We are shaped by the past events of our lives more so than the ad men,the spin doctors of life would have us believe.Those events line up in our minds like memory soldiers,explaining the whys and wherefores of our existence.From the routine of daily interchanges,those repetitious duties we perform that mean much more than we give them credit,to the sheer magnitude of birth and of loss,they all take their attention in our memory parade ground.Oftentimes,those memories come back to us in surprising ways,in directions that come out of no-where,and we wonder just how they appeared but they did.All of us have our own memory soldiers,and each time we parade them,we allow them to be inspected ,and sometimes that inspection is joyful,causing us to laugh,to muse of the joy of the memory.To elaborate,this morning,a piece of music came into my head that ,although must have resided there for decades,hasn’t been inspected of late,and it’s playing in my mind conjured up memories of a happy time in my teenage life.
It occurred during my teenage years at school ,during the lunch time period.At the time,a young and sensitive music teacher decided to allow a disco in the music room on a Friday.There were all the usual types of 13 and 14 year olds there ,many of which belonged to the “cool” set of teenagers that would have gone to the Youth club in the evening too.As the girls danced in the darkened room to T-Rex,Sweet,and co,I thought of my sister Shiela ,who had introduced me to music and the joy that it could give you at the local cafe at Indian Queens.With it’s jukebox,and seemingly endless supply of locals who purchased a penny bag of chips and a bottle of pop,it was a magnet for the village locals.Looking back,it must have seemed odd for a little chap such as me to be there with my oldest sister,but I can’t ever remember anyone being that bothered about it.
So really,although I leaned against the back wall of the music room ,I wasn’t really out of place there of a Friday lunchtime and I enjoyed the sounds from the Mono record player very much.At that time too,I wasn’t so immersed in organ music for the process to be so all encompassing that it might have extinguished some of the joy in just listening to music with your friends in a group.As I observe music today,it saddens me that me consume music firstly from the point of personal choice,that headphone scenario where we are cut off from others “listening to our music”,and I rather like the community of listening with others there too.It encourages emotional interaction if you like.As is my want,I digress from my point rather,so coming back to my point about the lunchtime disco:there was a tune that my friend loved so very much by “the Jacksons”.Its title was Rockin Robin,it has been eclipsed by a corpus of so many other Jackson songs since that it hasn’t been in my mind until this morning.Its a simple tune with so much energy and joy to me at least.It was loved by my friend John,and he pestered me to work the tune out on the school Piano.So,after the lunchtime disco finished and my peers went out to stand around the playing fields as you did,John and I would sit around the Piano and bash out “Rockin Robin”.John would sing,and I would harmonise from the tune after the short intro.We had a laugh ,we had joy,just like that simple tune about a Rockin Robin.That tune became a hit in the UK,and was played on top of the pops and I would remember listening to the show of a Thursday night and trying to get some more of the details.You see,John would be doing the same,and would be wanting to get the tune down better as he tried to impress his friends at that time.John had a lot of living to do,and when he could ,when he wasn’t dealing wth his co diction,he lived it,and I appreciated that about him.
So,that was my memory soldier this morning:He has always been in parade I suppose,but I had forgotten him as all the other memory soldiers took president.Some memories are like that though,and although I would have reminiscing that affected me in different ways,that old Jackson’s tune of Rockin Robin stills tugs at the old heart strings.
Thank you for your indulgence this morning.