In 2004, radio presenter, Gareth O’Callaghan, in his book A Day Called Hope talked about the part music and song played in his life. He described the difficulties of putting words on emotions that the lyrics of a song could express so eloquently. I suppose we all have favourite songs that put words on our feelings.
There are also those songs that when we hear, transport us to places and occasions of the past to remember sad and happy experiences.
Recently, an afternoon presenter (whom I really dislike) began a series of interviews with famous guests, discussing the music that related to their life. It inspired the following compilation – I couldn’t include all songs; sometimes the most important were omitted but it’s a snap shot of some of the music I remember from through the years
SOUNDTRACK TO MY LIFE
The musical memories of life in our home
Were the songs of my mother as she pottered around
About dogs in shop windows and the White Cliffs of Dover
And the high hopes of ants to knock rubber plants over.
Six kids and a dog squashed in the back of our car
Belting out songs probably stopped a world war
About wishing on stars and catching some that fell
Many long Irish dirges with sad tales to tell.
Musicals and ballads on EPs and LPs
Acquired by our dad in auction houses on the quays
An EP by the BeeGees where the world had a cry
Because of a joke was the first one I’d buy.
The Beach Boys and creatures like Beatles and Monkees
Sang the pop songs that accompanied me through my teens
A romantic “slow dance” in the Moran Road Hall
To Seasons in the Sun I still can recall.
Singers with strange name – Humperdink and Goldsboro
Crooned songs that were happy and songs full of sorrow
Bad John who was big on the Dock of the Bay
Sugar Sugar, And Saving the Last dance for me
In the seventies I met Seamus and he had a car
Replete with a stereo: Leonard Cohen was our star.
In a night club called Sloopys we discoed and drank wine
To American Pie and Sweet Caroline.
An Old Sheeling date every Monday without fail
‘cause we knew The Wolftones – Tommy Byrne was our pal
The Lower Deck, The Embankment were on the list too
And we belted out ballads about OUR RIGHT TO RULE
A decade of kids’ songs, nursery rhymes with my babies
About Dragons called Puff and other strange ditties
This decade started out with losing my dad
And his song Nancy Spain still makes me feel sad.
6 years after, Shay died taking so many dreams
And the priest by his bed sang of Bunclody’s streams.
And following bereavement as I journeyed to work
Des Cahill and Gareth O’Callaghan kept me going with songs and with talk
A choir started in school and ’twas lovely to hear
The range of the music and the voices so clear.
THE MILLENIUM – A NEW CENTURY
On January 1st a new century sailed in
But at family gatherings the same songs we’d sing
In this latest decade it’s hard to decide
The range of my musical interests so wide.
I buy fewer CDs, download lots from i-tunes
Still belt out a ballad when working alone
Rainy nights in Soho reminds me of goodbye
to a beloved hill 16 brother way too young to die
and songs of religion now feature quite strong
Following 5 ICU weeks and recovery long.
But how amazing the memories as I look back
All accompanied by a weird and wonderful soundtrack.