Shine silently
Yesterday I discovered a song that I had not heard since it was issued in 1979. When you are young, songs will enter your head and then stay there for years. Even if you go through those years not knowing the the name or origin of the song, you will still end up carrying it with you. Swimming away in your head, longing for you to somehow happen upon it again.

All I knew was that it was in the key of C, strummed on an acoustic guitar and featuring a distinctive French horn melody. Many a time I have Googled what I thought were the correct lyrics - with lines like: "Shine on me" and "Through the dark nights" bringing me no closer to solving this puzzle. Googling "Through the darkness" would suggest nonsense such as One Direction, Taylor Swift and even Tiger Army. Still no closer to my prize.

Last night I decided to perform an experiment. I opened up the sound recording program with the on-screen piano keyboard and selected the French horn voice. I then recorded this approximation of the elusive song:



Then, with my mobile phone and the SoundHound app, I played it my cackhanded rendition. It knew exactly what I was on about! Turns out the artist is one Nils Lofgren, who since 1984 has been a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. The song in question - Shine Silently - was a non-hit in 1979. I remember it being played on London's Capital Radio, and its simplicity - and French horn motif - wormed its way into my head. And there it stayed - tormenting me until the moment I decided to get inventive with some on-screen piano keys.


A part of me feels a whole lot more complete now. It is hard to explain. There are many other mystery songs that will persist in my head, but putting this particular one to bed brings with it a sense of achievement. My next task is to hunt down a breakbeat mix of Missing by Everything But the Girl. My approximation sounds like this, though SoundHound does not appear to be having it!

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