Wednesday, July 18, 2012

 The Hungarian Suicide Song

In 1933, Hungarians were suffering through famine and poverty, effects of the Great Depression, and the rise of fascism.  The nation's people were left with feelings of sorrow and helplessness. 

At this time, songwriter Rezso Serres...

 Rezso Serres

 ...and poet/lyricist Laszlo Lavor...

 Laszlo Lavor
...published a song called "Gloomy Sunday".

Serres' morose blues melody, originally written in the key of C-minor, fit perfectly with Lavor's lyrics.  His lyrics speak of a man who has lost his beloved and looks forward to joining her again after death.

The original text of "Gloomy Sunday"

The song's effect on its listeners led to at least 18 people committing suicide.  Some of the suicides were found with the sheet music of "Gloomy Sunday" clutched in their hands.  Learn more about the history and mystery surrounding this song by clicking on the link below:

Some years later the lyrics were changed. Popular performers recorded the new version of the song, including the great Paul Robeson; many people consider Billie Holiday's rendition to be the best...

The song title has served as inspiration for many artists and photographers, each with their own peculiar style.  See for yourself...


This last piece of art is most appropriate as the composer, Rezso Serres himself, committed suicide in January 1968...35 years after writing his now mostly forgotten "Gloomy Sunday"!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Little Amy took a drink, 
Then fell down on the floor;
For what she thought was H2O...

...Was H2SO4 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

 or, 'Something Is Rotten In The State Of Scotland'

"Macbeth" is one of more graphic of the Shakespeare dramas. summarizes the sinister plot:

"Macbeth has made his decision to kill the King and take the crown as his own. Inspired in part by his own ambition, the decision to murder Duncan is aided by the prophecies of the Witches... well as the insistent urging of his wife. 

Still, Macbeth is wracked with guilt over what he is about to do, and his mind races with thoughts of such evil action. He begins to hallucinate...

...and sees a bloody dagger in the air, which will be his instrument of murder.

He goes on to comment on the wickedness of the world, thoughts which are interrupted by the ringing of the bell, a signal from Lady Macbeth that Duncan's guards are drugged and sleeping. He goes off to complete the dire deed."

The rest of the play is no cheerier: murders, sleep walking, lots of blood, bloody hands, misunderstood witchagrams, lots more blood, a beheading...and it all takes place in gloomy Scotland.  What a treat for all!

As is my custom, I have found lots of art to display showing logos, graphics and photos from different incarnations of this classic.  So, "Lay on McDuff..."

Logos from "Macbeth":

The Three Witches:

Lady Macbeth:




 Behold, where stands the usurper's cursed head!

Here is a link to a Plot Summary of MACBETH

In the tradition of the theatre, it is considered bad luck for actors to mention the title of the play "Macbeth".  It is usually referred to as "the Scottish play".  In this skit from the British comedy BLACKADDER, this superstition is put to the test...