This was my first record (I’m now fifty). I got it at Christmas when I was four, along with a lilac and purple record player. I loved both of those presents passionately.
I lived in Kingsthorpe, on the outskirts of Northampton and a few weeks before Christmas I went with my parents to a department store to pick out the record player I wanted. It featured a very sixties pattern of alternating, repeating lilac and purple circles. It seemed to me to be terribly sophisticated and stylish. I can remember the utter deliciousness of that moment, and the anticipation of that Christmas Day.
The record player was in my bedroom – light coloured with a border of vivid jungle animals. The curtains were the same, with an animal theme. There was also a wardrobe of sorts that my Father had made. It displayed my ‘on trend’ sixties clothes, carefully chosen by my Mother, featuring a lot of black, turtle neck jumpers and knitwear in dark colours. They went with my very short, boy style, sixties hair.
The Sweet seemed to be the epitome of everything that was marvellous. I first heard them on the radio with my mum. I can remember dancing away in the kitchen.The energy in the song channelled something inside my four year old soul. When I listened to the unfortunately titled ‘Little Willy’ over and over in my bedroom, it was undiluted happiness.
In my head, I could climb into the lyrics and lift myself away from the tedium and confusion of everyday life. It was a form of meditation and brought me peace. At that age I found the world deeply confusing. I felt very isolated and different to other children and thought I was letting everyone down. There seemed to be a lot of mixed messages from the adult world that I couldn’t make sense of. I felt unliked and unworthy.
When ever I hear the tune, even now, all these years later, I get a tremendous rush of happiness. That song was a gift from the Gods for a small girl, in a seemingly Godless world. Thank you ‘The Sweet’, you have helped me so much.
Now, at fifty years, I have carved a life full of warmth and light. Music has been instrumental in helping me deal with stress and conflict for all of these years. I’ve never stopped tuning in. That’s how I tune out.
The only regret I still carry from those years is not actually managing to marry Brian Connolly, the glamorous lead singer!
Photo: sent by Sally from Preston, Lancashire