A Mum's (Mostly Musical) Memories
Last updated: 17.12.19
This is a sad little tale of a mother who whilst was prepared to write down and sing her songs to her eldest son was adamant that no one else should share them. It had been my intention to publish a slim volume in honour of her 80th something birthday but she refused to tape her songs which would allow me to correctly notate her renderings. As it was, I had the good fortune to spend almost whole two days between 3rd and 4th October 2000 with my mother whilst on holiday in Singapore, taking down her repertoire of childhood songs. Some of these she sang to her five children and she sang others for her own pleasure either during her own childhood or later as a young mother.
She learned all these songs by rote from four main sources; a children's' home in Worcester (1920-1925), St. George's School, Barbourne, Worcester (1925-1929), Stanley Road School, Worcester (1930-1933) and The Worcester Secondary School for Girls (1933-1937).
She has very firm memories of her music teachers, a Miss Cole of St. George's School who she described as being tall and thin with very black straight hair, and her Stanley Road teacher, Mrs Spires. Mrs Spires, who she personally liked very much, made a particular impression as she was a "widow-lady" whose husband had been killed in 1918. The tears in this good lady's eyes during the annual November Remembrance Services made a life-long impression on my mother, then a girl of some 10-11 years.
Well she took her melodies to her grave in Auckland, New Zealand and this book never got published. Here are the songs which were taken down: