Writing 101, Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice


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Write about the three most important songs in your life. 

I suppose one would have to look at the word important first, I have two songs that send me spinning back through the mists of time to a happy place. For twelve months, at the age of about eleven, my two brothers and I attended a little one roomed country school, set on a somewhat baron block of land shaded by a sun-baked gnarled old gum tree, a tennis court marked out on a section of ground with a paddock next door for a play/sports area, populated by a pupil roll call of eleven and a teacher who at the time was the instigator of an almost debilitating prepubescent crush I suffered through. Although it was this wonderful man that first introduced me to Banjo Patterson and the Man from Snowy River, entrenching a love of bush poetry that to this day I try without much success to emulate. It was the up and coming school concert that required us all to learn the words to a song called She wears red feathers, this fun song was the first song I ever remember learning, so I sang it loud and with all the gusto that had it been singing ability I would not have been asked by the teacher to promise not to sing, only mouth the words on the big night, apparently my voice was drowning out the other kids and putting them off. Song number two he taught, that had, and I might add still does have the same emotionally uplifting effect on me was, Pedro the fisherman, I often wonder if my experiences with this little country school and the two songs I loved so much, induced me to many years later on meeting a young man called Peter, one of many Peters I happened to know at the time, to nickname him Pedro. After our fifty years of marriage, he still answers to it, not only to me but also to our two adult children, the grand children when they are feeling cheeky, and friends. Song number three definitely comes from my being a teenager in the mid-fifties to the early sixties, Bill Haley’s Six o’clock rock, that song represents my carefree days of boyfriends not that many, dances, and happy times. Immediately on hearing it played I am transported back to our wedding celebrations where I requested, much to his horror that the Band leader perform it, his refusal with the explanation, that a wedding is not an event in which to play  rock music, it was only the threat of no Six o’clock rock, no gig payment that insured we were able to dance to it that special day. Now reading through this lesson I understand what makes these three unsophisticated somewhat silly songs mean so much, they take this old lady back to the magic, responsibility free happy times and places, understandably not getting to hear the first two now, albeit every now and then, when listening to the radio six o’clock rock rocks my soul yet again.

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