de achttiende november

Kameraden en vrienden,

vandaag is het 18 november, op zich geen echt bijzondere dag, donderdag van de 33ste zondag door het jaar, feestdag van de heilige Odo van Cluny en verjaardag van de opening van kanaal Gent-Terneuzen (in 1827 voor de liefhebbers). Maar toch een bijzondere dag, die wordt bezongen door de Ierse nationalist Brendan Behan:


Just outside the town of Macroom.
The tans in their big Crossley tenders,
Came roaring along to their doom.
But the boys of the column were waiting
With hand grenades primed on the spot,
And the Irish Republican Army
Made shit of the whole mucking lot.


It was on an August morning, all in the moring hours,
I went to take the warming air all in the month of flowers,
And there I saw a maiden and heard her mournful cry,
Oh, what will mend my broken heart, I’ve lost my Laughing Boy.
So strong, so wide, so brave he was, I’ll mourn his loss too sore
When thinking that we’ll hear the laugh or springing step no more.
Ah, curse the time, and sad the loss my heart to crucify,
Than an Irish son, with a rebel gun, shot down my Laughing Boy.
Oh, had he died by Pearse’s side, or in the G.P.O.,
Killed by an English bullet from the rifle of the foe,
Or forcibly fed while Ashe lay dead in the dungeons of Mountjoy,
I’d have cried with pride at the way he died, my own dear Laughing Boy.
My princely love, can ageless love do more than tell to you
Go raibh mile maith Agath, for all you tried to do,
For all you did and would have done, my enemies to destroy,
I’ll prize your name and guard your fame, my own dear Laughing Boy.

De ronduit geniale Griekse componist Mikis Theodorakis goot deze prachtige gedichten in een prachtig strijdlied, gericht tegen onderdrukking, tirannie en fascisme.

Over deze gedichten vertelde hij het volgende: "In "The hostage", Brendan Behan deals with the Irish people’s struggle for freedom. This new Irish mythology seemed to me to be very closely related to ours. The questions about God, about existence, about loneliness, love and hate retain their fundamental significance in the human struggle for life and liberty. That applies to Northern Ireland just as much as to Greece. When in 1961 I put "The hostage" to music, I didn’t want to compose typical Greek folk music; I wanted at least the musical form to correspond to the special atmosphere of the work."

Een versie met historische beelden en toelichting door de meester zelve:

In een modernere en Engelstalige versie door Alexia:

En tenslotte Brendan Behan vertelt over de Ierse onafhankelijkheidsstrijd, de Easter Rising en socialisme.

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