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Readers recommend: songs about keys and locks | Peter Kimpton

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Padlocks to deadlocks, lockets to lockdowns, skeletons to safes, turn in your key and lock songs to open a new combination

Thousands of times he turned, and then entered. He was a conduit to dreams, a gatekeeper to optimism, this mild-mannered man, this estate agent. He showed thousands of nervous singles, tense couples and excited families into their new homes, into their new lives. And then, when all was arranged, he gave them the keys and left. But he didn't entirely. He kept copies. He kept copies of all the keys, of all the properties he had handled in his career, over decades. Why? Perhaps to gain entry himself, at any time in the future

This is more or less how I'd describe the setting of a brilliantly creepy and supremely paced novel I'm currently reading A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan. Keys are banal objects we all carry with us and though among our most trusted possessions, are barely ever thought about except during the few seconds they are used. They are symbols of safety and security. But behind every key, and lock, there's a room or a secret place full of objects, thoughts and feelings. And often with these, the theme of keys or locks can shape or feature in songs.

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