Finally, Day 8 of the 25 songs in 25 days challenge delivers me a slam-dunk, not messing, I-know-what-song-it-is category.

First love.

Being the cantankerous old git I am, I’m going to change that to…

First loves.

And I’m going to remember all of those teenage crushes, all of those school discos and slow dances, those french exchanges where attraction first reared it’s beautiful head.

Though it would be years before my experience matched the lyrics, for young Vincent the wallflower, young Vincent who was very happy to be a good friend to so many beautiful young women, young Vincent who experienced yearning for connection that he still feels in every part of his heart and soul, there’s really only one song from those moments that captures those moments, those first loves, Will You by Hazel O’Connor.

Fast forward nearly a decade, and I was studying at University of Nottingham, though living off campus. One spring night, walking home through campus on my way home from the city centre, I stopped on the hill above the main buildings. Inside Hazel O’Connor was playing a gig and, through the open windows, I could hear the music quite clearly. I stood on the hill and listened to Will You as it drifted up in the dark – all of those moments I described above were with me in that moment, yet I was not lonely, I still had the song to keep me warm.

Of course, there’s another reason that this day of the challenge would make me choose Hazel O’Connor, but I’ll let you work that out.

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