Harlequin

Are poems that come with a tune a song? Another post-yoga ‘song’. The first few lines came after last week’s yoga session, the rest after tonight’s. That might explain the mixed metaphors. That and children’s stories. And clowns. I hate clowns. But I have a soft spot for the Pied-Piper and Harlequin just muscled his way in. Yoga’s fault. Strange positions lead to strange thoughts it seems. 🙂

He once led the heart of she, trailed her through eternity

With words that never tumbled from his lips,

The tune he played said more than they,

No black and white upon the page

But notes so sweet that led her eager steps.

Pipes he played were soft and low, soothing to her very soul

As on she followed, she his Columbine,

Round and round to sweetest sound, he played, she danced,

The world spun round, mixed

Coat of many colours, both looked fine.

Mountains grew, they opened wide,

Like those children, stepped inside,

Disappeared from trace without a fight,

The tune plays on though song now gone,

Harlequin, pied-piper, played just right.

His the song that’s never sung,

Silent, voiceless, faceless one,

Words unneeded while his tune plays on,

Tune he calls from distant, far, beat of drums, an air guitar,

Enchantment in the notes all played so strong,

Whistled now or hummed in time, madrigals unsung at passing fair,

Rivers wide or mountainside, lovers’ notes are lost inside,

Pied- piper, Harlequin, played haunting air.

He once led the heart of she, trailed her through eternity,

Lost his voice before his tune was sung,

She hums in time, he’s lost inside, all forgotten but for pride

And pipes that play out all sad lovers’ songs.

 

Sung of Trusting Hearts

Who do you trust with your heartbeat,

Your friend, your husband, your wife,

The one by your side, do you let them inside 

To caress and keep beats of your life.

Is their touch the soft hand of an angel,

The firm but the gentle with heart,

Can you trust that their love will secure it

And keep it from stopping with start.

Do their fingers pulse to your heartstrings

And strum all your worries away,

Kept alive by the touch of another

With heart massag’d lovingly each day.

So who do you trust with your heartbeats,

Be it woman or man of your choice,

Be it child or a friend or a lover,

Let them play you with touch of their voice

For the touch of an angel is spoken

In the words that fall from their lips,

Their blessing sustains all hearts broken

But, more, they protect it from this.

This feels like a song, it sounds like a song to me. The music is optional. Your own tune fits just as well as mine.

 

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 23 – ********

I’ve seen more kids’ programmes than most.

With 7 seven kids, ranging in age from 25 to 7 and thirty years teaching under my belt, I’ve been to more pantos than I care to count and listened to every inane parody of pop songs the casts can come up with.

I’ve row, row’d my boat up and down so many streams my collection of lifebelts is legend.

‘The Singing Kettle’ burnt out my whistle till there was only a hiss left and a drizzle of enthusiasm at my base.

Barney, the big purple pestilence, has cavorted countless times on our TV, me simulating exhausted enjoyment equalling my kids’ earnest efforts while belting out, ‘I love you, You love me’, till the only thing I loved any more was the sound of silence.

I’ve been Ursula to my daughters’ ‘Little Mermaid’ scenarios and pretty much embraced every character designed to drive any parent to battyhood.

We still have numerous videos collected over the years and there is still one wee lass who likes to watch them.

I refuse to inflict any of those on myself, or anyone else, for this 23rd day of Twindaddy’s 25 day music challenge.

So, instead, why not have a listen to the Count from Sesame Street. Censored. He kinda looks and acts in this the way I feel when kids’ programmes and songs all get too much. I like to count the way he does. Sometimes I even count like this when I hear rap music or anything that sounds like, ‘in da house’.

 

May Music, Day 22 – Keep It In The Family

Another of Twindaddy’s questions that’s got me somewhat flummoxed.

Everyone in this house sings. It’s difficult to ascertain just who they’re singing to sometimes. Or at. There are always guitars and songs on the go and not necessarily to anyone. Just music and voices coming from various rooms in the house. A real ongoing cacophony at times till everyone converges spontaneously and has a bit of a singsong. Not a regular thing. Just whenever it happens.

