Archive for the ‘Love’ Tag

Mavis And Ted *8*

 Mavis & Ted

Unfathomably Deep…

 

“You can see the sea from here…”

“Of course you can Ted!”

“No! I mean you can really see the sea!”

“Er… yeh… I see what you mean.”

“You do?”

“Sort of…”

“Deep and unfathomable…”

“Ted?!”

“The dark heart of an awesome primeval power…”

“You okay Ted?”

“If I was to go down the end of the pier and pee in it, then that would really be a drop in the ocean!”

“You have the fishcakes at lunch Ted?”

“Four!”

“You silly man, you know what greasy sea food does to your equilibrium”

“Doesn’t do much for my Irritable Bowel Syndrome either…”

“Deep and unfathomable?”

“More like awesome primeval power!”

“Oh dear…”

Pre-cisely.”

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Mavis And Ted *7*

 Mavis & Ted

Old Film…

 

“What you thinkin’ Ted?”

“Eh? Wot?”

“I said… what you thinkin’ Ted?”

“Oh, just that when I was young I used to see life in technicolour… now it’s all grainy black and white…”

“Yeh, I know what you mean… everythin’ in life’s a bit like a foreign film these days… reality TV, internet shoppin’, same sex marriage; girls wiv tattoos…”

“What girl in the news?”

“I said… girls wiv tattoos!”

“She got married in some foreign film you say?”

“Who?!”

That girl in the news…”

“I wish life was a foreign film sometimes…”

Why?!”

“Coz they got ruddy subtitles… that’s why!!”

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Mavis And Ted *6*

Mavis & Ted

Junk In The Trunk…

 

“Ted?”

“Wot?”

“Do you still love me Ted?”

“Huh?”

“I said, do you still love me Ted?”

“Er, yeh… of course… yeh…”

“Same as when we first met?”

“Same as when we first met…”

“As deep as the deep blue sea?”

“Yep.”

“As deep as the deep blue sea?”

“As deep as the deep blue sea…”

“More and more each day?”

“More and more each day…”

“With every beat of your heart?”

“Yeh, with every beat of my heart…”

“Good…”

“Hmmm…”

“Ted?”

“Wot?!!”

“Do you still fancy me though?”

“Yeh, I still fancy you…”

“Have I still got it?”

“You’ve still got it…”

“How about the junk in my trunk?”

“You been hangin’ around them kids at that burger bar on the front again?!”

“In all the right places?”

“Yeh, in all the right places… mind you, there are places on your places now…”

“What was that Ted?”

“In all the right places…”

“Good…”

“Yep…”

“So I’m still your girl then?”

“You’re still my girl…”

“All the fun of the fair?”

“All the fun of the fair…”

“Forever and ever?”

“Forever and ever…”

“Good…”

“Yep…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mavis And Ted *5*

Mavis & Ted

Magnum Force…

 

“Good grief Ted!”

“What?  What’s up?!”

You… have you finished that ice cream you bought already!?”

“Yeh… well?”

“You’ll have indigestion again you greedy guts and you know who’ll be kept awake all night don’t you?  I’ve barely had the chance to lick me cornet!”

“Er, sorry Mavis, but you know I always eat quickly when I’m stressed.”

“The sky’s blue, the sea’s calm and we’re havin’ a luvly time watchin’ the world go by… so what on earth would you be stressed about?”

“It was the guy in the ice cream van…”

“You got your ice cream alright, didn’t ya?”

Obviously…”

“What was it?”

“A Magnum.”

“Your favourite… so I don’t see…”

“Well, when I asked the guy in the van for it he goes to me… ‘Do you feel lucky punk?  Do you?’  I said at my age I’m lucky to feel anything…”

“Then what’d say?”

“He then says… ‘How old are you granddad?’”

“What did you say Ted?”

“Seventy-three!  What do you think I said!”

“No need to take it out on me!”

“Sorry gal… I’m a bit upset… see – I’m tremblin’…”

“So you are Ted… then what did he say?”

