Growing up I was ‘daddy’s girl’ . He did no wrong in my eyes. Dad used to love music and it played continually in our home. I can remember sitting listening to music he had on reel to reel tape and LPs. It was inevitable I would associate music with my dad , but the song I think of him most is “Green Green Grass of Home“. Hearing this song ( even writing about I now), brings a tear or two to my eyes
During the summer holidays my mother, her parents and my sisters would spend time at our lake’house’ . I use the term house loosely as it was in fact a lake shack or very large garage. Despite this we had a lot of happy times a this place . Other families with kids of similar ages also came to their houses each year to ‘up the Lake’ as it was affectionately known as. We fished, swam, suntanned in coconut or baby oil, played with our Christmas toys , ate half melted ice cream as the fridge wasn’t that great, and walked to the corner store about a kilometre away to buy treats. It was not unusual for other friends and relatives to bring caravans (and I remember one brought a tent) to our block too.
The only thing I didn’t like was , due to my dads work , summer time was a time he couldn’t get away on holidays ( or was it because he liked luxury and this place was far from that- think that may have been a strong force too ) . We would walk to the corner phone and call dad every second night (STD phone calls were very expensive in those days and we had to be connected by an operator!!!
Occasionally my dad would catch the train to the lakehouse and then a cab from the station to spend the weekend with us. He hated driving and especially this trip. This trip took about a two and a half hour train ride on 3 trains , two of which were diesel then a 10 km cab trip. He would get there Saturday afternoon and leave Sunday just after lunch. This would sadden me.
So to the tune’s significance …else this story will be as twisting as the road to the lakehouse.
One day as we waited for the cab to arrive to take dad to the station , dad had left the radio playing in the shack. “Green Green Grass of Home” was playing as the brown taxi with wooden panels arrived to take my dad to the station. I can still remember standing at the roadside watching the cab drive down to the end of the street before turning and disappearing from my sight, a dusty cloud the only evidence my dad had been with me just a minute or so ago. I was about 8 at the time. I remember my mum telling me how when I was little I would tell people my dad had left us while that song played. She said she had to explain ,while people looked sadly at her, that he had only left us at our holiday home to return to our home and work .
Whenever I hear that song I think of dad even though dad has been gone 23 years. Songs like scents can heighten our emotions. Tell me about a special song in your heat.