That Time Machine Called Music

Sep 14, 2023

Myself an Saff were just listening to the radio. An old song was being played, a song that my Dad listened to on his old radiogram. He used to sit in his chair, smoking his filter less cigarettes, drinking his cup of tea. He was silent and his eyes stared off into the distance. That song transported him to a better time for him. A time when he didn’t have cancer, a time before he was sent to war. A time when his life was more peaceful and less stressful. Even the most troubled lives have golden moments. Towards the end of his days he listened to a song called “One day at a time”.

I remember my old Mum, who looking back wasn’t very old at all, singing along to “Ave Maria” in the kitchen, and travelling back to a time when she had momentary peace. I remember there was a Jewish song we were not allowed to sing or hum in the house, as it reminded my Mum of her Mums funeral. She was only a child when her Mum died, but she remembered that music.

Music played a big part in my elder sister Gwyns life. She loved listening to Tammy Wynette. And when she died at age 21 Tammy Wynette got to number one in the UK hit parade. If I ever hear the songs Lonely Street or Apartment number nine my heart cries.

I cannot listen to the group Queen now. Because the song “Who wants to live forever” breaks my heart. It reminds me of my darling little sister Ceri.

When I was young I listened to “Mama liked the roses” by Elvis Presley, and each time I cried. I thought that’s how it must be to lose your Mum. And they were right, it does feel like the song says.

When I hear the song “Seasons in the sun”, it reminds me of sitting down Lovers lane with my best friend Mikey. Saying we would be best friends forever. Again, we were just kids. But the memory is still so strong. And my go to song as a child was “Skyline Pigeon “ by Elton John. That song helped me when I struggled. We didn’t have access to counselling back then and we weren’t allowed to cry. We just had a record to listen to. Thank goodness we are allowed to say we hurt now. As kids our happy song was “My Boomerang Won’t Come Back” by Charlie Drake. It was the only song the family joined in to. Even our rescue dogs danced to that one. Unfortunately we didn’t play it enough.

Whenever I hear “Silent Night” I can almost feel my old Mum sitting by my side. And I cannot listen to “All Things Bright And Beautiful” without laughing out loud. At primary school we kids were singing it in assembly with such gusto that a large framed picture fell off the old plastered wall. It flew across the room and smashed on poor Kevin Osbourne’s head. He burst into floods of tears. It took me many years to find out why the Teachers were crying with laughter. I now realise it was the irony that the giant picture was called “The Crying Boy” by Giovanni Bragolin. If they had shared the joke we could have all joined in the merriment.

I have hundreds, maybe thousands of songs that transport me back in time. What music or song brings back those memories for you?

Contact Me


Follow Me

Cover for Chris Griffiths Author
Chris Griffiths Author

Chris Griffiths Author

A British Author

Do you know why I prefer dogs to some humans? Because they are consistent. Today myself and Saff were reminded about sympathy and empathy. On our morning walk we bumped into our friend the post lady. We call her Mary, but it isn’t actually her name. I started calling her that ten years ago and it made her smile. So we left it right there. She has been struggling recently because her Mum is very poorly and has dementia. Mary is a wonderful daughter who goes to the hospital straight after work. I stopped and had a chat with her today for about twenty minutes, and I watched as a tear rolled down her cheek. My heart broke for her as Saffy nudged her for a stroke. Saff could also see she was upset. Our moment of sadness was interrupted by a very abrupt man who said she had put the wrong mail through his letterbox, it belonged to next door. She apologised and he tutted. Her head was bowed as she carried on with delivering. I walked in the same direction as the angry man and quietly said that Mary’s Mum was poorly and she was having a tough time. He just shrugged his shoulders as if to say not my problem. My exact words to him were as follows. “My mate Micky was right”. He curiously responded “What”. My answer was “ He always says you cannot educate pork”. There was complete silence as I looked directly through him. What makes people heartless? What teaches us empathy? It reminded me of when I was eight years old. There was a tiny boy in our class and we nicknamed him Budgie. One day the horrible headmaster Mr Newman stormed into our classroom bellowing “ Who has walked dog muck into the school”? Us small children were petrified as we all checked our footwear. He was a believer in the slipper, hand and cane. A horrible man by anybody’s standard. A heartless, soulless bully who terrified us kids. Poor Budgie had dog muck on his tiny monkey boots. Mr Newman dragged him out of the class, punished him, and made him wash his boots under the tap. It wasn’t his fault that all the village people let their dogs go to the toilet outside the school, people didn’t pick up then. I remember tears flowing down my face because Budgie was crying. His Mum had died a couple of years before, and his Dad was left to raise him. Even at that very early age I realised that even the educated adults can be bad. And people who have a limited education can be very good. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Myself and Saff were looking out into the garden. I have been working on the new book, deep in concentration. She is snoring away now but I still chat to her as she sleeps. Since I have been doing that she hasn’t had one of her epileptic seizures. Talking constantly in a gentle tone keeps her calm. Over two years without a fit. But if she does I just lay on the ground beside her, and hold her shaking body into mine. Keeping her calm keeps me calm. It is strange how life works if you sit and think about it. As humans we can send people to the moon. We can build great big metal ships that can float. We can make bombs that will decimate the planet. But we cannot invent cures for certain illnesses. And we cannot control the emotional pain we feel when we lose someone out of our lives. I saw something that amused me earlier. My first reaction was to share it with someone. Momentarily I forgot they were no longer around. For a minute I felt that heartache again. Then I had to put it back in that pain box. It is wonderful to have the nice memories. But the reality is everything has an end. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
It is days like today that my heart is full. I am not the wealthiest man in the world but I feel rich. I am not the fittest man in the world but the air that I breathe is clean. I do not want much but I have plenty. The sun was shining down as we dug and planted. Saff was no more than a few feet from my side. I felt her presence beside me and I received every ounce of her love. She leaned in and pressed into my neck. That moment made me well up. Tomorrow will not be that great. Next week will no doubt have challenges. But today is perfect. Please have a wonderful Sunday. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Myself and Saff are blessed to know some really lovely people. I was invited to a wonderful ladies 40th birthday party today. But I decided that this afternoon and evening I was having a dog only day. I had seen enough people and my quota was full. Hence I didn’t turn up to her celebration. But the kind hearted beauty sent myself and Saffo a doggy bag each, filled with cake, candy, fruit and all kind of delicious items. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
That look on Saffy’s face is disbelief. She watched as her very cheeky daddy got out cheeked by an octogenarian. We went to the garden centre to pick up essentials for the summer garden look. I threw on my blue shorts, very casual sweat top and trainers, and had a devilish vibe going on. As we wandered amongst the blooms and compost two old girls started fussing Saffy. One of the ladies said “Aren’t you beautiful “? I cheekily replied “ Why thank you honey kitten”. She raised her head and said “Did you dress yourself today”? Nearly speechless I said “Actually I look like Russell Crowe “. Her answer before they guffawed very loudly was “More like a scarecrow”. When did old uns become so ruthless lol? This is middle England for you. But I did join in with the laughter. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Share This