Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Saddest Song

When in New York two weeks ago, I went to the musical revue, "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?" at The Triad on W 72nd St. (More about that in another post.)

Afterwards when I congratulated the show's director (and tenor) Bill Daugherty, he gave me a CD of his previous production, "When the Lights Go On Again." It's a lovely compilation of WWII songs, some of them little-known, with fantastic harmonies.

I was listening to the CD in the car this morning and this song wrung my heart--so much that I listened to it twice. Change just a few details and it could apply to many refugees today.

My Sister and I
Lyrics by Joan Whitney Kramer & Hy Zaret
Music by Alex Kramer

My sister and I remember still
A tulip garden by an old Dutch mill,
And the home that was all our own until ...
But we don't talk about that.

My sister and I recall once more
The fishing schooners pulling into shore,
And the dog-cart we drove in days before ...
But we don't talk about that.

We're learning to forget the fear
That came from a troubled sky.
We're almost happy over here,
But sometimes we wake at night and cry.

My sister and I recall the day
We said goodbye, then we sailed away.
And we think of our friends that had to stay,
But we don't talk about that.


Anonymous said...

wow. that's a powerful song. thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

'My Sister and I' was a WWII song that we often heard on the radio during thst war. In the northeast US, we really feared possible enemy bombings, had nightly black outs, kept sand in buckets in our attics to put out fires from incendiaries while listening to the calls of air raid wardens during the night - we grew up in fear of the night skys. Consequently, the song carried real meaning to my sister and me. Thank God, we were far safer than we believed at the time, and we can always talk about that.

Don Archer
Ocala, Florida

Bella Stander said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Mr. Archer. It means a lot to hear from someone who lived through that time.

Joy. said...

I was born in England in 1941 and remember my mother singing this song just after the war and telling me what it was about. I have never heard it since. I only knew the first verse, which just came into my head, for no reason that I can think of. Since I was on my computer, I looked it up and was amazed to find it here! This takes me straight back to being five years old and having just moved to outer London, where my family came lived, from a very safe and - for me - happy war spent in the country.