The music which sung me

Join up with Jen and Kristi for Twisted Mixtape Tuesday
where the prompt this week is all about the musicΒ 
which made you YOU
Most of my ‘formative’ songs have already been shared and written about, in my piece ‘All I Never Knew Was Missing‘, which Jen kindly shared over at Raised on the Radio. So I’m done for today!
Totally kidding. I can make more out of this…

Some songs have been with me for (it feels like) my whole life, and were a very special part of my very early years. When it was bedtime (if I recall this correctly), after the teeth were brushed and the nightie was on and I’d decided which of my bajillion soft toys would have the honour of sleeping on my pillow that night (they took turns, so none of them felt left-out or less loved), I would snuggle down and, once Mum had said her goodnights, I’d call for Dad.

And sometimes, when doing the goodnights, Dad would sing to me.

He couldn’t be persuaded often (I think), but when he could be, there were bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover; there were April showers which came what may; there was always K-K-K-Katie, waiting for her man when the moon shone over the cow-shed. There was even Daisy and her beau, getting hitched and riding off in style on a bicycle made for two.

And there was this, which was my favourite, and which I now sing to Niece and Neff at bedtime.

Admittedly Dad only ever sang it to just after the Umbrella man packed up his troubles and went on his way, but he would sing it gently, tenderly, and I felt safe and warm and loved. I was his little girl, and he cared enough to sing me to sleep. Listening to it now gives me that incredibly bittersweet stab-through-the-heart of nostalgia.

Because life stopped being tender and gentle, and for many years there was no music for me.

Life became about keeping my head down and avoidance – staying firmly and as protectedly as possible within my shell. It became about rejection and underminedness and hurt and unworth. Eventually it became about the way the years and years of this pain mounted up to unbalance the chemicals in my brain, and then it became about isolation, desperation and the overspill of my imagination into the Real World, so that the two combined to haunt me.

It became about escape.

After that, the music began flooding in; angsty and disappointingly stereotypical of a teenager suffering the feelings of unbelonging. But a budding friendship eventually worked its magic (alongside a course of much-needed counselling and a little pharmaceutical something to kick the brain chemistry back into touch). Eventually, something which started out in a decidedly shaky fashion became rock-solid(ish), and the feeling that I was trapped in some kind of glass jar – able to see all around me enjoying such wonderful connectedness, yet never being part of it myself – was smashed into pieces.

I began to tentatively develop my own connections and understandings of that magical, formerly unattainable concept – belonging.

We were like chalk and cheese. Like two halves of the same coin. Like Laurel and Hardy. Like Broken and Beaten. But we fit, and this wonderful sunbeam who came shining into my world at just the right moment, rapidly became a permanent fixture in my life – she marched on in, set up camp, helped herself to tea and biscuits and became my Person. She remains my Person to this day. And while we never had a song, if we had’ve, this would be it.

This song is a special one to me; I love the melodies, harmonies, sentiment, and everything about it, and it’s one of those wonderful songs which expresses far better than I could ever hope to, a feeling I sometimes want to share with someone else I’ve discovered to be a precious part of my life. So when I find the moment has arisen, I send this song instead.

So after entering the wonderful new world of Friends and Belonging and Connectedness, I began to discover things were Getting Better. Changes had happened at home; life had moved on; I had moved on. And for the first time in my life, in spite of all the confusions and mental knots I’d gotten tangled up into, I felt there was Something More.

There was hope for me yet.

So I muddled along, and gradually some of the tangles came unsnaggled. I met a man, who I knew from the first day would be a good husband (I was absolutely right) and a good father (watch this space and keep praying) and who just had an inexplicable touch of destiny about him.

‘Just seeing’ turned into dating turned into courting (I know, but we’re old fashioned like that) turned into engagement, turned into a beautiful white wedding with our nearest and dearest, a cake covered with sweets, and vows which we meant and still mean, Forever.

And this song, to seal the deal, for our first dance.

And yes, of course you can see the cake again…

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40 thoughts on “The music which sung me

  1. *grins* GOOD. We've done each other a good turn then, through this (I just listened to 'Dime' again, and still completely adore it). It has been indeed. I shall try to be a better participant and comment on a few more than I have been lately! Thanks forever for hosting it.

    Happy 2014 to you πŸ™‚

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  2. Oh My Gosh! I so remember this list! I remember being so happy to learn about the Umbrella Man! You know if it wasn't for mixtape we wouldn't have known each other so well, and I have to say that I am THANKFUL for that little miss thankful πŸ™‚ This has been an amazing journey that I look forward to continuing on next year. Happy New Year Lizzi!!!

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  3. Ohh yes – the self-analysis is there alright – it's the rest I've got to catch up. But I can promise that round here, it's all about Truth Telling, and I love it πŸ˜€ ('course, not to say that I don't tell the truth selectively at times, as do we all πŸ˜‰ ) Thank you for this prompt – it was marvellous πŸ˜€

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  4. You continue to amaze me with how well you know yourself, and how willing you are to give of your knowledge to us. That takes true strength. I commend and thank you for that.

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  5. I like this a lot. A really nice eclectic mix. Izzy is a favorite – uke royalty. His version always makes me cry. You can't go wrong with Van Morrison and Sam Cooke is a classic!

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  6. Thanks Louise – it really is a gorgeous version of the song.

