Holding back the years

Although I believe I’m in the minority, and may even be speaking heresy in some circles, I rather like Facebook’s Timeline format…yes, okay, barring the occasional privacy issue, potential for identity theft, sporadic lack of total control and hypothetical hidden agendas.

Timeline, as most of us know, is a merging of the old Profile and Wall pages with a reverse-chronological blog-like timeline of one’s life. Though sometimes sluggish and not always easy to negotiate, it’s a first-rate way to chronicle one’s past and present and I, for one, have been an incorrigible chronicler since childhood, still utilizing whatever medium’s simple enough for a child to use.

Through the vanishing years this has included: reel-to-reel, then cassette, then digital audio recordings… photographs in their thousands, ranging from instamatic (110 cartridge) and 35 mm film prints to digital and now iPhone digital jpegs… VHS, then digital video recordings (capturing many a rolled eye from  my wife and kids)… and of course reams of handwritten, then typewritten, then dot matrix and inkjet (not to mention offset and digitally) printed, and “virtual online,” narrative accounts.

Although much now functions as insulation under the eves, today’s technology has provided me with the mind-boggling ability to incorporate any of this chronicled material in my Timeline. If I were boring enough to do it, I could easily represent every year of the life I’ve lived so far.  Actually I have gone so far as to include photographs from every year of my adult life and (although time consuming) the outcome has been astonishing.

Reach a certain age and suddenly you have a past. But it’s only when you’ve laid it out year-by-year (especially in pictures) that you appreciate how much has been forgotten and how the seasons, even the decades, tend to melt together once they’ve been lived. There are some who would rather forget, of course, and others who would prefer not to share.  But for all its faults Facebook’s Timeline is a free and basic means of resurrecting those winsome times gone by and (though sometimes they may be your own) relishing the present by fondly holding, holding, holding on to faces from the past.

Today’s selection, as many will remember, was an international hit for this memorable British soul band that was initially named for its trendy-carrot-topped lead singer, Mick “Red” Hucknell in 1985.  However, when an early promoter inquired about the group’s name, he received the reasonable answer, “It’s Red, simply Red.”

So many publicity posters were printed with the resulting misnomer that the group became known as….Simply Red, and over a 25-year dash recorded ten studio albums.  Since the band’s break up in 2010 Hucknell has gone on to a full-time solo career, although his now more conventionally styled hair is no longer simply….

Included on Simply Red’s debut album “Picture Book” in 1985, when it reached Number 2 on the UK Charts and Number 1 on the US Billboard Charts, “Holding Back the Years” was actually written many years earlier, when Hucknell was only seventeen.

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Wednesday 28 November

 Holding Back The Years

 Holding back the years

Thinking of the fear I’ve had so long

When somebody hears

Listen to the fear that’s gone

Strangled by the wishes of Pater

Hoping for the arms of Mater

Get to me the sooner or later

 I’ll keep holding on

I’ll keep holding on

Holding back the years

Chance for me to escape from all I’ve known

Holding back the tears

Cause nothing here has grown

I’ve wasted all my tears

Wasted all those years

And nothing had the chance to be good

Nothing ever could yeah

I’ll keep holding on

I’ll keep holding on

I’ll keep holding on

I’ll keep holding on

So tight

 I’ve wasted all my tears

Wasted all of those years

And nothing had the chance to be good

Cause nothing ever could oh yeah

I’ll keep holding on

I’ll keep holding on

I’ll keep holding on

I’ll keep holding on

Holding, holding, holding

That’s all I have today

It’s all I have to say

 

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