Friday, December 14, 2007

Poetry Friday: Night Walks with a Heavy Step

Here is the post I wrote last year about Santa Lucia Day. Today, Bede is dropping our own Lucia off at school, and I hope he gets to stay for the singing. The second graders visit each classroom while singing "Santa Lucia" songs, and leave sweet bread (not sweetbread!) for everyone. Last year, I cried during the singing. Lucia's teacher reassured me that this was a normal reaction to the Santa Lucia Day celebration.

Here is the translation (courtesy of Mama Lisa's World Blog) of the Santa Lucia song:

Night Walks with a Heavy Step

Night walks with a heavy step
Round yard and hearth,
As the sun departs from earth,
Shadows are brooding.
There in our dark house,
Walking with lit candles,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia!

You will find the last two verses here, plus a MIDI, sheet music, and a video of the song in Swedish.

12 comments:

TadMack said...

I missed last year's post. Thanks for posting again.

I, too, have sometimes visceral reactions to music... we had a record when I was little that every time my mother would play, I would cry... I was SUCH a strange child, but Bach's Komm, Süsser Tod would simply undo me as young as five years old, and I would ball up in a corner and sob. (It maybe was because our version had violins? And violins made me sad? Who can tell?) I was already seen as the wimpy youngest, so I hated that I cried so easily, but I'm pretty sure I inherited it from my mother, who cannot get through a church service without a weepy moment.

Oddly enough, I can listen to that song now as simply meditative, but
Ave, verum corpus wipes me out. And it isn't just sad songs, either. Nor is it just Latin. (Fugues? Minor keys?!) I wish I could figure it out so I could stop it, but no such luck.

It totally ruins my image, man. I'm stomping along with my combat boots, sniveling.

*sigh*

Happy St. Lucia's Day. I hope your bread turns out beautifully.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

TadMack: I can empathize. Cellos do it to me. I think there must be something in certain chord progressions that is akin to onion-juice. As far as being a tough-guy goes, remember that Al Capone cried during "La Boheme." Well, at least he did in "The Untouchables" (as portrayed by Robert DeNiro)!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

P.S. Whoops, that would be "Pagliacci," not "La Boheme."

limpy99 said...

I'm trying to imagine the reaction to the little children going around distributing sweetbread. I imagine there would be tears for that as well.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: I know I definitely would cry.

SevenImpossible said...

That's beautiful.

TadMack, there are certain songs that, as a child, haunted me (in a good way). I know that sounds terribly dramatic, but it's true. I think either a child is just born with that music appreciation, for lack of a better phrase, or not. I loved reading your story.

Jules, 7-Imp

HipWriterMama said...

I can't believe this. I just listened to the song...this is the song my mom used to sing all the time when we were little! But all year round.

Music definitely makes me cry--it can be an incredibly beautiful piece of classical music or from listening to the words from a song.

I love how music can make me happy, sad, wistful, energetic...

diana said...

Lucia's school rocks.

I cry quite often at beautiful music!

Anonymous said...

I cried, yet once again, at our school's Santa Lucia. The second graders came into our Kindergarten, and they were so incredibly upright, even the squirrely little boys. The representative of Santa Lucia, with the candles in her hair, and the other girls with ivy garlands, the boys with their candles in hand - they all sang their hearts out. It was beautiful, a little vignette in the midst of what we live with daily.

Lone Star Ma said...

So incredibly sweet! Her school does rock.

Cloudscome said...

How beautiful and cheerful! Even with tears on our faces hearts are lifted. Thank you!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

HW:That's lovely that your mom used to sing this song year round. I only found out about it last year.

Diana: It seems that we are in good company.:)

Anonymous/My Mom: I meant to tell you that Lucia (my Lucia) says that she's going to be the Santa Lucia girl in 2nd grade. I hope by then she'll understand better that just one girl can be picked-- for all we know, it'll be her. But still, I'm bracing myself for a scenario along the lines of Lily's Big Day.

LSM If I had to go back to elementary school, this place would be it.

Cloudscome: That's a really good way of looking at it. Thanks!