Five Songs Of Summer
|Castle Beach, with my daughter, 1990|
One: The first sounds of summer are not song, exactly, but I can't ignore them. They are too entwined in this experience of life. My strongest sounds of summer are primordial: waves that wash slow over quartz pebbles and medium grain sand; chirrups of split tail birds; the breeze idling though a full-leafed tree. After this I think of beach chatter: what you hear when your eyes are closed in full sun, when the beach is busy, that blend of every human social vocal. There are human musical sounds that evoke summer things too, though, stuff you could put on a mix tape. There are:
Two: Kelly Marie. I Feel Love. Because disco works best in the heat, because this is the song I associate with going on the Waltzers at the travelling fair. Sequins, candyfloss, coloured light bulbs spinning. Walking in a wonky line with innocently sticky knees; everything smells of sugar, onions, cigarettes, fruity lip gloss.
Three: Janice Joplin. Summertime. An obvious title, but I love it. The ease of a fine summer and the emotive gravel of voice. There's never been a time when it didn't work for me.
Four: Nina Simone. Feeling Good. August 2007. My friend Ian sang this while I was walking down the aisle of a former slate mine. Mr was waiting at the end of that aisle. (And when his nearly bride stepped up on the staging to stand by his side she whispered 'Don't look at me' because she didn't want to cry. So they giggled instead.)
Five: Kate Bush. The Red Shoes. I think this album was an autumn release, but the eponymous song was one I danced to frequently, in my kitchen of course, with a coffee pot close at hand, the year I was finishing my clever degree. Dancing plus coffee equals Ideas. And did I leave college to get myself a securely salaried job? Nope. The red shoes do not quit.
|Castle Beach, date unknown.|
I grew up here :-)