Today’s song is ‘Hear My Song’. In 1991 a drama film was written by the actors Peter Chelsom (who also directed) and Adrian Dunbar (who plays the lead). The film was called ‘Hear My Song’ and the story was based on the story of Irish tenor Josef Locke. It was nominated for ‘Best Original Screenplay at the 1993 BAFTA Awards’.
The story of the film revolves around an attempt by Micky O'Neill (Dunbar) to revive the fortunes of his Liverpool nightclub by promising his patrons that he will produce Josef Locke. After a series of unfortunate bookings (including, most notably, Franc Cinatra (a Sinatra impersonator), Micky books the mysterious Mr. X, a man who insists that he cannot be booked as Jo Locke due to the legal issues that would invariably ensue. The elusive Locke left England during the 1950s to avoid paying taxes, leaving behind ‘a beauty queen, a Jaguar sportscar, and a pedigree dalmatian; all of them pining.’ O'Neill's personal and professional life are left in ruin after the beauty queen, Kathleen Doyle exposes his Mr X as a fraud. O'Neill returns to Ireland to find the one true Josef Locke and bring him back.
The song is titled the same as the film and was the signature tune of Josef Locke.
Singing has always been a big part of my life. During my development, as the oldest in a family of seven children, I never spent a day without hearing my mother sing one song or another as she happily cleaned, washed, cooked, darned and ironed for her children. Mum couldn’t sing for toffee. She would invariably sing the wrong words to a song and rarely sang in tune but singing made her day easier and happier by all accounts.
I once reproached my mum for singing out of tune and I will never forget her response. She replied,“Where is it written down, Billy Forde, that only good singers can sing? Show me and I will stop singing this moment and never sing again!” I was initially puzzled at her response, not fully comprehending its logic. Then, my mother was to say something so true that it took me years to fully comprehend the profundity of her reasoning. “We all have some talent, Billy. Some sing better than others, some cook better, dance better and some are better listeners and make better fathers and mothers. All these things make up our song of life, and it is our duty to ‘sing our song’ in the best way we can!” (This is approximately what my mother said to the best of my recollection in my own words). My mother then asked me, “Do you know why birds sing, Billy?” to which I replied, “Because they’re birds!” Mum said,” Birds sing for one reason only, Billy, because they have a song to sing. Now stop pestering me and get out of my way because I’ve work to do and a song to sing!”
All my life I have been following my dear mother’s advice and have been’ singing my song’ in every way I have managed to display my talents at whatever I turned my hand to. So, it matters not if it is singing itself or the art of writing, advocating, stewardship, communicating, counselling, advising, being a good friend, living, loving or dying with dignity; each and all these things represent a ‘song of life’. I ask not that you like my song today, merely that you ‘hear my song’ and that you start to sing your own 'song of life' by doing what you best do.
Today’s song is dedicated to my neighbour and allotment friends, Brian and V’ron Moorehouse. Each night, for the past year, Brian and V’ron play my daily song from my YouTube channel on their big-screen television set. They like all music, especially the Irish songs and the old songs that are rarely heard too often these days. V’ron tells me that I look nice on the big screen but being such a loving and kind woman, she would never wound the pride of an old man, especially if that man was an old Irish man. So, it looks like I will just have to take her word for it with a pinch of salt.
Love and peace Bill xxx