My Thin Lizzy: Live and Dangerous DVD finally arrived today and proved an even huger let down than one might have expected. SOMEONE needs to pull their finger out of their arse and start collecting the Lizzy stuff together properly and not in a half-arsed wank of a manner like this was. Whatever.
That’s not what my post today is about. Today is all about those moments in songs that you love.
You know the ones I mean. It might be when Bowie sucks in a deep breath before declaring “you’re life itself” in Wild Is The Wind… or the way Sinatra sounds so sad singing ‘one more for the road’ and the piano joins in the pity party… that giant opening chord in The Boys Are Back In Town which can shake a building and rattle a soul… or a thousand moments you all have of your own. I can’t tell you what those moments are because they’re the most personal things we have with music.
These moments make us go back and listen to a song ten times, fifty times… in my case, I’ve listened to Opium Trail by Thin Lizzy one hundred and twenty eight times on my iPod alone… and that doesn’t include the times I’ve flicked past the fade out… and all for the moment where Philip growls-slurs ‘my love’ towards the end. Or the moment where the percussion kicks in during Feast of Friends on Jim Morrison/The Doors’ record An American Prayer when I find myself tapping along with the two sharp beats no matter what I’m doing when it comes along.
These are the moments people like me live for… and these are the moments you sane people are content to merely enjoy.
The moment in I Will Never Be Untrue by the Doors, where Mr Morrison promises to “never stay out drinking no later than two…” *pauses* “Two thirty.”
The moment in Angels and Sailors, on the aforementioned An American Prayer where Jim, in the middle of a poem suddenly says “I love you” for the one and only time in, as far as I can recall, his recorded output. And even manages to sound like he might have meant it once.
The moment in The Air That I Breathe by the Hollies where the harmonised chorus kicks in for the first time and it feels like one is being lifted up onto a fluffy white cloud with a silver living by rosy-cheeked cherubs.
The moment in Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd when the guitar solo finally kicks in after 4.55 minutes.
For that matter, when Stairway to Heaven finally ratches up a gear or eleven. That is why the world loves Stairway.
The moment in Into the Mystic when Van Morrison calls out that “I…. want to rock your gypsy soul”. That sustained ‘I’ is love and lust and poetry and beauty all in one moment.
The first line of the third verse of Spirit Slips Away by Thin Lizzy: “When the music that makes you blue unfolds its secrets… the mysteries are told to you..” at mention of the music that makes you blue, the entire universe seems to become just a little bit clearer than before.
Then again, there’s the wail two thirds of the way into I’m Only Dreaming by The Small Faces where Steve Marriott makes a good song brilliant and proves himself one of the greatest soul singers in the world ever.
The ‘born’ in A Change Is Gonna Come. Sam Cooke is great, but Otis Redding’s version contains the moment.
“THE LAND IS FREE!” as wailingly declared by Philip Lynott in Eire, on the first Lizzy album. Haunting.
The moment in Who Are You by the Who when Roger shrieks “WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU” and manages to distill his guitarist’s anger into a moment, just before The Who as we knew them were gone forever.
The last ‘you belong to me’ in You Belong To Me by Dean Martin, where he sets you free with such melancholic love that you’d be willing to stay forever.
“God willing we will meet again, someday” in Barcelona by Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe. If we do, I shall be happy.
The first crooned words of What Is And What Should Never Be by Led Zeppelin. Worth more than a thousand blokes in tight trews.
“The revolution will be live..” by Gil Scott-Heron. The live makes me both hopeful and worried in almost equal measure. Hopeful more than the other.
The heartbreaking murmured “I sure miss you honey, now you’re not around, now you’re not around this Old Town” in Old Town by Philip Lynott. Yes Philip, I’d noticed.
There are a thousand more of these. Some for musical reasons, some for personal, some for emotional, some for strange and bizarre reasons (like a moment in the Phantom of the Opera during Don Juan, just because His Maskedness says ‘here’ like Richard Burton’)… I’m sure you have your own, and this only includes a few plucked from my iPod.
These are the moments when life makes sense.