Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.
For reasons that I am ashamed of now, I decided not to send my children to our local primary school. Instead, I decided to send them to a school out of area. Anyway, for entirely different reasons, it turned out to be a good decision. At first it seemed that we might not be able to get our eldest child into our chosen school. This was quite distressing for our son because he wanted to go to the school with the rocket in the playground. My husband and I also checked out the Catholic primary school in the same suburb as some of my child’s friends would also be attending that school. I was upfront with the principal of the Catholic school about our lack of religion. I explained to him that my child was interested in dinosaurs, planetary science and, you know, evolution. The principal was quick to reassure me that the religious education was only a small component of the curriculum and that the bible was not taught as some literal truth but more as guiding stories. I thought that was very enlightened. I can’t imagine getting that type of response these days. However, at that time, almost half the children who went to Catholic schools weren’t actually Catholic. In the end, a place came up at the rocket ship school and so a temper tantrum was avoided and I did not have to deal with my own internal conflict.
This brings me today’s song choice, Gilgamesh Lament for Enkidu, sung by Canadian singer, Peter Pringle. This lament forms part of the ancient (and fragmented) text, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the text of which is recorded on a set of twelve clay tablets dating to the seventh century BC. When the text on the tablets was first translated in the 1800s, there was some controversy because there are apparently some similarities between it and other ancient religious texts. As you know, texts can be interpreted in many different ways. Even Freud has had a crack at the Gilgamesh story. The story of Gilgamesh apparently had a big influence on two other epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Anyway, if you don’t know the story (or the stories) of Gilgamesh, they are worth checking out. For me, it is interesting from the perspective of how a myth grows up around some leaders which then passes into popular culture. Let’s have the song/poem now. I hope you enjoy.
Stay safe, stay sane, everyone.
Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg), CC BY-SA 4.0