I remember my first transistor radio, a Christmas present, the most wonderful thing in the world it seemed. I remember going to the newsagent to buy a tiny little booklet with the lyrics to the top of the chart songs... Helen Reddy singing “Angie Baby”. I dont think I had a clue what the song was about but I performed it dramatically and passionately for my schoolfriends at the back of the wash sheds. We took it in turns to showcase our talents atop an abandoned little desk in amongst the oleander bushes.
I remember our few LP records : James Last , Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick and Paul Robeson.The only time I ever saw my dad cry was listening to a Paul Robeson song called Trees. I remember him getting me to sit down and listen to this beautiful song , ” I think that I shall never see , a thing as lovely as a tree... ”
That mans’ voice was like a deep deep cave. Dad listened staring out the window... and then I saw the tears.
I remember the week Kate Bush hit No 1 on the Australian pop charts with “Wuthering Heights”.
Sunday nights on Countdown (then Australia’s pop music TV show institution) they would play the entire film clip for the No 1 song of the week. If a song you loved stayed No 1 week after week, you were in heaven !
Kate took my breath away. I knew this was different... no-one had sung stuff like this. She was theatrical, dramatic, beautiful and she was dancing! I knew Wuthering Heights. I’d read it as an 12 year old. I knew who Cathy was. I knew why she was out wandering the moors in the icy wind. I knew who Heathcliff was. I was stunned... and then her voice... and her red dress! ( * nb : dear God please dont go back and watch it on youtube as I mistakenly did recently, no no no! Some things are meant to be left in the vaults of our memory where they remain eternally mystical and magnificent.)
All I ever wanted was to sing... and dance... sing and dance in lovely clothes.
Life unfolded in ways I had not planned or imagined. I wandered for a long time... travelled far from home... saw strange and wondrous sights. I heard the muse calling from so far away, that I thought I would never make it alive to where she beckoned. Many years came and went. My hair changed colour. Things fell apart and crumbled to the ground.
I dragged around a ukulele and guitar for many years, never touching their patient strings... watching them gather dust... wondering why I still held onto a faded tattered dream of one day becoming a musician.
Here’s the thing I have come to understand ; There's a little seed in our heart that cannot be destroyed. Abandoned yes, forgotten yes, trampled, battered and trod on, yes, stolen and crushed yes… but destroyed no.
I believe it cannot be destroyed because it is a soulful matter... beyond the mundane.
LIfe has its own rhythm and reason which remains a mystery to me (and maybe you too?)
I have come to believe there is a greater picture... one that human eyes cannot see or understand.
It seems that for some of us the very thing we love and long for remains hidden from view... out of reach... impossible.
I waited an awfully long time and then one day I started putting my words to music. I sang in front of a friend or two. I can’t say exactly why it took so long but I do know it’s all I want to do for the rest of my life.
I’d love to come and sing for you sometime soon... swoon you and lullaby you, make you giggle and even cry a little if you think that would help. So please drop me a line. I’d love to chat. My bags are packed
Love Renee x
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