Sunday, 2 June 2013

Glass ENO and Coronation Calypso

Tonight, ENO Philip Glass The Perfect American at the Coliseum. Read about Philip Glass's Satyagraha, Einstein on the Beach and his In the Penal Colony on this site. They are relevant. I don't shatter Glass easily but The Perfect American didn't sparkle for me. Review HERE.

But it was nice seeing London decorated for the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation. Less nice the post-midnight road closures. Admirably tasteful banners in maroon and gold. I love the Queen because she comes over as a genuinely decent person, who works extremely hard and cares about the country.  One of the reasons we admire the Queen is because she came to the throne at the right time. The war was over, but there were still bombed areas and memories of rationing, death etc. And  out of this a pretty, conscientious young woman taking on the mantle of Empire. Highly symbolic. Monarchy is image, not logic, and if it remains, the monarch must fill a need. Which is a contradiction in terms when it's hereditary. Long Live the Queen,  Long May She Reign! Preferably til she's 120. and keeps the throne warm for William. In 60 years, Britain has changed a lot, but she's been a wise monarch, interested in what's happening and placing nation above herself.

Anyway, here is a Calypso from 1953, and the singer, nice tenor, is Young Tiger (George E Browne) who was young then but was nearly 87 when he died in 2007. Listen to the inventive words, and the way they twist round the line.  "Her Majesty looked really divine, in her crimson robe furred with ermine", "the night wind was blowing freezing and cold, but I held my ground like a young Creole".

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