In April 2009, while in Spain for a work-related trip, I bought several CDs, among them Ojos de Brujo’s Aocaná. Clea took an instant liking to the music – I had got her used to the music of this eclectic Barcelona-based band earlier, so it was no surprise to me that she liked the new tracks.
The CD sleeves included the lyrics (in Spanish) and some quite competent translations into English. At the time we used to drive around a fair bit, and Clea would sit at the back of the car, between her twin brothers, and carefully read the words as the music played on. Her favourite song was this, Nueva vida:
Nueva vida was the final song that was played at her funeral. We chose to play a few tracks from this CD. I know not what people thought of our choice of music; it may have seemed unpredictably cheerful for a funeral. In any case, it was not about them or even us, but about Clea. This was her favourite song at the time death took her in the form of a tsunami.
Even a six-year-old can develop certain musical tastes and follow trends. It was indeed unusual for an Australian girl to like a Spanish band. But Clea was perfectly bilingual and had developed a taste for other things.
I can vividly remember seeing Clea in the mirror, intently reading the lyrics of Nueva vida in the car as the song played and I drove on. It was late September 2009 and we were on our way to Sydney Airport, from where we were to board a Polynesian Blue plane that would take all five of us to Apia, Samoa, where we were going to have a wonderful holiday, the first overseas holiday since we had been to Spain, when she was only two.
Clea would ask to play the song over and over again. She loved the looks of Marina, the singer, her unusual hairdo and clothes. She would say she wanted to look like her when she grew up. I sent Marina an email a few days after Clea’s funeral, thanking her and the band for having filled Clea’s life with music. I never got a reply.
Why did she like this song especially? It is of course a catchy song, probably the most commercial one in the whole album, but there must have been something else that appealed to her.
We will never know what that something else was.