“He goes… ‘1973 – that’s the year when the film came out so you are lucky – you punk.’”

“What’d he mean by that?”

“Well, he goes on to tell me he’s a big Clint Eastwood fan and he watches all his movies on his i-pad apple thingy in the cab between being disturbed at the best bits by havin’ to serve old gits like me with no teeth – ice-cream!”

“I tells him… I’m no ruddy punk and he says…”

“What’d he say?!”

“Only that I looks more like Clyde the ruddy gorilla in Every which way but loose – cheeky young sod!”

“Too right Ted – If me memory ain’t playin’ tricks though, it was of them Orang-utans…”

“Does it matter?!”

“Sorry, what’d you do Ted?”

“I says – I may be old but I’m mainly good… but I can be bad so you’d better watch out!  Then I says… sometimes it’s been known for me to be downright ugly!”

“Ooh, what’d he say to that?”

“Not a lot… by then I’d tipped his rack of cornets any which way I could, squirted his raspberry juice on his Bronco Billy and shoved some of his 99 flakes right up his Eiger Sanction!”

“Oooooh Ted!  Play misty for me tonight?!”

“Only if me indigestion ain’t playin’ up.  Yer right, I did put that Magnum down me throat with too much force…”

 

 

 

 

Mavis And Ted *3*

Mavis & Ted

First Love…

 

Oh Ted… it’s wonderful to be back again.”

“Aha…”

“To think it was 1963 when we first came here!”

“Hmmm…”

“Our first time away together… our first ever holiday…”

“Yeh…”

“My Mum was against it – she told me I could do better – do you remember?”

Oh yes…”

“I remember Dad wanted to chaperone but we made it clear we’d be staying in separate rooms and getting married later that year.”

“My Dad was glad to get rid of me for a week.”

“Funny isn’t it… how times change?  Especially when you see what the kids get up to on the beach now… all those girls with next to nothing on throwing themselves at the boys… it’s terrible.”

Terrible…”

“We stayed in that little B&B off the front next to those lovely gardens.”

“The one next to the pub.”

“The landlady was lovely.”

“Her daughter was up for it.”

“She did gorgeous cream teas.”

“The local beer was great.”

“I got so full I felt sick!”

“I got so drunk I was sick!”

“I had to go and walk it off on the beach.”

“She wanted me to meet her by the pier.”

“A good constitutional does the world of good – as Dad used to say.”

“She asked me to run away with her.”

“At least we never broke that promise to Dad.”

“I… I just couldn’t.”

“Mum and Dad had their doubts about our feelings… thought I didn’t really love you… an ‘infatuation’ Mum called it… she wondered whether what we had would last…”

“It was love at first sight.”

“I guess we kind of grew into each other so to speak…”

“Never saw her again.”

“We’re living proof that – given time – affection can grow into something else.”

“She had the most beautiful blue eyes…”

“We’ve always been steady though haven’t we?”

“I can still see them now…”

“We’ve had a wonderful fifty-odd years.”

“It’s been a long time.”

“Wish I could find the photos I took by the pier… me in that dogs tooth two-piece – you in your leather jacket.”

“She wrote to me for six months.”

“Never find them now…”

“I threw her letters away ten years ago…”

“Must have lost them in the move…”

“If only…”

“Still… No regrets – eh Ted?”

“Er…What?!”

“I said – no regrets?”

“Me?! Of course not…”

“Happy?”

“Aha…”

“You want a ninety-nine?

“Hmmm… That’d be nice.”

“Two flakes?”

“Yeh… You know me…

“I should do by now!”

The Greatest Love Song Ever?

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face…

 Love

It’s too easy to get blasé about great songs.  Some after all are just there… every few years they punctuate the day-to-day once again in advert, soundtrack or radio playlist proving that familiarity has bred – if not contempt – then dulled appreciation from ears that have taken them for granted. 

