It’s somebody’s birthday

Mine! Yours too? No, really, get out of here!

Yeah that’s right you heard. I know you didn’t buy me anything and next you’re going to tell me you didn’t know. Well what with computerised reminders there’s no excuse next year.

Don’t worry I don’t ask for much, I’m easily pleased, just have it sent by pixelated pixies to the ether courtesy of my blog which is listed in between Bjork’s website and Bluebird Boulevard. Well you know that’s made up as the web is not organised by alphabet but by whimsy.

Yeah alright I guess you can give me good karma instead if you want, it’s not going to pay none of my bills or look good around the home, but if it makes you feel better then I guess that’s the main thing even though it is my actual birthday not yours, but anyway.

I was born into the world one long since forgotten Friday in the 1960’s – early in the afternoon if you must know. I don’t know if any of you were around then but perhaps your parents or even grandparents (shudders!) told you about it – on that day the Earth sighed slightly on its axis just as I blinked into the bright life of day.

I had actually tried unsuccessfully blinking in to the bright life of day a few hours earlier on the way to the hospital when I tried to make my first appearance in the passenger seat of my Dad’s Mini – perhaps I was curious as to all the fireworks going off – perhaps I was conceived in that car too, would not that have been a nice symmetry but urgh that’s the kind of thing which is quite okay to say and think about other people’s parents but not your own. Anyway my mother had other ideas and I had to wait until I got there, you know how that is.

But you know readers my first car was a Mini and I still own it, that’s a much more pleasant symmetry to hold in your mind isn’t it? Or another symmetry is that I have never been much of a morning person – well unless you call around midnight morning. That last sentence was said in the voice and style of Deck of Cards by Wink Martindale. Otherwise it just reads cheesy.

I hope you did not come expecting coherence? I have only had one beer so far but the day is young. So yes I am Friday’s child. The child that is loving and giving – of course you all chorus – but Wednesday’s child is full of woe you know – fancy that – that really sets up a child for life – and get this the child that is born on the sabbath is good and gay – well of course!

Friday’s Child is also a novel by Georgette Heyer and a poem by WH Auden – oh yeah!

It is also two different songs by Them and Nancy Sinatra.

Also a second season episode of the original Star Trek.

Yep I can read and take what I want from Wikipedia with the best of them.

Back to Nancy. Oh by the way if you are on Twitter so is Nancy and she follows back – well she followed me back. But Barack Obama never followed me back and I know he follows people back. Heaps of people back. But not me. Not that I am bothered about it.

Back to Nancy. Her version of Friday’s child is actually Lee Hazlewood’s as he wrote it and she sings and well according to him we are not loving and giving rather hard luck is my brother and my sister’s misery. My daddy they called hard times. Just who is this they I would like to know. Born a little ugly too we are – so harsh to be judging the barely born vaguely grotesque I think and it goes on that good looks passed us by and it ends that of us ‘they’ll forget to bury’.

But anyway enough about Friday, it is after all Tuesday, though might still be Monday where you are, but November 6 will be Tuesday all over the world I am sure of it.

I’m going to finish with a birthday song, Live Wire by Martha and the Vandellas. More importantly it was released into the world the same year I was – see I am giving you clues there as to my exact vintage!

It was one of those Motown songs by Dozier and the Holland brothers.

It starts ‘It’s my birthday’ (Yeah!) but then ‘and he forgot again’ and goes on

Every time we date, he’s always late
Tired of abuses and excuses, I’ve made up my mind
Gonna tell him this time we’re through, yeah

But everything I plan to say
Just seems to fade away
Every time I see his face,
My eyes light up, sparks start to flyin’

But he’s a live wire
A real live wire
He’s like a bolt of lightnin’
And sets my soul on fire

That is romantic isn’t it? Or the eternal triumph of hope over experience? Either way it’s moving.

Did I tell you that I met Martha Reeves once? No? Well I did, well not actually met her obviously but I saw her in concert. Not though in her and the Vandella’s sixties heyday, I was after all still in diapers then but lets backtrack to heydays.

While it must be great to have had a heyday and survived it too it does kind of suggest that the best is all behind you? But better to have lived and had a heyday than never to have had a heyday at all – see that really doesn’t make very much sense – practically gibberish – but if you look at it in some angles, twist it around a bit, there you got it, then it does make some kind of sense. Kind of.

So I saw Martha and the Vandellas and I cannot even recall if they were the same Vandellas that were with Martha in her aforementioned heyday either.

Nor did I see them in Detroit. Or any of the American States. They were a long way from home. My childhood home county of Shropshire in fact. In its capital – called Shrewsbury and it was the 1980’s – more exactly it was 1983 which I remember because it was General Election Night in Britain and so June but then this is far too much detail of which you could not possibly care.

But anyway there she Martha was up on stage before my very eyes and I briefly caught her eyes – oh yes Martha Reeves and I have looked into each other’s eyes – though I still being an unsure tautness of awkward quickly averted my gaze and pretended a semblance of dance to Dancing in the Streets or whatever song it was they were belting out at the time.

I have also exchanged eye contact with former World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov you know when he was in London defending his title against our very own Nigel Short. I felt he was looking right through me – very unsettling and quite uncalled for I thought when I was only come to watch one of his games at The Savoy Theatre and his look suggesting that I should be staring not at him but at the ceiling or something…but where was I oh yes….

Oh and have a glass of your favourite tipple with me, mine will be a red wine. A few more of these and I promise you I will have forgotten that you did not get me anything.

10 thoughts on “It’s somebody’s birthday

  1. Pingback: Séverin Millet in The New Yorker, and beyond | Blog Rest and Play

  2. The earth sighed on its axis as you blinked open to life. Oh Sam, that’s gorgeous. No, alas, my parents did not tell me about this event, your birth.

    I won’t say it’s my birthday – mine’s 3/3rd.

    Your music tastes are unique – like The Heretic – he pulls all stuff out of his bag. I’ve never heard of Martha Reeves. I liked the words – but up until she melts because he’s all lightning. I thought he was abusing her with his neglect, and then she forgives because he’s hot stuff… Anyway, that’s my take.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIG BOY – sorry I’m late :(. It’s actually a compliment when I’m late reading a post because I see it in my inbox and want “the time & space” to read it. And that was this morning, Sunday.

    Cheers ! N’n.


  3. Yes, Happy Birthday, oh ancient scribe! You’re in good company – my mum’s was yesterday and my niece’s is today. All the best people are born around this time of year, I think you’ll find, as proved unquestionably through recent thorough research by myself and by the fact that my birthday was a couple of weeks ago.


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