“I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you…”

I grew up surrounded by music. My Papa sang in a beautiful rich voice – I still get shivers when I remember he and my Uncle Grant singing The Old Rugged Cross, in Church.

Mum sang beautifully, although she would say she didn’t, all my cousins play the guitar, drums, sing and write songs; one of them helped Lee Kernaghan write The Boys from Bush.

Lee Kernaghan

Lee Kernaghan

My brother is a professional muso and my sister, although not doing anything professionally, would give many of the country singers a run for their money. I learned singing and the flute for five years and piano for ten.

I love listening to songs, learning the words and making them fit my life. For a long time I was sure I the only one who would croon Crazy for you’ (Madonna), thinking of the boy I’d met at the social the night before, or belting out Summer of ’69’ (Bryan Adams), because it made me feel rebellious. Summer of ’69 is actually one of my all time favourite songs.

Watching my daughter, I now understand every teenager does it and perhaps, every adult… Although I doubt too many of us would admit it!

Matt, in Purple Roads is a bit of a music freak. He loves driving, listening to music, singing and getting the aphrodisiac reaction we get when our favourite song is up as loud as it can go; the beat of the drum and the guitar riffs giving us goose-bumps.

As the endorphins surge through our blood stream, it’s so easy to feel invincible and untouchable. That feeling is priceless.

I often use music to lift me out of a crappy mood. After a good dance around the lounge room singing to Taylor Swift or whatever artist take my fancy at the time, I seem to find another heap of energy and excitement. (It’s always best to do this when KNOWING there isn’t anyone else on the farm. Having been caught by the Stock agent, more than once, I can tell you the embarrassment is worse than you can imagine.)

Taylor Swift sings a song called Long Live. Have any of you heard it? Lyrics are here

 Taylor Swift - Long Live

I can’t tell you how much I love this song. And how I can make it match my life. ‘Remember this moment’: I remember walking down the aisle to get married, finding out I was pregnant, buying our first farm, and how I felt when I first held Red Dust. I don’t ever want to forget these feelings.

Holding my first book Red Dust For the first time

Holding my first book Red Dust For the first time

‘Long live the walls we crashed through’; The boss and I crashed through lots of walls together – we built our farm up from leasing a few hundred acres, to now owning 8,000 acres. There were people who didn’t think we could manage to achieve what we have and we’ve proved them all wrong, with sheer hard work. We lived in an atco hut without power for seven years. We didn’t have a loo for twelve months! We owed everything to the bank when we first started and we now have choices. It’s an awesome feeling.

‘I passed the pictures around’; I love photos, you can never forget anything with documentation.

Fleur McDonald's children

My children - Hayden & Rochelle

‘Long live all the mountains we moved, I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you, I was screaming Long Live the look on your face, And bring on all the pretenders, one day we will be remembered’; Seeing the look on the boss’s face when he held his children for the first time, seeing my daughter’s smile when she achieved something she really wanted, watching Hayden’s cheeky grin when he’s playing a joke. Seeing my girlfriend for the first time after I’d been offered a book contract. We’d worked so hard together.

‘Tell them I hope they shine’; What a beautiful sentiment. I want everyone I love to shine, to know they are loved.

May these memories break our fall,’ Nothing is certain. But memories can be a happy and safe place to be.

Thanks Taylor Swift for these beautiful words – to me they mean the life I live.

What’s your favourite song and how do you feel when those final notes fade into the stillness?


Comments 0

  1. I always belt out tunes when there is no one else around – there are several Bon Jovi songs, old school Madonna, plus some Bryan Adams (especially Summer of 69 and Run to You) but my all time favourite is And we Danced by The Hooters.

  2. Love this post – I think I’ll download that song from iTunes now! Music certainly has the power to change your mood – I have two small children and when things get a bit feral in the afternoons we often crank up the music and dance around like nutters – certainly helps, if only for a short time :o) I love the lyrics to ‘Standing Outside The Fire’ by Garth Brooks, ‘I Was Only 19′ makes me teary every time I hear it (we have Lee Kernaghan’s version but any version will do it) and The Jezabels’ ‘Dark Storm’ has a really brooding, moody vibe that always makes me reflective. Music references in a novel always help me to picture the scene better too!

  3. “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. We never know how it will all work out. All we can do is dance in the time that we have to dance. I like Cat Stevens’ “Oh Very Young”. I actually have a lot of songs that are meaningful to my heart. But sometimes one needs to just belt out “My Sharona” while dancing around the kitchen in her socks waving a spatula while dinner cooks. Sometimes, that’s what’s meaningful to my heart.

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