I have recently learned that entire musical genres from my youth passed me by completely – thus making me think I wasted the best years of my life. I write this in the hope that other people will comment to say they don’t remember them either and, hence that I was a normal well balanced teenager, if that term’s not too much of an oxymoron.

Firstly in the 80s there was a type of music called Loutish Grebo. That information came to me from the Reverend Richard Coles on BBC Radio 4.

I say again the Reverend Richard Coles is more in touch with music than me, Admittedly he was in a band called the Communards then but he’s still a man of God

It’s his bloody job just to maintain a look of benign confusion when music is discussed and mine to sigh, pat him on the head and explain it all to him

Second case is music called Gabba which, it turns out is that high frequency pounding dance music from the 90s. By then, I was no longer a teenager but nevertheless, I should surely have been on at least nodding terms with matters musical.

And now the final one, which, at least was originally from 100 years before I was born but I also had never heard of this.

I went with my lovely bride to see a performance of Art Song at the Wigmore Hall in London last night which, it turns out , is a genre in which just a solo singer and a pianist perform songs, the lyrics of which are famous poems. Actually quite entertaining, and improved by the pianist taking a break from tickling the ivories to explain the poem:music linkages each time.

Having said that, I think I had a head start from being a heavy rock aficionado in the late 20th century.
The haunting beauty of the Art Song ‘Chemin d’Amour’ (Pathway to love) has many similarities to the poetry in a number of rock songs.

Ian Gillan in particular broke new poetic ground early in his career by rhyming ‘Ultrasonic’ with ‘Gin & Tonic’ before moving onto the seminal classic ‘Disturbing the Priest’, which featured the  lyric

‘Do we mind disturbing the priest? No, no not in the least’

The greatest achievement of all though was David Saint Hubbins’ interweaving poetic themes and metaphors of

‘My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo, I like to sink her with my pink torpedo’

The bulk of the audience without my grounding in poetic music of that kind stood no chance of understanding Art Song.

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