Helen Blaby reveals the importance of her tunes…
Someone said to me this week that they couldn’t imagine a world without music. I don’t think I can either. For as long as I can remember music has been a part of my life. One of my earliest memories is climbing the stairs to bed with Mum singing “Hold my hand, I’m a stranger in paradise.”
The Blaby family were big singers. Not a car journey went past without us singing our hearts out, either to ourselves or along to the Radio.
We had one of those big radiograms, you know the sort…entertainment system, drinks cabinet and sideboard in one! Apparently I wouldn’t even consider school until I’d heard at least one side of my Pinky & Perky LP!
When I look back though, it’s Buddy Holly, The Carpenters, Trini Lopez, the Soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar, Bett Kaempfert and James Last that come to mind. All voices and songs which remind me of being a small girl and being lost in someone else’s world.
I loved sitting in the lounge, mostly with Dad, to listen to the music he loved. I’ve still got all his albums, and a lot of his singles too. Mum wasn’t all that interested in music, she preferred listening to the spoken word, but The Carpenters and Billy Joel were our shared loves.
I have so many memories associated with different songs, too. I think we all have. I have a feature on my show called Life Tracks, where people pick 5 songs that remind them of a time in their life, or a specific event.
Whenever I hear the soundtrack to the Neil Diamond film, The Jazz Singer, I am instantly back in Dad’s van driving through Cornwall while he delivered lorry springs. REM’s Everybody Hurts will forever remind me of my first boyfriend, the man who gave me glandular fever just in time for my A levels. Billy Joel’s Piano Man was Mum’s favourite song. I have very fond memories of us sitting and holding hands when she has just started to be poorly and singing along to it.
Dad and I fell out about music quite often, I think it’s the law that your parents have to dislike something you enjoy listening to. For us, it was Simple Minds, he just could not understand what I saw in them no matter how loud I played them!
We did agree about The Lighthouse Family though. I know it’s not cool to love them, but we both did. When we’d all arrived back in Northampton t o live after our brief time in the West Country, he and I resumed our listening sessions. I quoted one of their songs when I was saying my bit at his funeral.
I am frequently moved to tears by music, I am often smiling so much it hurts. I seek solace in it, I find joy in it, I wallow in sorrow along to it. I really cannot imagine a world without music.