    I've got three years of 'what came next' in my history now, but it's scattered through the blog so much – kinda hoping I have some time before Jen requires another 'life story' post, so I can get it all together another time! Thank you for your lovely feedback πŸ˜€

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  7. Thanks so much Katia. You and Dana sure are wonderful for my ego πŸ˜‰

    It was a journey, this post, and I'm so glad I was able to begin and end positively – that's the stuff to hold onto, I guess. And I do love a good session of 'writing it out of me' – glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

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  8. It was such a fun week to do, even with the 'disadvantage' of kindasorta having done it once already! It was awesome to get to pick another 5 songs about the most important moments.

    I'm glad you know K-K-K-Katie – I only know the one verse (chorus?) of it, and should probably look up if there was any more!

    *hugs* thanks for liking this so much, and for your wonderful feedback on my writing πŸ™‚

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  9. Ah! I've now bookmarked the 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' video – so beautiful. Also smiled at your wedding song! As for watching for what comes next? I hope life blesses you and makes you happy. I truly enjoy reading your blog.

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  10. I agree with Dana, that's precisely it, you're a wonderful story teller and you can create an atmosphere and enchant your readers. I know it must not have been easy walking down that particular memory lane but I know that writing about the difficult stuff often brings peace and there was so much positivity in this post as well. I love your choices in music and words πŸ™‚

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  11. I knew you'd handle this week beautifully – you are a wonderful storyteller. I don't know The Umbrella Man, but my grandmother sang K-K-K-Katie to me all the time. You opened yourself up to us with this post, and I love you even more for it. And your first dance song? Love, love, love.

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  12. Thank you Jen.

    I have to say, a lot of the 'opening' has been due to music, and in large part to your hop and the way the prompts act upon my brain to create these posts. I know that I 'emote' better through music (other people's) and these posts have been massively important in helping to make those connections and get back in touch a little with Things Which Have Been.

    I am indebted to you – thank you.

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  13. You know I would have to say that ever since you opened up about your past your writing has gotten more and more phenomenal. Really, it's a lot easier to write when you are not hiding from anything. You are a perfect example of that.

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  14. How intriguing! If you ever think of what it was, and feel like sharing, do come back on over and let me know what the memory was.

    I'm glad you liked how I did this – it was a lot of fun selecting the pieces which were so important to me. And if I'm honest, I think Troy chose this prompt on purpose to make sure we'd all have to get a little (or a lot) personal.

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  15. Then I'm an excellent selective sharer – I had to write that section with my tongue firmly in my cheek. It was beautiful, but there's a (now quite hilarious) story behind that First Dance.

    Glad you like it – and I'm also glad that at the end of it all, there was that Something More πŸ™‚ Thank you

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  16. Oh it's great πŸ™‚ Nothing like it.

    And the 'inheritance' of music is important – I also pass on songs my Grandad sang to me when I was tiny. It's a special, 'not-quite-in-real-time' time when I get to sing these songs to Niece and Neff.

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  17. Really? I like 'em – especially this song πŸ™‚ You aren't old though – I've e-met you and … just no.

    I know – sweeties! Hundreds of 'em πŸ™‚ It was a glorious explosion of pick'n'mix (though I have an ulterior motive, as the other day, Dyanne mentioned about me needing to have more candy about the place – course, this time I remembered the candy and forgot the white panel van…)

    Glad you liked the writing though, as well πŸ™‚ I'll keep writing my Real, and thank you so much for the lovely feedback on the sharing πŸ™‚

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  18. The Umbrella Man strikes some kind of early childhood chord with me, but its not a specific memory I can place. I loved your story and the music that accompanied it. I'm also glad to know I'm not the only one that went deeply personal.

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  19. I got chills with the words “First dance.” Love how you did this post, Lizzi. From safe and tucked in by your father's voice, to hiding, to anger, to sunlight again. Love. Especially that Brother Iz was part of things starting to get better. So glad you found the Something More friend. So glad.

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  20. don't know about trigonometry… what a great line to get into a song!

    …surprisingly (or not) the thing I keyed in on was the 'passing along of a sharing'… the songs your father sang to you and you now sing to them… v cool

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  21. Man, you are the first person I know that ever mentioned The Brand New Heavies:) I remember when they first came out. Damn. I'm old…
    Let's talk about that cake…more specifically, all those little objects on the table around the cake. LOL
    As always Lizzi, your post today is open and honest and written so simply. And yet,it is a powerhouse of emotion, challenge, resolution, hope. Thanks for sharing you with us:)

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  22. *adopts Ohioan accent* That's alright darlin' – I've got cake on my van – you want some? It's pretty cake with sweets all over, and hey – look, I've got a puppy too – you wanna come meet him? He's very friendly…just like me…

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  23. Wow, thank you Sandy – I've noticed you here before, and I really appreciate your feedback about my writing – that's very special, and thank you for sharing that with me πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much for your prayers πŸ™‚ Every little helps, I think.

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  24. We shall see! I'm glad for the ending there (which, as y'all know, is rather more the end of Life Pt 1, but I thought I'd stop on a high note)

    The cake was absolutely awesome. We still joke that it wasn't the rings, but “With this cake, I thee wed”

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  25. i just recently started following your blog and I love the way you write. There is such honesty and so much feeling in this post. I actually read it three times. Thanks for sharing it and I am sincerely praying that wonderful things happen for you.

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  26. I still love that cake so and seriously so glad that you have gotten a bit of happiness in the end and will totally keep an eye on this space for that hopeful news that you guys are having your own little bundle of joy (prayers and good thoughts your way over and over!).

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