Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

This Is Me

It’s Wednesday morning and I’ve just returned home after transporting two family members to Leeds Railway Station. This convivial twenty minute sojourn by car undertaken to a backdrop of tunes from the musicals on Apple Music; anthems predominantly taken from the movies La La Land and The Greatest Showman. Award winning contemporary musical refrains from the prodigious pen and creatively fertile minds of American songwriting duo Pasek and Paul.

Exposure to these melodies manifesting familial debate over which of the two blockbusting celluloid offerings usurped each other when comparing arias, storyline, acting and artistic integrity. From a personal perspective, I mooted the respective songs and acting performances were comparable. However, yours truly postulated that, for me anyhow, from a storyline aspect The Greatest Showman just shaded the movie released eleven months earlier.

With regards my daughter Rachel’s earlier request to debate which film held dominion when it came to the topic of artistic integrity, I’d no idea what that meant . Consequently, idiotically responded One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest; a retort which rightfully resulted in me being dubbed an idiot by Rach.

Anyhow, as I approached the Queens Hotel (adjacent to the Rail Station) in Leeds City Square where my clan members were due to disembark for onward journey by locomotive, the consensus of opinion was both movies were worthy of critical acclaim. This twain of contemporary musical offerings ranked as film amours by the trinity of car occupants.

With this conclusion already common knowledge within the family from previous chat’s of this subject, our debate failed to unearth any previously concealed familial observations.

Consequently, after dropping off the brood I couldn’t help but mutter to myself “What a bloody waste of twenty minutes conversation!!”…….. That being said, although the car in situ natter failed to manifest any antecedent revelations, we’d the boon of having a score minutes listening to some great music scores.

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If truth be told, I’m unsure if myself, my daughter and the other family member (who for anonymity purposes I’ll call Mavis Owlbeak) have the aural or technical wherewithal to make informed critique on the structure, substance and integrity of a refrains melody or lyric. After all, our trio are not only bereft of any musical training, but Mavis ordinarily struggles to convey many a performer’s moniker correctly.

Examples of Ms Owlbeak’s naming idiosyncrasy being the labelling of artists Sting, Paul Weller, John Legend and Barbra Streisand as String, Paul Welings, John Legen and Barbra Streisan. A tic which, to my mind, detracts from the reliability of Mavis’ revue musicale.

Not without foundation, though, Mav would argue it’s irrelevant how extensive her knowledge voids are when it comes to the science of songwriting, or incorrect performers name pronunciation. Adding she knows which refrains raise her endorphin levels and it’s not within anyone’s remit to advise her what she should and shouldn’t listen to.

Maybe going on further to state her opinion as to what constitutes an eminently listenable track is as relevant as a Royal College of Music professor…… A rant to which I’d retort “Alright Mavis, I get your point!!….. Now calm down, love, or I’ll not get you Coldplayed’s new album for Christmas!!”

Anyhow, to quote The Greatest Showman songwriters Pasek & Paul:-

“I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are
But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me……”

Categories: Blogs, depression, family, fiction, humour

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