Monday, 29 June 2009

Songs from the subconscious – play Dusty for me

I've been getting back into driving (cars) again recently. It's been a bit of a long and winding road over the past, what, ten years or more and it's hard work (very hard work!) but it's getting easier. Of course there is virtually no traffic in this part of the world but that's not really the issue - I'll deal with the rest of the world when I get there.

One odd thing about this whole business is that when I'm driving on my own I find the strangest songs just arriving in my head from what feels like nowhere (I don't have music playing in the car yet...I still have to keep distractions to a minimum). The other week it was the Carpenters 'Sing' that floated to the top of my mind (remember?) and yesterday it was this:





Not a song I've ever particularly listened to on purpose or anything (and I note it was in the charts in 1966 - the year before I was born). At first yesterday I couldn't even remember who it was by though I knew all the words (Dusty seems to be the main contender though there's an Elvis Presley version here too). It amazes me when these old songs just turn up, word perfect...like strange comforting blankets or flasks of reassuring tea. I've never owned a Dusty album and I don't think anyone in my immediate family has either so I must have just heard this song on the radio when I was young and yet look how well it's stuck. More about the song, I may have said once or twice, more about the clever old songs...


p.s. Poem of mine up on qarrtsiluni today (it has audio too, if you want it). I thank you.

x

43 comments:

Titus said...

Hey congratulations on poem. Really liked it too.

Just going over Dusty songs in my head and realised I can do "Son of a Preacher Man" and "The Look of Love" word-perfect too. I've never owned a Dusty album either. This is weird.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, there's more Dusty in us than we ever knew...

As for the poem...it's quite an old one. I sent off a few and that's the last one I thought anyone would pick! It's also strangely connected to the driving/songs topic too (bit convoluted but it is).

x

Rachel Fox said...

Although, re Dusty, I was just looking the song up (thought I'd done this the other day but hadn't obviously) and those giants of '70s pop Guys'n'Dolls did a version of it in 1976. It's quite likely I know the words to 'You don't have to say you love me' from that release as much as anything. Much less cool too.

Rachel Fox said...

Good job none of us are bothered about being cool.
x

Titus said...

I absolutely cannot remember Guys and Dolls doing it.
Wasn't one of them related to Bruce Forsyth? And one of them had three nipples, I remember that.
But "You don't have to say you love me"? No way!

hope said...

What's odd is I read her name and THAT's the song which popped into my head before you even mentioned it. Perhaps they brainwashed us as children. :)

Off to read your poem. Had a lovely woman come in my office today with what sounded suspiciously like a Scottish accent...turned out it was. I was telling her about all my famous Scottish poet friends and showed her my Montrose keychain [which I use as a token of goodness holding my keys to the building filled with unruly children in the Summer Program]. She had the sweetest smile on her face as she sighed, "Ah, thistle!" I thought of how your kindness made two of us grin.

Rachel Fox said...

Oh yes, Titus! I knew there was another version I knew and just couldn't find it in my head. I remember they wore all black and white co-ordinated outfits (classy!). If you go to the link in the other comment it gives all the details of the Forsyth connection and so on.

Glad you're making more Scottish connections, Hope. I think when you finally come here you will be so overcome you may just faint right away!

x

Ken Armstrong said...

The car is funny like that. It's a little insulated box where songs revisit us.

We have to honour them by singing them though, or else they go away.

Rachel Fox said...

Insulated box is it exactly...and I have been out of that box for a long time (I've been in cars with others driving obviously but that's something quite different). It's kind of nice getting back into it in a small way. And the musical revelations are fun.
x

Rachel Fox said...

The song I've featured has its own wiki page here by the way. It was an Italian song originally according to that source.
x

Titus said...

I sit corrected. I'd also completely forgotten that Guys and Dolls spawned Dollar.

Rachel Fox said...

Spawned seems a very accurate word...especially if you've seen that bloke from Dollar recently. Burqas for men, I say! Now...is that some kind of blasphemy? And if it is how are non-religious people meant to keep track of it all...don't we get special allowances or something?

Anyway, I co-ran a Buzzcocks style pop quiz for nearly 3 years so I really should have remembered Guys'n'Dolls (didn't though until I looked the song up). Shocking lack of pop trivia. I will be excommunicated...or something.

x

Rachel Fox said...

See - I didn't find this on youtube the other day...but here is the G n D version. It's terrible! But I was 9 when it was in the charts...glad I posted the Dusty instead...
x

Titus said...

Words are close to failing me.
All our yesterdays! I used to have a satin jump-suit and wore it to skating at Queensway every Saturday. Nearly kissed a boy there once.
I think it was the vaguely wolverine-looking one that had 3 nipples.
And Therese Bazaar (sic) was a brunette! With flicks!

Rachel Fox said...

ice or roller?
x

Titus said...

Ice. It was the cool place to be and those half-boy/half-men hung out there. We were probably 12 or 13. With flicks.
It was actually called Queens Ice Rink, though it was in Queensway in Bayswater.

Rachel Fox said...

So you were cool too (in every sense). Maybe we are even the kool gang...or the gang formerly known as kool perhaps.

x

deemikay said...

Oddly enough, I was listening to Dusty in Memphis just yesterday... fantastic album!

And me a friend once annoyed a hostel in Sydney for days by playing it over and over again - she sang, I played my 5 string guitar. :)

deemikay said...

