Old Time Tunes


Last night I was lying in bed looking through our song library on my iPhone and it started me thinking about the songs of my youth. The songs that I still love today that I used to listen to when I was a much younger lad. Now fast approaching the age of 35 I realise that most of these songs have special meaning attached to them. They are attached to a certain time in my life or memory that I keep.

Music has always been important to me. Here I present a short, but not a complete, list of my most prized songs and where possible a bit of an explaination as to why they are so.

The Land of Make Believe – Bucks Fizz

Stars in your eyes, little one, where do you go to dream? To a place we all know, the Land of Make Believe.

Probably my most favourite song of all time. It was my cousin Karen who introduced me to this song (and a couple others on this list). It often reminds me of the times I stayed over at my uncle Michael’s house as a kid. We have three cousins from that side of the family and they were probably to closest extended family we had as all our other cousins lived some distance away while uncle Michael and aunty Leslie lived in the next suburb. We had a lot of fun as kids and I guess this song takes me back to those times.

Cool World – Mondo Rock

Your world is as cold as ice, your world is so nice, but you don’t want me around.

Another song I used to listen to with Karen in her room, she used to have hula hoops that smelled of grape and berry. We used to sing this song at the top of our lungs. One of the many songs we used to sing with hairbrush in hand. It reminds me now of the simple times we had as kids and the joy that can so easily be found in music.

Together in Electric Dreams – Giorgio Moroder & Electric Dreams – PP Arnold

I only knew you for a while, I never saw your smile, till it was time to go, time to go away.

He was a boy, who bought a computer, to put him straight, wake him up on time. What an appliance, a matter of science. Taking over was its only crime.

These two songs go hand-in-hand. From the movel Electric Dreams, a movie about Miles and Madeline two people brought together by a computer who found intelligence after a bottle of champagne was spilled on him. An endearing movie, still awesome to watch. It would have been about the same time we got a TRS-80 as a kid and I spent whole weekends programming the sucker to play crappy tones and change the colour of the screen. My first foray into any sort of programming language and the birth of my love of computers. I’m certain that this movie and these songs were the main spark for me. Without it I probably wouldn’t be where or who I am today.

Invisible Touch – Genesis

She has the build in ability, to take everything she sees, and now it seems I’m falling, falling for her. She seems to have an invisible touch, she reaches in and grabs right hold of your heart.

This one is definitely one that is connected to a time and place in my life. My dad was a bridges and building inspector for the State Rail Authority of New South Wales and occasionally his job would see him working nights. If we were lucky and it was weekend work one of us would get to go along with him and hang out with him on the job. This one particular time he was working on the railway bridges in Parramatta, it was night work. The bridges were being sandblasted and repainted and one night I got to go along.

Mum packed my “lunch” in cling wrap. A thermos of soup to go with it. I had my Walkman in hand, headphones on my head and away we went.

I remember hanging around with dad for some time, putting on one of the white jumpsuits the sandblasters were wearing, even being given a very quick go at sandblasting part of the bridge. But later in the night, some time around 3 am I was off at one of the other bridges. Listening to this song again and again. Singing along and running up and down the side of the bridge. But the end of the night I was asleep in the front seat of dad’s work car. But the memories of the night will forever be tied to this song.

Mickey – Toni Basil

Oh Mickey you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey.

I think I did my first ever self-choreographed dance to this song. While I have no idea how the dance went now I still love the song. It is so simple, so full of fun. Who doesn’t love this song. I was of course devastated when Channel 10 in Sydney presented “Oh Sydney you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind hey Sydney” as part of the 2008 New Years Eve celebrations.

Be Good Johnny – Men At Work

Skip de Skip up the road, off to school you go.

When I first heard this song I realised that someone out there knew me. “I only like dreaming, all the day long, when no one is screaming…” I have always been a dreamer. And I was so that kid who didn’t like to play sports as a kid. Played soccer, football and cricket more out of a sense of that was what was expected than because I wanted to. I guess it also brought home that there were probably other kids out there like me, that were different.

Hasta Mañana – ABBA

Where is the dream we were dreaming, and all the nights we shared. Where did they go, I just don’t know…

My parents liked ABBA when I was young. Being born in 1974 I was clearly to young to remember their debut with Waterloo at the Eurovision song contest but as soon as I was old enough I fell completely in love with ABBA and it has never abaited. When I was young I had a portable record player. It would only play 45s (singles for you new age kids) and I remember having the single of Fernando and one day leaving it out in the sun after dancing around under the front tree of our Shalvey house. I came out to find my record warped. It was a very sad day… and I’m pretty sure that while I say I had the single, it was no doubt my parents.

We also had The Best of ABBA album. I still have the vynal around here somewhere. I loved the sleeve of the album. The band members looks so glam on both sides of the sleeve.

With regard to Hasta Mañana and why it is one of my faves I can’t really say. I love pretty much everything ABBA ever did but for some reason Hasta Mañana really sticks out as a song from my youth.

I also remember getting an ABBA double tape for my 12th or 13th birthday and going to sleep at night with my double tape deck under my pillow, listening to ABBA as I feel asleep. It probably was a fire hazard. But while sharing a room with my brothers it would have been more of a hazzard listening to it out loud.

I’m sure there are many more songs, but these are the first that came to my mind. I could have done a whole post just on ABBA, but I don’t want you knowing thinking I am a total freak.

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