How does a musical writer grieve? With playlists, of course

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:

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