Well, the longest day of the year came and went wi a whimper. Ah think that Mother Nature should make it compulsory for the longest day to be bathed in Sunshine and no’pissin doon wi rain. It should be the kind of day where ye wish that ye could hang glide over Glencoe listening to Malcolm Arnolds Four Scottish Dances [ no.3 ] or the opening Music to the film Steel Magnolias. The latter, especially, for me, is one of the most soaringly beautiful, joyous and uplifting pieces of music ah’ve ever heard. Ah dinny think ‘soaringly’ is a word – a wee red line has appeared under it Twice, but, so what. As ah mentioned before, Auld Scud loved his Classical music and a Sunday was his music day, whether anybody else liked it or no’. Sometimes it wid be the big Band stuff, songs like Perfidia, Frenesi, Chatanooga Choo Choo, Don’t sit under the Apple Tree, In the mood etc. Some days it wid be the Classical music and the 1812 overture, the William Tell overture, Scheherazade and the Polovtsian Dances. They were the good days, listening tae music that ah still listen tae noo. On a bad day, ye got Al Jolson – who wisny a favourite of mine. He liked Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin – ah have tae meander off here. When ah worked at B and Q in Livvy ah had a colleague and pal fae Ghana, called Ibrahim – like the Fitba’ player, but withoot the ‘ avich. Anyway, one day we were talkin’ aboot music, what we liked, what we didny like and Ibs said a few names and when he said ‘ Nat King Cole’ ah lost it and started laughin’ and Ibs looked hurt and shocked at ma reaction. He lost it when ah told him that, far from mockin’ his choice, Nat King Cole was a much loved and revered singer in Scotland as much as any where on the Planet, his name was rhymin’ slang in Scotland for something that ye hope tae get on a Saturday night on the Piss – no’ wi Peanut Butter Fanny, obviously. So, fae that day onward Ibrahim would say to me every Monday ‘Hallo Chief Colin, did you get your Nat King Cole’ ?. So, meanderin’ back to where ah was, Auld Scud and his music -he listened tae aw that Tartan and Shortbreed blaw it up yer Kilt Shite, which, on a Friday when ye were stuck in the hoose and had tae listen tae it, was a Muhammad Ali Thrilla in Mannila’ experience. Well, ah can assure ye that after Three Hours of Accordion and Fiddle music, ye feel as if ye’ve come as close to death as ye can withhoot actually dyin’. Mind you, in aw seriousness, ah’ve been as close to death as ye can be withoot dyin’, when ah had the Heart Attack at the same time as ah was gettin’ the Chemotherapy. Ah ‘died’ Twice on the hospital bed, and never a day goes by withoot me thinkin’ tae masel ‘You are one very very, lucky lucky Bastard, but aw that Accordion music was the nearest thing to that and it has left a scar – ah still, to this day, collapse and start foamin’ at the Mooth whenever ah hear Jimmy Shand.
Tales from Amitriptyland
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