“QUICK! PUT BILLY JOEL ON!” is a frequent yelp from in my car. Rose loves Billy Joel. More specifically Rose loves “It’s Still Rock N Roll To Me” by Billy Joel.
How can a 9 week old child already have a favourite artist and favourite song? I hear you ask. Well, she does. If she’s having a grizzle the moment the thumping intro starts her grizzling begins to lessen and by the time he is being told his tie’s too wide she has settled into a contented silence. Should the grizzling be closer to a loud wail then the volume goes up, the louder the wail the louder the volume, and it settles her. As the volume of the wailing drops the volume of the music drops until he’s getting more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. As the end of the song chimes out the grizzling will sometimes restart, so we replay the song.
Fortunately I like Billy Joel which is how we discovered her passion for this song. When I was pregnant I was concerned she was going to be a Kylie fan. Not that there’s anything wrong with Kylie she’s just not someone I could listen to on repeat, but she appeared on the Jonathon Ross show and the little Rose-foetus went ape and began bashing the heck out of my insides. At a later date she came on the radio and my insides took a similar pelting. I now wonder if perhaps she was objecting to Ms Minogue rather than celebrating her? Either way, I’m somewhat relieved. I am also learning the words to this song quite well, and there’s an awful lot of words to learn!
When I was a child or Primary School age and below I had no concept of nor interest in modern music. My friends taped (yes taped, I’m old) the Top 40 on a Sunday night and taped (again… taped….) Top Of The Pops to watch and learn dance routines to. When topic of favourite songs came up they spouted lyrical about whichever Take That or Backstreet Boys song they loved. I said either Ace Of Spades by Motorhead or We Are The Champions by Queen. My first CD I ever owned was Status Quo’s greatest hits. I was routinely teased for my retro tastes and for not having the biggest crush ever on Jason Orange. I fancied Prince Jareth from Labyrinth aka David Bowie.
I believe Miss Rose is starting as she means to go on, and will just like her mama be something of a neophyte when it comes to discovering modern music. She’s a Billy Joel girl… and to be honest I’m going to encourage this… I’m not looking forward to when she discovers hormones and the latest Bieber-esque teenage heartthrob.
I know it will happen, she will learn to be at least vaguely cool, but hopefully she will retain her passion for her first love of music. At the age of 15 I was caught out in my cool façade when I realised I was the only person in a room of people dancing who knew all the words to Bat Out Of Hell by Meatloaf and was dancing with sheer abandon; arms waving eyes closed with joy, whilst those around me leant against the wall drinking cheap beer and casting eyes of judgement over me. At the time I skulked off to a corner to be chastised by my mortified friends. As an adult I look back on that memory with pride, I was letting my true Jude out. I hope Miss Rose will be able to proudly unleash her true self on the world through music on occasion, and will not feel ashamed for her tastes.
Let her learn the words to Bohemian Rhapsody before Gangster Rap. Let her dance to Twist And Shout before she tries to dance so boys notice her. Let her as an adult look back on the music she loved as a child to be the music she loves in truth before she had to try and look cool. Coolness fades, Billy Joel will last a lifetime.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!