My favourite Elton John song is Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Always was, always will be. Just saying. I do have rather a penchant for Crocodile Rock too, though, not forgetting The Bitch is Back! Now, I used to looove playing that in my car … No, don’t mention my car!
I cleared out my pile of notes on potential subject matter, last night, and realised that I’d failed to mention my favourite Elton John song. Of great significance, of course. Everyone has one. Love him or loathe him, the guy has been the soundtrack to the lives of anyone worth knowing and I believe one’s choice is quite telling. Mine? Takes me right back to the Seventies and my ‘favourite’ cousin, actually. Closest to me in age, I have mentioned him before, I think: the one who used to come and stay with us every summer holiday with his indelible black pen and who proceeded to black out Donny’s teeth on every poster in my room. The very mention of his name and imminent visit used to fill me with dread as I begged my mother to do something; to take pity! To no avail. Two years older than me, his raison d’être was teasing me and I could handle that … but not my precious posters!
Anyway, other than making my life miserable, he was obsessed with Elton John, owning every album; knowing every song. Sadly, he stopped short of posters on his bedroom wall or I would, most definitely, have spent every penny of my pocket money on indelible markers! Suffice to say, my mother insisted we spend every Christmas day with her sister – his mother – and family in Eaglesham. Two and a half hours there, two and a half hours back. No Forth Road Bridge in the early days. Poor Pop always had to drive and I always had to sit in the middle, usually crying with misery – and rage – at not only having to go but, moreover, having to miss the Christmas Top of the Pops! It was a huge thing, back then, and video recorders were, yet, to be invented. The wheel, yes, but, quite honestly, I could have done without it hence we would have been unable to drive through to Glasgow …
Amazing where this is going. I mean, all from my favourite Elton John song! Anyway, after the long two-and-a-half hour journey, squashed in the back of the car between my sister and brother, we arrived and we, three, were immediately surplus. My mother, meanwhile, was handed her first gin and Pop, his only alcoholic drink of the long, long day. Always thought it unfair that he had to drive both ways but … safety first! Three male cousins, much older, we were of no interest. My sister never gave up trying but my brother and I always lacked the due reverence required and expected. So, we were left in the hands of the fourth and youngest – two years older than me – and Elton John. Actually, thinking about it, Elton John may have been saved for the more cursory visit as Christmas Day, itself, meant being stuck at the table for hours on end eating cold turkey and being all but invisible to relatives so self-absorbed they wouldn’t recognise you in the street! Loved it, you can just tell … Finally, allowed to be excused leaving the rest to it, that was when the Elton John records would come on – in the brief interlude before we, all, had to sit down and watch the compulsory films. One year, I remember, we were subjected to five, I think, before we were permitted to leave, Pop – completely sober – having to drive two-and-a-half hours home. That was repeated every year of my childhood with the exception of maybe two. Looking back, now, the whole thing was extremely telling. Spotlight on my mother.
Those enforced visits, then, are inextricably linked to my early memories of Elton John – and I do like his early stuff. Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Autobiographical, I understand, it is something of a victory song; one of survival. Full of angst and emotion, it builds in the story of a near miss. Brilliant to sing along to – get it all out – and definitely one of my own Carpool Karaoke favourites. No, I know, I don’t have a car just now – moving on – but I have the memories. Can someone pass the hankies …
Who isn’t glad I found that scribbled note apropos favourite Elton John song? In a week in which there have been umpteen reports of allergic reactions to hair dye in women who have never before had a problem, it is suggested that the virus, itself, may be the link: that is, the problem lies with those who have had it. Or, maybe the vaccination? Apparently, scientists are looking into the possibility of the immune system being re-programmed. Help! Just that terminology, ‘re-programmed’, is enough to give me the heebee jeebees!
A week in which it was reported that there have been as many as 19,500 missed cancer diagnoses in England, alone – as a result of the pandemic, lockdown and the associated fear – 3% of cases (I believe) proving, now, too late for treatment. Add to that the fact that it is expected to take as long as ten years to clear the backlog. My God, these are the figures which should be being reported daily, NOT the ongoing, manipulated COVID stats! History is being written before our very eyes. Fast forward and I suspect it will be devoid of pride …
Finally, the word ‘human’. On borrowed time. In a world gone mad, one in which ‘chest feeding’ and ‘birth workers’ are considered replacements for ‘breast feeding’ and ‘midwives’, for the purpose of being more gender inclusive – didn’t say a word – the latest lunacy of language involves cricket: the word ‘batsman’ has been used in the laws of cricket since 1744 but will now be replaced with the gender-neutral word ‘batter’ as instructed by the governing body of the sport, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Of course! Bow to the insane, ‘aggrieved’ minority commonly referred to as ‘woke’. After all, what’s 277 years in the grand scheme of things?! Time for me to add another verse or two to my poem ‘Woke Up!’ (click on A Voice Outwith the Crowd, above) and get it onto my YouTube channel … This cannot be taken lying down, particularly, in view of the far-reaching, harmful effects manifested in children/teenagers. It has reached a point when pupils are now, suddenly, making formal requests to teachers that they be referred to by completely different gender-neutral names and pronouns. An utter minefield and further evidence of the catastrophic mental health of the young. Who will save our children? In a world now programmed to receive, is anybody listening? Can anybody see?
I can. Can you?
‘Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!’
Leonardo da Vinci
This is Trish, signing off. (Unchecked. Rushing!)