Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Child that Flies

A little while ago I wrote about that Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi - I had always thought it contained the line "They paint Paradise, put up a parking lot" and was most surprised to find they were, in fact, covering Paradise with paving stones.

Tonight Connie Fisher, currently playing Maria in The Sound of Music in the West End of London, explained to me about the flying child.

To me it had always been a line of mystery: I think you've quite probably heard the song before - it starts like this -

The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears

All clear so far. But then we come to:

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a child that flies from a church on a breeze

I've always wondered about this flying child. How, I have wondered all my life - on and off: well, more off than on, really, to be fair - did the child fly? and what made the poor infant sigh? Are these flying children common? The simile would seem to suggest so. So why have I never seen one?

But tonight Connie Fisher explained it thus, as she sang the song:

My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies from the church on a breeze

Aaaaaaaaaah. Mystery solved. Sometimes it's almost worth being a saddo who stays in doing the ironing in front of the telly on a Saturday night.


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