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A mother herds her little girl onto the the bus. The child is in some sort of dance rehearsal ensemble. Behind them, two girls enter the bus unaccompanied. They split – mother and child make their way to the back of the bus. The two girls swivel in the opposite direction. They settle into seats facing each other.

Barely a few heartbeats later, the first girl hurries down the aisle slides without a pause into the adjacent empty seat, smiling triumphantly at her pals, well pleased with herself. They sit there, not even talking. Just exchanging glances and secretive smiles. Maybe revelling in being cool enough to just hang out with friends, having broken free of close adult supervision.

So I’m learning Mozart’s Das Veilchen for singing lessons, and it turns out the lyrics are a poem written by Goethe – Sturm und Drang, romantic, tempestuous, pride-and-joy-of-Frankfurt Goethe. The poem is about a pretty little violet longing for the love and attention of a cute shepherd girl, and it ends in battered-person tragedy like this:

Ach, aber ach! Das Mädchen kam
und nicht in acht das Veilchen nahm,
ertrat das arme Veilchen.
Es sank und starb, und freut’ sich noch:
und sterb’ ich denn, so sterb’ ich doch
durch sie, durch sie,
zu ihren Füßen doch!

But, cruel fate! The maiden came,
without a glance or care for him,
she trampled down the violet.
He sank and died, but happily:
and so I die then let me die
for her, for her,
beneath her darling feet.

Which is funny because just a couple of days ago we were watching Black Mirror, Season 1 Episode 2, and this song, and Jessica Brown Findlay’s hauntingly plaintive rasp have been stuck in my head ever since:

You can blame me
Try to shame me
And still I’ll care for you
You can run around
Even put me down
Still I’ll be there for you
The world
May think I’m foolish
They can’t see you
Like I can
Oh but anyone
Who knows what love is
Will understand

I don’t condone the mindset in these songs of course, but I derive so much joy when life springs little surprises in the form of motifs like these.

 

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Imaginary

May

Minute after minute, and no stillness in between.

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