It was weeks after Uncle Phil died before anyone in the family decided to go and tidy up his place.
He’d been a lonely solitary man and we knew the task was going to be a big one, as Phil wasn’t known for his house keeping skills.
Sure enough when we opened his house the mess, was all around us. Apart from the unwashed plates there were papers everywhere and his dining room table was littered with bits of paper on which he scribbled what we at first thought were his rambling thoughts but what turned out to be song lyrics.
Who’d a thought Uncle Phil was a songwriter?
In the drawer on his desk we found a box a cassette tapes dating back to the 1960s.
There were about twenty such cassettes labelled with the year and to who he had sent them. 1974 – Sunnyvale Music, 1982 – Gordanton Music Makers and so on.
On each cassette was the crude recording of his songs.
We sat and listened to them, his rough scratchy voice wavering from note to note, some ballads addressed to who know who, a lot of the songs protesting matters topical at the time and some he was obviously in a good mood about as he often giggled as he recorded over something he thought humorous at the time.
To the best of our knowledge he never sold any of his songs but he didn’t appear deterred by that and left a record of his writing in song form.
We bundled up the cassettes and decided one of us would keep them safe as they were a record of Uncle Phil’s life and as he clearly treasured them we needed to do all we could to preserve them.