Monday, 19 March 2007

Soundtracks - Tracks 30-33

30."My Fathers Song" ( Holmes) BARBRA STREISAND
31."Song For My Father" (Darrow/Cohen) JANE OLIVOR
I had a pretty bad week all in all. At the weekend I had a call saying my mum had collapsed and was in hospital with an abscess on her ovary. On the Wednesday I returned home to find the police in attendance, as my flat mate had covered herself on petrol and was about to set fire to herself. The following Saturday (1 October 1990?) saw me receive a telephone call that would change my life forever. My dad was dead. At forty! All in all we had spent less than four weeks together over the previous two years. The last conversation we had was of him worrying about my mum being taken ill. I had still not worked out if I could call him "Dad" or Henry (neither seemed right somehow) much less told him I loved him or even worked out how I felt. As Olivor's song goes "where did it go, where did it go - did I say I love you did you know?". What I did know was that I was absolutely devastated and to this day I have never felt a shock like it. It was something that he said to me once that helped me to through it -"no matter how bad a situation is you always gain something positive from it". This is so true and sometimes this thought is all I need to cope with life's struggles, and it's possibly the greatest gift he gave me. The funeral and the days leading up to it were surreal, enduring a funeral service that was in language I barely understood, paired with rows and recriminations between my grandparents and Vina his estranged wife. I expected to strongly dislike Vina but we got on brilliantly from the outset, and I found a wonderfully black sense of humour that helped me through. I felt ,for a long time, my dad was taken from me when our relationship was still developing, this is undoubtedly true, but I also believe what Vina later told me. I got the best of him. He was a tyrant, selfish and a monster in many ways, but he also had great charm and managed to effect the lives of everyone he met. He was often very critical of people but I got a very different feeling from him, one of acceptance illustrated in Barbra's song "whatever you are you gonna be, whatever you are it's alright with me, you'll do what you want anyway, these are the words I heard my father say"

32."Look Over There" (Herman) from "La Cage Aux Folles" Gene Barry
"How often is someone concerned with the tiniest thread of your life?" Well, less often would be good - the relationship with my maternal grandparents can be stifling much of the time. It often seems that it has a stranglehold on my life that prevents me from doing what I want to do. I am expected to tell them of all my movements, when I am going to be out and when I am not. I get text messages if I have had a drink after work saying "Call me when get back am worried" and I still get told to make sure my door is locked at night, because about ten years ago I left it open one night. This is just the tip of the ice berg as well! Believe me! Anyway it's not all bad. I do appreciate the good side of this, such as when I found out about my dads death. They got in the car drove the hundred miles from Leicester to London and collected me. Booked a plane ticket and got me on the plane to head to Germany for the funeral. I was in no fit state to organize this myself and truly couldn't have managed it without them .

33."Anytime (I AM There)" (Finn) from "Elegies A Song Cycle" CAROLEE CARMELLO
we have all lost someone we care about. This is sung from the point of view of someone that was loved and is lost. It expresses what I believe, that these people are never gone for ever, they are still here, and make us what we are today. It's for five very special people, My dad, Violet, Grandma Cox, Tante Leni and Onkel Jakob. All of whom played their part! And it's not depressing at all, even though I have placed it after my dad's songs - it's one of the most optimistic love filled songs I have ever heard!

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