Music that Reminds me of my Mother
Isn’t it strange how music seems to play a large part in jogging the memory, and various songs and tunes will immediately remind you of a specific person or occasion
My mother was a very good pianist – a fact I never really knew until I was about thirteen. That’s because we didn’t have a piano before that. My family had quite a peripatetic life when I was young, which did not allow for the possession of a piano. During the War years, we moved around England and Wales, following my father who was in the army. We returned to our home in Essex for a short time and then started a new life in Northern Rhodesia in Central Africa, (now Zambia). Eventually my parents bought a flat in Capetown, South Africa, with a lounge large enough to house a grand piano, and only then did my mother’s talent come to light for me.
Here’s some of the music my mother played or liked:
“The Warsaw Concerto” which she would play herself on the piano. It possibly had poignant memories for her, via her own mother, because my Grandmother’s family were refugees from Poland in 1916.
She also liked “Nessun Dorma”, which my father used to sing in the bath. He loved opera and of course the bathroom is an ideal echo chamber. He had a very good voice, and knew all the words. In fact my mother told me that at one time he did actually think of training as an opera singer. Naturally we had a great collection of opera music records (we didn’t call them “vinyls”, which is the somewhat new-fangled term).
My mother’s choice of pop music was somewhat limited compared with the younger members of the family, but she did like Abba when they hit the scene, and in particular, “Chiquita”.
La Mere, sung by Charles Trenet, was another family favorite – my parents both loved all the popular French songs of the 1950’s and they bring back very happy memories of very metropolitan parties when we lived in Central Africa.
I’ve been smiling, just writing this post, as I think back over the happy times we had singing along to the music in the 20th Century, just like they do now in the 21st Century.