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Friday, 12 September 2014

A Song for a Moment

I frequently say, both aloud and in my head, that there's a song for every moment. As a rule, I've found it honest enough. There is generally a song that, if it doesn't encompass the moment, at least makes the moment bearable. That's why me and my iPod are pretty much inseparable - it can get me through the stickiest spots. There are a few songs I can usually rely on to make me smile with their energy; for instance, 'A Parade in Town' or 'High Hopes' or 'Our Time'. These galvanise me, dupe me into thinking I'm okay when I'm not. Sometimes they even manage to alter my mood properly.

But this time the old remedies aren't working. Me and my iPod aren't getting on. Oh, I'm still listening to it when I'm out because otherwise I'd have to deal with people and I listen to it at home to try and fool myself (Marni Nixon is currently singing 'I Whistle a Happy Tune' at me, for reference). But, for maybe the first time, music isn't really helping. Not music I know anyway. There are connotations there, links that would once have made me smile and now bring me perilously close to tears. Most of my Judy songs are off-limits. You can forget all about Liza and Ella Fitzgerald is breaking my heart daily. Everything I used to find comfort in is now increasing my pain.

So I've taken to YouTube a lot. My reasoning is that I'll listen to songs I don't know that well, then they can't have any resonance. For the most part, this has been working; however, when a song hits me, it really hits me. The other night though, while I was scrabbling around for another artist to search for, I landed on Anthony Newley. Of course, I wasn't about to click on 'What Kind of Fool Am I?' but there was one that drew me in, knowing it vaguely and wanting to be reminded. 'Who Can I Turn To?' is from The Roar of the Greasepaint - the Smell of the Crowd, a show I'm fairly unfamiliar with. I'm no longer unfamiliar with the song.

It's no exaggeration to say that I've listened to it thirty times now and sung it myself over and over and over again. It certainly sums up how I feel but I'm not sure it's doing me any good. It's crystallised my problem again, perhaps drawn me back into it (though that suggests I got away from it in the first place, something I don't believe).

There's one thing for sure - I can't stop listening to it.

'Who can I turn to
When nobody needs me?
My heart wants to know,
And so I must go
Where destiny leads me.

With no star to guide me,
And no one beside me,
I'll go on my way
And after the day
The darkness will hide me.

Maybe tomorrow
I'll find what I'm after,
I'll throw off my sorrow,
Beg, steal or borrow
My share of laughter.

With you I could learn to,
With you on a new day.
But who can I turn to
If you turn away?'

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