Almost 13 years ago I went through a traumatic event that ended with me in hospital undergoing a pretty grim surgical procedure. My anxious and concerned husband and oblivious toddler collected me when I was discharged. I couldn’t wait to get away from the hospital and back to everything familiar. In the car on the way home a song came on the radio. As it had just been released, I heard it almost constantly for weeks after. It became inextricably linked to the trauma I had just experienced – it’s subject wasn’t a million miles from what I had gone through and it upset me every time I heard it. It took me years to get over this event and every time I heard the song, it broke me again. My husband was very good at anticipating the moments when I would disappear and he would then find me weeping in a quiet corner of the house. Time has been a fantastic healer and I am reconciled to what happened to me; I know I did nothing to cause it and it was not my fault. Because the song is now old and rarely played on the stations I listen to, I haven’t had a weepy meltdown for a very long time – I thought I was over that sort of thing too. It seems not. I heard this song on the radio today and instantly welled up, shedding big fat tears. I hate that this song does this to me, I detest that it reminds me of things I want to forget.
There is another song I can’t hear without crying for very different reasons. Tim Minchin’s song “When I Grow Up” from the musical Matilda gets me every time. I insist, without observation to my demands, that my kids don’t sing this one around me. They do, just to see me blub. When my eldest child came to leave junior school, he and his school mates sang this as part of their leaver’s assembly. There was not a dry eye in the audience. Like the Athlete song, When I Grow Up is now linked in my subconscious to this passage from child to teen – it chokes me up. My youngest child is about to go through this transition from junior to senior school. I’ve been surreptitiously trying to find out what they are planning for their leaver’s assembly so I can stock up on tissues if necessary. She knows my game.
Then there’s the song that makes me shed a wistful tear for my 18-year-old self. I recall watching Jesus Jones in 1990 at Kilburn Ballroom (supported by Neds and Blur btw) and realising that I was very probably in love with the boy I’d gone there with. It turned out I was right. I know I shouldn’t hanker for my late teens, but I can’t help myself sometimes…
So, with a massive apology for the over-sharing confessional, yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? Is there a track that gets you in the guts every time you hear it? Maybe you can’t bear to listen to it, maybe you put yourself through the mill of listening to it because it’s what you need….no need to go into detail if you’d rather not, I realise not everyone will want to share personal stuff.