The Dancer: Image: noise.net/featured-work.asp?artist_id=8618&category_id=4
This entry is quite an odd entry. I have a few snippets of music files which I truly enjoy and they are some of the about 2GB music files on my MP3-player. The first file is the Elizabeth Serenade, then you can listen to “The mouth organ boy” – by Vicky Leandros. The 3rd song is by Laurika Rauch..”The song of the trains” and then you can enjoy Jackson Browne’s “For a dancer”- a bit down in this entry!
I also have a poem! “The Night Mail”. I had to teach this poem to Y4’s a few years ago and when I searched for the poem, I found it on a website which was about the Night Mail…Royal Mail! It was such interesting reading – the history of the night mail, but what was sad, was the fact that the services of the Night Mail train were terminated. The same time it was about to be terminated, I came across the site and the poem. There was an abundance of info on that site, but it seems to me that the site, where I found the poem, doesn’t exist anymore! What a shame! I could find you a newspaper article about this train- at least! The poem by Auden is about this train! The Royal Night Mail was about the train from London to Scotland/Wales…see the youtube movie-links at the bottom of this post… and there are even more movies on youtube to be seen! Do enjoy it! Enjoy the music here too! Wherever you go this week, make sure you “make a joyful sound”! – see the lyrics of “For a Dancer”.
(Commentary for a G.P.O. Film, July 1935)
by W.H. Auden (1907 – 1973)
This is the Night Mail crossing the border,Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.
Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.
Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.
Dawn freshens. Her climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.
Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers’ declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart’s outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.
Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston’s or Crawford’s:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
It was one of the world’s great railway journeys, but you could not book a seat on it. It inspired two of Britain’s greatest 20th-century poets, and Britain’s most infamous bunch of 20th-century villains. It rushed through the darkness, utterly reliable, while the rest of us slept. But last night it ran for the last time.
Please click HERE to read more about the last Night Mail train from London. The link will open in a new window.
Night Mail Image: See more images on this link….http://flickr.com/photos/scardy/421208053/in/set-72157594588477493/
For a Dancer..by Jackson Browne
Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I dont remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you’d always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you’re nowhere to be found
I dont know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can’t sing
I can’t help listening
And I can’t help feeling stupid standing round
Crying as they ease you down
cause I know that youd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(theres nothing you can do about it anyway)
Just do the steps that youve been shown
By everyone you’ve ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Anothers steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone
Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don’t let the uncertainty turn you around
(the world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound
Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you’ll never know.
The poem on this link on youtube.
The Royal Mail on this youtube-link.