Friday, October 27, 2006

Music was my first love...

Oliver introduces himself to Daddy's guitar

I used to be a right "muso". Actually, it's not quite that bad. I used to be a wannabe musician. Now I'm just a musician. Amateur, home-bound and largely stagnant. There isn't much time to sit back and strum the guitar. And when I do I'm usually accompanying my own unique version of "The Wheels on the Bus" for Oliver's entertainment.

But every now and then I hear a piece of music that will remind me how much I love music and why for most of my life I have felt driven to write music myself. It might be popular or classical, The Beatles or Bach, Joni Mitchell or Justin Timberlake. (OK, I'm kidding about Justin Timberlake.) But it makes me long to write just one great song. Because music is a force of nature. I mean, good grief, even Abba's floor-filling "Dancing Queen" is enough reason for me to be glad to be alive!

And now my love of music has an added impetus: the desire to share the joy it brings me with my son. Sitting at work today listening to my iPod to block out the chatter, Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" suddenly filled my ears. I felt a rush that echoed the music itself. All I could think was how I would love to play this to Oliver and wondered how old he would be before he might enjoy it too.

Of course, there's no guarantee he'll ever share my tastes. And obviously he'll feel obliged to love his own kind of music when he is a teenager. But maybe once in a while we'll agree. After all, we both enjoyed the Balamory theme tune this morning.

Back to my iPod. Immediately "Jupiter" finished I heard the familiar strains of "Hanging Around" by the Stranglers and I was struck not only by the ever-presence of some music in my life but also how its meaning to me has changed with the changes in my life. Back in the late '70s "Hanging Around" evoked a hardcore teen identity in the immediate post-punk era. Nowadays it's the song I sing to Oliver to make him smile. I wonder what the 15 year old me would think if I could travel back to tell him that's how it will be one day. I suspect he would smile.