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Friday, December 30, 2011

Sirens In The NIGHT


I know I am dating myself now but when I was a kid it was not uncommon on Sunday Nights (at least in Columbus OH it was SUNDAY) for the  show "The World At War" to be on. As most of you know I am an historian by choice NOT by trade and I was (and still am) absolutely fascinated in shows about historic events and Word War II was one of my favorites. Laurence Olivier narrated it and it was 26 one hour episodes long. A dream series for a budding young history guy like me...

But the funny this is that what I remember most about the show was first of all the haunting music that often went along with it. Lot's of cello and minor key pieces that went well with the black and white footage. Secondly and most interesting that it's stuck with me was the sound of the air raid siren, often played during the episodes about the Battle of Britain and The Blitz.

St Paul's Cathedral surrounded by smoke after an air raid

I have often said that there is a soundtrack to my life and it is even more true today then ever before. Generally what I always meant by that is that there was always some relevant piece of music or song that represents an era or time period for me...well that siren from TWAW (The World At War) certainly has been an active sound bite in my minds eye over all these years.

When I was very troubled psychologically after my suicide attempt the first time (yea there was more then one but only one came really close to succeeding) I could actually hear that siren (obviously in my mind) when I was in trouble, wailing at times all night long in the darkened corners of my TROUBLED mind. Even last night as I struggled for rest I could seemingly hear it in the distance and wondered if the German Bombers were going to get through. My room wasn't bombed so the RAF Fighter Boys must have held them off....

I don't know where this weird relationship with me and music and/or  sirens comes from....I certainly don't feel like a lunatic but I swear the sound is real....and haunting.

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