5.”Pity The Child” (Rice/Andersson/Ulvaeus) MURRAY HEAD from the musical “Chess”
Well, I did say in the introduction that I would seek out songs that I felt I related to, although in retrospect this choice does make me sound like I live a life full of self pity! (I don’t!!!) Never the less, when I first heard this song, aged fifteen, it really felt like it had been written with me in mind, telling the story of a child from a broken home as his mother moves someone else in, and he retreats to his room. Even as I look at the song now, at a time when I have long since realised that life is what I choose to make it rather than allowing myself to be traumatized by the fact that my dad ran off to Benares in India when I was eighteen months old, the lyrics are still poignant and do sum up a large part of my child hood. Where they miss the point is in not describing the love and security I grew up with. The other stuff is often scarily to the point in describing the way I often felt – they just got the ages wrong! I have gone for Murray Head because (on the original studio album) it’s the first version I ever heard…plus I got to see him performing it live in this show that has always meant so much to me!
6.British Summertime ( Watt/Thorn) EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL
Skegness! If you grew up in Leicestershire then its inevitable you will have gone to Skegness at some point. This song, however, is not Skeggy-specific but it wonderfully evokes those childhood car journeys to the sea side “windows down on the coast road waiting to be first to see the sea”, you know the feeling, twenty minutes after you set off you start saying “Mum, how much longer, how many miles?” and end up singing along to daft songs on the radio, until finally you arrive at the destination, often in dreary weather to a very bleak setting. At around the age of five I remember one of these caravan holidays in the sea side village of Salt Fleet. I was there with my mum and my (great) Grandma. Now my Grandma had a rather odd sense of humour and, at some point, I remember her telling me that the man in the next caravan was the black panther, a notorious child abductor of the time! Nice!
7.You’ve Got A Friend (Carole King) MAGGIE PIE AND THE IMPOSTERS (AKA WET WET WET)
I have some wonderful friends, and I would hope that winter, spring, summer or fall I will be there if they call. So I simply dedicate this song to all of them, particularly to Jackie who, in my darkest hour, was there without question within the hour and helped me to see that, even in the dark, there is light! I was also pleased to discover, on a personal level, that in this bleak time it was the well being of those I care about that remained at the forefront of my mind. I have chosen this version, just because I like it best – although there are many other worthy recordings as well.
8.Oh What A Circus! (Rice/Lloyd Webber) from “Evita” David Essex (with Elaine Paige)
Oh what a show! Although I had already been introduced to musicals and the theatre (largely via old time music hall at The Players) it was hearing this album that sparked a life long love of musical theatre. It was quite an impressive LP in a shining silver sleeve and I just loved it. I lose count of how many times I borrowed the book of the show from Coalville library, but I know I made a point of photo copying the lyrics to this song and learning them. If I had ever pursued the career in musical theatre that I once aspired to then the role of Che, who sings this song, would have been my dream role. It remains one of my favourite musicals even though my musical taste does lean more to the Stephen Sondheim than the ALW as a rule! This is the first version I heard, therefore the one for the soundtrack!