I Am A Rock

Lockdown memory?
I haven’t a clue what’s on my face!

Lockdown Memory 1️⃣

Imagine a nine year old’s birthday party in the late sixties. What comes to mind?

Jelly and ice cream? Party games? New toys? Sweets? A Paul Simon album?

What did you just read? A Paul Simon album? That doesn’t seem right.

But the nine year old was me, and The Paul Simon Songbook was the soundtrack of my childhood.

“Was it your parents’ album, Anne?”

It’s a reasonable question, and the answer is Partly, yes. They had borrowed it from a friend, and taped it onto our family’s reel to reel recorder. Thereafter it was mine.

So after school I walked home with some friends. It was late November and I was having a birthday party. They weren’t organised, expensive celebrations back then. Basically, school friends came to your house, ate whatever food your mum gave them, played with your toys then went home.

It’s worth mentioning here that I didn’t like many of those “school friends”. I preferred the girls who lived in our street. But the unwritten rule was, invite children who score roughly the same marks in exams as yourself.

So we ate our food, then my school friends wanted my toys. I had a better idea. I fetched the reel to reel tape recorder and played The Paul Simon Songbook.

Probably several times.

My school friends found my toys. They ignored me; I ignored them. Bliss.

The Paul Simon Songbook

This week I heard someone on the radio asking what songs are helping us through lockdown. I’m a cynical woman, so I rolled my eyes.

Later that day while walking Flynn, my Border Terrier, a song was going round and round my head.

“Hiding in my room, safe within my womb, I touch no-one and no-one touches me”

A hundred and one memories of playing my favourite childhood song, “I Am A Rock”, from my favourite childhood album, “The Paul Simon Songbook“, flooded my mind. It was part of me, a little girl who liked her own company, had no confidence, but loved music and lyrics so much.

Years later the album was rereleased as a CD. I bought it.

It’s 2020, we’re in lockdown due to COVID19, and Paul Simon’s youthful lyrics feel meaningful once again.

I might just put it on tomorrow.


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4 thoughts on “I Am A Rock

  1. I relate to this so much Anne. Like you I was a loner, I preferred my own company and books, at 11 I was reading James Herbert as well as the biographies of world leaders from the kids section in my local library, it was a daily activity exchanging books. I blame that for the intelligence I have now. As for music I wasn’t really into music much as a kid but books I loved and still do to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I was a reader too. Three every week from the library. (The maximum allowed) I bought books with any pocket money I could save.
      Music though… The records I listened to as a child were not really “normal” for a wee girl. Of course, everything is normal when we’re children. It’s only later we realise we were a bit odd.
      At the time I wrote about, I didn’t think records were a thing you could buy. They were in my parents’ or my aunt’s house, or on the tape recorder.
      I had good friends in our street, but really couldn’t be bothered with girls in my class. It was just expected that I would like them because we were in the “top group”.

      I thought it would motivate me to write something if I chose an off beat topic for a change.
      Maybe I should write about an influential book next!


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