My song today is ‘Dance with Me Tonight’. This a single by English singer-songwriter Olly Murs and was taken from his second studio album, ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’. It was released as the album's second single on 18 November 2011 and was written by Murs, Claude Kelly, and Steve Robson. The song reached eventually reached the Number 1 spot in December 2011.
There are some things in the world which I could not bear never having experienced, and without which my life would have been infinitely poorer. Chief among these are songs, music, and dance. By the age of nine years, I would weekly attend the ‘Keir Hardy Dance Hall’ in Milnsbridge, Liversedge, where I would engage in old-time dancing. I was never quite sure whether it was to learn the dance steps or to experience the opportunity of holding a pretty girl in my arms and waltzing her around the dance floor that appealed to me the most.
Two years of old-time dancing during which time, I won two dancing awards, I was ready to advance to the modern ballroom stuff. But before I could get into my stride, a wagon went out of control and knocked me down on the estate where I lived, ran over me, and stopped on top of me trapped below. By the time the wagon had stopped, my body had been wrapped around the main propeller drive shaft. It took over half an hour before half a dozen nearby building workers were able to insert long planks beneath one side of the wagon and lift it up sufficiently so that one of the workers could free me. I was conscious throughout and can still remember that the hoisted wagon took two attempts before I was extricated. To await one’s freedom and then have a huge wagon lowered back to the ground with me still entwined in it remains one of my worse memories. To tell the truth, my pain was so great that my body did not register it until I had been released from beneath the wagon.
By the time that the ambulance arrived and took me to Batley Hospital, I was in a critical state. For the following three weeks, I remained at death’s door and was not expected to survive. I had multiple life-threatening injuries. The wagon had essentially twisted my torso so much that all my chest had collapsed with crushed ribs (22 ribs broken from my 24 ), my lung was punctured, I had incurred a damaged spine, my mangled legs had each been broken in several places, and both arms and a collar bone was also broken. On three or four occasions during my first three weeks in the hospital, my parents were informed that I would be dead before the morning. When I eventually pulled through, they were then informed that I would never walk again due to my damaged spine that left me unable to feel anything beneath my waistline.
I remained in the hospital for the following nine months. Towards the end of my hospital stay, I regained the sensations below my waist, and the pain of my damaged legs re-emerged with a vengeance. I cried with happiness to feel my legs pain as that told me that my legs were ‘alive’ and that I might one day walk again. Ever since that experience, I have not had the same negative feeling about ‘pain’ as many people have. To me, ‘pain’ has come to represent ‘life’.
For whatever miraculous reason, the disconnection which had existed between my damaged spine and my brain and my legs had reconnected itself. This offered me a glimmer of hope, despite the medical prediction that I would still be unable to ever walk again. I did not walk for three years, during which time I had over fifty operations on my legs, breaking and re-setting them. All the operations stunted the growth on my most damaged and most operated-on leg, and I was left with my right leg three inches longer than my left leg. Also, my left leg could never again straighten or bend to its full range.
By my 16th year of life, I could walk again and yearned to dance once more. After all, I was a handsome young man with an eye for a good-looking young woman. My romantic years were about to take off. I could never get back into the graceful style demanded of a ballroom dancer. The unevenness of my legs denied me the ability to glide around the floor effortlessly again with a young woman in my arms.
Fortunately for me, the era of Rock and Roll had arrived, and Jiving and Bopping was the dance craze sweeping the nation. These dances had neither set steps nor standard movements, and everyone developed their own individual style. This suited me to the ground, and I became as good a bopper as the best of my peer group. The dance halls became my romantic hunting grounds once more and their dance floors became my seductive base of attraction. I was alive once more. I could dance again!
Love and peace Bill xxx