One of the good things about being forty-something is that my personal tastes are no longer considered too anachronistic; disliking loud music, parties and so forth. So, I am driving to work listening to my favourite station Heritage FM (where else can you hear Tiptoe Through the Tulips before breakfast?) and on comes Vanessa Amorosi’s Shine. I am immediately remembering how the lyrics to this lovely little tune were changed after a strong “suggestion” by manager Mark Holden. Originally the title and main word was “die” and the song was apparently darker in texture. Only in its original version do the lyrics make sense (see the lyrics here).
Now part of Mark’s commercial decision was undoubtedly based on the taboo around death within our culture. I recalled also how Mike and the Mechanic’s The Living Years was originally banned by the BBC because it was concerned with death.
Our denial of death is stupendous to behold. With daily reports, statistics and members of our community dying all the time we still place the thought of death into the too hard basket. This is what’s good about those traditions that get us to reflect on our own personal deaths each and every day, like Buddhism and the RR et AC. I’ve written about this before (see Death, Fear and Denial), so now I only have one thing to say: