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Sunday, July 4, 2010


You may wonder what does "Begin the Beguine" mean? I first heard those words as a boy in a song by Artie Shaw a band leader. He was a band member who wanted to be a band leader with his own sound. In the big band days each had to have his own particular sound, whether it was Glenn miller, Count Basie, the Dorsey’s, and so many others.

After three bars you knew immediately who was playing. This song always mystified me, because I didn’t know what “Begin the Beguine” meant. In later years I looked it up on the Internet and found out it could mean several things

The Roman Catholic Church had lay sisterhoods whose members were Beguines. They did not take vows as the nuns do, but lived a life somewhat similar. From the old French it could have meant “One who rattles off prayers”

Then there was both a bolero style dance, and the music for the dance which had it’s origin in South America. This sounded more like what the song meant. Part of the verse is:

A moments divine, what rapture serene,
To clouds came along, to disperse the joys we had tasted,
And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted,
I know but too well, what they mean.”

We here in America had our chances but now they are wasted. An opportunity to rebuild America’s infrastructure, research and development, to fit our people for the future, instead we choose war, and now socialism. I fear the beguine has begun.

Check out a beautiful Japanese production using Julio Iglesias version at the site below.

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