Music has always played a huge part in my life. When I was small, there always seemed to be music in the house, whether it was Mum’s dawn-to-dusk consuming of BBC Radio 2 or Dad’s magna voce repertoire of the Methodist hymn book. There was nothing sotto voce about Dad when he sang.
My first transistor radio – a present at the age of 4 or 5 – was quite simply the best gift I had ever received. It allowed me to listen to Tony Blackburn’s Radio 1 Breakfast Show, with special guest appearances by Arnold, football commentaries, an emerging passion, and especially Ed “Stewpot” Stewart’s Junior Choice. I knew all the songs off by heart. I was a close personal friend of Terry Scott’s Bruva, of Sparky the Magic Piano and I always hankered after a visit to Old Amsterdam to visit a mouse-populated windmill.
Stick with me please!
Wind the clock forward and I’m Amsterdam-bound again. The latest addition to Mum’s songbook is Ronnie Hilton’s musical epic.
For those whose understanding of the world hasn’t been enlightened by Mr.Hilton, the song is all about a family of mice who live, guess where, in a windmill in the aforementioned Dutch capital city. The chorus goes something like:
“I saw a mouse.
There on the stairs.
Where on the stairs?
Mum sings along, just as she probably did in around 1968 when we listened to Stewpot. I add in some actions, with a look of genuine amazement at the “Where?” Mum loves it. And I love it too.
As the song goes on to say, how lucky we are. Music can still build a bridge for us when so much else is gone.