Sunday, 29 May 2011

We Will Rock You

I have just enjoyed a wonderful documentary about the group Queen, a group that means a considerable amount to me, and whose music is a significant part of who I am, in many ways. It was a programme that told the first half of the story of a remarkable band whose music found such considerable success in the latter part of the last millennium. It is unlikely that you will have no idea to whom I refer, but if you are one such person, they are group who wrote and recorded Bohemian Rhapsody

I place a considerable value on the place of music. I am, perhaps, set in my ways as regards the things I enjoy - and my family might testify that I always was. Just listening to an hour of telly devoted to the musicians who underscored perhaps all of my teens and twenties has proved to be haunting and wonderful, all at the same time. 

My taste in music favours those groups or choirs or orchestras that demonstrate commitment and what I regard to be technical musical excellence. I cannot abide flaccid disposable pap, and this probably why most modern throw-away garbage is a source of irritation to me. It is perhaps why on one hand I can enjoy very heavy rock music while on the other taking delight in Spem in Alium. Music is for the soul, in my estimation, not for a light snack. I take pleasure in gifted musicians crafting their art, be that acoustically, electrically, chorally or any other ally you can think of. My foray into the synthesised began and ended with Jean Michel Jarre. He got in because he was a prodigious pianist. I just like my music to be good and not flim-flam. I can even warm to a gifted rapper, as my parish community may have noted had they been to the right parties! (OK, perhaps not gifted, but very amusing). 

I cannot imagine a world without music. I am never (literally) more than two or three feet away from my own source of music, and I have long resolved that, if I were to be cast to the proverbial desert island, or indeed if I was granted a day left to live - that my iPod would be among those things involved in the arrangements. Music is such a pure and evocative force, when done right (a subjective thing, of course). It is who I am, and the way markers in the journey from who I was. My daughters already have a repertoire of the stuff they like (which has a little too much Abba in it for me, but we are all different). I have even discovered some (I lean on 'some') worship music that, under duress, I could say I like. 

I once pondered long and very hard on an issue of sensory deprivation, and I am absolutely sure that I would sooner lose my sight than my hearing. This is perhaps a naive comment from one who has the nominal choice, but my thought was that I would far sooner lose the ability to see a wonderful view or even the faces of my babies than lose the ability to hear them sing. Music is such a wonderful sacrament - a gift from and of God, that no less sustains me than the blessed Body and Blood.


  1. The wander in the park through this post (yes I did listen to all of them), was a bit like being a fly on the wall in your pscychiatrist's consulting room.
    Strangely, despite the apparent diversity of the pieces you chose to illustrate your taste, I can clearly see two common themes.
    One is the 'other world' galaxies, music of the spheres stuff. The other isn't!

  2. Well, I prefer eclectic, but neither can I find any argument with your findings. Regard my musical tastes as the Polo mint of such things. My preferences exist around the edges of any genre, with the whole of the middle void occupied by 99.9% of Radio 1 and 67% of Radio 2 :)

  3. Nice post, David. I love music, but sadly find myself listening to it less and less as my tinnitus worsens.

    You'll be pleased to hear that Queen is being rediscovered by a new generation. Our 12-year-old grandson is rehearsing for his teenage years by lying on his bed for hours, reading and listening to The Best of Queen :-)

    PS Tried to post earlier, but got a website error message. Hope it isn't duplicated.

  4. I presume I watched the same documentary that was on BBC 2 (or was it BBC 4?) this evening (30/5/11). It was very good and I was surprised to find myself moist eyed at the end, with the final footage of Freddie Mercury. I was never a big Queen fan, but the music certainly provided the mood music for much of my formative years.

    Thanks for this!


    Spem in Alium is also a great favourite of mine!

    ( - for some reason my Google account won't do what it is supposed to do!)



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