How We’ve Danced

These are lyrics to a tune that popped into my head on the way to work this morning. Can’t get it out of my brain now. And I’m wondering if it’s even my own tune. Ever do that? I have another one that my kids think belongs to some Disney movie but have no idea which. I think they’re havering but I can’t be sure because it feels familiar to me after singing it so many times. If I wake up humming it again, it’s mine.

What happened to the music while we danced

While we danced

What happened to the music while we danced

What happened to the graceful glide

The simple moves we didn’t hide

What happened to the music while we danced

What became of breathing while we danced

While we danced

What became of breathing while we danced

Where the fields of open doors

The honesty of earthen floors

What became of breathing while we danced 

Wherever did we go while we danced

While we danced

Wherever did we go while we danced

Disappeared like so much rain

Forgotten drops, fragmented pain

Wherever did we go while we danced

Shall we dance again in that old style, in a while

Shall we dance again in that old style

Elegant and erudite, embrace once more by kinder light

Shall we dance again in a while

What happened to that world where we danced

While we danced

What happened to that world where we danced

A simpler ball inside no walls

 One sky protecting one and all

What happened to that world after we danced

Oh, what happened to our world, how we’ve danced

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Affirmation

I know it can be a real pain in the posterior to listen to someone else’s music choice. Time. Always time.

Today I took time, had time, enjoyed time, rediscovered time , passed time, had a lovely time.

Doing?

Hanging out in the garden with my kids. Twenty-two year old and I connecting. Doing shoulder stands on the grass with my eight year old. I was better at it. Just sayin’.  Thirteen year old ‘posing like a haddie’, being a thirteen year old with charm and exuberance. The rest of my crew were elsewhere.

We nibbled, sipped, giggled, talked about everything under the sun.

Mostly, it’s down to sunshine. It’s here! 24° ‘s worth. All bloody day. Right up until it started to cool but was still pleasant enough to sit out and enjoy. And when over? Well, the mood was already established. Move into the kitchen. Big kitchen. Sip, chat, music. Dance. Yoga moves. Hands down, I can do more than my kids. Any idea how life-affirming that can be to a 54 year old? Exactly!

I had to chase them from the kitchen to bed. I asked, ‘What song would you say captures this evening?’

Mary-Kate’s answer surprised me. All the moreso because I’ve been meaning to post this song for a few weeks.

It takes me back to a holiday when my eldest (one of the absent) introduced me to this duo. Maybe about ten/twelve years ago. Thereabouts. 

The duo didn’t hang about long. Difference of artistic direction, apparently.

I could yak on about the ins and outs of this evening but I won’t. Instead you might want to replace the details with details of your own. Those times when somehow – without apparent effort – everything about family just comes together.

The dou are Savage Garden.

The song ‘Affirmation’.

The words – probably the nearest thing I have to saying what I -and maybe many of us – feel about so many things.

And it’s pretty good for dancing to. Bendy yoga moves optional. But most enjoyable.

Today love and life and family is affirmed.

May you find affirmation in the words. And in your family. In your life.

If you have the time it’s worth a listen. The song is catchy. The lyrics – on screen – would be well worth adhering to as a credo.

 

Bright Pretender

Spring’s pretending thru’ my kitchen window,

Shining on my pots and all my pans,

A cunning bigger bugger’s spying on her,

Keeping winter just too close at hand.

Music’s playing on my kitchen juke-box,

I’m dancing while I cook and while I sing

‘Cause Spring’s pretending at my window

Promising the longer days it brings.

Roast is sizzling comfort in the oven,

Knowing well that any minute soon

The great dissenter shunts my little hoper,

Fills with clouds that darken brightest room.

But I’ll still dance and cook and sing on,

Believing in the tiny peep I’ve viewed,

I’ll serve up hope along with tatties

And slices of pretender I’ve imbued.

Spring is singing and she’s dancing,

We’re jiving here at light that’s on its way,

Pretence or not, I love my little glimmer,

She’s in my kitchen, brightening up my day.

 

Heck the Dalls with Houghs of Bolly…la, fa, la, ta, thingy, ta, tum, de dum

Boots ‘n’ gloves and hats ‘n’ woolly jumpers,

Sleet then hail then rain and driving wind,

Jingle Bells and glitter in ev’ry orifice,

Ho, ho, ho, it’s festive time again.

Party hats and dancing with the youngsters,

Staff night out and red-neck yet to come,

No presents wrapped, (well, frankly, not one bought yet!)

Christmas spirit’s waning but not quite done.

