I’ve been trying to write a song called, Frozen Yogurt Friday. In all truth? I haven’t, I’m relieved to say. It went round my head a few different times over the last year or so though. It came from a late spring afternoon I once spent on my own in Franklin, Tennessee. It was Friday and I was far from home, so I became a little sentimental.
I drove out to Franklin at the end of my writing week in Nashville and parked the car near the old presbyterian church in the centre of the town which still has landmarks to the battle there during the civil war. On the church itself there’s a plaque commemorating the aftermath when so many soldiers were sent there to be treated in, what was, a makeshift field hospital. The old cannons, flag poles and historic tablets were in stark contrast to the joyous scenes unfolding in front of me on that warm afternoon. People had finished work or school and families were strolling past the shops, looking at the coming attractions at the small cinema and queueing idly at the Frozen Yogurt store where any amount of sugared extras could be added to the dessert of your choice. The sun was still shining and any cars that did pass were moving slow, with the windows or the tops down. I finished my ice cream and browsed round a little antique shop from which I could almost have bought any number of things were it not for the knowledge that my suitcase for home was already over weight with vinyl.
I was the outsider that day and I felt it. This was a scene of suburban happiness, contentment and an ease in which the town seemed to congregate, recognise each other and make small talk as they passed by on the small square of downtown streets. I, on the other hand, was a tourist who felt as if I was imposing on a private celebration.
I’ve thought often on that afternoon during the last year. Over the summer of 2020 I looked longingly at people enjoying outside cafes or even eating or drinking inside bars and restaurants near where I live. The lights would be on over the alfresco tables as I drove past on my way to visit my late mother in the hospital. I’d realised I couldn’t join in for fear I’d be tracked and traced by my phone Covid App which would then forbid me to be with her when she needed me most. It was poignant too driving back through late in the evening when there was still a light buzz of enjoyment in the air and I’d think to myself, ‘it’s just like frozen yogurt Friday that time in Franklin.’
So, on this happy week, when we are at last allowed a little more freedom to meet, eat and even drink a little I want to wish you well. It has been a long time coming and we deserve some enjoyment, however restricted, in our lives.
For my part I am going to enjoy playing you some great music to go with your week before I take my first holiday for a good long while. Listen out especially for new things from Thomas Rhett, Lainey Wilson and our recent guest, Eric Church as we remind you of those ACM Awards last week. Yola’s back and we have some really special tracks from Charlie Worsham, Tom Jones and Todd Snider, who is paying a great tribute to John Prine.
As ever we are on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening from five past eight and BBC Sounds whenever you fancy. Join me if you can.