Car journeys –heaven or hell?

Trish Burgess
Trish Burgess
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Trish Takes Five by blogger Trish Burgess

Have you been watching the new Peter Kay series, Car Share?

We’re totally hooked in the Burgess household. It’s such a simple concept: two people travelling to work, listening to the radio and gradually sharing their lives with each other. It’s also very funny: a great vehicle for Peter Kay (Did you see what I did there? Vehicle?)

Having just watched the third episode, where work colleagues John and Kayleigh sing along to tunes on Forever FM, I realised how much car journeys and music go together. Trying to harmonise with the track and your passenger can be painful yet immensely satisfying.

In the early 1980s I used to share the morning car ride with my dad. We had just moved house and I was studying for my A levels. As my school was on the way to Dad’s office, I stopped getting the bus and nabbed a lift instead. Occasionally we just sat in companionable silence whilst I did some last ­minute homework but more often than not we would sing along with the radio. Our favourite number was Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. I think I was Macca, taking the high notes. We weren’t always in perfect harmony but it felt wonderful when we were.

Fast­forward to the late 1990s and the CD of choice was a compilation of children’s songs we had bought from a hotel in Majorca, where the evening entertainment always began with the kiddie disco. For a year or so we tolerated endless loops of Agadoo, Veo Veo and The Music Man, often with accompanying actions from our toddler in the back seat: the driver was obviously banned from joining in with Hands Up.

I’m sure many performers have routines they must adhere to before going on stage. Whenever I’m en route to the South Holland Centre to sing in a SADOS production, I have to listen and sing to the Pieces of a Dream album by Anastacia. The CD happened to be in the car in 2006 when I was in a production of Oklahoma.

Since then it’s become an essential part of my preparation for a show, along with ensuring I find the same parking spot in Herring Lane. I refuse to listen to anything else; that would surely tempt fate.

I asked my husband what car music he remembered from his past and a shadow passed across his face. His childhood is scarred because of an old cassette tape his parents would play relentlessly on the trip from Edinburgh to the south coast of England for their annual holiday. Surprisingly it kept his dad awake.

Max Bygraves: Singalongamax. Imagine, over and over again, the jolly refrain of Gilly, Gilly, Ossenfeffer, Katzenellen Bogen by the Sea.

Join in everybody. ­ There’s a tiny house....

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