The soundtrack to my life – a kind of musical “back story”

An opening word – or three

I wrote this post as an experiment in November 2018 in response to a challenge:  pick one favourite song.  For me, that is a virtually impossible task.  I have favourites depending on my mood, what I’m hearing, the context, where I am… I delighted in rising to that challenge to which I rose.  A couple of years later, I responded to another challenge:  to write about my favourite lead singers, because when my erstwhile webhost disappeared – also in 2018 – this post went along with it.  When I “reconstituted” it in 2020, we were in the throes of a Covid lockdown.  It was a black period and I did little more than copy and paste it from the blockchain and repost it.

This time

The expriment worked – I’ll explain in a bit, but first, I’m revisiting it now for two reasons:  my blogpal, Traci, also plays in the crypto social space.  Twice a year for the last four years, she hosts Hive Blog Posting Month.   I have been a regular contributor for a while and have not just had fun, but have made new blogpals along the way.  She also offers a set of useful prompts.  I write what I like, generally, only occasionally checking in on the prompt.  One was about music that resonated.  As usual, I’m late to the party because not only did Traci’s own life soundtrack resonate with me, but it reminded me of mine and thought I should revisit it which was reinforced after reading this post from a self-proclaimed Mad Scot whose music seems to track (ha!) mine.

About this iteration

I mentioned that first reprise of this post was a copy and paste excercise.  With hindsight, I realise that I wasn’t really in a space to properly revisit it.  As I mentioned the other day, lockdown was a difficult time.  I – like the rest of the world – seemed to have been just marking time and going through the motions.  This time, I’m looking at my sound track with new eyes and listening with a clearer ear.

I am as interested as you (I hope) are, to see how things have changed or unravelled….


I wrote this in the third person:  it’s the first piece I ever wrote about myself using that technique.  I tried, and I think, succeeded in weaving my life story out of song and album titles.  I do use a little artistic license.  It was fun and, I’m told, makes a good read.  I hope it stands the test of time.


With her parents, she arrived On a Jet Plane (John Denver) in Johannesburg, South Africa – a little Puppet on a String (Sandie Shaw).  With a Locomotive Breath (Jethro Tull), the family took a train to Port Elizabeth (and got locked in a lavatory.  There, she made friends with Jennifer Eccles (The Hollies) and another Jennifer, Juniper (Donovan), but didn’t find Atlantis (Donovan).

The house my parents built in East London 1968. Originally, it consisted of the gable, and the chimney and the two windows to the left. This photo was taken in 2010.

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….

Hostel dance – 1976 – only just a teenager

Boarding school was all about putting Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd) and avoiding the Bad Moon Rising (Credence Clearwater Revival).  ZX Dan (The Radio Rats) kept her company while she yearned 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, like Greased Lightening (John Travolta), 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).

Asking, I want to know what love is? (Foreigner), she finished school and 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).

On the beach…

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), it was a Never Ending Story (Limahl).

Days of “study” and fun at university

Following her heart, Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm, in someone else’s (Silver Dream Machine), she nearly ended up as a Crash Test Dummy(s).  That episode did end up with her Making Love out of Nothing at all (Air Supply), and singing the Redemption Song (Bob Marley).

(Wo)Men at Work

Working 8 – 5 (Sheena Easton/Dolly Parton – take your pick)

The Long and Winding Road (The Beetles) led to Johannesburg – Starting Over (John Lennon) which ended with Love on the Rocks (Neil Diamond), making her Brown Eyes Blue (Linda Ronstadt).

It was also time to start working Eight Days’ a Week (Beetles), joining the Men at Work (Down Under).  So, Here comes Tomorrow (The Dealians).  In Sugarman‘s (Rodriguez) company, 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) because of a Careless Whisper (George Michael) – Tainted Love (Soft Cell).  Again (Doris Day). 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).

She Put(tin’ )on the Ritz (Taco), and 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, Believe(ing – Cher), 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).

Against All Odds

The Husband and I, exchanging vows – 2002

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. And finally, that iconic Phil Collins song, Against All Odds…

Secondly, I did stop the story where another story began 20 years ago.  I guess I might have to consider doing another post about the last two decades…

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 have added more, and not just in the headings which I did with version two….

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.

If Santana visits South Africa again, I’ll move heaven and earth – again – to go.

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post script

I am participating in @traciyork‘s twice-yearly Hive Blog Posting Month.

If this post might seem familiar, it’s because I’m doing two things:

  • re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I am adding them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine….?
  • and “re-capturing” nearly two years’ worth of posts.

I blog to the Hive blockchain using a number of decentralised applications.

  • From WordPress, I use the Exxp WordPress plugin. If this rocks your socks, click here or on on the image below to sign up.

  • Join Hive using this link and then join us in the Silver Bloggers’ community by clicking on the logo.
Original artwork: @artywink
  • lastly, graphics are created using partly my own photographs and Canva.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.