On my own, no direction home…

One of my very favourite things to do is take the dog out, hook my headphones up to my mobile phone and walk until my legs drop off.

I have a ‘D’ playlist of songs that make me happy. Some highlights (or lowlights, depending on your view):

Sloop John B – The Beach Boys
Can’t Stand Me Now – The Libertines
I Say A Little Prayer For You – Aretha Franklin
Central Reservation – Beth Orton
Have A Little Faith In Me – John Hiatt
Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Piece Of My Heart – Janis Joplin
Atomic – Blondie
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush

Not much hangs them together beyond I especially like to sing them. And I do, very loudly and very enthusiastically with little thought for tuning, while walking along. The best way to keep crazies away from you when you’re out on your own? *Be* the crazy.

I took the dog out last night when I got home from work, and I sang my little socks off as I pounded the streets and parks. Very uplifting. Very good for my soul. Until this shuffled its way on:

And a girl goes from singing her heart out to sobbing. The harmonica solo. The bloody bastard harmonica solo at 2:50. Will I ever be able to listen to a harmonica without thinking of my Dad?

I used to enjoy that solo. It’s very uplifting. It’s why I like the song, actually – I like songs where there’s tension between the melody and the lyrics. The cheery ascending chords and Hammond organ supporting such damning lyrics… Bob Dylan is good at that. (Janis Joplin’s Piece Of My Heart does the same. I REALLY enjoyed singing that one last night…)

I’ve got two versions of Like A Rolling Stone on my playlist. The Rolling Stones’s cover, and Bob Dylan’s original. And they both made me cry last night. The Stones version for the harmonica, the Dylan version because my Dad was such a huge, huge fan.

It’s going to be like this forever, isn’t it? Grief in unexpected places. Tears at the crossroads. It’s going to be a problem. Music is a huge part of my life, and it *was* my Dad’s life. There’s going to be a lot of overlap.

But it’s OK. I have a solution. When I am Prime Minister, I will ban all harmonicas. No-one can play them as well as my Dad did anyway. May as well stop now. Simples.




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