Monday 27 September 2010
Flower Festival - Walking in Memphis
The pulse of an older England has been beating all summer through fairs, exhibitions, holidays. It's now the end of Summerland and the distant trumpet of winter comes early in the morning on the mist.
The finale of the Harvest Festival overlays Christian theology on the underlying pagan year marker of the Autumn Equinox where, if you've been lucky and diligent, there will be enough food in store to keep you alive for the next six months.
This is the time of year pensioners put an extra tin of ham in the back of the cupboard. They couldn't tell you why since they prefer to live on tea and biscuits and the tins are a sod to open, but that daft peardrop makes them feel safe, like a huge lucky charm.
The Harvest Festival is enjoyed particularly by the ladies of the parish. They take over the church and build tableaux of of fragile beauty out of materials they know are mortal.
So does their Lord.
Now Muriel plays piano
Every Friday at the Hollywood
And they brought me down
To see her
And they asked me if I would --
Do a little number
And I sang with all my might
And she said --
"Tell me are you a Christian child?"
And I said
"Ma'am I am tonight"
Ana Free's version because it is the one which would be performed in a church.