I had to include The Beatles. I know that there is a divide between people who love them and people who don’t and in my house, my husband doesn’t much care for their music, whereas I have grown up singing along to many of their tunes.
When I first started teacher training I was astounded to discover that, in assembly, other schools DIDN’T sing The Beatles rather than hymns. As a child, we sang classics such as Help! and Yellow Submarine. We rejoiced in the line ‘Vera, CHUCK and Dave’ in the brilliant When I’m Sixty-four (Chuck being in capitals to show the emphasis two hundred kids put on that one odd sounding name) and fondly imagined a street lined with glittering, golden coins when we sang Penny Lane. It was a magical time, made all the better by our formidable music teacher who accompanied each track with his accordian. Unfortunately it was also at a time when teachers were able to beat children if their behaviour so warranted it and I have to say that Yesterday can still take me right back there as a witness to some terrible beatings that took place now and then. Ironic to think we were singing about our troubles being here to stay…
In 1987 the Herald of Free Enterprise hit the headlines as people were drowned due to a door not being closed properly. The song Let It Be was linked to the disaster to raise money and so it will forever haunt me. I was glued to the news, ten years old and in floods of tears thinking about how scared those people would have been. I will never forget singing that song in assembly and seeing the teachers- those adults who were there to protect us- crying on the sidelines, no doubt thanking their lucky stars they were safe on dry land.
As I got older, The Beatles have travelled with me. I have memories of I Am The Walrus on holiday in Ibiza, I Want Hold Your Hand when I worked in Jersey one summer and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds in Australia. The Beatles have grown up with me as I have understood more of the lyrics and more of their influence on music that is being created even today.
There are a few special songs that The Beatles have under their belt- songs that mean so much to me for so many different reasons. Its impossible for me to pick my favourite but if I were to sum up a reason why my children should listen to them, I would point them towards the Magical Mystery Tour. Because isn’t that what life really is? All the more magical now my children are in it, too.