The stunning trailers for David Attenborough’s Africa TV series – raised to sublime emotional heights by the use of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face –  has opened ears anew to the stunning impact and beauty of this undeniably great song…

Originally written by Scottish folky Ewan MacColl in the late-50s for his then girlfriend – soon to be wife – Peggy Seeger; The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face was lifted to new artistic peaks by Roberta Flack’s definitive 1969 album interpretation and shortened hit mix that charted subsequently in 1972.  Stretched in musical scope and empowered it’s difficult to imagine MacColls’s reaction upon first hearing her version after his – to put it politely – reported indifference to interpretations of the song in the contemporary folk world. 

“To listen closely and to be softly lifted by the rush is to be touched by something otherworldly and spiritual …”

 

Expanded to twice the length of the original… Flack’s stunningly enunciated tour-de-force lifts the blueprint from sweetly personal folk secret to epic universal profundity by virtue of her soulful performance and the room the arrangement is given.  It is as if from being delivered in a private moment between two lovers on a back garden seat the song is allowed to drift and connect across the whole of the rolling landscape.  From the first opening notes of delicate, almost slumbering guitar and the simple rhythm that punctuates throughout – the emotions and devotions are given a chance to breathe.  This is helped by less emphasis on the dominant strings that are to be found in the production of the single version.    

There is a quality to the use of silence and pause, prayer-like invocations, dynamics and space here that retain tremendous clarity even from this distance.  Less is more they say… and here is a masterclass in a gently-building poetic lyric and the most tasteful reinforcement that has none of the blandness that has come to be associated with the term.  The quiet/loud template has been deeply influential among other singer songwriters and although it stretches a point to trace this beyond the ballad to the musical equivalent of the other side of town it is common practice among the heavy rock fraternity.

The stately progress of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face does more than momentarily suspend time; it halts it in the most unobtrusive, natural way while creating a dimension for peace and reflection.  Perhaps no other popular song expresses the body and soul intoxication of first love/love at first sight in so erudite and profound a manner as this.  It’s stark understated piano and time signatures give it a church feel.  To listen closely and to be softly lifted by the rush is to be touched by something otherworldly and spiritual – yet fundamentally of all our everyday experience.  

There is melancholy, though not specifically due to the lyrics, but from the evocation of eternity and the realisations that this level of heightened infatuation rarely lasts.  Forget the cynics and embrace the idea that such a love simply changes appearance with time. The first few expressions of Flack’s voice are akin to raindrops running down a window pane before a sensual waterRaindrops on windowfall – that becomes a flood subtly reinforced by the propulsive accompaniment.  

Beguiling as love itself as it swells on the lines – “Like the trembling heart of a captive bird.”  It is like falling over a breathless precipice of palpitations and trysts.  This lyrical punctuation is repeated again on the line  – “And the first time ever I lay with you.”  This is no paean to lust: the love here is pure and life’s available gift for rich(er) or poor(er).  This is truth without schmaltz.  The chemistry of attraction is not painted by numbers as in so much mainstream fodder but in richly poetic terms – terms that can be understood by all.  

“It’s a love song of the ages – for all the ages and stages of life.”

 

Thankfully the song has survived favourite status among X-Factor auditionees and finalists.  No amount of excruciating treatment before inanely-delivered comment and TalkTalk bookended commercial break has destroyed the spell it weaves in the right hands.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – almost a genre in itself – has offered a statement; an Olympus to aim at – and an artistic plan for writers of love songs to scale for the last forty years.  Much as individuals have striven for the feelings it enunciates like the worst of addicts: lovesick in the best sense of the word. 

Sit down, switch off the mobile and all the other distractions and turn up loud… it will be the best five minutes you’ll spend today.  No matter how many times you have heard it the song still summons something from deep inside and – depending on your state of reflection or relationship – uncontrollably shallow breaths; or sometimes even tears.  It’s a love song of the ages – for all the ages and stages of life. The power never diminishes: it’s safe on a popular and critically constructed rostrum.  On a plateau with the most affecting of what is only a handful of truly great love songs.

 

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