Thursday, 12 February 2015

Bread and Roses

Yesterday I went to see the film 'Pride' about the miners strike in 1984-5. The song was sung by the women at some point and brought a tear to everyone's eyes.
It reminded me of a book I read over thirty years ago called 'Csardas.' The beginning of the story was set in Budapest the last days of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Csardas is the name of a traditional Hungarian dance. My mother gave me this book and I read it to her. It had a profound effect on both of us, it was written beautifully. I can still remember the first and last lines of the book, after all these years.

'It was generally agreed that the Ferenc sisters (Eva and Amelia) were the prettiest girls in town..'

Then the story goes on to tell you about the lives of the two sisters during that tragic period of their country's history, up to de end of the Second World War. At the end of the book Eva's daughter Terez has fallen in love and amidst all the devastaion and horror  her boyfriend/lover brings her a bunch of roses. When Terez's mother Eva sees him arriving with the flowers she turns to her sister Amelia, both broken and aged by now, and whispers,

'Look Amelia roses, roses for Terez.'

It still makes me want to cry even now.
This ties in with the lovely heart warming song beautifully sung by Bronwen.

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