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Life Arts

An Antidote to Toxic Politicking

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Sacla' Stage Shopera in London Foodhall
Sacla' Stage Shopera in London Foodhall
(Image by Sacla)
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Hark, the anguished cries of the angry and horrified masses, drowning in the toxic sludge of American politics. The human mind requires a change of scenery in order to remain active in developing solutions and creative problem solving. It's a kind of crop rotation of grey matter.

So it was with delight that I discovered this video of "Funiculi, Funicula" on my Facebook feed this morning:

Sacla' Stage Shopera in London Foodhall
(Image by Lin Clayton, Channel: Lin Clayton)
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Like so many others, I'd always loved the joyful tune, and wondered what the lyrics meant. My research today revealed that the song was written in 1880 to commemorate the opening of Mount Vesuvius' first funicular cable car. There is suspicion that the song was written as a joke in response to a dare, and its subsequent wild popularity was apparently a surprise to eveyone involved.

The Mount Vesuvios funicular cable car
The Mount Vesuvios funicular cable car
(Image by Public domain via wiki)
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The term "funicular" references a cable railroad, particularly one built on a mountainside, in which ascending and descending cars are balanced against each other.

An eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 1944 destroyed the railway, but not before an Englishman wrote his own lyrics to the tune, titling it "A Merry Life."

Who knew an Englishman could ever out-bliss the Italians? Lyrics and youtube video of two lovely ladies singing the English version follow:

Claire & Lisa .A Merry Life.
(Image by Tina Tweedy, Channel: Tina Tweedy)
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A Merry Life

Music: Luigi Denza

Lyrics Edward Oxenford

Some think the world is made for fun and frolic,

And so do I! And so do I!

Some think it well to be all melancholic,

To pine and sigh; to pine and sigh;

But I, I love to spend my time in singing,

Some joyous song, some joyous song,

To set the air with music bravely ringing

Is far from wrong! Is far from wrong!

Harken, harken, music sounds a-far!

Harken, harken, with a happy heart!

Funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funicula!

Joy is everywhere, funiculi, funicula!

Ah me! 'tis strange that some should take to sighing,

And like it well! And like it well!

For me, I have not thought it worth the trying,

So cannot tell! So cannot tell!

With laugh, with dance and song the day soon passes

Full soon is gone, full soon is gone,

For mirth was made for joyous lads and lasses

To call their own! To call their own!

Harken, harken, hark the soft guitar!

Harken, harken, hark the soft guitar!

Funiculi, funicula, funiculi, funicula!

Hark the soft guitar, funiculi, funicula!

And, remember, OpEdNews also provides a daily inspiration of beauty for our readers with the APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day) at the bottom of our front page, featuring images that typically invite a calming perspective.

We humans are inspired and re-energized by the arts, and by joy and beauty, enabling us to go forth in good spirits to change our world.


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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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