Yesterday I wrote about group singing along the Camino. It turns out that my biggest mistake in preparing for my Camino was musical.
By way of background, I like to listen to music when I am at home arranging flowers on the light box, or working in Photoshop. Often I will pick a particular genre, or performer. This way I have spent weeks listening to Brahms, and worked my way through Paul Simon (never again, many of Simon’s songs are ear worms), Bob Dylan (amazingly creative artist if you listen to his progress across the years), and Leonard Cohen (wonderfully moving, but a bit depressing).
The problem is that I had a jag listening to Broadway musicals before I left home. Specifically the original cast albums for The Sound of Music, The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof, and (most deplorably) My Fair Lady. More than once. In fact, many times.
These are not the tunes one wants running through one’s head as one walks solo along the Camino de Santiago!
Sure, many of the melodies are catchy (part of the problem) and the lyrics seem sunny enough. Until the songs have run through one’s brains in tandem with the rhythm of one’s footsteps, over and over again and sunny begins to seem facile and fake.
Take My Fair Lady, one of the worst offenders. This misogynist version (“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”) of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion manages to trivialize the heinous and wasteful rigidity of the British caste system. It seems that all you need to do to land a toff in marriage is to get a little help with enunciation—even when the personal plumbing is a mismatch because the Rex Harrison character clearly has no use for cis-gendered females.
And, yes, it really does rain in Spain! In my recent experience, considerably.
I hate having these disingenuous and deceitful lyrics running through my head as I walk along. I really should have been listening to something more appropriate before heading off on my Camino, like Mozart’s Requiem, or the Missa Solemnis. Next time I will know better.
Notes: The Camino crosses the River Iso on an ancient stone bridge at the hamlet of O Iso. It’s traditional for pilgrims to bath their feet in the river. So I descended the stone stairway, removed my shoes and socks, and bathed my feet in the wonderfully cold river. Tradition or not, it felt so good on my tired feet!
Sitting facing the old bridge I rested for a while as my feet chilled. Then I turned sideways and looked upstream for the view you see in the photo above.