On falling in love, at nine, with the music of the Rocketman... For Sunday Miscellany, listen to Elton John, the Music and Me by Doreen Finn above...
I was nine when my father mentioned something in passing which opened up a whole new world to me…
Always a stalwart jazz fan, Dad said there was a song being played frequently on the radio, and that I'd probably like it. It was called Part Time Love, and it was quite good. Sure enough, in the car on the way into school a couple of mornings later, on it came. I remember being struck by how infectious the song was, how it made me want to dance.
My father's interest in Elton John peaked with that one song and sank almost immediately into oblivion, but not mine. The song was everywhere that autumn, and I learned it off by heart, writing the lyrics in the back of my homework copy so I could be wordperfect.
Part time love is bringing me down
Cause I just can't get started with you, my love
My teacher, a nun without, apparently, even a passing acquaintanceship with pop, found my scribbled lyrics. She thought it was a poem I’d written myself. But it was repetitive, she said, and anyway, it made no sense. Part time what? What could I possibly mean by not being able to get it started with the person I was addressing? What could I not start? The car? A book? My homework?
Where is the rhythm to this? she demanded. Where is the metre? I had no answers and I didn’t have Elton’s phone number so I couldn’t ask him either.
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Where is the rhythm to this? she demanded. Where is the metre? I had no answers and I didn't have Elton’s phone number so I couldn’t ask him either.
Listen to more from Sunday Miscellany here.