Wednesday 12 March 2008
Road Songs (Sonata)
Thursday 6th March. 8.30am. A street in London. I am driving the children to school. My wife's gone to Italy with Creative Partnerships and it's up to me to do the school run whilst she is away. I roll down the car window to let in some air, just a couple of inches, mind, and then it hits me. Spring's here. Well, almost.
It's a bright morning and the British birds' Commonwealth anthem is at full blast. Their singing accompanies the fluttering of wings. They look so busy, building or re-building their nests up in eaves.
The morning wind caresses my face. It is not a warm breeze yet, oh, no, but it is not a freezing one either. It is a chilly air, pleasant enough for me to withstand its strokes with a smile on my face. Outside, kids rush to school, cars zoom past, buses cut in in front of me. But inside, I am radiating the type of energy which, if discovered, could see me persecuted by countless thugs trying to patent it and sell it.
Streets curve seductively out of sight, houses stand tall and proud with binding ivy weaving its way around the building and people go to work carrying their sandwiches and newspapers, some of them with ciggies in hand.
On days like these, I remain silent and let the music in the car do the talking.
What if Dylan was booed during this performance at the Newport Festival? Try listening to this song with the wind sneaking into the car early in the morning and giving you that pleasant, mirthful feeling that everything is going to turn out all right, because you know what? I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more. Everytime this track comes on, my fingers work out a drumbeat on the steering wheel and the whole car merrily swings side to side. Poetic.
I have referred previously on this blog to my need sometimes to have a song telling a story playing in the car. And this track, composed by the Argentinian pop singer Juan Carlos Baglietto about God and the Devil working together in a workshop, fits me like a glove. A real jewel. Magnífico.
Many times I catch myself humming a song with political or social undertones in the car. Not surprisingly, more often than not it is a track by Maestro Stevie. This belongs to an era when musicians were allowed to roam free unencumbered by commercial pressures or record sales. Nostalgic.
In this song, as soon as the guitar kicks in, the car window goes down and my hands relax their grip on the steering wheel. No need for introduction here. Majestic.
Do not be fooled by the title of this track. There's no ire in this song, it's just about how we should all take it easy in life and days like these inspire me to follow Cerys' edict. Husky.