Writing Prompt Story Starter: Musical Memories

story starter

It’s a musical story starter this week.

“All In The April Evening” is a piece of music by Sir Hugh Roberton, set to words by the Irish poet Katharine Tynan.

It’s often sung around Easter time, and you can listen to it here.

It was a real favourite of my grandma’s, and came into my mind when I was out for fresh air this week.

Sir Hugh was the founder of Glasgow’s Orpheus Choir. Knighted in 1931, he was a pacifist, and for this reason the BBC declined to feature either him, or the choir, for the duration of World War II.

In this present challenging time, many “Friends” tell us they find comfort and calm in music, and poetry.

One inspiring quote from Seamus Heaney has been shared widely on the internet since the beginning of this crisis:

“If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere”

Fiction team’s Tracey shared one of her favourite poems with the team during a chat this week — the very inspiring “Desiderata“.

While we’ve been working from home, Tracey also tunes in to Scala radio. If you were listening, you might even have heard presenter Simon Mayo giving the “Friend” a shout-out last week!

So this week, let’s think about musical memories.

A piece of music that instantly takes us back to a time, or a place, or a person. In the same way that food can.

Music that reminds us of a certain time. Christmas, Easter, weddings; the rhythm of the year.

Music from our childhoods; our teenage years.

Musicians, composers, conductors. Choirs. Singers. Pop groups. Fans.

Music across the ages. A cappella, chamber music, opera, orchestral music. Music hall, musicals, jazz.

Radio — the “wireless”.  Old ‘78s. Gramophones. His Master’s Voice. Cassette tapes.

New ways of listening, like streaming or YouTube.

One of my dad’s favourites was “Che gelida manina”, from “La Boheme”.

Here’s my favourite version, which I’m listening to as I type!

Hope you enjoy it, and hope this helps with your writing this week. Best of luck!

Looking for another Story Starter? Click here.

For more from Lucy, read her blog here.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!