limping so silently and softly into the scent-soiled night…

Fandango’s Story Starter



I don’t tend to post many music posts, but music is and always has been an important part of my life, a soundtrack to live to, or is it to live through? To live with, for sure.

I was born in the early 60s hearing the Beatles playing on the radio while in my pram, grew up steeped in 70s Glam Rock and disco beats, listened happily to many 80s anthems as a stay-at-home mum when my kids were small, and heard many of the 90s sounds second hand as my kids developed their own musical tastes.

I love listening to classical music, soul music, reggae, ska, disco, pop, rock, hip-hop, lyrical ballads. Jazz is fine in small doses at times, as is the techno-beat of house music and even the occasional country and western track when the mood takes me, but I must admit visits to those particular genre moods are relatively few and far between.

I don’t feel at all qualified to comment on whatever styles of music sit in the current hit charts, because I have absolutely no clue what kind of music is even in fashion just now. I probably gave up following the charts at about the turn of the millenium, but make no apologies for that.

I currently have the radio on in the background while I’m typing this, tuned to the Smooth Radio UK channel, chockablock with relaxing tuneful memories to hum or sing along with. My perfect Saturday night sountrack, chilling on the sofa in my PJs with glass of wine after dinner… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: M

A Bit of Beethoven

Yesterday Ritu at But I Smile Anyway posted a re-worked song which she not only provided new lyrics for but actually recorded and sang herself – so I thought I might have a go at writing new lyrics for something, too. I had initally thought of ‘My Sharona’ by the Knack but a quick search online shows me someone has beaten me to it, so sadly no-go with that one.

But I know lots of people have been playing Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ together-while-apart so I thought with a little bit of artistic licence I might be able to write some new lyrics to that, suitable for our current situation. To be honest no amount of pep-talk could convince me to record it myself, but its a well-known tune most people will know…

So here we are… my take on a bit of 19th Century Beethoven adapted for our 21st Century Covid-19 crisis… It helps if you sing it out loud and with passion, rather than just read it… enjoy! 🙂

Covid-19, world pandemic

Virus of corona strain

Mass infection, death toll rising

When will life feel safe again?

Watch as arrogant denials­­­

Let real symptoms spread unchecked

Keep it hidden, not forever

Truth will out to bad effect

Watch for new dry cough and fever

Wash our hands religiously

Shop with prudence and compassion

Act as one community

‘Stay at home’ our national chorus

Social distancing in place

Life in lockdown, isolation

Humbling of the human race

Learn the lesson nature brings us

Treat our planet with respect

Halt our years of selfish damage

Generations of neglect

Let the world heal unpolluted

Let us all draw precious breath

Let the joy of inspiration

Save us from the brink of death

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Amount

Sir Mix-A-Lot

Do you ever see a prompt word and immediately think of something, however unsuitable, to write a post about and then can’t un-think it again? Yeah, well this is me today with a real blast-from-the-past ear-worm for my JusJoJan 7: Mix post… so here we go with Sir Mix-A-Lot and ‘Baby Got Back’! 🙂

The Resonance of Music

For this week’s Provocative Question Fandango asks if music is a universal language that transcends national borders and resonates across different cultures and beliefs?

Personally I think it always has done, and always will do. There’s a question of taste, of timing, of cultural preferences of course, and there will always be fads and fashions across different genres, but for me music at source – the rhythm, the beat, the heart and soul of it, crosses all boundaries and speaks to us all, one way or another.

For example, music to march to, or to work to, tends to have a recognisably standard rhythm to help people keep time, keep up, the world over, whatever the instrument or nationality. Music to help soothe a baby to sleep – any kind of lullaby – will presumably have a similar tonal range and softness of voice whatever the language or external environment.

And Folk music carries within it culturally-specific stories of the past; for me it’s the Scottish lilts and laments of loss and hardship played on a fiddle or an accordian or the traditional Puirt a Beul, Gaelic Mouth Music sung unaccompanied. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recognise the worth in folk music of other cultures and understand the resonance of sharing these stories together into the future.

