I don’t believe in luck or fate or ‘signs’. I’m not in tune with the spirit world. I have my feet firmly placed in the here and now.
But I think I’ve got a lucky song.
Shut Up and Dance was the opening song in last year’s panto. I was aware of it before the panto, but it wasn’t a song I particularly loved. But seeing it on stage, with my daughter’s smiling face, dancing her heart out, all bright red lipstick and flying plaits, the energy, the excitement… I love that song so much. Every time I hear it, it takes me right back to the panto and I remember those dance moves so clearly. I remember that feeling of pure joy and excitement, the magic of seeing my daughter on stage.
Now Shut Up and Dance is right up there for me with my very favourite songs in the world – One Way, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr Brightside and Smells Like Teen Spirit.
But, more than that, it seems to be lucky. It pops up in the most unexpected of places and times. I catch it as I walk through shops, it’s there when I turn the radio on. And it seems to be sending a burst of pure happiness via my daughter to me.
As my husband and I waited excitedly, and a bit nervously, for my daughter’s opening panto performance a couple of weeks ago, somebody’s mobile rang. And the ringtone? Shut Up and Dance. It was telling me that my daughter was going to be fine and she was going to love her performance.
A few days later, we went to a Christmas party. A real one. With adults. This is not something I normally do and I soon remembered why. There’s a seating plan and we had been sat with people we don’t know (a couple of them I know well enough to say ‘hello’ to, but not have a chat with). To make matters worse, they all seemed to be a friendship group. I’m not very good at starting conversations and felt awkward and conspicuous. The only common ground seemed to be that they all had kids in year 11 too, so we talked a bit about mocks, GCSEs and kids’ sport. But it wasn’t easy.
It was a relief when the music started and we could get away to dance with the people we do actually know. The music was the most appalling, eclectic mix – going from the 60s to the 80s via the likes of Cha Cha Slide and Oops Upside Your Head. There was practically nothing from the last 10 years.
And then they played it – Shut Up and Dance. Thank goodness for that!
We assumed it would be something from the 60s or 80s next, but it wasn’t.
It was Can’t Stop the Feeling – one of the songs from this year’s panto.
And then, unbelievably, it was Uptown Funk, another song from last year’s panto.
What are the chances?
OK, they’re all popular songs, you may think the chances were pretty high. But, believe me, in that appallingly cheesy disco, the chances weren’t high at all.
It was my lucky song. With some other lucky songs, to tell me that it was OK to let go and enjoy myself, even if I’m not great at talking to strangers.
I just needed to Shut Up and Dance.