A missive from my twelve year old self


I recently came across a recording of songs I made for my great-grandma on a cassette saved from my grandma’s house. It’s not properly digitised yet but it’s taken me back a bit for sure.

That it still exists is a bit of a miracle. I once recorded an interview where i asked the same great-grandma about the time she saw Queen Victoria. When she died my grandma asked her for the tape and I very sheepishly had to tell her i’d ┬árecorded over it with the top 40. Hmmm.

Sound recordings are so vivid. There’s something very evocative about removing the visual. There are about six songs in all, and while i had no recollection of recording them at all, two of the tunes came flooding back on listening.

For about four years from 9-12 years old I took piano and singing lessons with an incredibly generous gent called Keith Smith. He didn’t ask for a single penny, and steered me through to grade 6 before my voice broke.

Retrospectively the tunes are beautifully chosen (and brilliantly played by Keith). They come from another era, i’ve got no idea who the composers are, but 32 years on it’s been an absolute pleasure to discover them. I quite like the sound of twelve year old me, and it’s in a huge part thanks to Keith that i now use songs and singing often in my shows. Thanks Keith, wherever you are.


This is the first track, named Stargazing




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Written by Jake Oldershaw

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