– Arundhati Roy
It’s one of my favourite songs, one I played forever and a day when I lived in London from 1970-72. So poignant!
In this instance, I dedicate it to the courage, humour and resilience of all who live in London given recent events, and see this powerful song also as a call to our humanity to show compassion for all, regardless of their circumstances!
I knocked this up for a bit of fun because, when I was looking on YouTube for a link to Moonlight Sonata, I came across another composition by Beethoven: Fuer Elise.
This music brought back some good memories of 1972 when I, aged 25, travelled to Australia with my then boyfriend for a holiday (which stretched into 40 years!). We flew by jet to Singapore then caught a ship called the Patris to Perth, Western Australia. In those days the ship-jet combination was a very cheap option to fly from England to Australia.
Every mealtime they would play a few bars of Fuer Elise over the loudspeakers to announce food was being served. I would hum merrily away, completely out of key as I’m tone-deaf. It used to drive my boyfriend nutso as he had perfect pitch – in fact, it seems to be my fate to end up with guys with perfect pitch as my husband has the same and my off-key warblings drive him nutso too. (I also remember beating my boyfriend at chess – I had no idea of the rules so moved the pieces at random which foxed him completely as it was totally illogical and he was very logical and so couldn’t predict my move. He was also, by the way, a bad loser!).
I think the tone-deafness must run in our family – my mum was very musical, loved playing the piano, but my aunt (my mother’s sister) was tone-deaf like me. She used to start belting out “Jezebel” (popularised by Frankie Lane) and we would scatter for cover – much like my husband, the dogs and the cats do when I start hollering away!
In fact, the Patris experience put me off cruises for life – there were no places to sit in solitude; entertainment was arranged in every part of the damned boat; the food was appalling; and it was plain old boring. Apart from finding out, of course, that Fuer Elise was the name of the music and it had been created by Beethoven.
So remember, when life hands out lemons, make lemonade – in this case, a lovely piece of music which I’ve never forgotten over the many years since my 1972 journey to Australia where, by the way, I created a magickal new life for myself!