Congratulations to Felsted's Charlotte Perry, Yr 12, who won the local and district rounds of this year's Rotary Young Writer competition.In response to the theme 'My Inspiration', Charlotte wrote a moving piece about a song that inspires her, which can be read here:
By Charlotte Perry
Most people, when tasked with writing about their inspiration, would write about a friend who has supported them, or perhaps an iconic figure from history. But I don’t like to be like everyone else: so instead my inspiration comes from a song, a memory, and a man who left too soon.
The song itself is deemed by most to not be hugely significant: indeed, it was no chart topper in its day, and even now when I play it a majority of people have never heard of the artist: never mind the song. Many often dismiss it too due to its lack of words: “A four minute song with no lyrics?” they scoff, “How do you take inspiration from that?”
I’ve pondered this question extensively throughout the years, and whilst I’ve never known how to explain it properly to others, I know exactly why it inspires me in the way it does. For every time I listen to it it’s as if I’m transported back to a certain summer’s evening in July 2006. I was four at the time, and clambering into the front of my dad’s classic car I recalled to him my highly stressful day at nursery whilst he drove down to Southend seafront. I remember this as if it was yesterday: the feeling of the wind entangling its blustery fingers through my hair, the feeling of seeing the tender evening summer’s sun gently shimmering, illuminating everything with an almost heavenly golden glow. The feeling too, of getting swept in to the pulsating, climactic crescendo of the chorus that came crashing in like a powerful wave on a groyne: it hit, and an overwhelming sense of assuredness washed over me.
I recall how dad looked at me when, leaning my head against the cool vinyl trim, I asked him to play the song again: it was one of fatherly pride, one that a dad might have when his daughter discovers the pleasure that his favourite song can bring. He failed to hide his joyful smile as he rewound the tape: so his daughter wouldn’t become West Ham’s top striker, but she can appreciate a cracking song. It was a smile that I’ve never forgotten: and although the time since has been filled with uncertainty and confusion, I reflect upon it and the thoughts I had then with crystal clarity: that moments like this really do make life worth living, no matter the hardships you encounter. All you have to do is keep going.
Eventually, dad faced his own challenges: he fought his battles bravely, yet he never won his war. He, much like the song he left behind, taught me just how important it is to enjoy life while you can, and continue making the most of it despite the dark clouds that can shroud you. He may no longer be there to support, but he left me with the gift of a song that could: and that is something that shall inspire me for decades to come.