Deep Purple was my favorite band for many years. My brother was 4 years older than me and so I inherited all his records as he grew up and moved on. But deep Purple’s lead singer, Ian Gillian was my secret dream lover, and his singing their song, “Pictures of Home” cut deep into my aching heart. I was a depressed, or rather, disturbed girl, and very lonely. So the words were my plea for help:,”I’m alone here, with emptiness, eagles and snow- Unfriendliness chilling my body, and taunting with Pictures of Home…” That last echoing cry sent out along the moors, stolen from his “kissy” lips, and making me ache in ways I had yet to understand.
Then there was Black Sabbath, with my idol, Ozzy Osbourne at the helm. It wasn’t the “crazy train” that owned me, but rather a darker, more personal song, also very dark. I had this song on a cassette that I played in my “Boom-Box” everywhere I went. Selling joints to my school mates, taking quaaludes, and tripping on acid. Always, this song moved through my mind like a mist: “I hide myself inside the shadows of your name… Your silent symphonies were playing their game…” Then, later in the song, my hatred for authority came to a climax with the chorus, “Why don’t you just get out of my life”, repeated twice, and then the big finish,” Why doesn’t EVERYBODY LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” I took that cassete with me to the locked Psych Ward where I spent my eighteenth birthday, along with the 6 razor blades I hid in my clothing. I oozed hatred from every pore that day, but I craved love so much and lacked it so much that my gut felt like a bottomless meat freezer when those doors slammed shut behind my parents,
But there are other songs today that I hear and love. Songs about joy, songs about love. Songs about life. There is one particular song I am hearing now in my exhausted mind. A lilting melody that I can not play without sobbing all nthe way through it. It is by Eva Cassidy, and I have also heard it done by Sting. I believe it is an old song, but I’m not sure. I know that it carries within it the seed of my dead mother’s essence, Carol, my best friend, has been gone for 5 years now, but when I hear this song, it is she who sing it, ” Among the Fields of Gold.”
I miss you, Mum.