Sections of Songs that changed my life.

Songs that changs my life
Sparky’s magic music & songs changed my life and thinking

Where it all began

Eric Egan Broadcaster Springbok radio
Eric Egan at the microphone in Broadcast House, Commissioner Street, Johannesburg.

Springbok Radio. Eric Egan. Kiddie’s Corner. 07:15. Sparky’s Magic Piano. That’s when it began. My transistor radio was blaring as I prepared for school. Sparky, at least his Magic Piano, played Moonlight Sonata at the Opera House in Chicago. Up to that point, it had been some mixed excitement with Jingle Bells, Good King Wenceslas and Patti Page with “How much is that Doggy in the Window?”

As always kids played with words. “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen. Someone biffed him on the snout, deep and crisp and even”. It was all mundane juvenile fun. Until Moonlight Sonata. Suddenly I was lost and simultaneously found. Lost in the love of beautiful music and found in a world of physical, aural and emotional joy. The deep “I Loooooove Yoooouuuu” from Uncle Eric was grand. The music was encapsulating. I have lived with that ever since, and decades later when I hear Moonlight Sonata I am swept back to that free flowing, youthful wonderment.

My wedding waltz was not some tune which my fiancé and I liked and some arranger turned into a waltz. It was a real majestic waltz by the master, Johann Strauss II. “The Blue Danube”. Music became important in all things.

Today it’s technology

It is simpler now. But some music is important and I use it every day. Not just as nice music to enjoy but as my identity, my motivation and my reminder of who I am and what I want to be. I will mention but two, both used as ringtones on my mobile phone. The words are important but the titles are the basis of the section of the songs which changed my life. And before you start guessing, exclude “My Way” which everyone knows and maintains is “their way”. Frankly, whilst it is a great song and Frank Sinatra’s version is played regularly on the radio, I find it mildly bragging and somewhat arrogant.


When you call my mobile number that is what I hear. A reinforcement of myself.

My first song is “I am who I am” sung by Gloria Gaynor. “I play my own drum and I deal my own deck” are important lyrics. All the poetic lyrics here are meaningful, but to aim for and to be who you want to be and to be proud of that, is vital. I am reminded of that young kid who jumped from a 5-metre diving platform. Of the young man who had the gumption to get an interview with Tiger Woods.

Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor singing “I am what I am”

The other Section of a Song is “Freedom” by Paul McCartney. I’ll say no more. The title is more important than the lyrics. Freedom encompasses everything. Freedom is both a journey and a goal. We all want freedom. When you call me and I hear “Freedom” I am reminded to strive for my freedom and my goals which is simultaneously a striving for the freedom of everyone.

There is magic in music

I more than simply share this with you. I implore you to find your Sections of Songs and use their magic to build your life, to change your life, to protect you from negativity and to find joy in this world. Then pass that joy on to others. I share these thoughts with you, with Love.

Post scriptum: Please share your thoughts and experiences of music or sections of songs which changed your life, with me. I would love to share them with our Chronicle readers.

For beauty, inspiration, history and fun

Here is the Vienna Philharmonic playing Moonlight Sonata. Listen to the words of “I am what I am” and the glorious voice of Gloria Gaynor.  This is an Irish fun version of “Good King Wenceslas”.  “Doggie in the Window” with Patti Page is old but cute.  “The Blue Danube” by the Vienna Philharmonic at the Das Neujahrskonsert is an audio and visual joy. If you want to – here’s “Freedom” by Paul McCartney. Just for the Old Timers – Springbok Radio. Eric is at 42 seconds. Many memories follow. If you want to read more about music, lyrics and poetry check the Vaughan Jones column.

Find a Freelancer at SAFREA. Read articles by many creative contributors to the Safrea Chronicle MediaHub and find the author’s website here – Peter Ucko    

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


3 Responses

  1. I loved Sparky, Peter! And I’d forgotten all about him. My mother was the music teacher at our school, and she also had the music class. She had Sparky and Peter and the Wolf in music class, and she used to bring them home for holidays. This cover brought back a flood of memories. Thanks so much. 🙂

  2. Peter, this is a good article, thank you. It certainly sparks memories of many songs. I played in a rock group from the age of fifteen until I had finished at university; 1968 to 1976. We played many cover songs of Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Jethro Toll, Uria Heep, Beatles, Black Sabbath, etc. One song that always takes me back to my pre teenage years is ‘Moon River’, mainly because it was my Mom’s favorite, and it always floods my heart with happy memories.

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