Thursday, 27 August 2009

Britain in 1964 - a place for Manfred Mann

I didn't know that 'nostalgia' was, like other Greek 'algias', originally a disease. It was homesickness as a disease based on 'nostos' meaning 'return home' and 'algos' meaning 'pain'. Now it means a 'sentimental yearning for some period in the past'. I had a touch of that today when I saw that the band Manfred Mann were Number One with their version of 'Do Wah Diddy Diddy' 45 years ago.

I was able to draw on my auditory memory and sing out loud :

There she was, just a walking down the street
Singing," Do wah diddy diddy, diddy dum, diddy do".
Snapping her fingers and shuffling her feet,
Singing,"Do wah diddy diddy, diddy dum diddy do".

She looked good,
she looked good,
She looked fine,
she looked fine,
And I nearly lost my mind.

I am mindful of Tim Lott's argument that the past isn't real and only the present 'is', but I'm sure that Tim would agree that, a little nostalgia letting me to go back to my version of the past is permitted. So I am allowing myself to go back to August 1964 when I was 17 ( now 62 ), Paul Jones the singer was 22 ( now 67 ) and Manfred Mann was 26 ( now 69 ).

I was studying for 'A' levels, had a saturday job at C & A's, a pretty girlfriend called 'Heather' and drank with my mates in the 'Three Tuns' in Blackheath Village every thursday night.

I felt good, I felt fine
In that very special time.

Do wah diddy diddy, diddy dum diddy do.

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