I have been thinking about a song.
This came about because our Fi was belting it out at full volume in her bedroom (singing it I mean, not playing an electronic recording) at the time I wandered upstairs to retire for the night.
I am very nervous of quoting songs on the internet, because poets and singers, musicians and even some novelists, once they reach celebrity status, enter some kind of samsara state of mind where it seems reasonable to them to employ legal firms to comb the internet for copyright infringements for which they can sue people to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
This sufficiently alarms and horrifies me that I have no plans to trip all unawares into that bear-pit.
A few years ago one could expect to quote two lines of a song or poem without seeking permission. Now the rule of thumb is, “Don’t bother.”
Even so I did want to say something about the song Fi was singing. It is called River Deep, Mountain High, and was performed by Tina Turner. I remember listening to it on the school bus, because we always begged the driver to let us listen to Radio One (the pop station) on the journey home, and it was in the charts when I was a teenager.
At that time, the lyrics seemed reasonable – and plausible – to me. Yes, I could remember what it felt like to have a favourite doll (or perhaps my stuffed plush fox would fit the bill) to whom I had given my heart and in whom I saw great charm and worthiness. At that age, making the transition from childhood to adulthood, I could both remember the emotional attachment I felt to my toys and feel vividly the power and intensity of falling in love with boys, and the similarity to which the song drew attention had my ready acquiescence – yes; I love you just the way I loved that stuffed fox but with extra ampage.
Listening to Fi singing this evening, forty years down the road, I found myself wondering, what was Phil Spector (who wrote the lyrics) thinking of? I mean, could you imagine the response of the beloved mentioned in the song?
Conceive if you can, of a young man in the 16-22 age group being informed by some dewy-eyed bird that she had a rag doll she really really really (to the power of 40 and climbing) loved – and she now is ready to reveal that she loved him just like she loved her Raggedy Ann, only more so.
“Er . . . gee . . . thanks . . .”
I mean the relationship is doomed, innit?
(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)
Ah – happy memory! The first year I went to the Big Green Gathering, a huge and glorious Permaculture event in England’s west country (a Google image search on "Big Green Gathering" will give you an idea, though I never did see those ladies clad only in mud), I bought this bag for 50p. It served me well for more than a decade, and was getting a bit decrepit – but came in handy for bagging up items of clothing for the charity shop.