The last one who sang to me was my youngest, Anna. At seven, she’s unabashed at impromptu performances and sings wholeheartedly to anyone who’ll listen.

A couple of weeks ago she had a wee friend to stay overnight and the two appeared in my bedroom the following morning and asked if I would listen to their duet. Eyes still half-closed and propped up on multiple pillows while my first coffee of the day began to do its work, I couldn’t muster the words to tell them to get lost until I was fully awake.

By the time they were finished giving me their rendition of ‘Let It Go’, I was fully awake and applauding loudly. So they sang it again. And I’ve had it sung to me multiple times since. Sometimes even at my request. She’s quite charming in her sincerity and sweetness.

I was tempted to record her and post it but she’s not in and, if I did, there’s every chance that she would want to take over my blog. And that’s not happening. Much as I love her to pieces.

So instead I’m opting for a song that hubby and I sing and dance along with whenever it comes on. Twin brothers, Craig and Charlie Reid, otherwise known as The Proclaimers, have a distinctive sound in that they deliberately trained to retain their Scottish accent while singing. They’ve been going since 1983 but I’m not sure how well known they are around the globe.

This is one of my favourites of theirs. Maybe my crew should get their act together. ‘Life With You’.

Unplugged

Drawn from deepest recesses,

Risen from dead to haunt,

Levered occasions long buried,

Memories suppressed yet taunt.

A song, a whisper in spirit,

Voices exhumed from the past,

Post-mortem’d questions reflected,

Power unplugged with a blast.

May Music, Day 7 – Memory’s Going…going…not quite there yet…

First, I want to apologise for this one although I don’t know why I’m apologising to you. For all I know you might love this song. But it sets my teeth on edge. I can feel a twitch starting in my right shoulder and my eyes are screwing up as if I were squinting against last year’s glorious sunshine. I had a real job trying to remember any songs from last summer to answer Twindaddy’s question of which song reminded me of that time.

Getting on a bit now, at 53, my poor brain finds it difficult to remember what I was doing an hour ago or what I walked into a room for. Ask me about thirty years ago and I’ll regale you with in-depth detail on colours, sights and sounds. But last year feels like a bit of a blur.

Apart from my age then, oh to be 52 again, there was the problem with vitamin D levels that was uncovered and went a long way to explaining why I felt like crap all the time, falling asleep at the drop of a hat and limbs full of aches and pains. I thought it was decrepiticity (it should be a word) arriving and was just about to break out cod liver oil for impending brittle bones and was preparing snide comebacks for a family of ingrates that think seeing their mother keeling over on the couch in snoring oblivion is a great hoot.

Thanks to frantic research on the internet I found out what was wrong with me all by my lonesome and requested additional blood tests. Bingo. Guess what you need to up vitamin D levels that have plummeted to below 20? Huge doses of natural source and supplements.

Now, as it happens, last summer was a beezer here in old Scotia. Marked in calendars everywhere as one of the best. Sun. Sun. And then some more. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when the doctor signed me off work and told me to get as much as I could. Minus the sunscreen for part of the time. Parts of the time? Aye, like that was gonna happen. I lay in a lounger, read some, dozed some, turned over, baked myself and turned and then basted for browning. Done to a ‘T’ I was. And I love the sun. Worship wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

Anyway, what this has to do with music and what I’m about to post is a bit vague, I know. But I had to write something. And, other than beginning blogging last June because my sister told my brother that I was vegetating in the house, unable to do any chores or even concentrate on TV, there’s not a damn lot else I remember. Brother set me up with a blog. Ta da! Go Phil. Go Veronica for telling him in the first place.

Sunshine and a new interest and huge supplements did the trick.

So, to the song. I’m trying to delay the inevitable here.