It’s school, you see, with weeks of building up to,

Practices for choir, dance rehearsals, shepherds, angels, cute Nativity,

Really messes with anticipation,

No twelve days here, more like plus one, plus one, plus one, infinity.

I’ve decorated while still teaching reading, maths and phonics

And flagging’s how I feel at yearly end,

One more Slade or Roy Wood with his Wizards

Will have me cursing, going round the bend.

The 19th’s circled in my brain, my calendar, (it’s mental),

The advent of the holidays and then,

Forget you’ve frolicked, partied with the school kids

And start the round of jovial again…..

…..A deep breath in and join the lately chorus,

We stragglers who are never organised,

Can’t function till the bells are truly jingling

Then watch us go, you won’t believe your eyes.

Frantic is my choice of festive funtime

Once school is closed and gates are fastened tight,

I’ll dash around like Dancer led by Rudolph

And cook and clean and prep with all my might.

Well, no I won’t, I lied there just to rhyme it,

I’m far too chilled to let the Christmas baggage get too much,

I’m dancing with my glitter on my eyebrows

And twirling kids like elves on speed and such.

It’s funny how relaxed frenetic makes me,

I’m shattered in a special sort of non-specific, soporific style,

Ready for the ending and the starting

And grinning like a loon at all their smiles.

Kids and Christmas, that’s where all the fun’s at,

Except for pantomimes which, this year, thanks to fuck

I’ve ‘missed’ by virtue of being in a different school house

Or maybe just by wishing and good luck. 

So fa, la, la, la, thingy and the chorus

Yuletide songs and laughter and the like.

Did I mention staff night out is pending for the 19th?

(Might get plastered), lots of dancing and no kids for just one night.

Yay!

 

 

 

May Music, Day 25 – Slainte To The Music.

When I love a song, or a whole album for that matter, I quite often listen to it on repeat. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone has requested, for the love of god, that I change the music. And they’re not talking about me having a moan. Although that happens too.

I kind of sicken myself to songs after I’ve done that and then might not play them again for some time. Twindaddy’s 25th and final question for this music challenge is asking which song I could listen to all day and not tire of. Well, even among my favourites and those that are in recovery from over-exposure, none would fit the category of ‘all day without tiring’.

There is always a limit to how long I can listen to any one piece of music or album. My family might disagree but it’s true.

One such album was ‘Sunny Side Up’ by Paolo Nutini, another Scots singer/songwriter. So Scottish, in fact, that some people from outwith these parts often find it difficult to make out what he’s singing. Obviously, I had no such problem and sang along to this whole album for several weeks – but not all day – and now haven’t listened to it in some time.

Today though, may very well be the day, on unearthing this CD, that I enjoy it all over again.

The video below was captured at an annual charity event, ‘Cash For Kids’, run by Glasgow’s local radio station. The kids involved in this event will no doubt remember it forever – one in particular who got to play acoustic to Paolo’s impromptu performance.

‘Candy’ was the song that made me buy the CD.

Here’s the professional version. In case you can’t make out what he’s singing.

As a parting farewell to this music challenge I want to thank Twindaddy for running it and for inviting participation. It’s been fun to reflect on music that has meant much to me although it’s also been quite emotional – something I didn’t expect at all when I signed up for it. Music does indeed permeate every part of our lives. I’ve never really explored why I favour some songs and choose not to listen to others. Musical preference and tastes obviously play a large part in that but so too do the memories and associations we have with it. One thing it is, though, is universal. It crosses all divides and can touch even where words are not always understood. And it makes us want to dance -sometimes. Some people have even made a lifelong career out of it. Lucky buggers. To music and dancing, Slainte. And cheers to Twindaddy and all the lovely blogging participants I got to meet on the journey.

 

May Music, Day 24 – Wild Abandon

The seventies were notable for a few trends in music and style that now leave me shaking my head in wonder at what we, as teenagers, must have looked like to the adults of the time.

Twindaddy’s asking for his 24th question which song we remember dancing to with our best friend.

Going to the dancing was a very mixed experience. Some places favoured punk rock and the patrons embraced that with weird and wild piercings and multi-coloured hairdo’s of high jagged proportions.

That wasn’t me.

A few venues catered more to glam rock. ‘Poseurs’ strutted their stuff with every imaginable make-up and clothes combo, hair sprayed into full flamboyancy or left to hang moodily over one eye. Guys too.

Not my thing.

If you wanted soul music you could have that in abundance too at dedicated clubs.

