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Right dudes, that’s enough. Paul Andruss, in the short time I have known him,  has proved to be a wonderful author and a very kind and supportive friend. I love his blogs. They are fun and informative and I’m enjoying his choices


Paul is also writer in residence over at Sally Cronin’s blog

Writer in Residence- Paul Andruss https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

The posts are always a treat.

So? Without further ado, here’s my five and why out of all the music I’ve listened to and loved– and music has always been a huge thing in my life– I have chosen these pieces. The first I’ve got here twice because the first vid is only the tap dance–I can’t find the whole thing. But the tap dance? Well, let’s just say they don’t do them like this any more. AS to why I have really chosen this…read on.

Why did I choose this piece? It’s not of my era at all. Because the music I grew up with was these oldies. We lived in a tough sink scheme and we had an old gramophone

No, it wasn’t. Shut yir gub. It kinda looked like this.

And piles of old 78s, which the wee boy next door and me, used to drop paper and plastic astronaut figures from the Rice Krispies box on and watch them spin to see what would happen.  ( Usually a whack.  )  Yeah of course vinyl was invented but these oldies were the background to my life. People had very little. My dad, who was high up in bomb disposal, had come out the army.  He’d come back with my mum and sister from what was probably quite a glitzy life in Hongkong, to nothing.  No job. No house. This music reminds me of my mum and dad who originally belonged to THIS 30’s glamorous era, at least on the surface when in fact they were from far, far, worse tough and harder, than what I grew up in. It was an era where cinema was  a great escape and my hometown had a ton at that time.

Not long before my mum died, I had complimentary tickets to a special showing of Top Hat and I took her. I’m glad I did because she was enthralled. Before I get too sloppy..

‘I’m sorry I ate your fish,’ she said to him one night in the middle of a heated row after he’d weaved home from the local with a fish supper.

“So am I. I hope it chokes you,”  said he.

It’s that dynamic I try to get at in my books.


Let us NOT underestimate this NOT written by The Beatles song when it was sung by them. Forget everything they went on to do. Imagine that we have NEVER known of them and what they gave the world. Okay? On that same ‘Radiogram’ Elvis was banned. We were not allowed to listen to ‘certain’ kinds of music. The staple diet was, ‘Bali Hi’ ( WE LISTEN EVERY NIGHT, EVERY DAY) ‘Shall We Dance,’ –nothing wrong with that as I once helped demonstrate to a hall full of kids to the horror of my own when I re-enacted that scene for a giggle. AND to quote the words in that musical, our staple diet was etc etc., and crooners.

SO my big sis goes away for the summer to work and she comes back, having met her future hubby, an art student. (Get this, the now world famous photographer, then just another art student, Albert Watson,  was the best man at that wedding. ) And she whispers , ‘Come here.. .listen to this… You HAVE to listen to this. THIS is what is out there.’   And she puts on this sound that I have never heard –a very quickly snatched and scratched sound when our mum came in. I have to tell you, laugh all you like, but it was like a window on another world.

Talking windows, I include the above.  It’s music that means something after all. I preferred T. Rex in their folksie days but then you could not dance with your pals when your folks were out, the music blaring, the lights down, the neighbours complaining to the police,  to that. Hot Love and Jeepster now? A few years back at a Hogmanay Dance I bumped into a  friend I have known since I was 6, (CLEARLY FROM THAT ERA) but don’t see often and the DJ was asking for requests. So I gave him those for a laugh. And know what??? Yep. My pal rushed over and we got on the floor. I like to think folks stepped back cos we could still do all the steps to both, from those days. Hell. Once danced, never forgotten.  We did it for a challenge.

It was like how  you will always be certain things inside, no matter what. Not always easy in life but vital as breathing. Forget that and you forget everything. I still love to blare out Jeepster when I am cooking and do all the steps, with the carving knife and all……. Doot, doot, doot, chopping the veggies. ( Neighbours can complain all they like. Big mistake.)

Give this next choice a moment…

Ok. So sometimes life takes a hard twist. Hell, show me the straight path and I will laugh. That is why I won’t bore you with the details. I have two versions here because it depends if you like  noisy-ish or quiet.-Let’s just say I found something in the words and the tune.

So now we move on.  Talking dark twists, Nick Cave’s life has had a few. A few years ago my younger girl came to me one night and she said, ‘I have something to tell you and I don’t know what to do.’ And I couldn’t be happier or more blessed about what she did do, despite being in the middle of a law diploma, despite having no money, despite her partner just having set up for himself and having no work.  I have a lovely wee grandbaby who leaves me breathless every single time I see him. (And not cos he is a powerhouse.) He stills everything in me.  AND, the funniest thing? He first heard this favourite of mine on my last birthday, where he came in shouting ‘Partay!’ and jammed the Cd player up full volume (can’t think who he takes that off at age two and a half )  and he went, ‘Nina, we dance,’ and every time he hears it, he goes, ‘Nina, dance wi me,’ and he stands there and takes my hands. He has had my heart since I first saw him at half past three in the morning of the difficult night he was born. He always will.

Nominations? Please. All of you try boiling your life to five songs, cos in a way that is what you are doing, have a go  and post your choices. it is harder than you think. Even the dudes have shut it for once.