Thursday, 17 March 2022
Sunday, 6 March 2022
Songs that make you smile
How are you doing? I must admit that, like many I’m sure, I’m finding the ever-increasing sadness, insanity and worries about the world quite difficult to deal with, especially from our position of relative powerlessness. We can only do whatever kind things we can from this distance, whilst finding our personal coping mechanisms and, hopefully, talking things through as needed. I thought I’d also have a look at what the professionals recommend and decided it might be an idea to tackle it from a different angle, as in, how do you talk to your children about this stuff? Not because I have any young offspring to help through it, but simply because I reckon I could do with having a grown-up chat with my own inner child!
I read this article by Philippa Perry, author and psychotherapist, she of the black-and-white hair and missus to lovely artist, ceramicist and national treasure Grayson. I think she speaks a lot of sense here, but there are a couple of things she says which particularly stood out for both my adult and inner child self.
There’s this one:
"The best thing we can all do if we are not in a war zone is to appreciate the relative peace we have..."
"We can remind them that concern is natural and it's good that they feel for people getting bombed and fleeing their homes, but it is our duty to enjoy our freedom as we have it now..."
Thanks, Philippa. I think there can be a tendency to feel guilty about this but of course it helps no-one, so a duty to at least appreciate and enjoy whatever freedom we have sounds balanced and healthy. It's also one of the reasons I had an urge to blog again today (I know, so soon!), because I've been thinking about songs which are so enjoyable that they just make you smile, whatever else is going on in life.
When I say "smile", I mean those genuinely involuntary ones - those big, helpless beams, those goofy grins, maybe with a little spontaneous laughter thrown in too. They probably don't happen that often in response to a song, but maybe there's some mileage in the idea because there are a couple I can think of already at least. And here's the first one - it's 'Hertz' by Amyl & the Sniffers, and it gets me every time.
Amyl & the Sniffers: Hertz
I've a lot of affection for this bunch of Australian punks anyway but there's just something about the way that their enthusiastic singer Amy Taylor makes her demand so forthrightly - "TAKE ME TO THE BEACH, TAKE ME TO THE COUNTRY!" - which tickles me. I think it's that odd combination of quite a romantic notion being expressed in such a forceful, bratty way. There's no subtlety, although it's all about getting away from the city to be somewhere nicer, with fresh air, hand in hand with someone, with the breeze in her hair (as well as a little backseat love action. And fish'n'chips. Sounds pretty good to me). What with that, her unadulterated accent, the song's irresistible catchiness and the OTT guitar break.... anyway, it simply makes me smile like an idiot, usually when I've heard it on the radio while I'm working and I'm just grateful that nobody but the sparrows can see me.
Are there any songs which just make you smile, no matter what? Is there a potential series here, I wonder, open to guest contributions, if you fancy telling us more? You'd be very welcome, always. Our inner children could probably do with some extra smiles.