Memory Implants

I was talking yesterday about my rediscovery of the songs that were popular during my childhood in the 1980s. But as I sat there playing these songs, reminiscing about Joe Jackson, Blondie, the Go-Betweens, Bucks Fizz and others, a thought occurred to me. I’d like to share it, if I may… (You’ll notice that I didn’t include links to the aforementioned artists – and with good reason. You know when you’re chatting with someone, and you mention something or someone that makes them light up and causes the conversation to veer off-topic? That’s what links are like! An online opportunity to be distracted. Then again, you could say the same about off-topic paragraphs in the middle of a blog posting. As I was saying…) Pop music is known as mercurial and disposable – a can of Fanta, where Mozart is a bottle of Dom Perrignon and Stravinsky is bottle of high-quality vodka. But I notice now that, in many cases, pop music is the opposite of disposable. You see, I never really enjoyed Blondie, Joe Jackson etc nearly as much during their heyday as I did years later! (I always enjoyed Bucks Fizz, though. Please don’t tell anyone.) The catchy strains of Jackson’s Steppin’ Out take me back to 1983, the good old days of my youth – except for one thing: I didn’t especially enjoy that year. So does that tune bring back one of my few good memories from that time? Not exactly. I didn’t much like that song until I heard it again, 20 years later. Now I think it’s wonderful! Like a fine wine (and certainly not like a can of Fanta), it has improved with age… … or has it? Maybe I’m trying to relive a section of my past that I didn’t really live in the first place. The more you look back at the “good old days”, the more you realise that the best thing about them is the memories – and they have only a passing resemblance to the actual events. OK, now I’ve made my point, here is a link: the music and lyrics to my favourite spiritual song. Of course, I expect to have a completely different favourite song next week.