I'm fifty one years old today. Last year's birthday, the big five- oh, took place in lockdown and despite everything it was a good day- lockdown brought some freedoms with it in a way, do what you can under the circumstances. This year's birthday means we can actually go to a pub although our booking for tonight is for sitting outside, it still feels a bit soon to be going indoors.
Songs about being fifty- one are understandably thin on the ground. There aren't too many songs celebrating moving another year into your fifties. On Heartland in 1986 The The sang about the UK being the 51st state of the USA but that's not especially cheery for a birthday song. Instead here's Jimi Hendrix and his Experience in 1967 with a song about 51st anniversaries, the B-side to Purple Haze. Hendrix's guitar sings and swings, fuzzy and warm, switching between rhythm and lead or playing both at the same time, Noel and Mitch thudding away behind him. Jimi sings about the flipsides of marriage, a tale about not wanting to settle down, not wanting to be tied down- very much a young man's point of view. Jimi never lived to see his 51st birthday- he died four months after I was born, 18th September 1970.