For reasons that (which?) now escape me, I’ve rediscovered ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3′, a hit in 1979 for Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Maybe it was the chant underlying the funk workout that did it, the one that underpins the whole song, in which the Blockheads ask ‘Why don’t you GET back into bed?’, which I’ve adapted as an exhoration to Croxi Minor and Minima of an evening – ‘Why don’t you GET upstairs to bed?’ Or maybe it wasn’t. Anyway, it’s now on my iPod, and I’m enjoying every sublime nuance. My favourite part now, as then, is the part when, after austere drums, the sax solo comes in over a Hammond organ backing – the contrast is just like stepping off a cold floor and into a warm bath.
Front and centre is Ian Dury listing a miscellany of things that give one reason to be cheerful, everything from the geopolitical (Steve Biko, equal votes) to the everyday (porridge oats, yellow socks, phoning up a buddy) to the childishly indulgent (being rather silly, being in my nuddy, sitting on the potty, days when I ain’t spotty).
The message of the song (more of a proto-rap, really) is not lost on the Maison Des Girrafes lately. The weather is getting colder, and the spectre of unemployment is visiting doors not entirely unadjacent to ours and our friends’. Last week I attended a funeral of a neighbour who died of prostate cancer, and, well, times are tough. But on the bright side, we’re looking forward to major building works here at the M des Gs in which we’ll be trawling reclamation yards for distressed doors and antique rolltop baths. I have a new book, maybe two, to write. and this weekend me and Crox Minor are very much looking forward to seeing Norwich City play Leeds United, and the whole family is agog with anticipation at the new Harry Potter movie which we’re going to see at the Cromer Enormoplex tomorrow. Other reasons to be cheerful are prosaic and implicit in Dury’s song. The love of one’s family. Being amused at the destructive antics of teh kittehs. Hugging a warm dog. Health, happiness and being alive. Reasons to be cheerful indeed.
I do have one question, though. Wherefore Reasons To Be Cheerful parts 1 and 2?