It is early morning and Liverpool is opening its eyes, ready to wake up, stretch, yawn, and welcome the day.
There’s a tune, a breathy bass riff. A voice, smooth and clear, high but not too much.
I found a place full of charms.
I hear the voice singing, and I know who it is. Billy Fury. I know the song, Wondrous Place.
I know the singer and I know the song but what I don’t know is where it is coming from at ten to eight on a Tuesday morning in Liverpool city centre. I follow the song. It takes me to a pub, the old boozer type, doors flung wide open. I near and hear singing, a voice on top of Billy’s. It is thin, slightly shrill, out of tune and time. I peer inside.
The pub’s cleaner in her apron is dancing with her mop, humming. Billy Fury sings to her from the jukebox. She’s seventy-odd with crab-apple skin, turned girlish. She’s smiling, eyes closed, slow dancing. It’s beautiful.
I wanna stay and never go away –
She dances with Billy Fury every morning, I think. I hope.
(First published by Silver Birch Press 2015)