‘Hopes dashed to the floor
Like shattered teenage dreams
Boys living next door
Are never what they seem, oooh
A walk in the park can become a bad dream
People are staring and following me
This is my only escape from it all
Watching a film or a face on the wall’
I loved 80s music. I still do, as it brings back vivid memories of going through my teenage years, discovering myself, my purpose, who I really was. A-Ha, Shakin Stevens, Paul Young, Erasure, Nik Kershaw, Phil Collins, Human League, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Joy Division. The list is endless. I was kindly given two free Bananarama tickets by a friend of mine recently. Those ladies were beautiful. Great movers and shakers. On this particular occasion, I was the daughter. My mother enjoys music. In particular, all things Tom Jones and Rod Stewart. She had no clue who this ‘Banana group’were but was excited about getting an adventurous trip to Belfast…with me. As we journeyed down the motorway we openly talked about our personal tastes in music. I passionately talked about my love for classical music. Mum thought it was boring. I enthusiastically spoke of my fondness for Bruce Springsteen, U2, and Dave Grohl. She quietly listened, and remained committed to her two loves, Tom and Rod. As we talked, we intermittingly listened to the radio. We gave our opinions on the soundtrack and talked more deeply about how music affects us. Mum shared with me her sense of wonder, pride, and joy she got while I was growing up. Gladly accepting her complimentary words, she reminded me of my dedication to music. Practice. Practice. Practice. ‘I could hum those piano pieces off by heart’she said. ‘Some of those tunes would drive me crazy, not to mention the scales and all those other sorts of things you did on that piano.’ With teary eyes she expressed how she misses that sound. That religious sound of hard work, unmelodic madness, chaotic techniques, banging of keys, and proficient performance. She particularly misses the Denise and Dessie duets where she quietly looked and listened as we collaborated together through music. My mum is a pretty fine woman. Glowing with gorgeousness and sincerity, her gentleness is her beauty. She can also be fierce. Attractively and hilariously fierce. Honest. Grounded. Straight talking. That evening, my mum was extremely straight talking. As I joined with the crowd attempting to remember some of the lyrics from the songs I knew so well from my teenage years, my mum was slumped back in her seat displaying her rolling eye balls and tight mouth for all to see.
As I swayed my hips, and chanted with a few strangers next to me, my mum, persistently looked at her watch and closed her eye lids every now and then. She hated it. Properly hated it. The music was too loud. People were standing up. Shouting. Roaring in non-musical language. I had a wonderful time. Mum did too. You see, afterwards she told me how spending time together is precious. Making memories. Sharing experiences. Bonding. Strengthening relationships. She loves all of that, and really believes in it. Always in the moment. Making memories. Forever.