I just checked and it turns out that I have loved this song, a duet with Jackson Browne, for 24 years. How the absolute feck did that happen?
The album it is from, Living Under June, was released in August 1994.
Today is the 19th of January, which means that 24 years ago tonight I was lying in a bed in an Isolation ward in the Royal Surrey Hospital, Guildford, being treated for the ingestion of 300 Paracetamol pills and a half bottle of brandy.
The anniversary of this event has had varying effects on me during the intervening years. For at least 10 years I became a gibbering wreck, unable to function, invariably phoning in sick, and curling up in bed in a twisted, unnatural ball. But slowly, over the years since then, it has become easier. In fact, for the last 4 years, the date has passed unnoticed. So why this post?
Jann Arden’s Unloved cropped up on a playlist tonight. It isn’t the ‘be all and end all’ of my mental problems but it is one of a dozen songs that populated that year, and have been such a huge comfort to me, over the years. I cherish all of them. One of them, in fact, maybe the most special, is “It’s About Time” by The Lemonheads. This appeared when I was out of hospital, back with my Mum, at 38 years old, and I had gone out for a walk. It came up on my battered Walkman as I trudged back to Mum’s house, hands buried in my jeans pockets, collar up on my thin jacket, shoulders hunched against the biting wind. And as Evan Dando sang his song the sun slid out from behind a milky, January cloud. At the end of Mum’s driveway, I stopped, turned to the sun, and lifted my face to the weak, late afternoon warmth. And I smiled. As Evan sang “It’s about time,” I smiled for the first time in weeks.
So my little batch of songs is important to me. I have an idea why this particular anniversary knocked me sideways but I need to let it marinate before I am certain. Maybe my music will help.