Oh, and I can't watch the vids at work... gah.

Rachel Fox said...

Quite a coincidence...spooky...dusty...
x

deemikay said...

Spooky indeed...

(And I seemed to forget whole words in my response, which should have read: "And me AND a friend once annoyed a hostel in Sydney for days by playing SON OF A PREACHER MAN over and over again - she sang, I played my 5 string guitar." Silly me.)

Not that I'm one to use the word "sexy", but Breakfast in Bed is the sexiest song ever.

Titus said...

Uh-uh. "Tea for one", Zeppelin.

deemikay said...

I'll change my mind and go: Uh-uh. Down by the Water, PJ Harvey.

:)

Rachel Fox said...

Sexy songs? Sounds like another whole post. As it were.

I'm not sure I can think of a song that I think is sexy anyway (and when is it really the song and not the performers who are at least partly turning up the heat?). If you're with the right person and in the right frame of mind anything can be sexy anyway, can't it? Sometimes the strangest musical candidates too.
x

Titus said...

I won't.

deemikay said...

Oh, I disagree... music can be sexy in itself. With Down by the Water it's the fuzzed-up bassline... it'd be sexy as an instrumental. It's the whole physical-reaction-to-music thing. Masses of drums are intrinsically sexual, because you feel them.

There is a whole post in here.... I think I'll write it tonight. :)

Rachel Fox said...

Slow down D...you and your quick (premature?) comments! I didn't say music couldn't be sexy...I said I (personally) couldn't think of a song (not music...slight difference) right now that was sexy (to me...not to others). I think, for me, it is particular combinations and situations that are sexy.
x

Rachel Fox said...

Notice how I avoided the obvious cheesey comment about women being more subtle.

Same way I've avoided mentioning anything to do with poor old Michael 'I died years ago anyway' Jackson.

x

hope said...

Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On"

His voice alone is sexy. :)

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, his voice could make anything sexy really couldn't it, Hope? That song is not one of my favourites of his (though I do like it) perhaps because it is so obviously sexy. It's like it makes me feel like I'm being had too easily...if you know what I mean. But that voice...that's what they should have on the speaking clock. I said clock!

Which is partly my point...how much is it the singer's voice (and the arrangement) that makes a song seem sexy? And how much is it their whole image/persona/person? The video for that PJ Harvey song is every sexy image you've ever seen of a woman (big red lips and so on...). So how much is it the song that is sexy on its own?

I just wonder.

x

Rachel Fox said...

The PJH vid is here. I've never really got into her music though I keep reading that it's good. Maybe someone can give me one of her albums for xmas.

Never too early to drop hints.
x

Titus said...

Oh Rachel, this is not going to stop.
Big Dog McKay just in from court and his immediate response "Little Red Corvette" by Prince and, bizarrely, "Strong Persuader" by Robert Cray (until I explained to him what it was about).

Rachel Fox said...

Prince...I can never decide whether I like his music or not. I like bits...always liked 'Alphabet Street' (big crowd-pleaser in DJ days) and when I was younger I used to find 'Wish I was your girlfriend' quite intriguing... in an I suppose sexual kind of a way. Can't look at him when he's dancing though...makes my skin crawl a little.
x

Rachel Fox said...

Don't really know any Robert Cray.
x

Titus said...

I expect it's the car aspect that does it for Mr. This is getting very songs from the subconscious now.
Robert Cray not only a superb guitarist but a melting voice. Kind of blues fusion stuff. Very good.

Rachel Fox said...

I do recognise the name - just never heard any really.

As for cars and sex...yes, well...

x

Deborah Godin said...

The 60s is my era, so I remember a ton of lyrics without even trying, but I do find that it happens with other, later, songs that, where, like you, there seems to be no solid explanation for the recall. One of life's cool little mysteries I guess...

Sorlil said...

A wee sneaky ps at the bottom there, lol! Congratulations!

Rachel Fox said...

It would be interesting to know, Deborah, just how many song lyrics we have stored in our heads!

And the poem, Sorlil...I send very little out as submissions these days so it was good to score there. I find a lot of the poetry submissions industry slow and annoying and bossy...but this was a pleasant experience (and very quick) and I like that they put up sound files too. Plus it looks good and is very varied. All good.

x

Jim Murdoch said...

I will never ceased to be amazed by what the brain decides to throw at us when we're least expecting it. Like last night, this song from my childhood sprang into my head while watching CSI: Miami of all things. Go figure, eh?

As for driving, apart from a couple of times I've hired a van to move stuff, I've not driven in about fifteen years and I really don't miss it.

Rachel Fox said...

Never heard that song before!

As for driving...I could live without it but we live (stay?) quite out of the way and often I am dependent on others for driving in a way that can be a bit limiting. Plus our Girl is getting older and wanting to go further afield more often. We do a lot on foot and by bus but there are times when we really need to be in a car - whether we like it or not - and I don't want to always have to wait for someone else to take us. It is also about facing fear too of course. Banishing fear, even.
x

Liz said...

Another wee p.s. to say well done on the poem in Quart. Like it and Q.
: )

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I've had some lovely responses to it Liz which is great as it is an old, forgotten poem about a miserable set of experiences (on the whole). We turn our muck to brass, that's what we do. Sometimes.
x