And from that initial sharing comes a symbiotic fusion across cultures and divides, a musical melting pot of sound humming with the potential creation of something new and vibrant and exciting, that is further shared around the globe in its turn. Look at how R&B grew out of an initial coming together of jazz and blues and gospel music, which in turn branched out into rock & roll and moved away in time and place from its instrumental jazz roots towards the more international lyrical pop sound we recognise today.

Rhythm is inherent in all of us, it comes from the very heartbeat of us with every breath we take. There are no borders to our own internal sense of rhythm, we carry it with us everywhere, so why should we think there are borders to the external musicality that springs from the joyousness of celebrating that rhythm? We are all human, and I think our humanity resonates at a perfect pitch recognisable to all of us 🙂

Pump up the Volume

It’s taken me three weeks to realise that as we now live in a detached bungalow and no longer live in a small flat with other people living either directly below us or beside us sharing party walls, I once again have the freedom to listen to music and sing along and dance around as much as I like without having to consider disturbing anyone else.

I can have the radio tuned to whatever station I choose, pump up the volume and belt out old favourites at random as I see fit, for as long as it suits me to join in. It feels so liberating not to have to worry about making too much noise, and I find I’m really enjoying singing my heart out, however badly I may hold a tune – what fun! 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Volume

Internal Juke Box

A couple of days ago my husband woke up with a specific song going round in his head. He was humming it to himself quizzically while preparing his breakfast, and between us we soon recognised it as ‘Give a Little Love’ by the Bay City Rollers, way back from 1975 – a real blast from the past, especially as the Bay City Rollers were not really on the radar of any 14 year old boys at the time – Rollermania was definitely more my teenage domain!

We had such fun looking it up online and finding loads of other similar songs and bands from our teenage years we haven’t thought about in decades – a proper trip down memory lane courtesy of whatever random brain waves came crashing to shore as he slept. The weirdest thing for me is, how can I (decades later) remember most of the lyrics from a teenage tune but sometimes struggle to remember what I had for dinner yesterday?

Then this morning he jumped forward a decade and woke up with Whitney Houston’s ‘Wanna Dance with Somebody’ from our late twenties bopping along in his head – another completely random track with no logical explanation behind its overnight resurgence in his musical memory banks. As he says himself, God knows what’s going on with his internal jukebox right now… 🙂

Here they are for anyone who doesnt know the tracks in question…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Quizzical

Don’t Stop Me Now…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge today is ‘ecstatic’ – hmmm, not much ecstatic feeling about my life right now, but yet… a fragment of an old song lyric comes immediately to mind – ‘floating around in ecstasy…’

The day before I came home from Scotland, myself and my eldest daughter (and youngest granddaughter, aged 12 weeks!) watched the 2018 movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ about the rise and demise of Freddie Mercury of Queen fame, and oh, I absolutely loved it!

The movie soundtrack, of course, is excellent – plenty of old favourites to sing along to – and the main characters are wonderfully cast. It’s quite tastefully done, considering the rather gritty sex, drugs and rock’n’roll narrative portrayed throughout, and to my mind Rami Malek inhabited Mercury’s over-the-top mannerisms perfectly.

So on to my fragment of song lyric, from ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ – I don’t necessarily have one favourite Queen track, whichever track I’m listening to at any moment feels like my favourite. And there’s something about all Queen tracks that makes them the perfect accompaniment to driving – so as my daughter drove me to the station to catch my train home we had a Queen CD playing, and we both sang along at the top of our voices.

The particular track that was playing as we reached the station was ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ so inevitably this is the song that stuck firmly in my head all the way home… goodbyes are always difficult and tearful occasions, so to have a fun vibrant memory of saying goodbye rather than a sad one was very special… ❤

"Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive
And the world - I'll turn it inside out, yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy..."