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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Hello October, my Old Friend

Hello October, my old friend I've come to talk with you again Because a cancer softly creeping Left it’s seeds while I was sleeping The plans and visions that were planted in my brain Still remain Within the sound of silence

I know I could do that to lots of songs. Some songs, artists, tunes and albums transport us all to a different place, different times, people and memories. A work colleague and close friend of mine died suddenly 15 years ago. Completely unexpected. I put a suitable message on his work phone, catalogued his extensive collection of cricket and railway books and took care of his car. The last CD he listened to in his car was “10 New Songs" by Leonard Cohen. I still have that CD. It’s still an emotional listen. Here’s just one track but they all hurt.

I seem to have an album for key points in my life. They’re probably not what you expect. When I was about 16 and at college it was Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” and Mike Oldfield's “Tubular Bells”. I think that proves I was a pretty normal kid. When I was training to teach I seem to particularly remember Tír na nÓg and John Martyn. A bit later on, Paul Simon‘s “Graceland” still transports me to the tumble down house and couple of acres in Carthew. From Carthew I ended up in a cottage in Bethel with “No Jacket Required” by Phil Collins. I remember where and when I acquired the Dire Straits album “Brothers in Arms”.

Of course loads of music has a connection with people and I’m super sensitised now. If, like me, you kind of limit your forward thinking, you can only live in the present or the past. Maybe constantly writing these blogs skews my thinking a little bit.

Let me tell you about a the struggle with forward planning. If I start watching “Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing" will I live another 6 weeks? If I start watching “Bake Off” will I last 10 weeks? What about the 13 weeks of “Strictly”? It’s all a bit frightening.

For me October is a gift. I’ve made it this far!

I feel OK about counting down in months, I’m not sure about counting down in weeks, that’s yet to come I think.

Back to music, Jon and Richard my two older brothers ran a mobile disco. I must have been about 15, very long hair, bum fluff instead of beard and jeans covered in patches. The first single in their record collection was, if I remember correctly, “California Man” by The Move.

Can you imagine lugging around 100s of 7 inch records (18cm for the young ones). Any other way was unimaginable.

Anyway in the finite time I have remaining I find myself, with Tricia’s help, trying hard find a few bits of music that neatly dovetail with my life. Most people simply don’t have the opportunity to do so. But today I had a eureka moment. Abbi sent me a link with this message. “Have you heard this song? I love it and feel there’s a possibility you won’t hate it as Elton John's in it”.

Here’s something you can do because that set me thinking about those “NOW That’s what I call music” albums. The latest one is number 109. If some of you let me know if there's a piece of music that might, sometime in the future, remind you of me. I don’t even need to know it. But I’ll collect all the tracks together and call it “NOW That’s What I Call Music: NEIL BATE and Tricia can use it at my leaving party.

Remember the film “Babe”? Solid family viewing. The soundtrack for it all was adapted from Camille Saint-Saëns and his Symphony No3 in C minor, Op 78. (Last 10 minutes)

Or the more accessible film version

or the even more accessible song by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley – “If I Had Words”

Nothing’s ruled in, nothing's ruled out.

I’ll leave you with this.

End of the Line

Song by Traveling Wilburys

Well, it's alright, ridin' around in the breeze Well, it's alright, if you live the life you please Well, it's alright, doin' the best you can Well, it's alright, as long as you lend a hand

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