Monday, December 19, 2011

1977: My desire is always to be here

I know I'm not alone when I say this song drove everyone nuts when it stayed at number one for about nine weeks.

But I now have a huge soft spot for it. I'm a sucker for bagpipes in pop - who doesn't love the Band Of The Black Watch's 1975 Top Ten hit Scotch On The Rocks, after all? - and I find it incredibly moving. The bit where he sings about the sweet sweep through heather and deer in the glen, carrying him back to a place he knew then while the bagpipes skirl quietly in teh background... I'm welling up just thinking about it. And though I didn't regret selling on tickets I had to see McCartney in concert at the O2 last year for one minute, there is a part of me that was kicking myself when I heard he'd done the song accompanied by a full band of pipers.

But like I'll Find My Way Home, it's not actually a Christmas song. It just evokes the emotion of the festive season. So I make no apologies. I wasn't able to listen to it for at least 25 years, but when I stumbled across it again and gave it a listen, a huge wave of nostalgia washed over me. Those bygone Christmases spent with the family, 16 people round the table, now either dead, off with their own families or scattered to the the five continents. How I miss them.

What I don't miss is having to wear my 'best' clothes, having to talk to Auntie Maggie and the slight disappointment you felt later in the day that it was all now about to be over. I still think Christmas ends on Christmas night. After that, I don't want to hear a festive song and I'm keen to dejunk the decos and take down that tree. But I still love Christmas.

It's different now of course. It will never be like it was back then, but it can still be fun. I hope yours will bring you what you want.

Has anyone actually ever heard Girls' School?

1 comment:

  1. This one evokes memories for me of being on a residential weekend when I was first training as a therapist twenty years ago. I was the youngest in the group and stuck out like a sore thumb among all the ladies in their crushed velvet Monsoon dresses and the earnest men in cornish pasty shoes. When one of them started singing this in the pub and everyone else immediately joined in enthusiastically, I prayed to be beamed to another planet.

    It's all about the associations, isn't it?

    Have a jolly End of Year Thing, Jon, and enjoy the memories.

    Ps - Girls School had weird lyrics about a Japanese schoolmistress who appeared to enjoy corrupting her charges. Or that's how I remember it anyway.