Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A Song for My Dad.....Daddy Take Me Fishing

We were out in the countryside with friends one day a few years ago. I can't now remember where we'd been, but on the way home I realised that we would soon be passing close to a place I used to go to with my father when I was a child. Dad enjoyed fishing - coarse fishing, that is fishing for freshwater fish that are not game fish... roach, dace, tench, perch.... and he would take any chance to go fishing in the summer to lakes and particularly on the River Severn. I realised that day that we would be going past Atcham, a hamlet on the Severn... it had been one of Dad's favourite fishing spots, and I used to love to go along. I learned the names of the fish that he caught, but most of all I loved to just potter and play along the river bank, looking at the flowers, the dragonflies and the butterflies, enjoying the sun and the air and the country sounds.

I wanted to see it again - to see that riverbank by the old stone bridge, for the first time in fifty years. Long-Suffering-Husband and our friends waited for me in the local hostelry while I walked across the bridge and down to the riverside. I walked along the river bank, saw what had changed, what had stayed the same. It was a very profound and unsettling experience that I was not prepared for. Although the grass had grown very long on that riverside meadow, and the bushes at the edge of the bank were larger, seeming not to have been cut back recently, that riverbank and the views around it seemed at the same time to be unchanged, it was like being taken back in an instant to my childhood - it was as if, if I had turned round suddenly I could have seen my Dad sitting by the river, quietly watching his float, waiting for a bite. It actually literally took my breath away. When I rejoined the others I couldn't speak, could hardly breathe, and I admit the tears flowed. Dad was gone too young, in his fifties, a victim of cancer. When he died I was still in my teens.

How precious those simple days of childhood were.

Last autumn I started to write a song in tribute to Dad, and to those special times together. I left it unfinished until a couple of months ago, when I managed to complete it.

The plan for yesterday was to go to this month's meeting of the Stourbridge Branch of the GFS, the George Formby Society. The weather was gorgeous so we decided to take another trip to the Severn before going from there straight to the meeting. So we went to Arley, a real quiet beauty spot on the river between Bewdley and Bridgnorth, and another one of Dad's favoured fishing places. It was heavenly... no traffic noise, just the sound of splashing of the shallow waters over the stones in the river, breeze in the trees, birds calling, and the quiet chatter of some people fishing just the other side of some bushes on the riverbank. We sat there quietly, drinking in the tranquillity for about half an hour. I said to LHS, "I think I'll sing my fishing song at the meeting tonight...."

And I did. First time I've sung it for an audience - I think they liked it!

So here it is, my song for Dad... video'd just after I finished writing it.

Thanks for dropping in! Do drop in again!

(You might notice that this is on a new YouTube channel that I've started just for my own songs. There's only a few on there right now, I'll be adding more of my songs as time goes on....)

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HI! I hope you enjoy this blog and I'd love to hear your comments! But I know you'll forgive me if I read them over before I click the "publish" button! Thanks!