Something peculiar happened to me today.
Before I rushed out my house to visit my parents, I walked over to the wicker basket, the one which contains my CD collection, and I decided to choose different music to play in my car. A CD which did not contain the words George or Wham! in the title. It’s not that I’m tired of him or suddenly find his soothing voice boring, I purely fancied a change.
I tried not to feel unfaithful as I glanced at my selection, and my eyes fell upon Corrine Bailey Rae, a CD I purchased many moons ago, a time before my red and white polka dot home existed.
Distant memories of the days I used to sit in my parents house, singing to her tunes, floated around in my head, and I was curious to listen to them again.
With this CD, I sat in my car and pressed forward to track number 3, and I was amazed how clear those distant days became.
Have you ever listened to a song and realised how poignant the words are becoming, as if the singer knows exactly what you’re going through? As if the lyrics have been written for you, because she knows one day you will play her melody and immediately understand her words, and you will think, this song is about me.
It was a complicated and messy relationship which ended sadly. I realised how unhappy I had become, how nothing seemed to make sense anymore. So I left the relationship, the home we shared, the life we’d built, the friends we had gained together.
It was my decision, one which I did not take lightly, for I knew the consequences of my actions.
Sometimes it's easy when a relationship breaks down to blame one person, and sometimes it's the person who left who bares the brunt. I suffered sympathy and blame in equal measures.
I was racked with guilt over how much I had hurt someone I once loved. But how can you stay when the love has evaporated? Surely that would be considered wrong. Everyone deserves to be loved, wants to be loved. You can’t pretends it’s there if it’s not. And quite frankly, I was feeling unloved and unappreciated too.
So I licked my riddled with anguish, guilt and disappointment wounds, and I moved back to my childhood bedroom, with a pair of jeans and a handful of shirts, and nothing to my name except my CD player and my Corrine Bailey Rae CD.
I spent days and nights in the summer of 2005 in that bedroom, gazing out my window and trying to understand how it went so wrong.
I didn’t speak to my friends until some time later to inform them of my change of circumstances. It was too raw to explain and put into words.
Until I heard this song.
Three little birds sat on my window and they told me I didn’t need to worry
Summer came like cinnamon, so sweet
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete
We’ve got it wrong but it’s alright, the more things seem to change
The more they stay the same
Don’t you hesitate
Girl put your records on
Tell me your favourite song
You go ahead let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans
I hope you get your dreams
Just go ahead let your hair down
You’re going to find yourself somewhere, somehow
Blue as the sky, sun burnt and lonely, sipping tea in a bar by the roads
Just relax, just relax
Don’t you let those other boys fool you
Maybe sometimes we feel afraid but its alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change
Don’t you think it’s strange
‘Twas more than I could take
Pity for pity’s sake
Some nights kept me awake
I thought I was stronger
When you going to realise that you don’t even have to try any longer?
Do what you want to do
Girl put your records on…
It was then I realised I had to let people in, face the changes I had entered into, build my record (CD) collection, and my new life. It was okay to start living again.
And look at me now.
As hard as it was during the cruel and barmy summer of 2005, I made a tough but right choice.
Since then, consciously at first and now maybe sub consciously, I have taken her advice, I have put my records on and let my hair down.
And I've found my dream.
George, your songs will always have a place in my heart. But sometimes a girl needs Corrine Bailey Rae to remember how hard it was, and to realise how easy it can be.
I don't have to try any longer.