In Disobedience, Mr T-T took A.A. Milne poems and set them to music for his live show at Edinburgh Fringe (which was brilliant). This is an album of recordings of some of the songs he performed. Now, I want to take a wee step back here. Actually it's quite a big step back, till when I was about 3. My mum read all the Pooh stories to me when I was little, and Milne's poems, and I have such a love for them that as my 21st birthday present she gave me a fancy edition of The Complete Works of A.A. Milne. They have been a constant part of my life, and are a very vivid and good part of my memories of my mum... so obviously, an album putting those emotive words to music could be either a very good thing or a very bad thing.
'Very good' are not descriptive enough words for this album. Chris* has take words that mean so very much to generations of children, to so many people I know (and to him), and set them to music that adds to and compliments the depth of feeling within them. This album of nine poems as songs is at turns humorous, comforting, beautiful , melancholy and heartbreaking. Sometimes it is these all at once. It is exquisite.
The whole thing is so close to perfection it's hard to pick favourites, but I love 'Waiting at the Window' for its commentary on two rain drops, given personalities and racing down the window. I adore 'Binker', the rather melancholy story of a young boy's need for his imaginary friend - I'm sad for the boy and I'm sad for Milne, clearly writing these things to try to reach out to his son. Lastly, as a child who sat right there, I love 'Halfway Down', about having a very favourite stair to sit on, out of the way but quite close to the grown ups.
It makes me think of my mum, of a childhood spent with my head stuck in books, of rainy days. For me at least, it is perfectly fitting for this time of year.
I can't recommend this enough. If you like Milne, if you like poems, if you have kids, if you like vocals to be beautiful, resonant and heartfelt, if you like guitar and piano played with feeling and filled with melody, do have a listen and if you love it, buy it.
I'm away to listen to it again. :)
*The use of his Christian name is a dead giveaway that I know Chris. We are friends, but we became friends after I'd gone to a few of his shows, so this is only slightly biased. :)
Thank you everyone for your kind comments on the previous post. I was unable to completely leave the internet for long, as those with twitter will have noticed.. I am getting there, and I am back and writing because I miss blogland.