Tuesday 17 July 2018

The best things in life are music and kissing

Music is a big part of my life. It always has been. From the first time I heard Jesus and Mary Chain and knew that there was music for me in the world - not just the insipid pop that my contemporaries enjoyed - I was hooked. It was about so much more than just the music for me - it was the words, the artist and the fashion. I've often mentioned my love of Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde and Kim Gordon - beautiful women and powerful singers. I always wanted to be as amazing as they appeared to me and the fact that they are still going strong is so inspiring. It was also a valuable life lesson to have the self confidence they must have had to make such an impact in an industry that traditionally favoured men.

In the eighties Patsy Kensit was the pretty girl at the front of the band, but she was still iconic. Wendy James, however screeched like a banshee, looked hot as hell and had a punk attitude. The sentiment of this song spoke to me - even though I hadn't even been in love at this point. The idea of being with someone just for what he would spend on you seemed ridiculous to me so I love this. I remember when one of the girls in school told me how much money her boyfriend had in his bank account.  I couldn't understand why it mattered to her. All that I cared about was if a boy was a good kisser. In fact that's always been the thing that takes my breath away - a kiss to make my heart skip a beat.

Of course later on when I'd had my heart broken a few times I also discovered the women with big voices and a no nonsense attitude towards their men. Etta James' voice raised my heart rate and the brazeness of the lyrics here embarrassed me beyond belief. Even at my most confident I don't think I could express myself this honestly. It's just as well she did on my behalf. I loved that there was music out there for women who owned their sexuality and weren't afraid to say what they wanted. Let's be honest if a woman like Etta sings this to you are you going to say no ?

In my first serious relationship - and subsequent marriage - my partner would spend a lot of money on gifts. I found it a bit overwhelming as I didn't feel deserving of such generosity. It also went against my upbringing of saving money and being careful with spending. Don't get me wrong I love gifts and really enjoy spoiling others. More often than not that will be something I know they would appreciate or they mentioned it once and I remembered. However, when it comes to me I would rather spend time with someone I love than have money or gifts. Don't get me wrong I am always grateful for kindness, it's just the cost isn't necessary. The best presents for me involve music - a gig I really want to go to or an evening in good company. It's pretty simple really.

The best thing about music is how it makes me feel. If I'm down I listen to the music that fits my mood. Ok that is wallowing, but it's also allowing me to feel the emotion and often I find a way through the heartache or loss through music. Whenever I was dealing with a break up I'd always turn to certain songs that suddenly had deep meaning for me - how did they know how it felt to be me ? Just as falling out of love is a mainstay of music there are the songs about being in love - that beginning bit where it's all wonderful and you can't wait to see each other. When every touch is like a surge of electricity just thinking about that special someone inspire feelings of love - and lets be honest lust ! It was Prince's stock in trade to create sensuous music and some of the lyrics left very little to the imagination. While it's one of the best known I still think Kiss typifies how wonderful it can be to just lock lips with someone and be lost in the moment.

I'm always going on about the movies I love and music is a major factor is what appeals to me about a film. One of my favourites is a romantic comedy which features a lot of soppy songs and I love them all. The story of two people meeting, having a magical connection and losing touch for years before finally finding each other again tugs at my heart strings. Every time I watch Serendipity I think John Cusack will get out at the right floor and meet Kate Beckinsale and they will save themselves the torturous journey to find each other again. Every time. The music is perfect with the divine voices of Annie Lennox and Nick Drake adding beauty to the simple story. However, it's this song by Shawn Colvin that completes it for me.

If I didn't have music would I be able to express myself - probably. Would it be the same as crafting a mix tape or a CD for someone - shorthand for, "here is what I feel and these words and music express it so much better than I can." Absolutely not. Sharing music with others is like a love letter. It's giving a part of myself to someone else and being vulnerable. Of course the fun and enjoyment I get from it is a bonus.

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