Thursday, 20 October 2011
I was on a late night music crawl in outer Youtube last night when I found myself looking up, and questioning where I had heard a song before. It was Adele - fat, beautiful, soulful Adele - singing a cover of something I had heard, but not for a long time.
The song is called ‘I Can’t Make you Love Me’, and was originally by Bonnie Raitt, an American blues singer who is now 60ish. It’s a sad and powerful song. At first though, before I could really listen to the song itself, I was struck with confusion. Where had my memory been?
As I clicked on Bonnie Raitt’s original song, I recognised her ginger hair and kind face in the video picture from a CD album my dad used to keep in his car. There is not a single moment I remember listening the song, but more a general recollection of listening to Bonnie Raitt in those early mornings when he would drive me to school. Everyone else was allowed to listen to Radio1, but I was stuck with Dad’s weird choice of old music. Sometimes jazz and blues, sometimes piano, guitar, sometimes classical. Never what I wanted, at the time.
And as I played the song over and over, I realised how beautiful it was. The lyrics told a story of heartbreak, and the tune was modest and perfect. It was personal and sad.
I listened to other people’s covers of the song, and felt a wave of appreciation for my dad. I probably have a few of these little gems stored up somewhere in my head. My music taste is not something I was born with, but something that grows. We like songs for different reasons: the feelings they provoke, the thoughts they induce, or the memories they trigger.