Tonight at 9.00 pm Pooka Radio continue to assist me in fulfilling my lifelong ambition to become a DJ by airing the playlist I submitted to them two or three years ago. Some of the songs on it are lifelong companions (Sketch for Summer, Children on the Hill, New Grass), discovered via the recommendations of friends; others entered my life serendipitously by following my own nose (Summa, Angel Echoes, Downside Up, Boy 1904); some by accident (the car radio tuned to the Jamie Cullum show, in which he played All Things to All Men); some from the recommendation of my brother (New Paths to the Helicon), and one of my son (Father Father).
All the bases are covered. Friends, family, children; childhood reluctantly spilling over into late adolescence; reading poetry for the first time; that disgusting flat in Cricklewood; revising for finals watching Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis in black and white; starting a band; writing my first poems; Paul’s cooking; Liz’s accident; Lisa’s double bass; chemotherapy and its aftermath.
I like that most of them are wordless. (I am prepared to bet that Boy 1904 is written in a made up language, possibly Angel.) They come with me in the van; or in the kitchen as an alternative to Brexit, new comedy, or Chelsea losing to Wolves. I lose myself within them. I hum. I mutter. I throw in a nob of butter. I make up words. I conduct. I consider dancing. I often end up crying.
Why do I call them worship? Because they bring me to a place of silence, of recognising once again how infinitesimally small I am, of my deep need for solitude. I want to be lost. I want to be drenched. Not all music can do this.