“The Problem With Reality Is That There Is No Background Music” – Part 2

Posted on June 2, 2012


Writing this has made me dig deep into my boxes of CDs and old CD compilations I made and iTunes Music and I love what I have been finding – it has been inspiring me so much that I am struggling to figure out what I should write about – I want to write about EVERYTHING!! But…let me try and compartmentalise.

Growing up, my Dad played guitar and sang a lot of his all-time favourite songs; this became a huge part of my life at home and even now – after 22 years of hearing him play the same songs – it is a source of comfort and something that brings tears to my eyes. This happens mainly for two reasons: it takes me back to times when the family would just sit for hours and enjoy hearing him play – back when the family was still united and happy; and it makes me realise that there will come a time when I will never get a chance to hear him sing and play again…just the thought of that breaks me apart. In order to remedy this, I have tried filming him secretly when he didn’t know but this doesn’t always work because he feels uncomfortable when the camera is on – which is perfectly understandable. I highlight this, because it is a source from which I get my love for 1950s Rhythm n’ Blues, Folk Rock and Rock n’ Roll. I suppose I should say then, that this part will revolve around the musical influence my dad imparted to me.

I wrote about Bob Dylan in Part 1 quite a bit so it becomes apparent that that was my Dad’s influence and he plays most of his songs all the time. Literally right now, I am listening to Cat Stevens’ “Wild World”has to be my ultimate favourite Cat Stevens song. Whenever this song played, my dad would just look at me and hold me. Researching about the song right now, Cat says the song “is a recurring theme in my work- which is to do with leaving, the sadness of leaving, and the anticipation of what lies beyond” which holds a lot of meaning to me particularly due to the people in my life who have left, and when I have had to leave people behind. It seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life and knowing I have to go through it again and again…when it happens, I get a tremendous amount of anxiety.

Other classics of his are “Lady D’Arbanville” which is about a woman he had a romance with for two years – it has to be one of my top favourites too. Let’s not forget “Moonshadow” and oh my goodness “Where do the Children Play”!! There’s also “The First Cut is the Deepest” which as we all know has had plenty of cover versions including the famous one by Cheryl Crow. I also love “Tuesday’s Dead” and “Morning Has Broken” – there are more but I will leave it at that.

Right…so one of my favourite songs that my dad plays is “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young but I much prefer my Dad’s version – in my opinion it is the best version =) I actually have a video of him singing this song, which I just watched now and I will treasure it forever. I wish I could show you all this special video but I am pretty sure he would have to kill me =) He has dedicated that song to me and it’s beautiful. If I am going to go into songs that he has dedicated to me I should mention one that made me cry my eyes out when he showed me, and I can’t watch it without crying:

I guess I should also show one of the very many I have dedicated to my Dad – one of them being Tori Amos’ “Winter”:

Another one I have dedicated to him is Adele’s “Someone Like You” which was strange how it happened – my best friend told me if I had heard that song because if I hadn’t I just had to because when she heard it she thought of me and my Dad – I then heard it and it brought tears to my eyes. It should be understood why I dedicated this song to my Dad, because I do understand that the song is meant to be about a lover/romantic; but this song came out at the time my dad was about to move back to South Africa permanently, which meant that it would go from living with him, to going to Uni but seeing him every weekend to possibly seeing him once a year if we’re lucky. Thus, this song was bittersweet.

Now…”The House of The Rising Sun” by the Animals is another classic that my Dad has always played – it still gives me goose bumps.

The fact of the matter, is that there are too many songs to write about and not enough time =) This part has been to reminisce about music in my childhood and my Dad’s influence and that one of my favourite things to do in life is to hang out with my Dad with a coffee and a cigg; him playing these songs and both of us singing along to them.

It’s incredible how music can be such an integral part of our lives – the past, the present and the future. It takes you straight back to times you thought you had forgotten; and it gets you through both happy and difficult times too – it’s medicinal, comforting and a form of expression not only for the creators of music but for those who listen to it. I find that most of the time, music says all the things I find myself unable to say or express – and in allowing it to express something for me, is the part I find unquestionably therapeutic.


Until Next Time ❤