When I was young, I had a song for every mood, every occasion; joy or heartbreak, it didn’t matter, I needed music in the background, I needed it pouring into my ears, my veins, my heart.
Teresa, the main character in my book, Love Secrets Lies, was no different. The story dawns on Teresa still living in Mozambique, a land where summer never ends; where she and her mother sang along to the honeyed tropical sounds of Roberto Carlos.
The revolution that turned Teresa’s world on its head also had a soundtrack — one of them, “Grândola Vila Morena”, played by Zeca Afonso, soon came to signify that revolution, the call of equality and democracy and freedom. For Teresa, it meant fear and terror, as they aired it on the radio while fire and steel ravaged the outskirts of her home town and the family waited for death to come knocking.
Traveling thousands of miles, making a new life for herself in Lisbon, Teresa finds new friends who invite her to parties, where a whole new world of music opens up to her: Genesis, Supertramp, Queen, Pink Floyd… she buys new records, and spins them for hours in her bedroom.
Some songs attach themselves to certain people and strokes of misfortune. She will always associate The Motors’ “Forget About You” with a flood of tears… while The Tubes’ “Don’t Touch Me There” meant an awakening of the senses, a craving for the forbidden fruit.
She will listen to The Dire Straits for hours while she exchanges secrets with her friends, and she will drive her grandparents crazy with the Ramones when she exits her bedroom to answer the phone and leaves the door open as “Rockaway Beach” shakes the walls. And she will dance in the arms of the boy she loves, a lamp shaded by his green sweater dimming the light and enveloping the dancers in this ethereal forest of intimacy.
Music is refuge, solace, inspiration — Teresa’s go-to when she wants to revel in newfound love, or lick her wounds after a series of tragic missteps.
You can find all the songs in Teresa’s’ playlist on Spotify (go to www.lovesecretslies.com or simply use the QR Code on the last page of the book).
Edited by Jorge M Machado