Zing – DP

Clang, clang, clang went the trolly

Ring, ring, ring went the bell

Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings……..

Hear this song and I’m a child again watching musicals on the TV with my mum and sister, believing that anything was possible in the world.  I used to dream of being an actress like Judy Garland and making the most spectacular musicals.  I would wear the most glorious costumes and sing and dance to my hearts content.

The truth is I can’t sing a note, have two left feet when it comes to dancing and an apple shape figure, that does not work with the tight waisted dresses of my dreams.  But those musicals I was brought up on gave me dreams, hopes and a belief that things will always turn out okay in the end.

A Judy Garland musical or song can transport me back to that front room of my childhood where happiness lived.  A room, safe and warm where my sister and I knew we were loved more than anything in the world.  Where money was not as important as the type of person you were, how kindness shone brighter than any material object and food made with love cured you of any ills.

I wonder sometimes, having such a loving childhood what my own son will remember of his.  Could I possibly have inspired him a fraction as much as my mother inspired me, I don’t think so but I hope I have given him some of his beautiful qualities.

Our childhoods mould and shape us into the people we are now, not all are easy and ours certainly wasn’t. But we didn’t always see the difficulties, experience the worries of our mother or count the pennies.  Our mother made sure that we knew we were loved, she would walk over hot coals for us and we would always be protected.  We left home safe in the knowledge we could always return and there would always be love waiting.

Our childhood home is gone now, my sister and I cleared it together after mum passed away.  We brought some the memories with us in the possessions we split between us, precious memories including a Judy Garland scrapbook.  Another family lives there now, living different lives in a different era.  There is however laughter and love in those walls which I’m sure that anyone who lives there will benefit from and as I said I can go back there anytime I want by just playing a song.


In responce to The Daily Prompt – Zing


http://youtu.be/Ln3sNwccHxI – this video probably doesn’t work, I will have to learn how to upload!

Melancholy Afternoons



I’m having a melancholy day, it’s raining and cloudy with no sign of the sun and I’ve just put the heating on.  I’m caught up in melodies from the past from todays Daily Prompt.

Music always takes me to my mum, I’ve been talking to her a lot today, thinking about her and playing her songs in my head.  Would you believe I just sung to her ashes, I laughed when I did it because I know she would laugh too.  I’m not sure why I have her ashes but I do, it’s comfortable as it is the only physical thing I have left of her.  Not that I believe she is in any way connected to her ashes, because she’s not.  I have two pots of ashes on my shelf, it’s a back shelf and high up, I don’t have a shrine and it’s not morbid.  Anyway mum’s urn wears a large string of pearls, wrapped around a couple of times, mum never went out without a statement necklace.  Mum was incredibly fashionable, as a child I used to think fashion designers followed her around with sketch pads, as what she wore one year was in fashion the next.  I wear a necklace, handbag or belt of mums most days, as well as fashionable she was a bit of a shopaholic in her time.  Bill, my step-father who followed mum a month later wears a ribbon of tartan to match the tartan trousers he wore every day.  As you can probably guess, my parents were not ordinary in any way.  I think I probably channel their eccentricity as I’m weirder every day

That’s the thing with writing, it takes you places, today because of the melody prompt it took me back to so many memories, music being such a big part of my family and then from there to the feelings memories bring with them, warm, funny, sad and deep.

When I say I’m melancholy I’m not depressed, desolate or gloomy, I’m just with my thoughts and comfortable there.  I don’t want to party and my plan for the evening is comfort with a lovely bath, candles and yes, music.  I think it’s good to get in touch with your feelings sometimes, it slows us down and reminds us what’s real in this fast paced world we live in.


Melodies of Life


We all have melodies that run throughout our lives.  They remind us of who we are, where we’ve been, love, happiness and disappointments.  I’m a collector of melodies, lover of music and lyrical words but I’ve no musical myself ability whatsoever.

Our recognition of music and tone starts before we are born, we listen from the womb.  I was born into a musical, well, music loving family and I was sung to through my mothers stomach.  My Dad, convinced I was a boy sung ‘My Boy Bill’ to me in his deep voice.   I don’t think he was disappointed, well maybe a little but he had a boy eventually in his third marriage, my mum being his first wife.  Dad used to get up and sing Al Jolson songs in pubs as did my grandad, dad now 78 still sings throughout the day.

