I love listening to my CD collection while working, but some gloomy ballad always comes along and grips me by the throat for days. Lately I was set upon by Sweet Marie (Hothouse Flowers).
Oh, I hope you find your good fortune
I hope you find peace in everything you do
I hope the colours of the rainbow, they colour your clothing
And I hope you’ll find love, true love, I do…
As an antidote, I’ll recount this conversation I had with Mum the other day. We were sitting in our favourite coffee bar writing everything down in a notepad. I don’t hear well, so there would be a lot of repetition and rising frustration without it. The advantage of writing everything down is that I can recall our conversations word for word!
I began with, “Most cheerful song you know?”
“Different songs stick in my head for a while. Right now it’s Malaika — not cheerful.”
“More cheerful than some. It’d be our summer holiday stick-your-head-out-of-the-car-window song.”
But now I was frowning. “For some reason I was confusing it just now with Sugar Sugar.”
“Cheerful,” nodded Mum.
“One I thought of yesterday is Mouldy Old Dough. It would scorn to be thought of as sad!”
“Oh yes! absolutely. What was that one about Bangor?”
“Didn’t we have a luvverly time?”
“Oh yes, that was it.”
“I haven’t heard it for a while… it’s not one anyone still plays.”
“Mr Tambourine Man.”
“Can’t quite remember lyrics. Isn’t it a bit sad?”
“No, I never thought of it as sad.”
“Melanie sang it — always sounded sad.”
“Who is Melanie?”
“‘I rode my bicycle past your window last night‘ and ‘What have they done to my song, ma…'”
“Beryl always liked the one from Thingy and the Sundance Kid.”
“Last night I dreamed I had a hammock chair at the end of my house. I’d sit in it with a book and two cats, and crank it up, and it’d go up as high as the second storey. Then one cat started wriggling and I had to crank it down again, and said to him, ‘What did I tell you about not making me have to grab for the controls?'”
All right, that last bit had nothing to do with songs, happy or otherwise, but that’s what was under the conversation.
Not all those songs we mentioned are full of joy, but I thought of a few others to add here:
Saturday Night — Whigfield
Always loved this!
Living It Up — Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra
Sumptuously fresh and breezy.
12 Bar — UB40
Old favourite — used to study along to this.
Kingston Town — UB40
My favourite UB40 song.
Sunshine — Gabrielle
A happy song that sounds sad. It comes up a lot when I play music, so has a comforting familiarity!
Cheerleader — OMI
620,833,553 views on YouTube! And they weren’t all by me, fancy that.
Mum is often unwell — she’s fine just now, but before our visit to the coffee bar she was under the weather. Seemed amused, though, when I came in from the garden and said, “There’a a red admiral out there, but it’s fluttering around so much I can’t tell if it’s one or many.”
Butterfly (Danyel Gerard)
Butterfly, my butterfly, now I know you must be free
Butterfly, don’t flutter by, stay a little while with me