Junior HP likes the Illawarra Leagues Club.
You see, the wi-fi internet there goes with NBN speed and they allow viewing of YouTube. So after lunch (silverside, yum!) at Diggers, just up the road, I called on the retired wharfie who now spends his time mostly at Leagues. I had introduced the wharfie to Junior HP last week, when we pursued quite a few old songs. This time though I brought headphones, as Junior HP’s own speakers are what you might term minimal.
The wharfie, among other things, had been a swimmer of note in his day. So on YouTube we followed that track through several Olympic Games starting of course with Beverley Whitfield.
Then music. As am I, the wharfie was particularly moved by the Hayley Westenra, Vera Lynn, Fron Choir version of “We’ll Meet Again” from the Royal Albert Hall, sung before The Queen, and Dame Vera herself, at The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance 2009.
I can get teary listening to that. The wharfie and I are both “war babies”. My father came home from Papua, his did not.
I wanted a positive image to share with you on this day when we are just hearing of the violent fanatic attack in Paris. And here are two. They don’t answer everything, but do say a lot. They remind us that beauty and decency and mere humanity just may be universal values.
The story, if you missed it, is here, here and here.
MOSUL, Iraq: Amid the bombed-out ruins of an ancient site revered by both Muslims and Christians in Mosul, Iraqi violinist Ameen Mukdad on Wednesday held a small concert in the city he was forced to flee by Islamic State militants.
As Mukdad played scores he had composed in secret while living under the militants’ austere rule, explosions and gunfire could be heard from Mosul’s western districts where U.S.-backed forces are still battling Islamic State for control…
Wednesday’s hour-long concert marked his first return to the city that was overrun by Islamic State in 2014.
Mukdad said he chose the Tomb of Jonas, or Mosque of the Prophet Younis, as the site is known by Muslims, to symbolise unity.
“I want to take the opportunity to send a message to the world and send a strike against terrorism and all ideologies which restrict freedom that music is a beautiful thing,” he said.
“Everyone who opposes music is ugly.”…
This is the final post in the poetry and music series memorialising my brother’s death.
D H Lawrence 1885-1930
Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child for the past.
With Anzac Day coming up I add this song. The lady herself appears near the end She turned 100 recently! A couple of years back I sent a copy to my brother, whose childhood was dominated by World War 2. Also unlike me his earliest memories were of Shellharbour and Wollongong.
He preferred the old songs…