Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Though we never thought that we could lose, there's no regret



Timeslip moment again - and a most appropriate one, methinks.

Let us travel back forty years (gulp!) to what was about to become forever remembered as the "long, hot summer of '76" [a repeat of those glorious sixteen weeks of unbroken sunshine would be most welcome, thanks; but needless to say, our recent run of hot days here has been broken in a most British fashion, by rain.].

In the news in May 1976: a spookily familiar political landscape - as local council elections produced disappointing results for the Labour Party in the UK, and a right-wing senator was edging towards political success in American presidential primaries (in this case Ronald Reagan); the "Norman Scott affair" scandal led to the resignation of Jeremy Thorpe as leader of the Liberal Party; Italy was reeling after an earthquake in Friuli killed more than 900 people and made 100,000 homeless; civil war was raging in Lebanon, while the UK-Iceland "Cod War" was about to end; Concorde, China's "Gang of Four" and the Apple Computer Company were in the ascendant; and Frampton Comes Alive became one of the most successful rock albums in American chart history. In our cinemas: All the President's Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Slipper and the Rose. On telly: Call My Bluff, The Six Million Dollar Man and Are You Being Served?; "Elsie Tanner" returned to Coronation Street after an absence of three years and "Minnie Caldwell" departed; and Dixon of Dock Green ended after 21 years on the BBC.

In the UK charts this week in that momentous year: the Disco boom had begun, courtesy of Silver Convention and Andrea True Connection; also present and correct were Hank Mizell, Noosha Fox, Sutherland Brothers and Quiver, Four Seasons, Stylistics and, inevitably in Eurovision season, that year's winners Brotherhood of Man.

However (and as I said earlier most appropriate, given their barn-storming success at Eurovision in 1974, and the fact we at Dolores Delargo Towers are excitedly counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 this Saturday), at the top was the most commercially successful song in a vastly successful career (6 million copies sold in 1976 alone) for ABBA - it's Fernando:



Can you hear the drums Fernando?
I remember long ago another starry night like this
In the firelight Fernando
You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your guitar
I could hear the distant drums
And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar

They were closer now Fernando
Every hour every minute seemed to last eternally
I was so afraid Fernando
We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die
And I'm not ashamed to say
The roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though we never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando

Now we're old and grey Fernando
And since many years I haven't seen a rifle in your hand
Can you hear the drums Fernando?
Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed the Rio Grande?
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight for freedom in this land

There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though we never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando


Tear-jerking stuff, indeed.

2 comments:

  1. I'm emotional. What an amazing year that was. My favourite growing up year in more ways than one. And the soundtrack for me was Abba. Bless you my dear! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fingers crossed we get another year like that! Of course, "Now we're old and grey, Fernando" it could never be quite the same... Jx

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