When I was a little kid, I had a much beloved Uncle who would croon to us girl cousins daggy songs about our names: Joanna had one, Karen had one, Christine had one, Cindy had one, even my sister Emily had a sweet Moody Blues song. I didn’t have one. Oh, Uncle would make them up for me and tell me they were real songs. But I could tell when he fibbed cos he would squint with his right eye. One day when I was about 13 and hideously gawky (unlike my cousins and sister) I told him “Stop, it’s OK. There aren’t really any Alyson songs,” He started to tell me he knew several and if he could just get the tune right in his head, he’d sing one to me. But then he looked up at me (I had started my growth spurt) and saw the look on my face and he said “If there isn’t already one out there, there certainly will be one day. There are always songs written for beautiful girls like you.” Awwww. He was my main source of self esteem at that hideously clumsy age, and I’ll remember it always.
How lucky, then, was I at the self destructive age of 21, to have a prolonged fling with a wonderfully, gentle man; a muso, who sang this song to me softly one night. I was so astounded I thought he’d made it up. He assured me he had not and found the album in his collection for me to listen to. It was Elvis Costello! One of my hopefully future husbands: Elvis Costello. I was inordinately pleased, and my fling guy was sweet enough to be touched and not weirded out by my very strange and unexplained behaviour. The lyrics were so sad but they fit the place I was in at that age, and I liked to listen to its blues to feel good. Remember doing that?
It’s certainly not the same kind of song that my Uncle used to croon to us girls, but it was cool to discover that one of my future next-life husbands favorite singers had a song for me. Even if he spelt it the wrong way.