Friday, July 21, 2006

Love Child

As the eldest child of parents who didn't listen to pop music I came to the sounds of the sixties in the eighties, in my late teens. My political feminism (mum may not have listened to cool music but she made sure I had access to Ms Magazine) took as it's cultural soundtrack the girl groups of the decade before I was born: the Shangri-Las, the Ronettes, the Shirelles, the Marvettes and of course the Supremes. I played the Supremes the other day for the first time in years and had a rush of memories both silly and poignant. Love Child had particular resonance for me when I found myself pregnant and single at the age of 18 and I used to listen to it over and over again feeling a maudlin combination of self-pity and defiance.

I've noticed that as I get older I listen to music with decreasing intensity. I rarely make an effort anymore to seek out new music or follow up things I've heard and liked on the radio. What I do listen too tends to be pretty random- what I've held onto or picked up in bargain bins or am given by friends. I often don't even know the names of the songs or the singers. This casual relationship to music is mostly due to the painful lessons in non-attachment learned early by having three successive vinyl collections stolen and then the final collection made obsolete by CDs when I could no longer afford to buy new music. It's easier not to care so passionately about what I listen to.

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