AZZURRO | #AtoZCHALLENGE (A) #MusicalMemories

120 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2017, #MusicalMemories, Memoir, Music, Writing/Blogging
Musical Memories #AtoZChallenge 2017
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Musical Memories” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the A to Z Blog. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
AZZURRO | #AtoZChallenge
Day 1, April 1

The time: Oct. – Dec., 1968
The place: St. Gallen, Switzerland
AZZURRO | #AtoZChallenge map of Switzerland

We were living in Germany then. (More details HERE.) Mother decided my education was lacking (truthfully, we weren’t getting along at all), so, off I went to boarding school in Switzerland, thanks to the largesse of my grandparents. It was co-educational, but the girls and boys lived in separate houses. What a shock to find bars on the windows of the ground floor! One of the older students showed us an escape route – an empty room at the end of the hall. She easily picked the simple lock and pointed out the large window on the far side. No bars! For the rest of that semester, we enjoyed frequent instances of “Schwartzausgang” (going AWOL). My friend Penny had an older brother…

Excerpt from “Confessions of a Boarding School Inmate”:
[a memoir I started several years ago; currently in re-write limbo]

Nigel was tall and handsome, with the sexiest British accent! My heart did a little “flip flop” and, judging by his smile, so did his. We (including sister Penny and another boy) headed for our favourite restaurant and became better acquainted over a few beers. (For those not familiar, European laws in regards to alcohol are more lenient and we were all able to pass for 16, which was the legal age in Switzerland. Nobody asked for I.D. either.) Adriano Celentano’s “Azurro” was playing on the jukebox and these memories come to the fore, whenever I hear it again.

Later on, at the park, we “got to know each other” even better. Penny and her beau were similarly engaged. By the end of the evening, I was completely besotted with Nigel and vice versa (my perception). We went out regularly after that, but our relationship was never fully consummated. Youth and inexperience, plus lack of privacy all conspired against us. Then there was the time issue. We always returned for 11:00 pm bed check and never got caught.

Click HERE for English translation.

Alternate video HERE, if the first one doesn’t work.

More boarding school adventures on April 3rd, 10th, 19th, 24th and 27th
Click HERE for sequential time line.

Where were you in 1968?
Do you like Italian music?

Looking forward to your comments!


The Doglady’s Den #AtoZChallenge 2017 Youtube playlist:
(to be updated daily)


Linking to:
Blogging from A to Z / Blog Chatter / It’s All a Matter of Perspective

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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120 thoughts on “AZZURRO | #AtoZCHALLENGE (A) #MusicalMemories

  1. Wow, you went to an actual Swiss boarding school? I thought those only existed in novels… what a story! And I do like the song. Thanks for sharing. It’s also really cool that you’re making a playlist!

    1. I did indeed go to a Swiss boarding school. 🙂 There are at least 15 or more of them scattered throughout the country. I’m glad you enjoyed the song and the playlist idea, which I ‘stole’ from someone else. Brilliant, yes? Thanks for dropping in.

  2. Such exciting times for you, sneaking out and all 😉 And in Switzerland no less. Azzuro sounds like a perfect dancing song, did you dance with Nigel?

    1. It was an interesting period in my life; that’s for sure! 🙂 We did our ‘dancing’ in the park, under cover of darkness.

  3. What a great post Debbie and a great memory. And altho I do have a soft spot for Italian music, that song, not one of my faves. Lol.. I wonder whatever happened to Nigel.. Oh, and 1968 we were in Germany. 🙂

    1. It was more about the memory than the actual song itself, which really isn’t a big favourite of mine, either. 🙂 You were in Germany in 1968? What a coincidence! Nigel’s affections were stolen by an evil bitch named Heather. She’ll be making an appearance or two during the month.

  4. I had been meaning to click on LIKE and comment here since yesterday, but my st**id laptop wouldn’t let me, GRRR!!!

    Anyway, talk about going down memory lane!!! Nice post, Debbie 🙂

  5. Loved your memoir and look forward to more “chapters”. Funny thing, when I listen to the song in Italian (I speak about 5 words of Italian!) vs the English translation, it seems to me the words don’t quite meet up with the upbeatness (is that a word?) of the song. Ah, young love!

  6. I hadn’t heard of the song, so thank you for sharing. Although I don’t hear to such music often, I’m sure it can serve just right in some scenarios.

  7. Summer of 68. Passed my O levels. I was treated to a horse for a week at Pony Club Camp; my dad was in hospital after a heart attack (his second, after which he took ill-health retirement, but was well enough for a good long life) and the Russian tanks rolled into Prague. Remember that day vividly – and the horse, but not his name.

    1. Thanks for sharing your memories, Jemima. 🙂 Glad to know your father survived and thrived. Horse riding is something I only tried once and it wasn’t a happy experience. I’m sure you enjoyed yours a lot more.

