Sunday, 2 February 2014

Permutations Squared

Having stirred the hornet’s nest so late at night, naturally I couldn’t sleep. Busy minds are a sure way to keep the sleep angels away, you know the ones I mean, the four that stand at the corners of your bed and softly rock you to sleep, bestrewing your covers with rose petals and fragrant cloves; surely you know Brahm’s Lullaby? No? Your loss.

Try it, this is only a short excerpt. I sang it when I was small; I can’t recollect my mum singing it to me, although I remember her singing, a lot, once times were normal again. I, in my turn, sang it to the youngest child of an English family, usually in the rose garden, just before her bedtime. I spent less than two months with them and long after I’d gone again, every female voice she heard singing on the radio, she’d stop what she was doing and say:”that’s U.”

Anyway, I decided to get up and make for the drawer with the sleeping pills and promptly got side-tracked by the computer. The next time I looked it was 3.30 in the morning. Still raining outside.

Talking about singing: I had been feeling particularly happy the  previous afternoon, because I’d managed to grapple with downloading some of my old CDs on to my iphone via the mac desktop. I also bought, via the ipad, a few CDs of German folk music and Lieder, stuff I hadn’t heard in decades. Going through my CD shelves I found a collection of Mittel-European music, songs my mum used to listen to on the radio and hum or sing along to. Operettas,  Kaffeehaus songs, Chansons,Viennese songs. Not being a techno whizz and working with three different digital gadgets, I could feel myself getting more and more excited when it all came together. I was also looking forward to getting stuck in with the earphones. Excitement and happiness are not good for me, a visit to the medicine drawer was indicated,  for a tranquilizer to take me back down a bit.

Music can be a little problematic in our house. ( I shall have to explain about that tomorrow.) Music via earphones is fine, I can listen undisturbed, even when I’m in the same room as Beloved. There I was, stretched out on the sofa in the living room, stupid smile on my face, positively swooning. The perfect occupation for a wet afternoon. Beloved reading, Millie dreaming by the fire, Not such a bad life after all!

Except that, by the time Marlene Dietrich oozed nostalgia and the heartbreaking strains of ‘Lili Marleen' into my ears, I was bawling, tears streaming down my face, more homesick than ever.

This version is in English.

I want to wallow in peace, so no comments. Yet.