Paul McCartney duped Stevie Wonder into singing Ebony and Ivory. One of the world’s greatest songwriters let his English mate talk him into making music for frisky pensioners to hum salaciously into each others’ hearing aids? Muzak to change the world? It was a lovely message; piano keys as metaphor for race relations. It was so bland it could have been served to newborn babies without fear of reflux.
Tolerance, understanding and cultural diversity are the positive roots of a society. I even have friends and family who openly choose to live in North Manchester and I once shopped at Lidl.
I was thinking about this as I listened to the morning news on the radio whilst changing and feeding the Mighty-Headed boy and his pearl topped sister. There was a slurry of manipulation, mal-intent and bigotry followed by the sports news containing cricket and tennis. Both depressed me.
Summer sports bring out the worst, we are not cut out for them in Britain – the Olympics was the exception, not the rule. Cricket only works if you drink heavily and after once seeing The Chuckle Brothers spend two hours saying “To Me”, “To You” it struck me; this is tennis without grunting. I looked sadly down at my little gifts. Not only is there strife and war globally, but the football season’s nearly over and weekends without the droning blah of 5Live stretch out before me with only Didsbury Festival to interrupt the countdown to pre-season friendlies.
My own Didsbury Grandfather, a tree-hugging, teetotal, animal loving pragmatist taught me his key tenets of life. Be good to your family, don’t drink black coffee, look after the animals and… deep down everybody is Jewish. This eclectic mix of pre-Californian hippy, businessman and family man was heady. It probably underpins my view that all Obama, Annan, Putin et al need to solve the crises in The Middle East, The West and the England central defence is to sit down with Chicken Soup, lockshen and alkies (with maybe a little chopped liver and pickled cucumber for the late night sessions). They should think what their mothers would say and if Paul McCartney can earn millions from Ebony and Ivory and believe its a driver for world peace then there is hope for all of us.
If it doesn’t work I can at least retreat to my bubble where, for the immediate future, no matter the state of my hair, there are two gummy mouths smiling and four arms flapping with uncoordinated joy as I walk in with their morning bottle and sleeping next door, there is one Didsbury Son who will still laugh at my old jokes.