Recently I was invited to take part in an award winning programme ‘Soul Music’ on BBC Radio 4. Each series focuses on a piece of music, ranging from classical to modern day. For me it was a chance to talk about how music plays a huge part in my daily life and how at crucial times it has given me the energy to carry on. There is a Light that Never Goes Out by The Smiths was one song I played frequently during the time Charlie was in hospital for cancer treatment. The importance of this song for me was realised one night as Charlie lay in a hospital bed, when hope was fading and the flicker of his life was on its way out.
The runner often runs to the beat of a tune which helps him put one foot in front of the other. Before any poignant moment we often listen to music to focus us, to bring us into an energy field so that we might achieve our best. The boxer before a fight, the politician before a speech, the surgeon before an operation. In my case it turned out that it was to raise Charlie’s dwindling spirit so that he might continue to live.
The Smiths were an important band. Lyrical, intelligent, melancholy and as descriptive as Lowry was in portraying Manchester in their art. It is fascinating to listen to other people’s stories of the band and the memories they recollect from this song.