Music I Miss

The first time I heard it, I was more puzzled than the Monkey Puzzle flapping her spikey branches in our garden, right outside my ‘study.’ I was trying to concentrate and here was the loudest music you’ve ever heard.

Ghettoblaster style but it was full on classical music interspersed with Pavarotti singing not just for the neighborhood but for the entire island of Ireland and all its offshore islands.

Concentration shattered into high flying notes, I scrambled myself together and headed to the front gate. The music was louder but still no evidence of where it was coming from on a sunny weekday morning with high noon approaching.

I’m hopeless at knowing where sounds are coming from – always have been. No doubt, it’s a condition with a frightening name.

A little meander down the road and there I saw it all. The quietest neigbour I’ve ever had washing his car, totally engrossed in doing the job to perfection. Hose, dusters, buckets, chamois cloths, car wax, wellington boots, car washing old (clean) clothes…. and moving rhythmically to the music, oblivious to the world. Here was a man transported, soaking in a sea of crashing symbols, high octaves and rich symphony.

He didn’t see me and I retreated to our garden transfixed by the glorious impromptu concert.

That first concert ended as Pavorotti brought us home from Italy and I heard a car door being closed ever so gently.

There were many such concerts over the years but sadly they fell silent a good while ago now as our gentlemanly, quiet neighbour passed on to a world where I hope the music plays on.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

15 thoughts on “Music I Miss”

  1. I too would have enjoyed the classical music playing..What I don’t enjoy is the boom-boom-boom of music coming from a car that pulls up to a light and the windows are closed and the vibrations are enough to shake your brains loose. To each is own and live and let live can be mind blowing some times…I wish the regular radio stations in our area would play more easy listening music or light classical’s soothing to the mind and soul…

    1. Yes the boom, boom, boom can be a bit much but, to date, I’ve never been in the car. I guess it’s one of those youthful experiences that young drivers will look back on with great nostalgia.

  2. A couple of weeks ago as I was working in the yard, I heard the unmistakeable sounds of Motown in the air. The music, and the DJ occasionally singing the first few lines, or calling out some reminder about appreciating your women or taking care of each other wafted up through the trees that separate us, and I found myself alternately dancing in the yard and just sitting to listen from 4 p.m. until 7, when they lowered the volume. It was a pleasant glimpse into the life of a neighbor I cannot see as the woods separate us.

  3. One of my first “real” jobs, many years ago, was in a record store. It was a family owned shop (years later it would expand into several) and the owner was an early innovator of the electric jazz violin. As a new hire, one of his first questions to me was what type of music I liked. Rock, of course, I answered. Great, what a surprise, he replied.
    My first duties were to dust and arrange the bins containing row upon row of vinyl lp’s. Next I had to answer as to which type of music I least liked or even which I disliked. Country, opera, soul and orchestral music were at the top. Well, surprise, surprise, my next assignment was to explore and learn something about each of these genres. Actually, I was expected to learn quite a bit. After all, this “little shop” – not far from NYC – was the go to place for serious music lovers of every type.
    What a joy those years were. Meeting established and aspiring musicians and their reps, learning the business end of music sales and bringing so much happiness to people that wanted to find something special or different – because I had been exposed to so much by the wonderful man that was my boss and mentor.
    Music…the world needs it now more than ever.

  4. Ah what a lovely story Jean. What a power, an influence, a healer, joy-bringer music can bring. And it comes in all shades, volumes, styles and variations, each finding an appreciative audience somewhere in the world.

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