Saturday, November 20, 2010

Story of a life

When one's musing over matters of life and death, one song which often comes to mind, I find, is Harry Chapin's 'Story of a life'. You could say that it's topical - and it might be more so come tomorrow, when we might have a real televisual treat on our hands: the BBC dramatization of what I think that I'd describe as my favourite novel, William Boyd's 'Any human heart'. I am, of course braced for disappointment, but if this film turns out to even half as good as the book, then it will be excellent. (And if you are going to be bold enough to read the book, by the way, don't be put off if you find the first 100 pages or so seeming too lightweight). So that's been inked in the calendar tomorrow evening. It'll be interesting to see how the sound-track goes, because there are plenty of songs which could find a place in the saga. 'Story of a life', or certainly the opening verses of that beautiful song, would be a natural choice to keep popping up, with the opening verses surely perfect for the early stages of the film:

"I can see myself: it's a golden sunrise.
Young boy, open up your eyes -
It's supposed to be your day.
Now off you go, horizon-bound,
And you won't stop until you've found
Your own kind of way.
And the wind will whip your tousled hair,
The sun, the rain, the sweet despair:
Great tales of love and strife.
And somewhere on your path to glory
You will write your story of a life.

And all the towns that you walk through,
And all the people that you talk to,
Sing you their songs.
And there are times you change your stride
And there are times you can't decide;
But still you go on.
And then the young girls dance their gypsy tunes
And share the secrets of the moon,
So soon you find a wife.
And though she sees your dreams go poorly,
Still she joins your story of a life ... "

So wouldn't those first two verses of this beautiful song fit well into the first few chapters? The rest of the song, of course, is equally special, but I've recently found another song which I think we could fit somewhere towards the latter stages of the film. I recently discovered that Dennis Locorriere will be playing in this part of the world next spring (Cromer on 8th April and Haverhill on 16th of June, which oughtn't to be a problem as we'll be unlikely to have a runner in the Ascot Gold Cup) and that's really exciting. He is, of course, best known as the writer and ever-so-distinctive singer in Dr Hook, but one of his newer songs, 'A couple more years', written from the point of view of experience, surely could find a place towards the end of 'Any human heart'. Aren't the first couple of verses great?

"I've got a couple more years on you, baby, that's all.
I've had more chances to fly, more places to fall.
And it ain't that I'm wiser; it's only that I've spent
More time with my back to the wall.
And I've picked up a couple more years on you, baby, that's all.

And I've walked a couple more roads than you, baby, that's all.
And I'm tired of running while you're only learning to crawl.
And you're headed somewhere, but I've been to somewhere
And found it was nowhere at all.
And I've picked up a couple more years on you, baby, that's all ...".

Anyway, tip for the week comes on the first day of the week (Sunday, as we are in the minority in correctly acknowledging that the week begins on a Sunday): don't miss 'Any human heart'.

No comments: