Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Leunig's Poem

Michael Leunig's cartoons are always brilliant, but he also writes poetry.

The topic is privatization.

Here's the text, in case you want to save it.
It's worth learning off by heart, or perhaps being set to music.

It works well with Honky Tonk Women.

They're privatising things we own together.
They're flogging off the people's common ground.
And though we're still connected by the weather
They say that sharing things is now unsound.

They're lonelifying all the public spaces.
They're rationalising swags and billabongs.
They're awfulising natures lively places, 
Dismantling the dreaming and the songs.

Their macho fear of flabby, soft sensations
Makes them pine for all things hard and lean.
They talk of foreign market penetrations
And throbbing private sectors. It's obscene.

They're basically unloving types of creatures.
With demons lurking underneath their beds.
You'll notice that a necktie always features.
To keep their hearts quite separate from their heads.

So if they steal away the people's treasure, 
And bring the Jolly Swagman to his knees,
They can't remove the simple common pleasure
Of loathing public bastards such as these.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

You Don't need French

You don't need to know any French to understand this - a very old rendering of Ne Me Quitte Pas, a song that Brel wrote in 1959 after his mistress "Zizou" (Suzanne Gabriello) threw him out of her life.

Zizou was pregnant with Brel's child, but Brel refused to acknowledge the child as his own.*

It's a beautiful piece of music, and this version is sparse and direct.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I'm a tragic for French music of the period, particularly that of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel.

Brel, I think, was actually Belgian....

* Source - Wikipedia

Hugh White - Without America

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