Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Poetry Wednesday Tarantella

Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc (27 July 1870 – 16 July 1953) was an Anglo-French write and historian who became a naturalized subject in 1902. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century.
Belloc was born in La-Calle-Saint-Cloud, France to a French father and English mother and grew up in England. His paternal grandfather was the painter Jean-Hilaire Belloc and his mother Elizabeth Rayner-Parkes was also a writer, and a great-granddaughter of the English chemist Joseph Priestley.
Tarantella is another of my favourites. I did not have to learn this by heart for exams but rather for recital on Parents Days! A group of us, with coaching from a professional, would stand on the stage and lift the roof of the assembly hall as we recited this. I don’t think I ever understood it at that time. The Tarantella is a southern Italian couple folk dance in 6/8 time accompanied by tambourines. Although the school I went to had two orchestras we were not accompanied by tambourines but we recited it in 6/8 time. And, I can still do it!!!

DO you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the bedding
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in--
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?
Never more;
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar;
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:But the boom:
Of the far waterfall like doom.

Hilaire Belloc

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