The Real Deal

For KK’s Flashback Track Friday prompt. This is my “proper” response.

The stakes were high,
We all were primed,
So much to gain or lose.

From long, hot days,
In captive grip,
We heard upon a muse.

She spread from one,
To two, to ten,
Her message loud and strong,

So clear to us,
The hungry youths,
Contained within her songs

I should explain. It is 1989. We are in Cardiff, UK, and I am in my final year of university.

I worked sixteen-hour days, mostly in a windowless library. I lived like a monk, not even seeing my then girlfriend for a month.

Because of this preparation, the exams went better than I expected. I began to socialise among student friends. One record was doing the rounds, the new addition to seemingly everybody’s collections.

An artist we had never before heard of. Her debut album. Every track with a message. We were willing recipients. Many tracks were covered, none came close.

I’m searching for the right words. “Breath of Fresh Air” does not do her justice, though that was precisely what she was. I don’t know whether it is simply because of my age (I was 21), because of my impressionability, or because of the direct link to me final exams, but there was never another album, before or since, which blew me away the same.

This is Tracy Chapman. I shall choose one track, but I recommend the entire album. https://open.spotify.com/album/6hmmX5UP4rIvOpGSaPerV8?si=DsJLpYc6Sc25FRn9pDR3sQ

Author: Mister Bump UK

Designed/developed large IT systems, interrupted by a stroke in 2016, aged 48. Now mix development of health-related software with voluntary work and writing. Married, with an estranged daughter.

12 thoughts on “The Real Deal”

  1. Chapman is dear to me also, and your memory poem about passing her song around like a sort of anthem, equally lovely. Thanks so much for, again, elevating my prompt to art. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

        1. It was this or “Song for Whoever”, which was The Beautiful South’s very first track and which came out at exactly the same time. But TC is streets ahead in terms of “meaningful”, although I have many BS albums.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.