I found myself today wandering down an empty corridor in a vast building with no one in it. For those who don’t know, my ‘real job’ is as a teacher. I have been in school at least one day every week since the lockdown began. The spaces that are usually so full were completely empty and have been for a while. It is a strange thing and it can’t be described – you have to feel it. Strangely, I found myself filling up the space with a song. I was literally walking around the corridors singing ‘The Sally Gardens’. And I found that I suddenly felt it keenly. I can’t think why it would have come into my head. Maybe I was just filling up the space with ego. The words don’t seem to me to fit the moment. Maybe it was the tune – perhaps something beyond the words – that fitted.
I have always preferred it unaccompanied and I like there to be plenty of space in between the lines. That ‘white space’ before the word ‘But’ always carries its resonance, I think. When you sing it to yourself you can ‘break’ the lines create the caesurae in the middle of lines. Always powerful.