We’re sat in his ground floor flat, listening to Dark Side Of The Moon.

“Words or music. Which is the greater part of a song?” he asks.

“Music. Definitely.”

“Really? So the story of the song is not important to you?”

“If I didn’t like the delivery of the words, I wouldn’t like the song. Besides the song is much more than the dialogue. Not all songs are dialogue, some convey feelings or moods. It’s the melody, chords and instrumentation that will catch my attention.”

“It’s the words that draw me to a song. Take Marillion’s ‘Warm Wet Circles’, there are so many clever meanings, it evokes so many scenes from a young man’s life.”

He quotes:

‘Like a mothers kiss on your first broken heart, a warm wet circle
Like a bullet hole in Central Park, a warm wet circle’.

“I’ll agree that’s clever, but I just can’t take to Fish’s delivery on this song, and the guitar solo is predictable….”

“But can’t you see the images?”

“I don’t give myself time to, because I don’t like the arrangement”.

I take a sip of wine. ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’ starts. A particular favourite of ours.

“What about this track?” I ask.

Ref: Writing101, Day 7 Prompt : Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.
Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.



Sing, Sing, Sing

Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

As with Day 1, I am using a piece of music to time my free writing. It last just over 14 minutes long, so I need to continue for at least another minute when it ends. It also happens to be:

Song 1: “Telegraph Road” by Dire Straits
Taken from the 1982 album “Love Over Gold”, this is an epic track telling the tale of the birth, growth and demise of a community based around the eponymous road.

It transports me back to 1986 when I had left home for the first time. I’d moved into a bedsit close to the promenade of the seaside town that I grew up in. I was on the opposite side of town to my parents, so we were close and far enough apart. Every morning, I would walk to the station and almost always listened to this song en-route.

From the door of the detatched Victorian house to the train station entrance took almost exactly the same time as Telegraph Road. It starts with a single opening note, then an slow finger picked national steel guitar. As vocals, piano, bass and drums are added, the steady rock beat would pull me into the day ahead. I could also use a combination of lyrics and landmarks to determine whether I was running late or not.

It’s classic AOR, but so well crafted, from Knopfler’s soaring solo, to Alan Clark’s moody piano back-drop and the thoughtful percussion of Pick Withers – why did he have to leave the band?

Whenever I hear it, I am walking the streets in the semi darkness before the dawn. Head down and hands in pockets. I still have a fair journey ahead of me and it’s going to be a long day….

Song 2: “Jerusalem”, words by William Blake, music by Hubert Parry.
From the moment that Miss Crayston thundered out the opening notes on the school grand piano you knew that this was important. It was our school song and performed at every special occasion. First day of term, last day of term, speech day, all were appropriate for us to belt out what is a pretty rousing piece. Just ask an England rugby fan. And for a music semi-snob, emphasising some of the timing nuances in different verses, and seeing who got it wrong was, well, fun.

It may be viewed by some as an anthem to archaic patriotic breast beating in a multi-cultural world, but I cannot help but feeling proud of where I came from when I hear it. It represents the fine schooling and support from my parents in formative years, rolling green hills and valleys, and what I still believe is a good country to be born and/or brought up in. I am not putting England on a pedestal above other nations, but to celebrate diversity you have to recognise differences. You cannot have one without the other. And yes, I am jealous of the relative strength of national identity of our neighbours in Wales and Scotland.

But I’m getting off piste again. This song is standing on a parquet floor, next to best friend Andrea, singing as loud as we could, because we could. It’s a lump in my throat watching the “Last Night Of The Proms”.

Song 3: “Whisky Is The Life Of Man” by Bellowhead
What a raucous rebel rouser. A hymn to the nectar of the Gods. Thoughtful songs are all very well but you have to let your hair down sometimes. I can’t honestly say that this song has any great meaning to me but it never fails to make me smile. Sometimes I will dance too.

I think that the original song is Australian, and it has travelled the globe in several guises, but I first saw this on a Christmas folk music special broadcast by the wonderful BBC in 2009. A pre-requisite for performing in that concert appears to be adorning Victorian dress. As one comment on the You Tube clips puts it “love how many tophats there are in that room”.

Almost four years later I saw Bellowhead live in concert. Oh how we danced that evening. Most concerts I attend are sit down affairs (jazz, classical), but sitting still was not an option in November 2013.

I thoroughly recommend checking out :

and I challenge you not to at least tap your toes a little.

Closing thought. Considering that this is a challenge about music, one of the most important things in my life, I found it incredibly difficult to write.


Pleased to meet you neighbour, part 1

One of the best things about taking on the blogging 101 assignments has been discovering just a few of the fantastic blogs out there.

Not surprisingly there are a myriad of topics to scan for and many different takes on some similar subjects. Having already made some new contacts in an earlier assignment and just by being here, how was I going to tackle the latest assignment. For those aware of the blogging101 diary, I am still (at least) one day behind, and the widgets and formatting will have to wait until the weekend.

So, back to the problem of choosing. My job has to follow certain rules and regulations and is driven by numbers. Whilst analysis of results allows for some interpretation and imagination, it is generally about how things are. Out of work, I like a bit more random. So I went for two blogs chosen by some logic, and two (almost) totally random.

Based on what people following you follow: Words Like Honey 

Wonderful photos and some good advice. As I don’t have many followers, you may have already been here. If so, thank you for the recommendation. If not, why not take a look.

Based on the first thing I saw when I looked up from the reader:  Calico Moon 

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Check out the music too.

I didn’t really see a multi-coloured moon. Our cat is a calico shorthair.

Based on what people with similar interests follow: So many books

If you love books and reading, head here. There are thoughtful posts and links to many book related blogs.

If you want to see a funny and apt banner photo, take a quick look. It made me smile. God I know that feeling!!

Based on a fairly random typing in of former holiday location (Lugano): Stai Al Borgo

Again, great photo content, and I could almost smell the Panini featured in one of the posts. Colourful and I am now regretting not cooking a Tuscan stew for dinner tonight.

I hope that you have the time to look and enjoy as I have,


Tag! You’re it!

Blogging 101, Assignment 2, Title and Tag Line

I have to admit that I read today’s assignment with some relief and satisfaction because, like the smug kid in class that I was, I’d done my homework and read the next chapter just in case.

I’m not saying that my title and tag are perfect, but they represent me.

Music is very important to me, and the minor 6th can be a chord or interval. It is bittersweet. Bitter because of the minor element. Sad songs are usually written in a minor key, unless the composer is really trying to fool you or themselves.

The 6th lifts it and pulls it towards the major.

Most importantly, if you turn a minor 6th upside down, you get a major third. The basis of sweet happy harmonies.

I also like the alternative name of Min or Min6, the latter being a bit like Ming. But merciless or merciful? It all depends how I am feeling.

I will muse today about how to expand the tagline. I like its brevity, but does that close the door rather than asking you to open it?


More later