“The Problem With Reality Is That There Is No Background Music” – Part 1

Posted on May 31, 2012


Music makes my blood dance. I found it really strange that generally people don’t tend to include music to their background – I only noticed this because people tend to get annoyed with me when they are trying to have a conversation with me and they can’t focus because of my background music – they see it as a distraction. Sometimes I like to have it on during conversations…but for those who know me intimately know that there are times when I am listening to music and focusing on lyrics and on the emotions of the song – it is during these times that I hate to be interrupted, it’s something that really and truly bothers me when I’m in a special place and people interrupt constantly with inane bits of speech that nobody needs nor wants. Sounds harsh…I know…but it is what it is.
Whilst exploring the topic of Music before attempting to write this, I decided to go as far back as I could and excavate my earliest memories of when music was consciously introduced into my mind – my parents are the ones who integrated music into my life in such a deep way – they love music and always managed to make it a crucial part of our lives – thankfully they had extremely good taste J There is a home video of me as a baby in South Africa (I left when I was 2 so you can imagine how young I was) in my nappy dancing to UB40 “Can’t Help Falling in Love”; “Red Red Wine” and “Kingston Town” where I was clearly enjoying myself thoroughly with my chubby baby legs, bobbing up and down finding my rhythm  =)

A humongous  part of my childhood was Bob Dylan!! I will always listen to old Bob a’Rooch (as my dad liked to call him) with a light heart and be filled with joy and unequivocal happiness as it takes me straight back to the happiest times of my life – childhood. At one point, we were building mine and my sister’s room so we were temporarily staying in my parents’ room on our bunk beds…and it was one of those wonderfully pleasant warm nights in Portugal with a lovely breeze flowing in and caressing us…and we had a sound system that allows you to put in several CDs simultaneously and they just rotate, so my parents put in 3 Bob Dylan CDs and we left it playing; we’d all been chatting away until early hours of  the morning until eventually we all fell asleep and we listened to Dylan all night long until we woke up. I’ll never forget that – those are very fond memories for me. I also associate him with long family road trips, because each of us would bring our favourite CDs and we would take turns listening to what we liked and my Dad always put Bob Dylan on, and this one night (I forget where we were driving to) “Forever Young” was playing…just imagine it: it was night time..peaceful..driving along the long motorway, windows open..warm breeze..my Dad got a bit emotional and told my sister and I that he dedicated that song to us…which really touched me and became ingrained in my memory – it will always be my favourite Dylan song (although of course I love every song and know them all off by heart). It is a song that I want to dedicate to my children one day…kind of like a heritage thing. It withholds the most perfect advice =)

“Forever Young”

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Another song of his that became particularly stuck in my head was “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” due to one day my parents becoming suddenly quite sad listening to this song and they just hugged me. Confused I asked what was wrong?! They then told me for the first time that when I was a very very young baby – 3 months old I think – I was about to die…so they said I had been knocking on heaven’s door for pretty much a year after I was born – after they told me, it had a whole different meaning to me because I had never known about that part of my past. It was a bit of a shocker.

Joan Baez was another artist we always heard in our household. Admittedly…I kind of hated her when I was really young =), because although she has a stunning powerful yet twinkle-like voice, it also has the ability to penetrate your brain and for some reason my dad enjoyed putting her CD on super loud during the weekend – REALLY EARLY IN THE MORNING!!! So I would wake up pissed off and grumpy and wanting to strangle her (my sister and I united in our grumpiness and really empathised with each other when it came to this routine of his)…while my dad just chuckled and found it all pretty hilarious. In any case, I have developed a love for her music too, because it brings forth fond memories (strangely enough) and some of her songs are so gorgeous it just makes your body and mind melt with the smoothness of her voice. Some of my favourites, which remained in my memory are “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” – it’s 11 minutes long so when you’re in the mood for it, it’s nice that it doesn’t stop for a while. Also, there’s “Farewell Angelina and “Daddy, You’ve Been on My Mind”. There is a melancholic tone to these songs, but soothing nonetheless coupled with the gentleness of the classical guitar. Here’s a treasure – a live version of Joan Baez singing “Farewell Angelina”:

I leave you with this tonight…there’s a lot more to come =) ❤