The Music Man

My dad's birthday week is almost up...this side of him was always memorable for me - The Music Man
As far back as I can remember music always played in our house. My dad always loved a good sound system and a pair of giant Bose speakers, which are as old as me and still in mint condition, spilled out everything from Abba to Pink Floyd to Boney M to the Beatles to Elvis and Sinatra. I've always loved to dance and while the music used to play I'd dance around the drawing room and I still remember doing frantic cart wheels, the pattern of the carpet blurring around me as I did a combination of Footloose to Flashdance moves )
He loved musicals and we grew up watching all of them, some of the more adult themed movies were when we were called in only to watch the songs and then told to do a quick march out. So we'd rush in during 'Cabaret' to sing to "Life is a cabaret old chum" and frantically twirl our waists in time to "Money Makes the world go round" and the word "money" even years later would make my dad break into "...makes the vurld go round, the vurld go round". He'd record various series of Top of the Pops and Shanu and I would watch them for hours, wearing out the tapes, but we knew all the songs and words by heart. There are so many songs I associate with him. Before we had a party at home, he'd always switch on his Gypsy Kings CD and the robust "Djobi Djoba" would fill the house as we finished prepping the place just before the first guests arrived. When "We don't need no education" played he would do a silly shuffly dance in a rectangle, with a solemn expression on his face. "Grease is the word" evokes memories of walking down to the video library in Staff College with him to borrow the movie. Elton John's "I'm still standing" or Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come on Eileen" reminds me of all the taped videos we would watch, "Just an Illusion" by Imagination reminds me of Iraq. My dad used to video our birthday parties when we were kids and I still remember that song playing in the background while I waddled in my dress and boots and party hat, eating cake. Black Velvet and Like a Prayer were songs played so often in the car - a free tape won after Shaheen and I collected loads of Pepsi bottle caps and my dad took us to collect it and put it on immediately for us in the car. He enjoyed dancing and he claimed I got my great dancing genes from him, which I don't agree with - his love for dancing yes, the moves maybe not  his signature hop and clap evoking much laughter from Shanu and me. He was taking tango classes for a while so he listened to a lot of music he heard in class, and more recently told Shanu that Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines" was a great song!
I've lived away from my parents for almost 20 years now so not being around my dad all the time is something I am used to. And it's not in my everyday routine that I miss him, but in little things - while watching a movie we watched together, or eating a dish he liked (or didn't), but most distinctly when I hear certain songs. It may sound strange, but I miss him most in the music...

This one's for you papa..xx
The Gypsy Kings "Djobi Djoba"


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