16 July 2013

memory lane: the musical

I've been thinking about music and the memories it invokes a lot this morning. It's just really been playing on my mind. It started a while ago really. It's all Peaches fault.
For those of you who haven't a clue what I'm talking about, Peaches is a song by a band called Presidents of the U.S.A. (there is also a really good song of the same name by The Stranglers) and came out in the mid 1990's. I was about 18 at the time. It was a bit of a novelty record, in fact I didn't like it that much.
But I wasn't really interested in much outside of my MJ bubble at the time. It was a song I remember that my friends liked and that I didn't actively dislike, if that makes any sense. It was one of those songs we all heard a lot. So, you know, *not* a particularly special song for me.
And then, I heard it again. Just in one of those slightly random moments that these things tend to happen in. And I could have been 18 again. I could picture us all in Nellie's* pool room. All the gang of us who were always in there, quite a few of whom I haven't even heard of since that summer of '96. And now, I can't stop listening to it. It's become some form of strange lifeline for me. Even madam has learned most of the words (this is not incredibly hard). 
But it baffles me that it's this song that does it. Maybe it's because I hadn't really heard it in all those years that it had such a powerful effect. There are so many others that I hold in my heart as special and can take me back to times/places/feelings. Bizarrely very few are MJ songs, I guess because they are so ubiquitous to every part of my life that they don't have that unique pull to a specific memory.
I'm kind of doing it now, I have my iTunes playing whilst I'm writing, it's an MJ song at the precise moment (The Girl is Mine, not a favourite) and it's just washing over me really, but the one before sent me right back to being at junior school! That'd be The Proclaimers and Letter from America... I can still see them on TOTP in their foxy jumpers.
The Proclaimers were the first singers I remember with quite such a pronounced Scottish accent. I get so much nostalgia going from them and their songs... (I am part Scottish). And isn't it strange how you can recall the words for songs you haven't heard for years too...
*Nellie's, btw, is a local landmark. I think I spent pretty much all my spare time there from the age of 16 until I went to Uni. It was dark and small and heaving with the "alternative" members of society. We loved it. We could wear what we wanted with out people telling us we were freaks, listen to music on the rather well stocked jukebox and play pool for as long as our money lasted and we had a drink! The landlady at the time was most insistent on our having a drink at all times and was vicious about catching the underage drinkers. So much so that even once I did turn 18 I had to take my passport in to prove it! I didn't dare even try to get served with alcohol before then... Ah, good times...
Oh, and a song that takes me right back to the pre-alcohol days is The Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys. I played it every time we were in there!

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