Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Fragile

On the album Nothing Like The Sun ex-Police frontman Sting gifted his discerning listener a serene refrain titled ‘Fragile’. Contained within it a particularly emotive musical thread performed on Spanish guitar. A melancholic yet comforting melody apparently inspired by the killing of a peace corps volunteer in Nicaragua.

As a non-musician I’m unqualified to give an informed critique on the creative merits or complexity of the harmony’s structure. I’ll leave that type of journaling to experts in the musical field. However, I’m qualified enough in the knowing what I like field to opine this hauntingly beautiful guitar riff never fails to move me.

Following my recent cardiac arrest thoughts of this particular track by the Newcastle-born singer/songwriter raised it’s welcome head. This despite Sting’s offering from his second solo album bearing no reference to the experiencing a heart attack. Or indeed the many other causes who highjack the song for their own agendas.

That being said, I feel there’s a genericism within part of the lyric’s message, that of the very fragility of our existences, which allows the shoe-horning in of a tenuous parallel of sorts.

Written in the 1980’s at his Monserrat retreat in the Caribbean, this beautiful song is Gordon Sumner’s (Sting) tribute to Ben Linder, the peace corps volunteer slaughtered by Contras in Nicaragua.:-

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay

Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime’s argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could

For all those born beneath an angry star
Least we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
Like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are

See the source image

My mother visited me this morning for the first time since I was discharged from hospital on Tuesday. Without her usual chauffeur (yours truly), family friend Jo kindly offered to drive mater on her short sojourn to see her eldest offspring.

My mum (Maggie) made a great effort to dress smartly for the occasion. Admittedly, her floral blouse and snakeskin trousers were a sight my recently sleep-deprived eyes could’ve done without. Nevertheless they added a welcome chromatic view to peepers that’d spent much of the last seven days clocking the colourless hues of a medics attire.

Maggie was particularly keen to show off her new chiffon handgun holster. A fashion accessory that maybe impractical from a hardwearing perspective, however is apparently very much in vogue with the organised crime gangs of her village, East Ardsley.

Cutting a dashing figure in her Aldi tiara, mater thoughtfully made her convalescing son a cup of tea and sandwich for lunch. The old lady seemed pleased to witness the early positive steps in my post-op recuperation. Her smile no doubt born from the relief her eldest son was still here to antagonise her with his incessant whimsical patter.

I’m unsure what filling Maggie put into the sandwich, however shortly after I’d eaten it I noticed the insoles of my slippers were missing!……. A discovery explaining why, shortly after consuming lunch, I coughed up a footwear label bearing the words ‘Size 9’.

Categories: Blogs, family, humour

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