  8. DEBBIE, it’s always good to get an early start on one’s rebelliousness. Glad to find you wasted no time. [;o)

    I could definitely imagine hearing that song playing in a movie where a bunch of rebellious kids are rebelling. To be honest though, by the 3:00 mark it had gotten old for me and I had to turn it off and put on some Blue Oyster Cult. (“Godzilla” restored my sense of balance.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Check out my new blog @
    (Link:] Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

    1. Oh yeah; I started young. 😀 It’s more about the memory associated with the song than the song itself. Celentano has much better material, but this was a huge hit at the time.

    1. It’s a very old song. Adriano Celentano is multi-talented; one of my favourite Italian artists. Although I spent a year in Switzerland, the Schweitzerdeutsch was difficult for me to master. It’s much different from my native Hochdeutsch. I remember a couple of things, like “Gruetzi”. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like it. 🙂 It’s too thin at this point and needs to be fleshed out, but hopefully, one of these days I’ll tackle it again.

  9. 1968 … my family and were working as carnies a lot that summer, friend D … i remember playing Azzurro a lot … i was 13 then … remember that too … ya … smiles … Love, cat.

    1. We’re of the same vintage, cat. 🙂 The carnie life must have been interesting. Azzurro was such a big hit all over Europe, at the time. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  10. You bad girl you…I would have been right behind you climbing out of the window:) it’s so funny how boys can make us feel…..sometimes great and sometimes, stupid:) this is a fun song and enjoyed listening to it. I was 4 years old in 1968 so I don’t remember much but that I had these blue fake leather slippers that I loved. Also, my Oma and Opa came to visit and I remember a wheelbarrow my Opa made for me.

    1. Let’s meet in Niagara Falls and see what trouble we can get into, Birgit. 🙂 The song is catchy, but Celentano does have better material. How nice that your Oma and Opa came to see you in 1968. You must have looked cute in those snazzy slippers!

    1. Boarding schools are like little communities within themselves. 🙂 Did you enjoy your experience, Hilary? Thanks for dropping in.

  11. Youth and going AWOL.
    Sounds like some great memories.
    Looking forward to the A to Z challenge. So nice to meet you.

  12. Ah, the perils of unrequited love, though Nigel sounds rather dishy! Will we get to read more of your boarding school adventures through the challenge?

  13. What a delightful peek into the fancies of your youth! Whatever happened to Nigel though? I’d be curious to know 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like it, Shailaja. 🙂 Unfortunately, Nigel’s affections were stolen by another; a real nasty bitch named Heather. She will show up in subsequent installments. Thanks for dropping in!

  14. Debbie,

    Sounds like you were a bit mischievous but then again what teenager isn’t? I often wondered about the age requirements of other countries on drinking alcohol. Is it is still this lenient? It doesn’t matter to a teen, though. They’ll do whatever they aren’t supposed to regardless. lol I enjoyed reading about your youthful adventure and accompanying song for this memory. This is gonna be a fun series and I can’t wait to read more, my friend!

    Everyone is invited to join me in the April madness where I’m doing something a little more personal this 4th year of the #atozchallenge in which I rekindled a lost passion for doodling sharing with you each day Art Sketching Through the Alphabet. Come by to check out today’s alpha-prompt! #angels

    1. I was always a rebel, Cathy. 🙂 Attitudes about alcohol are completely different in Europe than they are here (and the U.S. is even stricter than Canada – our legal drinking age is 19, used to be 18). It’s a normal part of everyday life and kids are educated at a young age how to handle it responsibly. Since it’s not ‘forbidden fruit’, nobody considers it a big deal. The same thing can be said about European attitudes towards sex and that will never change.
      I’m glad you like the series. Music and memories go together so well! 🙂 I’m enjoying your sketches. Have a great week!

  15. God love us, kids can always find ways to make a good time out of a crap pile! The song had me scratching my head for a bit, until I figured out it was Bobby Vinton’s My Melody Of Love it was reminding me of…

    1. “A good time out of a crap pile”. Sounds about right. 🙂 It’s not a well-known song over here. It does bear some resemblance to the Bobby Vinton song. Good ear!

  16. I don’t know the song, but it was nice and it’s great you’ve got that memory with it. I bet you have a smile on your face whenever you hear it!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 It would be nice to be young again, but not that far back; maybe 35. That was a good year. Thanks for visiting.

    1. Thank you, Ann. 🙂 I hope to finish the memoir one of these days, but it needs a lot of work at this point. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  17. This is great, Debbie. Loved reading about your memories as a teen in the sixties at the Swiss boarding school. What fun to listen to the song and have it transport you right back to that time. Isn’t music amazing how it does that? I always enjoy your posts. Good luck with the challenge!

    1. Thanks, Cathy. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the first post. More to come, not just about boarding school. Music truly is the soundtrack of our lives. I’m glad you decided to join the A to Z again. Your posts are always great, too.

  18. WOW, what a wonderful blog you have here, I came by via Arlee Bird. I once visited Toronto (I live in the UK) Must say what a awesome city. I thoroughly enjoyed what I read, having a son who resides in Spain I felt quite homesick to seeing him.
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge…….I will return.