I never did.

Glitz and disco glamour pervaded many places and spangly jumpsuits weaved their work on the dance floor.

Never owned one.

In and around the streets of Glasgow – as so many other places – a veritable Hallowe’en parade of styles could be found wending their ways to rock, pop, mod, punk, glam fests, all sporting the look that best suited their musical tastes.

I just liked dancing. As did my best friend. Weekends were for dancing and we tried out various places before opting for ones that catered to eclectic musical tastes.

With this in mind we could be found dancing to heavy rock, pop, punk or whatever. So long as it had a good bass or drum beat we were on the floor.

As for our style. We favoured a more arty, hippy look – long flowing skirts or dresses to go with the long flowing hair. I cringe now at the scarves or love beads wound around our necks and the scent of patchouli oil still lingers in my olfactory memories.

Our dancing then quite often reflected that look and the song I can see us both letting go to is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush. All wild abandon. When questioned what we were on, our honest answer was Coke – as in Cola. We just didn’t seem to need any stimulants other than music and life.

My passport photo from that time reflected that look and I had to live with it for 10 years – long after I’d abandoned being a pretend hippy. Thank God, though, I hadn’t been a punk.

May Music, Day 17 – Are you dancin’? Are you askin’?

Lots of songs make me want to dance. I dance a lot. There’s no helping it. The beat kinda reverberates and sets off a reaction in my shoulders and hips. Once that moment occurs there’s no stopping really. I think dancing is the most natural thing in the world.

Watch a babe that can’t even walk when dancing music begins to play. They react. Little nappied bottoms bouncing up and down, usually accompanied by squeals of delight. Even if they can’t yet speak they often try to sing along in a sort of musical baby gibberish. It’s wonderful to behold.

People are sometimes told that they can’t sing or dance. And ok, not everyone has the same abilities and talents in those spheres. But why should it stop anyone from enjoying something that once was such an elemental part of the person?

So, I’m dancing. No matter what. No one’s told me to sit down yet!

As for which song to choose for this seventeenth day of the twenty-five day music challenge….now of biblical proportions for me…

One that has stayed with me for the last few months and I play a lot for the sheer joy of dancing along is Imagine Dragons’ ‘I’m on top of the world’. I’ve posted it before. One of the other participants has already posted it for one of their days.

I’ve taken this song into several schools. Classes of children, regardless of age group, have whooped and skipped and jumped in gym halls. Along with me. That’s dancing with delight.

But, as a teacher, I spend a lot of my time repeating myself. Now and again, I like to rebel. So, I’m posting something that’s not a repetition. But I still love dancing to. Van Morrison, ‘Brown Eyed Girl’.

Now, this one has particular significance because it’s the only song I never have to drag hubby on to the floor for. Living room, dance hall, party…..picture slow jive.  Wait a minute…..I don’t have brown eyes!

 

Hypocritical?

Eighteen year old boyo returned home tonight proudly presenting a new set of speakers for his I-Pod. Including a bass speaker. Wonderful. We’ve all long criticised the quality of some of the docking stations that have seen their way through this house. Never enough bass and the sound quality can be quite tinny. I hate that. Really discourages loud music playing.

I like my music loud. If I’m doing housework (if) I want to be able to hear my music from room to room. When Freddie Mercury is encouraging me to think that ‘I want to break free’ then I want to hear him. If I’m singing my heart out to ‘Who wants to live forever?’ I like the volume turned up.

It’s not that I don’t like quiet music. I do. But I really enjoy it loud and then I can feel it too, thrumming through my body and making me dance. Might be a generational thing and the types of bands listened to in the past. And present, if I’m honest.

A lot of what my kids like I like too. But not all of it. And vice versa. Which might be why sometimes they come home when I’m busy ‘doing housework’ – dancing counts as long as there’s a hoover attached to one hand – well, it does! and tell me that my music is waaay too loud.

So, I’m feeling a bit hypocritical tonight ‘cos I enjoyed David’s demonstration of his new speakers earlier. But now, I want to go and stick them where the sun don’t shine. His room is right above mine. And I can hear and feel every vibration. He has half an hour more then I’m gonna pull rank!

By The Fireside

Resist the urge to sleep your days away,

Though winter nights creep and steal the light.

Rather yet, snuggle in for tales by fireside,

Where flaming fantasies ignite.

Let leaping flares fuel imagination,

Transfixed by interlacing dance, coiling all around

Like lovers arms and legs entwined in burning glow,

Glazing eyes, as wonders therein abound.