Friday, November 14, 2008

A Ferris Proustian moment?

From Iain: "I hope Crickley Hill Man will forgive me for possibly lowering the tone of his excellent blog by returning to the subject of the Crickley Elsans. When listening to a Cannonball Adderley LP the other day, as you do, I was taken aback when the great man played 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes'. Unfortunately, my pleasure at listening to the record was immediately compromised by the memory of Robert Roberts at Crickley singing a song about Elsans to this very tune, something that will forever blight my appreciation of this classic number. I cannot remember the lyrics to this second Elsan song or perhaps I have blocked them out of my mind for some reason. Does Crickley Hill Man remember this? If so, is it sanitised enough to reproduce on his blog?"

It rings a very faint bell... do I remember? Let's try some Proust ...

"Et tout d’un coup le souvenir m’est apparu. Ce goût, c’était celui du petit morceau de madeleine que le dimanche matin à Combray (parce que ce jour-là je ne sortais pas avant l’heure de la messe), quand j’allais lui dire bonjour dans sa chambre, ma tante Léonie m’offrait après l’avoir trempé dans son infusion de thé ou de tilleul." 

(And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom , my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane.)

... no, sorry, Iain, it's not coming back. I can remember Robert singing another ditty called "The Prisoner" and, alas, I can remember all the words to that. But they are not seemly, and could never be made fit to be published, no matter what Bowdlerising went on as there wouldn't be a lot left. I will continue to meditate upon the muse which moved Robert. 

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