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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Classics Challenge: September Prompt

This was by far the most difficult of all the prompts so far this year: "This month's prompt is to select a piece of music that you feel reflects the book. Modern, classical, jazz, anything, it doesn't have to be from the period of the novel but share what it is about the piece that echoes the novel in someway." Now, I read The Mayor of Casterbridge, a novel so complex that I couldn't think of a single song that bore much relation to it (reviewed here). However, then I had a thought.

Quite a few years ago Carla Bruni (now Mrs Sarkozy) released an album that performed quite badly in the charts. I was one of the ones who bought a copy, mainly because the premise intrigued me: poems by greats such as Christina Rossetti and W.H. Auden set to music. So it was to this album I finally turned, in the belief that I might find a suitable song. I was right. This is 'Promises Like Pie Crust' by Christina Rossetti, poem first then video of the song at the bottom.

Promise me no promises, 
So will I not promise you: 
Keep we both our liberties, 
Never false and never true: 
Let us hold the die uncast, 
Free to come as free to go: 
For I cannot know your past, 
And of mine what can you know? 

You, so warm, may once have been 
Warmer towards another one: 
I, so cold, may once have seen 
Sunlight, once have felt the sun: 
Who shall show us if it was 
Thus indeed in time of old? 
Fades the image from the glass, 
And the fortune is not told. 

If you promised, you might grieve 
For lost liberty again: 
If I promised, I believe 
I should fret to break the chain. 
Let us be the friends we were, 
Nothing more but nothing less: 
Many thrive on frugal fare 
Who would perish of excess.

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