I was looking back at the posts so far in this series and realised that one of last week’s songs had already been featured. Oops! But thank you for not pointing it out if you noticed – I think I got away with it though. Neither of this week’s pair has been seen here before – it’s ok, I double checked!
I don’t know about your country, but here in the UK some members of the government have been making tentative suggestions about the possibility of ending the lockdown. And then others say it’s too soon. That could be viewed as different people having different views on a topic, which is perfectly normal. But I wonder if I’m alone in finding it scary when it is being said in the context of saving lives? Yes, I know the economy is tanking – like it is everywhere – and that is important for people’s livelihoods, but ours would have tanked anyway with Brexit, so I’d prefer it if the people allegedly leading the country put lives before profits. And it would be good if they could at least present a united face in public – the problem, I guess, is for them to decide which of their double faces to show. (And if you think that paragraph was stupid, I was just being sarcastic while awaiting the delivery of my Noble Prize).
We are seeing newspaper reports of a growing disaffection and impatience with the lockdown, such as increased traffic levels. But, this being Britain, our pea-brainers can’t arm themselves to the hilt and go out demanding that they can get a haircut. There was, apparently, a protest at the weekend, but the police outnumbered the seven protesters who turned up. The serious side to this is that we are unable to visit friends and family, or have them come to us. I’m feeling that particularly keenly: it was my elder daughter’s birthday just before the lockdown began and we hadn’t been able to see each other in time for her card and gifts to be shared. Then there was Easter, which has left me with some chocolate eggs whose sell-by dates are in early June. If the curfew isn’t lifted by then, I may have to eat them myself. Well, they would only go to waste otherwise….
There is also my granddaughter’s birthday on 6 June. She will be 2, and I really hope to be able to see her, my daughters and son-in-law, but that is beginning to look unlikely. It has, however given me this week’s theme: being apart. Not that either tune is about seeing a 2 year old, but they are both about coping with distance. When all this is over, and queuing online at midnight to get a grocery delivery slot has become a thing of the past, I suspect that for many of us the abiding memory will be the pain of being apart from loved ones. Not that this is anything to do with children and grandchildren, but I’ve always thought that Stephen Stills gave us good advice in this one:
As I live alone that advice isn’t much use to me, though, and I won’t be taking that thought any further: this isn’t that kind of blog!
This week’s second song is also from the 1970s. Music can be a comfort blanket for us, and I guess that going back to the music of my youth – I was 22 when this was released – is a way of coping with the necessity of lockdown. Again, the lyrics aren’t really much about the current situation, but I would imagine that many of us have thought this about someone recently:
As you will no doubt have noticed, that version is from the Live 8 concert in 2005. I am a long-term Floyd fan, so it was particularly emotional for me to see them all on the same stage again for the first time in 24 years, no doubt as the result of Bob Geldof’s unique style of (expletive deleted) persuasion. I remember it to this day: it was a hot July Saturday evening, I was still married and living with my wife and daughters. I was washing up the dinner stuff and watching it on the portable tv in the kitchen. I suddenly became aware of two things: that I had tears running down my face, and that one of the girls was watching me, not knowing why, or what she should do. A quick explanation persuaded her that Dad was really ok, and nothing more was said. But when I think back to that it brings home to me with some force the feelings engendered from being required not to see those that we love. It also emphasises for me the power of music and its importance to me: if you’ve ever wondered why I often post about music, there’s your answer!
This may not have been the most uplifting piece in this series so far, but it is consistent with my ongoing approach of focusing on something which is important for us all at present. At least I didn’t include the Smith’s Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now! Actually, I never would, as I can’t stand them or that song! I said at the outset that these posts were intended to entertain you and maybe make you reflect on our current shared situation, and this one is definitely in that second category (in case you hadn’t noticed). We’re in lockdown here at least until 7 May and, I suspect, for a good deal longer than that, so there are plenty more of these to come. I already have next week’s theme in mind and I promise it is more upbeat! Till then, be safe, follow the rules, and stay well.