Anyone who knows me will know my memory is shocking. Names, events, my thirties (in particular) are a blur. I even, most notably, had to flick through one of my early books recently, as I couldn’t remember the plot and was being asked questions about it. And it’s not as though I have that many out there.

Anyway, when the family was together recently my son made the comment, when discussing my grandson, that he should learn a language as early as possible. I think it’s well known that it is far easier to learn things, and retain them, when you are young, and actually I think his nursery does Spanish as an activity once the little tots can speak. Which I think is amazing.

I thought about this recently when I listened to a podcast and was reminded of my first love, Elvis Presley. At the age of four I had already decided I was going to marry him. Neither the fact he was already married to Priscilla, nor that he was more than 30 years my senior could persuade me the glittering future I saw for myself was unlikely. When you are young everything seems possible.

I thought he was the most beautiful person in the world. I remember going to stay with family one holiday and every morning an Elvis film was on the television and I didn’t want to go out anywhere and miss a single one of them. This, of course, being in a time before anything could be recorded.

When Elvis died, tragically young, I was devastated. Utterly devastated. I remember exactly where I was when I found out. I was in the lobby of a hotel in Magaluf and had come down that morning to find the desk where the papers were laid out was a sea of headlines declaring ‘The King is Dead’. I was eleven.

I was introduced to Elvis, and his music, by my parents and was clearly at an age where I was able to absorb every note. I have a lot on vinyl, some CD’s and now have it digitally. However, I haven’t listened to any of it for a long, long time. I rarely listen to music nowadays as I subscribe to a lot of podcasts and they have taken over any listening time I have.

However, my BH, who listens to the Tramps Like Us podcast by Lee McCormack sent me the links to two episodes Lee did on Rockin’ and Rollin’ and Whatnot where he covered his Top 40 Elvis Presley Songs. I’ve put the links below in case you’re interested.

I put the first one onto play one day and the thing that completely took me by surprise, given my memory issues, was that I knew all the lyrics, to all the songs (well, bar one). I recognised the intros, I knew immediately which song it was, I sang along. And yet, I never set out to learn these, I’ve not listened to them for years and years and it just showed me how much you can take in and then recall purely because you were young and stuff went in purely by osmosis.

Other than my intense horse years when I was studying and training I don’t think I’ve ever been able to recall anything else in my life quite so completely, which is a shame as fundamentally being able to recite the lyrics to any Elvis song is obviously an entirely useless skill.

It was, however, a wonderfully enjoyable afternoon of listening and wandering down memory lane, and I don’t often get to do that.

So, the lesson is, learn things early, if you want them to last a lifetime. And maybe try to make those things useful…


Over to you. Is there anything you can recall from years ago with such completeness? Be it useful or useless. And is there something you wish you’d learned when you were a child?

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8 Responses to I was going to marry Elvis… early goals, learning and memory issues #MondayBlogs
  1. I remember learning a secret language at school, we put a v and a g in each word, but kept the rest of the word sound the same, for instance ‘do’ became ‘dvgoo’. It lengthened every word, but we could speak it quite fast with a little practice. I can still do it today. But I don’t know what use it is?

    • Hahaha… I love that, Rosie. A secret language, like you say, is completely useless, unless you’re at a school reunion, but how interesting that you can still do it today, and yet, I daresay, have practised it little over the years.

  2. Your memory’s bad? When my mum was shouting for me, having found evidence of some innocent little peccadillo, she quite often shouted my sister’s name – then Aurora! (dog) Athene! (dog) and finally ELIZABETH!!! by which time I could be well away …

    Not entirely sure early learning in itself sticks around, there may have to be passionate interest as well? I do know that when I started school at 4 I only spoke Zulu – I wasn’t the only child who came to school with her nanny for the first month, there were at least a dozen of us. We moved to Johannesburg a few years later, and I have only a handful of phrases and a few songs left now. I’m certainly not saying learning a language early is a waste, I started English at 4 and can still speak it fluently 😀

    I was going to marry Cliff Richard, who was obligingly single, no wife to see off, although my allegiance wavered when first I saw and heard David Essex – I’m a floozy at heart but like you I remember song lyrics from those intense times. Great blog 😀

    • I can relate to your mum – haha! Keep calling my grandson by my son’s name at the moment.

      That’s really interesting about the Zulu – I mean, how cool would it be to roll that out as a second language, so it’s a shame it didn’t stick completely.

      Cliff Richard!?! Although I did take a shine to him in Summer Holiday 😀 but I understand you wavering in your commitment once David Essex appeared… hmmm…

  3. Don’t want to worry you, Georgia, but many demetia sufferers enjoy a singalong with all the old favourites, and they remember all the words. If only I could remember what day it is today.

  4. Lovely post, Mary! I hear you when you refer to the past, or parts of it as a ‘blur’! I feel that way too, and I’ve decided it doesn’t matter!
    I was at a Simply Red concert, a few years ago, and Michael Hucknall was introducing each song, saying which album and year each one came from and a few tidbits, and suddenly, towards the end of the concert, he said something like, ‘I can’t remember the album or the year, it’s all a blur, but you know something, it doesn’t matter.’ And right then I understood (at least I think I understood) that what he meant was that the past sort of merges into one huge event, instead of succession of small events, and I’m fine with that. We only have the present moment and the past is just a succession of present momentos merging. I don’t know where all this came from, I just got up and I probably need a coffee! By the way, I remember when Elvis died too. He wasn’t my favourite singer, but one of my best friends at the time, was a fan, like you, and she cried for days. I was a bit older than you, a teenager, at least, but again it’s all a blur…
    Have a great day!

    • Do you know what, Luccia, I’m going to live by that in future… it doesn’t matter! I apply that to most other areas of my life anyway so why not here. Thanks for commenting, and you have a great day too! 🙂


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