Over on Facebook – where, I might have mentioned, you can ‘like’ us to your heart’s content right here – someone had the bright idea of setting a challenge to select a song a day on thirty different topics. As music is such a big part of my life anyway, I thought I would combine that idea with The Memory Blog during April (April having the right number of days). Which means that you get a new post every day this month, with a song at the end, too.
I’m cheating a bit with today’s entry. This song reminds me of many things, but in particular it reminds me of the summer of 1988. I was coming to the end of my second year at university, and had fallen in with a group of first years that I had met through being secretary of the university ski club (another set of stories for another time, that).
Loosely speaking, there were seven or eight of us who would eat together and occasionally go out together. One of the nice things about the second year at Keele was that there were no exams at the end of term, so I could just laze around in the sunshine and enjoy the company of people that I liked.
Unfortunately, first years did have exams and I was probably a terrible influence on one or two of them. Two of them – I’m not going to name them, they know who they are – failed not only those exams but the resits later in the summer. They were suspended for a year, which meant that I was denied their company for the final year that I was at Keele.
There’s a song which always takes me back to that time, and reminds me of that group of people. In particular, though, it reminds me of the shock of hearing that two of my friends were not going to be around for a year, and of realising that I might never see them again (I did, I went to annoy them in Germany instead).
The problem is that the song itself was a B-side and I cannot find it on the internet anywhere. It is called ‘Room at the Top’ and it is by a Scottish band named The Motorcycle Boy. The reason that it always takes me back to those times is the opening verse:
Now as the light fades on a summer’s afternoon/I leave the sun behind and climb the stairs up to your room/How come you always look so pleased to see me?/In this mess you’ve made I know it can’t be easy/You smile/I say “I came to say goodbye”
To me, that sums up the end of term at university, let alone what happened after.
Anyway, the A-side of that record is just as good, so give it a listen.There’s also an excellent little piece about the band right here