Reflections 2012 – “Dance me to the end of love”
KES Cadet Corps Church Parade
Christ Church, April 27th, 3:00pm
“If music be the food of love, play on,” as Shakespeare puts it in Twelfth Night. There is “the sweet power of music,” he suggests, in The Merchant of Venice. Indeed, “the man that hath no music in himself/ Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils … Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.”
And it has been a year of music and dance, a dance that embraces the highs and the lows of every aspect of our year at King’s-Edgehill. It is, perhaps, in the music of the spheres and in the dance of the understanding that we have learned something more about ourselves, about one another and about our world. “Mark the music.” Enter the dance. Dance me to the end of love.
Leonard Cohen’s lyrical masterpiece, “Dance Me to the End of Love,” is about the triumph of love even in the midst of the greatest horrors such as the holocaust.
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance Me To The End Of Love…
The song was inspired by the story of the death camps in the Holocaust when Jewish musicians were required to play classical music, the music of Mozart and Haydn, for instance, while their people were being led to their deaths and their bodies to the burning. It is a haunting image. A string quartet plays with passionate intensity for those whose fate is their own, playing with passionate intensity the music which belongs to human dignity and beauty in the face of unspeakable and utterly inhuman indignities and horror. The Jews of Europe were betrayed by the culture that betrayed itself. And yet, there is the haunting and compelling beauty of the refrain, Dance me to the end of love.