In response to the WP Discover challenge Song: tell us the story of your special connection to one song.
Seriously ONE song? I didn’t start listening to music yesterday 😛
One of the earliest songs I remember singing along to was Snoopy vs. The Red Baron by the Royal Guardsman. The 45 we had also had two other Snoopy related songs on it, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron – The Return of the Red Baron and Snoopy’s Christmas. By the time I was five I knew every word to all three songs and the only thing that would stop me dancing around the room to them was that you can’t bounce in a room while a turntable is spinning. It wasn’t until after our kids were born that I finally realised there was two more follow up songs, Snoopy for President and Snoopy vs. Obama, neither are as good as the originals though.
The 45 is long gone, damn mum and her garage sales, but the song still remains and as recently as a year ago I was singing the song with my kids and I still know every word. GO SNOOPY!!
By my early teens heavier music took over, I still had an appreciation for 50’s, 60’s and 70’s but metal was a form of rebellion, a way of showing everyone the middle finger, especially given that none of my friends were listening to it. In 1989 Dark Angel released the album Leave Scars, not only was this album heavy, a heaviness that even today is not often matched but the album art was alluring especially to teenager whose only to interests in the world were art and music. Of course at the time most of the people I knew would make comments about heavy metal being evil etc and the all time favourite was that the lyrics couldn’t be understood. Well Dark Angel took that to a whole new level. I sat down and read the lyric sheet with a dictionary, there was words in those songs even the Oxford dictionary didn’t know, words I wasn’t being taught in school. So learning to sing along with those words became a goal.
When I was 14 I wrote the lyrics from the song Death of Innocence in my English folder, lyrics which include lines like;
A rapist of naivety
A killer of virginity
I stand for the death of innocence!!
Young bodies cannot stand pain
I’m torturing their little brains
I am the death of innocence!!
Only sickened filth, disgusting scum
Would do the appalling deeds I’ve done
Crushing with psychotic malevolence!!
I can’t control my gross addiction
Feeding mental pain infliction
Fall to the death of innocence!!
Instead of reading the entire song lyrics are realising the writer is actually against the crime, against the horror and in no way advocating it the stupid teacher decided it was time for an intervention. My parents, the principal, the teacher and me all in a room discussing my evil ways. I admit I only wrote the lyrics there for a reaction and I got it. I also wrote the lyrics to the title track from the album but that didn’t get the same reaction.
The title track from the album for some reason resonated with me more, I had to learn every word, I had to learn how to sing it and I did, even the words I had to use a dictionary to understand. Eight years later whilst playing with the band I tried to get them to put it in our repertoire as one of the five covers we’d play at live gigs but they just couldn’t match the speed and aggression of the song. Still to this day I can sing every word to that song, its a song I often sing in my head to put me to sleep, if only I stayed asleep.
From a young age I also had a connection I didn’t understand to an aussie country song, that song was the classic Lights On The Hill, sung by Slim Dusty and written by his wife Joy McKean. Mum listened to Slim Dusty all the time and from the age of about five I often took the Slim Dusty records into my room and listened to them not knowing how much of a sound track his massive collection of trucking songs would eventually become in my life.
At the age of about 5 or six I was wandering around the house singing
Oh, but I’m over the edge and down the mountain side
I know they’ll tell about the night I died
In the rain when the lights on the hill were a-blindin’ me
It wasn’t until I was sixteen and got my first taste of truck driving that I realised just what those words meant, but it wasn’t until I started hauling those long boring hours at night that I realised what the true meaning was. For more than ten years those words ran through my head on rainy nights when pair of headlights came over a dark hill. It got so bad at one stage, the song was so deeply entrenched in my mind that I told my wife that no matter what the weather was if I died on the road that song was my funeral song. It’s probably lucky I never lived out the song in real life because I bet she’s forgotten (and certainly doesn’t understand the effect the song had on my in those wee hours of the night) and I’d probably end up with some song by Justin Timberlake playing at my funeral.
So instead of one song I did three but even that only touches the surface of the songs that shaped my life.