As a visual person, it’s odd to think how significant the other four senses can be. I heard something on the radio this morning that reminded me.
By all accounts, Frederick Delius was a nasty man. But that didn’t stop him from writing some evocative music. For some myterious reason I associate his instrumental composition “Brigg Fair” with the death of my grandmother Clara Markiewicz, the woman who—for better and for worse—stepped in when my mother packed a suitcase of lengerie and loose cash and was never seen again. When grandma died I somehow became imprinted with the Delius composition. Now, whenever I hear it, a tsunami of grief washes over me. If you’ve never heard it, please do.
Delius based “Brigg Fair” on an English folk melody whose text I append below:
“It was on the fifth of August
The weather fair and mild
Unto Brigg Fair I did repair
For love I was inclined.
“I got up with the lark in the morning
And my heart was full of glee
Expecting there to meet my dear
Long time I’d wished to see.
“I looked over my left shoulder
To see what I might see
And there I spied my own true love
Come a-tripping down to me.
“I took hold of her lily white hand
And merrily sang my heart
For now we are together
We never more shall part.
“For the green leaves, they will wither
And the roots, they shall decay
Before I prove false to her
The lass that loves me well.”