I was named, as mentioned before here, after a Judy Garland song ‘Liza, Liza, Skies are Grey’ thus the title of my blog.  I have mum’s Judy Garland scrap book, started when she was just a teenager, it’s very precious to me as she was her number one fan.

So many of my memories are connected with music.  My Grandmother, swinging her skirt around her knees at parties after a few whiskies singing ‘Danny Boy’.  My other Grandmother’s love of the Opera and the poster of Placido Domingo she had taped to her lounge door well into her late 80’s and the stories of her as a poverty struck young woman climbing up into the ‘gods’ to watch the opera.

When I asked my step father after my mother died what song reminded him of her he said ‘The First Time Ever I Saw your Face’ Ewan McColl’s version.   When he died a month later we had a bagpiper play his coffin into church, just as he used to play the boats out of harbour as a young man.  Music brings them back every time I play something that connects us and I play these melodies often.

I was an officiant at a funeral recently, it’s a long story how I got to do it so I won’t go into the in’s and outs and bore you, but they wanted someone who was spiritual but also a vegan which is a bit of an ask.  I wasn’t a trained celebrant but I ticked the other boxes so I agreed to give it a go, no in all honesty, I wanted to do this young man proud.   He had died at 28 of a heart attack, very sad but as I learnt about him from his family I heard what a love he had for life and he loved to sing.  Would you believe he sang at his own funeral, well recordings of his voice for two numbers ‘ Poor Unfortunate Souls’ from the Little Mermaid and ‘Hakuna Matata’ from the Lion King.  He was larger than life in personality and he sung these songs with every bit of his heart and soul.  I have to tell you when these numbers played it was like he opened the chapel door and walked in through it.

That’s what music does, it takes you back, brings back and reconnects us to precious memories.


Goodbye David Bowie

I’m in shock, it feels like family, David Bowie died without telling anyone he was ill. I suppose he told his real family but he didn’t tell the world, those of us that think he is connected to us on some profound level and our loss feels personal. David has always been around throughout my life, like an older brother, younger father or cousin, uncle or very special friend. David has been singing songs for me and mine since forever. We sung them too, at the top of our voices to karaoke while drunk and silently in times of great pain, he was with us at those most poignant of times. He shaped our youths, he gave us ideas and introduced us to great works of art and thinkers like Burroughs, he allowed us to believe. He had something to say and that something was very important, will we see the world in the same way again.  David gave us strength and belief that anything was possible, he was weird and wonderful, beautiful and sexy. I love to put on Bowie, knowing every word or thinking I do, strum of the guitar and blow of the sax. David was a musical genius, trendsetter and musical rebel and he will be missed by the world.

When my mother died we played Jean Genie as the first song at her wake, it felt like he wrote it for her, it spoke of her to us. I felt that David knew my mum, knew all of us, I think he actually did meet some of the family. I’m sure my uncle Tony, made some of his guitars back in the day, when Tony was still alive, although I think it was Tony Visconti that picked them up and I’m absolutely sure Bill met him on the club scene. Simon’s claim to fame is the day in the recording studios when Bowie walked past and said to him ‘nice shirt’ and my cousin was born on his birthday so there has to be a family connection.

When people die, I like to have their music, know what they want at their service, I have a note section on my phone called ‘Dead Songs’ where I keep my friends favourites. I do have a ‘David Dead’ section but that’s another David, a friend who doesn’t sing very well. We knew my mum’s and we knew Bill’s it was important for us to get it right. Mum chose the exact recording of Judy Garland singing Closer live at Carnegie Hall and Bill, Stan Keaton’s Intermission Riff, of course they had four more each all perfect on the day. David released his own death songs three days before he passed, his last album Black Star, he was a poet, his music and lyrics move me, especially today. David wrote his own epitaph, he was incredible he will be missed.

There is an outpouring of grief today, social medial and TV and Radio have covered it all day. It seems to me watching and listening to the news today an awful lot of people are crying. David inspired generations, he gave us hope. Some think it strange that we grieve for a man we didn’t even know, but we did know him through his music, we knew that quiet, sure and brilliant artist. There is a party in heaven today, or maybe somewhere on Mars as David has gone home. He is rocking with angels tonight and I think it is probably very colourful, none of your white and serene. He has friends there to greet him and we will see him if we look to the stars and believe.

Goodbye David, you will never really truly leave us.