Friday, November 11, 2011

Love is surrender

I don't care what anyone says, Karen Carpenter is an utter musical legend. And I had to listen to the following song yesterday, no fewer than eight times in a row before even I begged for mercy, after I inadvertently introduced the LGBB to her first living-memory dose of The Carpenters. A band I was raised on as my mother was a huge fan.

There was nothing quite like putting on one of Mum's favourite records for her (I began to learn that it soothed the stressed-out, under-acknowledged side of my mother that if ignored for long enough would eventually turn into the beast - which I now very much appreciate). Once I was entrusted to very, ever so carefully raise and lower that needle onto the record, I took my job as DJ incredibly seriously. I ensured a regular dose of songs from the double The Singles album was served. Daily, if I could help it.

My favourites from this were Masquerade, Love Is Surrender and Sing

I was stirring something at the stove while Lolly made her own fun, hitting the "Back" button so that iTunes would restart her new Favourite Song Of The Day. And something struck me as quite familiar about the situation. Granted, there was no careful blowing of any record before it was set down on the turn-table. No crackle as the needle picked up any remaining hairs and fibres on the record. No need to reset the needle at the start of the track. Just a simple press of a button with her finger.

I appreciate this technology. I admire it and I love it for its convenience. But I am wistful for the days past when there was a certain dexterity and accuracy and, hell, just good "old-fashioned" patience to hear your favourite song.

But there was no denying some things will never change as I saw my daughter skip so joyfully around the island bench with Jazz and telling me with a gleeful smile that "I love this song, this song just makes me so happy, Mummy!" Mostly, I loved that she was listening to it because she was enjoying it. Something undeniable and perhaps unknown was stirring within her, willing her to move so that it became impossible for her not to express it with free abandon. I know that feeling. I respect and want to encourage that feeling in her, when it overtakes her in this way.

No matter where it next takes us, technology will not surpass or outdo the Masters of their craft. Brilliant songs are still exactly that, regardless of whether they're being played on a Nano, through a six-speaker stereo system off a digitally remastered CD, or on a wonky old mono-speaker radiogram with turn-table. I intend to keep this house retro and connected with those greats for as long as I live, with a balanced dose of modern good music, of course. That my appreciation for meaningful lyrics and clever musicians is being passed on to my daughter in this day and age of girating, unimaginative, unintelligent, tuneless commercial "music" makes my heart soar. NB: this is not to deny the countless excellent musicians still out there. Somewhere. Buried under the mainstream mess.

Although, ironically, I realise in a way this is not surrendering. Which is a tad hypocritical of me, given the title of my post. Ah, well. Baby steps.

Can you hear what she hears? Listen.

Talk about love
How it makes life complete
You can talk all you want
Make it sound good and sweet
But the words have an empty ring
And they don't really mean a thing
Without love you are not to be found
Not to be found
For love is surrender
You must surrender if you care
You must surrender if you care
Shout about love
Then the wars will all end
You can shout "we're all brothers",
And even pretend
But you can't cover up the past
Just pretending will never last
Without love you are nothing at all
Nothing at all
For love is surrender
You must surrender if you care
You must surrender if you care

p.s. Ummmmm..... but hands up who can see a tiny bit of Dexter in Richard, around about the 1 minute mark. No? Just me then? Ok, as you were.....

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