Friday, 12 May 2017

Gentle On The Mind

Back in the time
Every once in a while, my memories go back to my parents’ record collection, they were gramophone records also known as vinyl records, mostly of the 7” diameter range running at 45 RPM. I can recall that my mother loved All Kinds Of Everything, sung by Dana which won the Eurovision Song Contest 1970 for Ireland.
This weekend, we are back to the annual activity of determining the soppiest song of Europe in Ukraine. There is, however, another memory that comes in waves and disappears for a season, it is just so uncanny that in 6 days’ time, we would be celebrating 50 years of the release if this single.
I remember it a haunting slow recording that I have not been able to retrieve anywhere online, but the lyrics still speak a lot about relationships, knowing who you can call on about friendship and recall the things that have kept that relationship enduring.
Gentle on my mind
In the last line of each verse, there is much that speaks to my kind of person, the many back roads in the quiet and silence, away from the traffic of the hustle and bustle of life, where we find time to think and introspect, experiencing nature where the rivers flowing from hills and mountains teem with life and mystery, does bring peace and a much-needed gentility to the mind.
I crave opportunities to be by the water and watch both the stillness and the rapids, the tides ebbing and flowing, boats with people attending to work or pleasure, we find some sort of fulfilment in exploration and adventure, this is even made the better when there is someone to share those experiences with.
I am blessed that I have people to whom I can say, ‘That keeps you in the back roads, by the rivers of my mem'ry, that keeps you ever gentle on my mind.’ People who I always fondly remember and they make me smile each time I recall a moment in time that celebrates friendship and the joy of living and sharing.
Thank you.
It's knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk
That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch
It's knowing I'm not shackled by forgotten words and bonds and the ink stains that have dried upon some line
That keeps you in the back roads, by the rivers of my mem'ry, that keeps you ever gentle on my mind
It's not clinging to the rocks and ivy planted on their columns now that bind me
Or something that somebody said because they thought we fit together walkin'
It's knowing that the world will not be cursing or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track and find
That you're moving on the back roads, by the rivers of my mem'ry, and for hours you're just gentle on my mind
I dip my cup of soup back from the gurglin' cracklin' caldron in some train yard
My beard a roughening coal pile and a dirty hat pulled low across my face
Though cupped hands 'round a tin can I pretend hold you to my breast and find
That you're waving from the back roads, by the rivers of my mem'ry, ever smilin', ever gentle on my mind
That you're waving from the back roads, by the rivers of my mem'ry, ever smilin', ever gentle on my mind
The original lyric sheet on John Harford’s website.
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