An opening word
I originally wrote this in November 2018. The challenge was to pick that one favourite song. Needless to say, that was an impossible task but a challenge to which I rose – with some relish. When my webhost disappeared some time ago, this post went along with it. I’m “reconstiting” some and not others, and this one wasn’t on the list. Until last week. When I wrote about my favourite lead singers, I realised that it’s a piece I’d like to re-visit and restore to its rightful place.
With her parents, she arrived On a Jet Plane (John Denver) in Johannesburg, South Africa – a little Puppet on a String (Sandie Shaw) – and with a Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull), took a train to Port Elizabeth. There, she made friends with Jennifer Eccles (The Hollies) and another Jennifer, Juniper (Donovan), but didn’t find Atlantis (Donovan).
After a while, the family moved to East London where she started school and met Pretty Belinda (Chris Andrews) whom, full of Sorrow (David Bowie) she left behind, when the family moved. Again. At the new school, she was Only the Lonely (Roy Orbison), and just had to Get Down (Gilbert O’Sullivan), and face her Waterloo (Abba), until she headed to boarding school.
So you think your schooling is phony….
Boarding school was all about putting Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd) and avoiding the Bad Moon Rising (Credence Clearwater Revival) in the company of ZX Dan (The Radio Rats), yearning for an African Sky Blue (Juluka). In those teenage years, she was a bit like Sandra Dee (Olivia Newton John) looking for Someone to Love (Queen). Then, one day, her Rhinestone Cowboy (Glen Campbell) rode in, but he had a Heart of Glass (Blondie), leaving her with The Sounds of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel) in the Purple Rain (Prince), with the question, I want to know what love is? (Foreigner).Finishing school, the Wild Thing (The Trogs), Like a Virgin (Madonna) headed to university. There she found herself in the Eye of the Tiger (Survivor), saying, Papa don’t Preach (Madonna). What a Feeling (Irene Cara), those years of Ebony and Ivory (Stevie Wonder) when, with a lot of De Do Do Do De Da Da Da (Police), Time after Time, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper), Making Love out of Nothing at all (Air Supply), she had to sing the Redemption Song (Bob Marley).
(Wo)Men at Work
Like Greased Lightening (John Travolta), Tragedy (The BeeGees) struck and it was time to start working Eight Days’ a Week (Beetles), joining the Men at Work (Down Under). So, Here comes Tomorrow (The Dealians), and in the company of Sugarman (Rodriguez), her Last Dance (Diana Ross) took her to Meadowlands (Strike Vilakazi) where she did the Pata Pata (Miriam Makeba) and pleaded, Give me Hope, Joanna (Eddie Grant). The odd Weekend Special (Brenda Fassie) didn’t go amiss, either.
After a while, it was time to Beat It (Michael Jackson), take the Paradise Road (Joy) and Go West (Pet Shop Boys). Not the best decision because Another one Bit(es) the Dust (Queen): a Careless Whisper (George Michael) Tainted Love (Soft Cell). This time, Weeping (Bright Blue), she headed to Mannenberg (Abdullah Ebrahim/Dollar Brand) and found That Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen) that was Simply the Best (Tina Turner).
Love over Gold
It felt like Another Country (Mango Groove) in a Mad World (Tears for Fears) where Love is a Stranger (Eurythmics), Puttin’ on the Ritz (Taco), and so began another Walk of Life (Dire Straits). It was totally Perfect (Fairground Attraction), for which there could be no Substitute (Clout) and best of all, in a Funky Town (Pseudo Echo) that would keep her Forever Young (Rod Steward and Alphaville).
That Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler) didn’t last. He was a Karma Chameleon (Boy George). It was time to go Out there on My Own (Irene Cara), and with London Calling (The Clash), she headed for Barcelona (Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé). From then on, it was going to be all Livin’ la Vida Loca (Ricky Martin). It was More than a Feeling (Boston). It was definitely The End of the Road (Boyz II Men). She told him Don’t Bring me Down (ELO) and Jump (Van Halen). She took The Long Way Home (Supertramp) after what felt like The Crime of the Century (Supertramp). No such thing as Love over Gold (Dire Straits).
Then, My Oh My (Van Halen), completely unexpectedly, at the end of a long Telegraph Road (Dire Straits) she found A Groovy Kind of Love (Phil Collins) that was full of Honesty (Billy Joel) that had her Dancing on the Ceiling (Lionel Ritchie). Jabulani (PJ Powers) – happiness was the word. She had found her Charlie (Rabbit) and he wasn’t a Man on the Moon (Ballyhoo). He did want to Kiss her all Over (Exile) on a Bed of Roses (Bon Jovi).
Firstly, did you pick up the group, album, song title or lines from songs in the section headings? If you didn’t this is each of them – in order: Arrival – Abba; So you think your schooling is phony….is a line from Supertramp’s Crime of the Century (song and album); Men at Work – the band from Australia and, finally, Dire Straits’ Love Over Gold song and album.
Secondly, if you read last week’s post, yes, there is repitition….
Finally, as I said, I was hard pressed (notice the joke, those of you who remember vinyl) to choose just one. I have favourites that apply at different times and others that I hated and now love. I thought that in my revision, I might change things. I haven’t. I’ve added though, with the headings….
There are songs missing from this list and which I’d love to have included, like Johnny Clegg’s Asimbonanga (We have not seen him [Mandela]), but I really couldn’t work it in, but couldn’t leave it out, either. It is up there with another evocative song from my youth, Bright Blue’s Weeping. Both are iconic songs of the struggle against Apartheid.
However, I have saved my absolute favourite to the end. It comes from one of the world’s greatest guitarists and whose music underpins virtually every stage of my life – from my teens, and until now. Why this song? I have no idea, but it resonated for me the first time I heard it in the summer of 1980. At the time, I did not know that it was Santana, or the name of the tune – it’s instrumental. It haunted me for years, and one of the first records I ever bought, was the Santana album that included this song. I now have it on CD – the same album – along with a number of other Santana albums that are all precious and special for different reasons. One of the memories and experiences I shall treasure forever, was seeing Santana live in South Africa – I had waited nearly 40 years. It was worth the wait and every penny. Especially when he played this.
Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa
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