I’ll give you some clues. As some of you may know, I’ve got 7 sprogs of my own and I teach primary school kids on a daily basis.  As much as I can’t consume a whole one at a single sitting, I do love weans. Except.

Except when they inflict things on you.

Anyone with offspring or nieces and nephews knows what I mean. Whatever is flavour of the month for them becomes your viewing, your listening. I sat through so many demos of this in school. Each kid prouder than the last that they had mastered the art.

My own wee yin, 6 then, had practised with her older sisters who’d seen the movie and nothing would do but that Anna should display her skills to her class. Whereupon the teacher sent her around the rest of the classes to show just what she could do. And she did. Song and actions.

Now I should probably have complained here at the fact that the teacher was probably snickering and using my wee doll for a spot of light entertainment. But what the feck. We teachers don’t get that many opportunities for a laugh in the face of mounting pressure to be everybody’s mammy or daddy. Whole other post.

Have you guessed yet?

Well, I’m not going to post the video here. I just can’t. But I will provide the link. Have at it! And this is a memory of last summer I hope will fade in time. No offence to the young lady in question and the multitude of tween followers she gathered.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmSbXsFE3l8

May Music Day 1- Music Filled My Ears

Twindaddy at Stuphblog issued a challenge. From the first of May and for twenty-five days to select a piece of music arising from twenty-five questions posed by him.

1st – a song from your childhood – this one made me quite sad. And happy.

Music filled my ears,

from sweetest voice

I ever heard; my mum.

Songs of love, beautifully surrendered

to family chores

with hugs and tunes by turn.

 

In simple grace

her words flowed

like a fountain,

sparkling life into the hearts of all

who heard an angel echo every morning,

 called to us to rise, the day begun.

 

No one heard her voice

without succumbing

to the heart of one who raised all spirits high,

by grace and goodness woven into music

we listened and we learned

from ballads’ sigh.

 

My father smiled whenever mum was singing,

some chosen for their love,

given free,

others for all children

and god’s pleasure.

And one tune, especially, sung for me.

 

It followed me through life

when, as requested, I learned

to voice god’s talents handed on,

when dad would ask for my rendition

of the one

all family members called, ‘my song’.

 

I hear it still from time to time in passing,

I sing along and

memories flood my mind,

of childhood days and melodies imbibed then

from two, whose love

 knew how to warm and bind.

 

They’re gone now, from this world of lovers,

reunited

after many years apart.

I hear them still in music I hold dearest,

still, after all this time,

they fill my heart.

From The Start

I was just making dinner. And then out pops this little lot. The whole thing feels more like a song than a poem. Although what is a song if not a poem set to music? I’m not editing this at all. Just as it came. And now humming a tune that may fit. Wish I played guitar. Have to let the subconscious work on a melody.  Hope it doesn’t feel too cheesy. That might be because of what I’m cooking. 😉

 

There’s history there for the taking,

We made it but let it grow cold.

Not one of those words I was faking

Tho’ the story is one often told.

Two souls that united but parted

While around us stormy winds blew.

How could I have known when it started

How much I’d grow to love you?

 

Now the breeze is balmy and steady

But the hurt lives on in my heart.

Tell me, my love, that you’re ready

To try again, make a new start.

 

No one can hurt like a lover

When the scars, though they fade, still ache.

There never will be another

While there’s a chance we may take.

Believe in the story that grew then,

Remember the times that we shared.

Take comfort in knowing you’re still chosen

And nothing can make me feel scared.

 

Now the breeze is balmy and steady

But the hurt lives on in my heart.

Tell me, my love, that you’re ready

To try again, make a new start.

 

How many loves have been lost to

Stories begun but collapsed

In a world where true love is too few

And questions are filled with perhaps?

Now I’m just a lost, lonely lover

With a story to tell just like you,

Secrets that some may uncover,

No story when love is still true.

 

For the breeze is balmy but steady

And our hurts live on in my heart

But I’m telling you, darling, I’m ready

To live again right from the start.