Thursday, September 27

Hello darkness, my old friend..

When the days darken I invariable start writing about music more and more here on Diversions.
Music always plays a big part in my life but I sure do hold on to my headphones more tightly when the North wind freshens up and the leafs start to fall.  My mp3 player is my pacifier. The soundtrack for mundane tasks, the score to the imaginary lives of my day dreams.

I can't hold a tune to save my life and my "dancing" consists of a series of uncoordinated twitches. I haven't a musical bone in my body. Not a one. Yet, that shortcoming does nothing to hamper my passion for music. A good rhythm can lift me up or ground me. Music lets you lose yourself. When the beat carries me along I simply do not care that my dancing looks like I am one of the faithful at a revival about to speak in tongues. There is no being self conscious in this altered state. In that sense it is like a drug or religion even.

It lends colour to grey days. Or, at least, it does for me.

“Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear."
Oliver Sacks

I remember discovering my parents' vinyl collection. Those large, fragile discs in their colourful wallets. The smell of dust and something not unlike bakelite bangles.   I'd drag into place and then climb a chair to reach the record player (on tip toes still), lift the hood and pop one of the fragile plates into place. The needle would slink into the groove, I'd hop over to the sofa (there goes another scratch) and dangle upside down: Legs up on the backrest, head inches from the floor.  My eight year old self's relaxed listening position. The smell of wool carpet. White noise and then.. all manner of magical things would happen..

There was Led Zeppelin and T-Rex, the Beatles (of course! And in German too - my English was pretty rudimentary back then), Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens and Sam Cooke.. Don McLean's Vincent also. I was hooked.

In fact I owe my good marks in early English classes largely to music. I just wanted to know what these guys were singing about so badly I set out to translate song after song: Word by word, line by line (no internets yet you guys! I couldn't just google it).

Care to share an early music experience?
Or an artist/song you got into through your parents?

hat: present (when I was a toddler)
dress: etsy (supayana)
cardi & brogues: highstreet
brooches: etsy (tinatarnoff)
tights: online store


  1. fashionforgiantsSeptember 27, 2012

    Oh, what a wonderful post. I love to dance (and think I dance well (I hope so!)) but I otherwise have absolutely no musicality, but love music all the same. I loved reading about what music means to you.

    My earliest musical memories are of Bob Marley. My father was a huge fan and played it constantly. From my mom, we listed to a lot of Native American drumming and chanting. My first "pop" memory is Tracy Chapman "Fast Car." It was interspersed with the Native American music at my mother's house.

  2. That sounds like a cool intro to music as well :)
    I got into Tracey Chapman a lot later on than my vinyl adventures but my Mom and I shared that like too :)

  3. Beatles auf Deutsch, haha, ich wusste ja gar nicht, dass es das gibt. Meine frühesten Musikerinnerungen sind klassische Musik, Enya und Papermoon... ich war immer ein bisschen enttäuscht von der Musiksammlung meiner Eltern und habe mich später auch nicht wirklich daran orientiert...
    Bevor mein Sohn auf der Welt war, hab ich auch sehr viel Musik unterwegs gehört. Seit ich mit ihm unterwegs bin, nicht mehr. Nur mehr zum Laufen oder wenn ich alleine weg gehe. Ich hab nur schon wirklich lange nichts mehr gefunden, dass ich nicht sehr schnell zu viel gehört habe... manchmal genieße ich auch einfach die Ruhe...

    It lends colour to grey days.

    Da gebe ich dir absolut Recht. Vielleicht sollte ich diesen Winter doch wieder mehr Musik hören...

  4. Lovely post :) Simon and Garfunkel have always been one of my faves. I would listen to them nonstop when I was younger.

  5. Wow! Amazing how close our musical childhood was. I, too, listened to these artists on vinyl as I child, and I love them still. Kudos!

  6. Avy StanfordSeptember 30, 2012

    Oasis - Live Forever. Always.


  7. I have similar memories of my parents vinyl collection, dancing round the living room to music that I still adore xo

  8. All of these are so good. I would love to see how you dance!!! haha.