Whenever I am at home, the radio is my constant companion. There are two programmes I particularly like and listen too.
Desert Island Discs is one of Radio 4’s most popular and enduring programmes. It was created by Roy Plomley back in 1942. To date there have only been four presenters: Roy Plomley, Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley & presently Kirsty Young. The format is simple, each week a guest is invited to choose eight records, a book and a luxury to take with them to the mythical desert island.
The other is a magazine programme called Saturday Live, presented by Sian Williams and the Rev Richard Coles. It has one regular item – Inheritance Tracks – when an invited guest is asked to share with us a piece of music that played a special place in their past and another current piece they would like to bestow on future generations.
Now which format will I follow…….?
I’ll do it my way and pick three pieces that trigger warm feelings.
‘Pepsicola’ as my father used to call it, was kinda special. That was of course only his pet name for the piece, I wonder if you can guess what it was?
My two older brothers were once boy sopranos in a choir – gosh, that was a lonnnng time ago. This is about the only piece of music from that time that I remember them singing at home or on long car journeys. It didn’t take long before we would all join in. Have you guessed which piece of music it was yet?
‘Pepsicola’ it may have been to us, but everyone else would know it as “Va pensiero” a chorus from the third act of Nabucco (1842) by Giuseppe Verdi. In English we know it as the Hebrew Slaves Chorus.
This is a scene from a live performance of “Va, pensiero (“Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves”) from “Nabucco” by Giuseppe Verdi, the singers are members of the Metropolitan Opera chorus.
My second choice is Pussycat singing Mississipi, it seemed to be on every turntable back at Halloween in 1976 when I met Jack, it drifted from every doorway, café or nightclub and once we returned to Irish shores again, it had taken over the radio stations North and South of the border.
Pussycat singing Mississipi 1975
My final choice comes from Elly’s middle teens. She was part of a youth group and decided to put on a small stage production. It was all built round one song. She wrote the playlet, produced, directed and I think stage managed the whole thing.
The song she based the production on was Love Changes Everything sung by Michael Ball. Back then we had the song was on cassette tape and it was played on a red radio cassette player, from breakfast to bedtime, when Elly was at home. Our only respite was when the R/C player went to rehearsals.
Live performance by Michael Ball and The Company. Taken from ‘Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration’.
Each rehearsal evening another bagful of items was smuggled out of the house!! I do admit to going along on the opening night to see how much of my home would appear on stage!
It was a great night. All those taking part sung their hearts out and gave their all to the production. There were many proud parents in the audience that evening, but none more so than Jack and I. In fact I wondered if she would change track and follow the smell of the crowd and the roar of the greasepaint!
Our topic Music was chosen for us today by Shackman, I bet his toes are tapping as he shares some favourites, so why not dance on over and have a listen before soft shoe shuffling round the floor to visit the other active members: Anu, Delirious, Maxi, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit Shackman speaks, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.