Today’s song is ‘Cold Little Heart’. This was a song recorded by Michael Samuel Kiwanuka who is a British Indie and Folk-Rock singer-songwriter. His 2012 debut album ‘Home Again’ went gold in the United Kingdom and his second album, ‘Love and Hate’, debuted in 2016 at Number 1. He has been nominated for numerous honours, including the Brit Awards: MTV Europe Music Awards: Mercury Prize: BBC Music Awards, to name but a few of the main accolades. In January 2012, he won the ‘BBC’s Sound of 2012’.
Born in London, the son of Ugandan parents who escaped from the Amin regime, Kiwanuka went on to study Art and Design at the University of Westminster. He started his music career as a session guitarist before working as a solo artist. He made a big impression at the ‘2012 Montreux Jazz Festival’.
I never heard of this singer until a few months ago in July, 2019. I had been watching a television series on a Netflix Channel called ‘Big Little Lies’ when in the background I heard parts of this mesmerising song being faded in and out as the screen action continued. I was instantly struck by the unique sound of Kiwanuka’s haunting voice. I looked up his song and after playing it a few times and acquainting myself with the tune, I decided to record it.
Of all the people of problematic disposition and behaviour with whom I have worked during my life, the ones I found to have had the greatest heart-breaking episodes in their life, were the ones who were often unable to love themselves or express loving feelings for others. They might have been reared by parents who never once told them, ‘I love you’ or they have been physically and sexually abused by brothers, father figures or shady uncles and grew up feeling ashamed and dirty for what had been done to them (against them). Such people with these kinds of background experiences have known only ‘cold, little hearts’ and they find it virtually impossible to ever invest emotional trust in another.
The bulk of work required along their road of recovery involved them being in contact with a person/people with a gentle loving and non-threatening disposition and learning to trust receiving an expression of love from another without any sexual strings attached or any other expectations demanded to be played out. First, they need to find the love in their own hearts before they ever have the eyes or capacity to see and feel it in another.
Once they have learned to love themselves (itself a mammoth task that can literally take years), only then have they the means to love others. Hundreds of exercises need to be practised and repeated which simply involve saying loving things to people. They often need to start off small and graduate with their increased confidence. Once they realise that simply nobody will ever think badly of them or respond negatively to them when they behave ‘nicely’, they are prepared to be lovingly bolder in their expression. During this process, their cold hearts have become warmer and kinder to the needs of self and others.
I dedicate this song today to my friend, Danielle O‘Shea from Carlow in Ireland whose birthday it is. Danielle, her charming husband, Paddy (the same name as my father) and her fine family, represent to me everything that good, wholesome families are all about. The O'Sheas are the finest and most hospitable of families one could hope to find. Sheila and I called in on their farm a few years ago while we were holidaying in Ireland and on our way to Waterford, where I was born. The O'Sheas welcomed us warmly, along with providing us with refreshments on their terrace.
Danielle, her husband and children represent one of the nicest families I have met with values that I wished every family had. Now, if only every child in the land could have the good fortune and grace of God to have been brought up in a family like the O’Shea household, with parents of loving expression like Danielle and Paddy, then nobody’s heart would ever get as cold as some of the people in life who have had unhappy and unwholesome childhoods.
Have a lovely birthday, Danielle and I hope that husband and those children of yours know how good a wife and mum they have ( much rarer than any of your rare farm stock, I hasten to add) and spoil you rotten on your special day. We are holidaying in Ireland again in 2020 and will pop in for a cup of tea if possible. Love Bill and Sheila x
Love and peace Bill xxx