My Music tells my Story


Dec 22, 2008

People say that Music is an international language. I cannot agree more. It does not need lyrics to move. It transcends all barriers including language and cultural differences to create a simple sense of solidarity forged on Appreciation and Involvement, one that is as personal as it is social.

I was looking for ring-tones for my spanking new blackberry 8220 and try as I might, I could not bring myself to use anything that's new and hot. Like something from The Pussy Cat Dolls or Duffy... even though you can almost always find me dancing to them. I clearly like them!

I realise, alongside a sordic acknowledgement of my (old) age, that I cannot relate in any emotional manner except to the kind of music that used to dominate my "walkman", songs that I would dub from the radio or from friends into cassettes...yes... and those were the songs that I most like to listen to, again and again and again.

So it's Guns & Roses' "Paradise City" that's my ring-tone right now.

I still feel that we just don't have music as we used to anymore.

Were the 80's and 90's the highest epoch for rock and roll creation? From the vocals of Axl Rose, Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke were spawned the inevitable unprecedented apex of rock and roll that the world would forever compare all other creations to.

At least, for me.

I am not sure if it's because they were indeed that irreplacably brilliant or that their music formed such an important part of my formative, growing up years.

Music has a way of transporting me to a fixed place in time. It brings back a plethora of memories rich in sights, smells and sounds. I would immediately remember the school canteen, us in our uniforms, exchanging our latest acquisitions that were cassettes with their sleeves of pictures and lyrics that we would hold in our hands as we lip sync to each and every track, with our headphones stuck to our ears.

Guns & Roses remind me of a time of recklessness and where Responsibility consisted of little more than pressing my own uniforms and white-washing my school shoes. It was my first induction to "heartbreak" and "love bites" (a Def Leppard song from their album, Hysteria) and I first learn expressions like this.

"Love bites, love bleeds It's bringin' me to my knees Love leaves, love dies It's no surprise Love begs, love pleads It's what I need"

At 15, these were pretty intense lyrics that gave my imagination flight. Even today, these are profoundly intense expressions. Although it's with a lot more sadness now, as opposed to that raw and gritty unsuspecting "readiness" I had thought I had for "true love".

I am sure if we all had a think about it, we'd remember a couple of important songs. Those that remind us of our firsts or our lasts. Those that bring us back to episodes in our lives that were important, simply because we are so far from that person that we were by now. So different that unless these memories were lured to the surface, with some help, we may never recall with any clarity what our youth was like.

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