Mystery Music March

The 59th Bridge Street Song (Feeling Groovy) – Woodstock

I didn’t have such a great time at university time first time around. I spent most of the first year homesick, the second living in the worse shared house in the world and the third worrying about money. In the midst of that I still found time to fall in unrequited love several times, latterly discover beer and still manage to get a degree. But there was always something at the back of my mind which would only show itself when I was alone in the darkness or phoning home to have a moan.

At one point during the third year I was inconsolable for some random reason I don’t recall now but was probably related to a utility bill. Inevitably I told mum about it (which wasn’t fair really – she’d just started a new job and the last thing she needed was to be worrying about me even though she'd say she did that anyway) and a few days later a package came in the post. There were some home comforts – some packets of noodles, chocolate, newspaper clippings – and a cd.

My parents don’t buy a lot of music, unless it’s at Christmas and certainly not for themselves. And yet here it was, a single from a band I’d never heard of (apart from the obvious reference) and a song I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know was a Simon & Garfunkel cover. Mum said in the accompanying letter that she liked the original and thought I would too and also knew I liked sunflowers – which I did – I had a poster of one on my wall which had come with me from home.

And it did cheer me up from the moment I put it on. It opens with some earsplitting electronica before heading into an indie dance fest (a decent comparison would Candy Flip’s rendering of Strawberry Fields Forever). Lead singer Adam Ryan Carter trundles through the lyrics in that slightly detached style which was common at the time and which I now know made me cheerful because they’re by Simon & Garfunkel.

As the good posters at agree it is one of the happiest songs you’re likely to hear even if it is about an acid trip. It didn’t chart as far as I can tell. This was the early nineties and the mainstream of pop music was sliding into something more Britpop. his falls between the two stools. Goodness knows where my parents found it.

But those first two lines were exactly what I needed to hear at the time (“Slow down, you move too fast. / You got to make the morning last”), and for a once I did slow down, take stock and realise that you’re only at university once in your life (ahem) and despite all the work and money worries you should just enjoy it. If its power lasted all of about a week, that was probably long enough to mentally sigh and I do wonder if I’d still have graduated if I hadn’t heard this.

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