Monday, November 17, 2014

The Songs You Showed Me

This Christmas, let the people who formed your musical tastes know that their efforts weren't wasted!

Well, if the adverts are anything to go by, we're allowed to start thinking about Christmas now, so here's a Christmas-themed blog to get us all in the festive mood.

My girlfriend Sarah is currently in the process of compiling a Christmas CD for her dad. This gift isn't merely a playlist of seasonal songs, nor is it merely a set of songs that she thinks he'll appreciate. Quite the opposite, in fact: it's actually a collection of music to which he introduced her.

This song will almost certainly feature, along with choice tracks from John Martyn, Suzanna Vega, Rufus Wainwright...

Now, this may seem like a rather futile exercise at first. Why give dad a CD full of songs that he a) already knows and b) already cherished enough to pass them on to his first-born child? Why not give him some new tunes to cherish instead?

But, speaking as someone who takes great joy in pointing his favourite people towards great music, I think this is actually a much nicer, more meaningful gesture than a CD full of new songs. "Here's an entire disc of songs that I love" is cool, but "here's an entire disc of songs that I love that you showed me" is, in my opinion, even better - it's a sign that your nagging recommendations didn't fall on deaf, irritated ears, and that, furthermore, you actually enhanced somebody else's life through the music you helped them to find.

So, this Christmas, why not give a friend or family member a home-made compilation of the artists and songs that they introduced you to? Aside from the price of a blank CD, it costs nothing whatsoever, and in addition to making them feel great, it's a fantastic excuse to revisit some favourites that you might have forgotten about.

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