I couldn’t resist sharing this one. It’s not just a bit of culture and opera to change up the playlist a bit (I know, I’ve shared country, pop, classical and opera!), it’s also a very sentimental song to me.
I’ve mentioned previously that we used to go to the Symphony Under The Stars concert every year. From when I was 14 until I was 28, I heard this song every year at that concert. And we’d all stand and sing, and my dad would bend his knees in time to the beat in true British fashion.
My parents are both British, but my father was raised there, so he’s more British than my mother who moved to Australia when she was 5. Dad left when he was 18. But both were raised by British parents, and both have lived their whole lives in the Commonwealth which have a distinct British heritage, so we have a lot of Britishisms in our family. Not least that we call people bloody wankers. Okay, that might just be me. I can’t remember ever hearing my parents refer to anyone as a wanker. But my dad in particular uses a lot of British sayings. “Not ruddy likely!” “Livin’ the life o’ Riley!” “You rotten sod!” “You lazy git!” And so on.
When I was 6 we went to England for what was termed a ‘working holiday’. Which meant that my parents found jobs there, and us kids went to school there, and we travelled around the country on the weekends. We spent most of our time there living in Northampton, where my father’s family are from. We were over there for a year and a half.
Growing up, I always wanted to go back to England. It was like I needed to go back to this place that was the root of so many of our traditions, our culture, our mannerisms. I used to joke that if my dad was British, that made me half British, and if my mum was also British, well then, I must be full British! These days I’m proud to be a New Zealander, but I still have a definite tie to England.
Interestingly, when I finally did get to go back, when I was 34, with my husband, it was Scotland that really drew us. Although we did really love the Lake District. Okay, I take it back, I think I loved the Lake District more than I loved Scotland. The kids definitely liked Scotland better, but they didn’t get to go to the Lake District. And they were mad for haggis. Hubby is mad for whisky, so there’s no point even asking him.
So for my second-to-last song of my ‘seven songs to represent me’, I’ve given you the most British song I can think of, while at the same time being a song that has meaning to me on an emotional level.