Music writer Pete Paphides has turned to songwriters and musicians, from Abba to the Undertones, to make sense of all the great moments of his life. So when he got the call he dreaded, to say his dad was dying, it was the music that saw him through shock, denial and loss.
In this moving audio essay, read by the author, Paphides explores both the unpredictability of grief and how his playlists have taken on new meaning – especially the traditional songs his Greek Cypriot father used to listen to, which reminiscent of home and wet weekends above the family. fish and chip shop in Birmingham.
“It’s the gift that grief gives you,” Paphides says. “When a loved one leaves this world, they take with them the invisible membrane that stood between your senses and the songs they receive.” For months he had been looking forward to the premiere of the Abba Voyage hologram show; now it falls on the eve of his father’s funeral. When he attends the show, how will it affect him?
This article was originally published on June 11, 2022. You can read the text version (with playlist) here.
Music quoted in this piece:
“Free time” by Trash Sinatras
“Giorgio by Moroder” by Daft Punk
Content from our partners
“Maddox tableby 10,000 Maniacs
“Ena omorfo amaxi me dio aloga” (A cart with two horses) by Grigoris Bithikotsis
“Six Words” by Elbow
How to listen Audio long reads
1. In podcast apps
Audio long reads is available to listen on all major podcast players including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube and more.
Click the links above to open in your favorite player, or open the podcast app on your device and search for “Audio Long Reads”.
Follow or subscribe in your podcast app to receive new episodes as soon as they are released.
2. On the new statesman website
The podcast is also available to listen right here on the new statesman website. Bookmark https://www.newsatesman.com/podcasts/audio-long-reads, where we’ll post new episodes every Saturday morning.
3. On your smart speaker
If you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomePod, ask it to “play the latest episode of Audio long reads from new statesman”.
The command will also work on other smart devices equipped with Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.