Lying on a sunbed on our balcony in January, a winter break before our new life adventures start. What to do to break the boredom of fifteen minutes each side like a rotisserie chicken? For us it’s always been music. It’s themed our lives from a very young age. For me, prior to meeting The Boss, my introduction to music was listening to my Mum sing her heart out to classic tunes on the radio, Dr Hook serenaded her with Sexy Eyes whilst she danced around with the Ewbank joining in on the words she knew.
Holidays, an annual event in our house. Long, smokey drives down to Cornwall and South Wales with three, possibly four adults on occasion, plus three children squished in an Opel Kadett. My paternal grandparents joined us for holidays as they got older. Grandad continued for a little while after my Grandma passed away, teaching us the words to songs he’d made up, local Boltonian songs, he was even known to sing along to Radio 1 when the Top 40 was on, putting his own slant on the words to popular tracks of my youth. Dad’s new 8 track making sure we had alternative in car entertainment on the way.
Glen Campbell taught us the words to Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman and Galveston. The words of which are still forever etched in my mind. The car was always Dad’s domain. He chose the music, we listened and absorbed. We were educated in Elvis Presley, Bread (a band that only we seemed aware of at the time), Cat Stevens, Neil Sedaka and Neil Diamond all still firm favourites of my Dad today. He can’t always remember what he went into the kitchen for but he knows all their lyrics.
The Boss recalls similar journeys from Bury, Lancashire to Cornwall with two smoking parents in a Hillman Imp listening to Connie Francis, Brenda Lee or Johnny Cash. Wonder if we ever passed each other as young kids visiting some Cornish village.
A portable cassette player came on school camp up to Borrowdale in the Lake District. With a bag full of HP11 batteries, Meatloaf and Bat out of Hell, our Bell Tent rocked to the sounds of my new found taste in music.
As we grew older the songs that soundtracked our holidays were more of ‘our’ time. While he admits to lying about his fifteen years to ‘pull’ an older girl at a Burnham on Sea static caravan park with Dexys, Come On Eileen blaring at the disco, I remember family drives out to Tintagel with the J. Geils Band blasting Centrefold out on the car radio after pleading with Dad for a break from Glen Campbell.
Our very first holiday as a couple was on the Norfolk Broads with friends at the age of seventeen and the tune of the trip was Stevie Wonder ‘I just Called to Say I Love You’. Memories of eight of us round a payphone singing it to one of our crew’s girlfriends back home, feeding the coin slot frantically with ten pence pieces.
The Blur versus Oasis battle of 1995 featured large on another static caravan site near Strontian in the Scottish Highlands. We liked both, but ‘House in the Country’ by Blur plays in our minds as we remember our good friends, Steve and Diane, getting us hopelessly lost in their very small pleasure boat near the Isle of Mull using only a Collins road map for guidance.
This holiday has had us reminiscing about holiday music from the past, with t’internet allowing us to download songs as quick as we recall them. Especially the Diana Ross Greatest Hits album, we once snogged ‘non-stop’ through the entire album and only came up for air to turn the vinyl LP over.
Our Caravan music choices are now endless thanks to almost every album ever released being available at one click on the Internet. We do, however, find some favourites regularly visiting the speakers, the TV doesn’t get a look in.
Our current Caravan Top Albums:
- Elvis Presley : If I Can Dream
- Van Morrison : Duets
- The Beat : Bounce
- Tom Jones : Gold
- Ocean Colour Scene : Moseley Shoals
- Rod Stewart : Another Country
- Kirsty MacColl : Tropical Brainstorm
- Don Henley : Cass County
- Imelda May : Life Love Fresh Blood
- Thin Lizzy : Greatest Hits
- Rick Astley : 50
- Meatloaf : Bat Out of Hell
Gone are the days when our parents force fed us on the 50s/60s/70s stuff, that oddly, we do actually have a soft spot for and return to occasionally…
confession time… we recently realised our children can sing the Bat Out of Hell album word for word… force fed… who? us?
… hopefully, this has you thinking back to your own holiday soundtracks.