Monday, October 22, 2018

The Sweet, Sad Music Of Brexit, by JD

On Friday I was listening to Roxy Music's "A song for Europe" and I have been thinking about it since then.

When I did the music post on Bryan Ferry I deliberately left out "A song for Europe" because I thought it would be misunderstood; those who voted to remain in the EU would have seized on it saying "look what we are losing."

But the song is not about that. It is a work of 'romance' probably inspired by Marcel Proust's "À la recherche du temps perdu"À_la_recherche_du_temps_perdu

The song dates from 1973 and now, 45 years later, that youthful romantic nostalgia sounds more like regret. We have a Proustian lyric delivered with the world weary cynicism of Jacques Brel. That is what it sounds like to me now. The French lyric in the song is a more or less direct translation of Ferry's English lyrics at the beginning. For some reason that French lyric has a greater emotional impact on me than the English. I don't know why, perhaps it is because the politicians have done what they always do, turned a dream into a nightmare - "El sueño de la razón produce monstruos"

"Pas d'aujourd'hui pour nous
Pour nous il n'y a rien
A partager
Sauf le passé"

I don't know what Ferry's position is on the EU but he probably thinks it wiser to remain silent but on his web site he has this to say about his greatest artistic influence -

“I was fortunate to be taught by Richard Hamilton in 1964, my first year at the Fine Art Department of Newcastle University, and from then on Richard was a great inspiration, both as an artist, and as a personality. Frighteningly intellectual, he seemed to validate my romantic leanings towards American culture, and he revealed how poetic and mysterious the modern world could be.

"As a teacher he taught by example, and his restless enquiring spirit I have tried to emulate in my own work as a musician."

.....the pop art legend Richard Hamilton... calls Bryan Ferry ‘his greatest creation’.

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