Mam was always a party girl, still is if she gets the chance. Dada was a quiet, more gentle man. They were the complete opposite of each other. That's probably why they fell for each other.
He loved classical music, especially tenors, she loved show music/tunes. And I grew up listening to all sorts of music. That's probably why my tastes are so eclectic. I just love music!
Hammer lived next door to us in our terrace. He lived with his Dad (old Mr.Hayes) and his older brother David. His brother married and moved away, and his father died. Hammer was always there when we were kids.He never married, though he had a love which was, sadly, unrequited. He was a nice man. He loved us kids. He also loved opera. He had a huge collection of 78's, mostly of the great Mario Lanza.
Some of my earliest memories are of listening to Mario through the walls of our terrace, on Sunday nights, when Hammer came home from the pub, a lonely bachelor, and played his old records on his fathers gramaphone.
And Mam would sing along with the music that came through the wall, and tell Dada that he hadn't a note in his head, as he tried to sing along! (Which was true!).
But there was always, Always music in the house. And it's the same today in my own house. My girls always have music playing, and I never tell them it's too loud, 'cos you know, I like it loud. What is it about music? I sing when I'm happy, I sing when I'm sad, parties, weddings, funerals.
My oldest friend became a father for the first time recently, and when I had his baby in my arms, singing to her, and she dancing, remembered how my own girls had danced so intuitivly to any music when they were little. It must be part of our make-up. Part of what makes us who we are.
Someone told me last night that a song I sang made them cry. Now while I would love to think that I had the voice of an angel, I know for sure , sadly, that this is not the case. I sang a sad song that happened to touch a particular person at just the right moment. To have someone tell you something like that makes you feel special, if only for just a little while.
This is my favourite song of all time. (and i'm not a religious guy).
If only I could sing like this!