    1. Welcome to The Den, Yvonne. 🙂 You didn’t leave any links, so I went over to Arlee’s blog, looking for you. Aha! You are the ‘nashvillecats” poet. It’s an honour to meet you! And, I see you have actually met him in person. How nice! Thanks for coming over. I’m glad you like it here and Toronto, too. It’s a great city. I’ve been to London (way back in 1969), but that’s the extent of my UK travels. I bet your son enjoys living in Spain. At least it’s not that far if you fly. See you soon!

  19. In April of 1968 I was preparing to graduate from high school and thinking about a summer job. Looking forward to your posts this month.

  20. that sounds so adventurous and fun 😀 I could imagine all the excitement of sneaking out of the school and meeting friends 😀 Please finish your memoir, I would love to read it 😀

    1. I have to admit, it was pretty exciting. Thank goodness we never got caught! 🙂 I hope to finish this memoir sometime, but it’s too thin at this point. I need to flesh it out, but therein lies the dilemma! How do I do that without making stuff up? It’s a true story. Hmm…
      Love your travel posts!

    1. German is a difficult language. 🙂 It literally means ‘black exit’. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Thanks for dropping in.

  21. Aww! Those are some beautiful teenage memories and they made for such an interesting read. I am still smiling! Thanks for adding some zing to my day with that catch song, Debbie 🙂

  22. Sounds lovely and rhythmic – great to dance to!

    In 1968 my family had just moved to Delhi, first experience moving to a place where a different language was spoken and trying to figure out communication issues making friends 🙂

    Great starting post for the A-Z!

    Best always,

    1. Sounds a bit similar to my experience (as outlined in the ‘H’ post). I was reading about languages in India and you have so many! That must have been interesting. I’m glad you like the first post. More to come! Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

    1. ‘Schwarzausgang’ literally means ‘black exit’ in English. 🙂 That’s not the best recording of the song, but it’s one that everybody can view. There were some issues with the previous video. Thanks for dropping in.

  23. 1968 was the year I got my first record player: a little grey suitcase sort of affair… mono of course. And I began spending all my pocket money on BeTles and Monkees EPs. I couldn’t afford LPs ( I was 10) but singles weren’t quite enough. Besides, EPs had photos on the sleeves.

    1. Great memory! I had one of those record players too and a huge stack of 45s, most of which are still in my collection. Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  24. I love tales of sneaking out of school! 😀
    In 1968… I was probably still at my home planet, planning my birth and life on Earth…
    I love all music.
    Happy AtoZing!

  25. What a great memory! It must have been quite a bit of fun sneaking out at boarding school. I also wanted to let you know that the video doesn’t play here for me. I’m getting an error that it’s not available in my country. I did a quick search on youtube and came up with this alternative link :

    1. This is so bizarre, Mary! The video must have been taken off in the last half hour. Doesn’t work for me either, now. 🙁 I added an alternate and will have to edit the post once more. Too bad! It had some gorgeous scenery.

  26. awww… such a sweet teenage memory! It is amazing how certain songs bring out some precious memories… my song for a similar one is “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt 🙂

  27. Ah ! Songs and memories are inextricably bound. And there’s nothing like the memories of a young love to make your old heart beat wickedly again! In 1968 I was all of 10 and cycling to school most days. The song I remember most from that time was Cliff Richard’s ” Congratulations” that used to coincidentally blare from my father’s transistor radio ( if you remember those small portable machines ) every time I came home from school with a report card that read all A’s. No wonder I love that song still!!!

  28. Whoa whoa! What memories Debbie! The song is named aptly after the visually fabulous azure blue seas. I am going to enjoy this series, also because I am sure they will trigger plenty of musical memories for me as well! Did you ever keep in touch with anyone from the school? And what is it about that British accent, eh? 🙂 I love it too! Hmm. I was five years old in 1968.

    1. Thanks, Vidya! 🙂 Unfortunately, the beautiful video got pulled shortly after publication and I had to substitute another one. 🙁 I did keep in touch with one roommate for awhile, but then we moved continents and that was it. Accents, in general, are attractive to me. My husband came here from Italy in 1970 and still has his.

  29. You’ve led such an interesting life Debbie – can’t wait to see where else you’ve lived and what other tales you have to share!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the first installment, Leanne. 🙂 I’ve lived in Germany, Switzerland, Canada (where I am now) and my parents’ home in San Diego, California (for brief periods). Thanks for coming by!

  30. Wow, the security at that boarding school was lax. No doubt it’s improved nowadays. I was growing up in Australia in 1968. Seems a long time ago now! I love most music and relate to milestones and other happenings with favourite tunes. 🙂

    1. Lax? I thought it was horribly stringent. LOL Well, okay, that one room was definitely an oversight, but they fixed it over the Christmas holidays. We were so upset about losing our escape route! Thanks for coming over, Denise. Hope the cyclone doesn’t cause you any grief.

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