I was reading a wonderful book of W. G. Sebald, a German writer which left Germany in early 60. and went to Manchester. He is one of the best writer I ever read in my whole life, better as Marcel Proust. It means something when I say something like that. His book, Die Ausgewanderten / The Emigrants I am reading ever and ever again… It was published in German 1992 and in English 1996. Sebald won with it the Berlin Literature Prize, the Literatur Nord Prize, and the Johannes Bobrowski Medal. Wikipedia says: The Emigrants is largely concerned with memory, trauma, and feelings of foreignness. All the characters in the work are emigrants who have left Germany, mostly Jewish and mostly self-murder. In the 3rd novel in a scene which takes place in a bar in Deauville, he writes.
Die Instrumentalisten waren vier schon etwas gealterte Jünglinge mit lockigem Haar. Sie spielten songs aus den sechziger Jahren, die ich in der Union Bar in Manchester ich weiß nicht wie oft gehört hatte. It is the evening of the day. Hingebungsvoll hauchte die Vokalistin, ein blondes Mädchen mit noch sehr kindlicher Stimme, hinein in das Mikrofon, das sie mit beiden Händen ganz dicht an ihre Lippen hielt. Sie sang in englischer Sprache, aber mit deutlichen französischen Akzent. It is the evening of the day, I sit and watch the children play. Manchmmal, wenn sie die Worte nicht richtig erinnern konnte, ging ihr Gesang in ein wundervolles Summen über. Ich setzte mich auf einen der weißen Schleiflacksessel. Die Musik erfüllte den ganzen Raum. Rosarote Quellwolken bis unter den goldumrankten Plafond. Procol Harum. A whiter shade of pale. Die reine Rührseligkeit.
I needed urgently to listen to it…
Original lyrics were written by Keith Reid
We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels ‚cross the floor
I was feeling kinda’ seasick
the crowd called out for more
the room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away
when we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray
and so it was that later as a mirror
told its tale that her face
at first just ghostly turned
a whiter shade of pale
She said: „There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see”
but I wandered through my playing cards
would not let her be one
of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open
they might just as well’ve been closed
and so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale.
But all that was nothing in comparison to what was written underneath. So I just quote it, reading a book of Sebald and listening ever und ever again to Procol Harum, which I liked so much as I was young, and then forgot them totally till bei reading Sebald the 10th time or so I found them again. Rührselig.
Anyway, did you know it?
could you please stop commenting about it being ‚originally written by’ Johann Sebastian Bach? I tried to find similarities with „Air on G String”, „Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe” (BWV 156), „O Mensch bewein dein’ Sünde groß” (BWV 622), „Sleepers, Wake!” from Bach, but honestly: None of them warrant the claim that the melody is borrowed from any of them. It’s quite a stretch to find similarities, even, between chord-schemes, bass-lines, and the two or three tone-sequences that match with aforementioned pieces by Bach; You could then say the same about ALL pop hits! To claim it borrows ideas from „When a Man Loves a Woman” (Percy Sledge) is like saying every pop-song in C-minor borrows ideas from songs with the same tempo. This composition stands tall on its own. Every song out there is *inspired* by those from other songwriters, you don’t need to brag about your miracle discovery; I’m holding a do-I-give-a-shit-o-meter in my hand, and the needle’s not moving.
Mmmmm… it was published on you tube on 09.09.2007 and since then people listened to it (only here of course) 89.577.793 times (the last ten times it was me listening to it). 89 millions! It was commented 22 009 times.
I copied only comments from today and yesterday, I finished by a comment from somebody remembering Poland…
Do not forget to listen to the music by reading:
and so on and so on…