Some of your Lovin' - Dusty Springfield
As I grew up, Auntie Val (see last two posts) contributed a lot to my education in her alternative way, taking me to a succession of Brian Rix farces at the Garrick Theatre, and later, memorably, to Anthony Schaffer's "Sleuth" and its follow-up "Murderer" and most crucially to Lords for the first cricket World Cup Final between Australia and the West Indies in 1975. Towards the end of the match while the Australian tail was batting, having had most of her silver flask and therefore forgetting her earlier pronouncement that my new moustache ("that piece of dirt on your top lip") prohibited such a treat, she took me to the hospitality box just above the scoreboard. She was Head of Administration of Scrimgeour's Ltd and by the time we got there, all the occupants of the box were drunk, and greeted her affectionately as "Mrs G". At one point a well-oiled elderly gent in an MCC tie came up and asked me which player I thought had played best on the day. I told him that although Rohan Kanhai had performed brilliantly for a 39 year old and probably his last international innings, it was undoubtedly Clive Lloyd, the West Indies skipper, for his match winning century. Imagine my surprise when, back at home that evening, I saw him on telly introduced as Ken Barrington before handing the Man of the Match award to Lloyd! Not that I can claim to have influenced his decision - the outcome was obvious.
The years went by and I wound up with a job in Islington so every once in a while I'd visit Auntie Val, still living alone in her flat just off Percy Circus. She'd retired and we would occasionally pop in to see her, maybe once a year. In days of yore she was always in constant touch with her neighbours, and was a member (and one time Chair) of a local group for neutering stray cats (SNIP - the Society for Neutering Islington's Pussies!). So when she was found collapsed in her flat, and transported to St Pancras Hospital, I was surprised when the nurse said she'd had hardly any visitors, just one regular in the day times. Time had flown, and most of her old buddies from WC1 were like her, in their nineties, and either dead or on their last legs. Her son was on holiday in Australia which was a big deal in those days, and was hoping she'd get better, and still be alive on his return. For around ten days, I dropped in after work every night before going home and I sat with her for an hour or so, recalling the "good old times" and making small talk which she was seldom in any state to respond to. The nurses told me she had cancer really badly and wouldn't last long.
Her full name was Carol Valerie Goddard (the name of her runaway husband) and she was known as Val within the family and Carol to everyone else. One night, sitting by her bed, I wondered out loud why they had called her Carol, and from out of her darkness she murmured that when she was born, they were singing Christmas carols outside. The next night I thought she was asleep and was just sitting there when she suddenly said "I just wish they would leave me alone to die". The next day she did die, while I was at work.
Carole King wrote a number of classic songs the most famous of which were cowritten with her then husband Gerry Goffin. Knowing the words of anthems such as "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" and ""One fine Day" I was surprised to hear that he was the lyricist. I'd always presumed that they both were, or that it was just her and they collaborated on the music. Dusty Springfield was one of the best interpreters of her songs, but Springfield herself said that "Some of Your Lovin' " was her personal favourite out of everything she recorded. The combination of the lackadaisical piano and the airy strings give the song a wonderful feel, like a remembered moment from a long lost youth in sunsoaked spring meadows, the sort of moment that a character in a movie might remember in their old age.
"....you gotta give me some, give me some of your lovin' you gotta give me some of your lovin'
now I'm not a greedy girl, I don't need the world (just give me some) some of your (some) lovin' now, oh-oh-oh".