The French are not all bad, of course. I have still much affection for poor Hector Berlioz. Who in turn was something of an Anglophile. He added a manuscript quote from King Lear on the title page of The Symphonie fantastique:
As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods
They kill us for their sport.
We know what you mean, Hector, we know what you mean.
Unusually for an orchestral composer, Hector’s personal instrument was not the piano, but the guitar. My beloved Bosendorfer, which I bought with the money I inherited from my mother when she died, is gone now: I had given it to my wife, never imagining that she would one day leave. But I still have my lute and my guitars.
Sometimes, I tune my guitars sometimes to lute tuning, such that the great mean (what is normally the G string of a guitar), is tuned down a semitone. Hence the song I wrote the other day, Daytime Song, which could not readily played in guitar tuning.
I hadn’t noticed that I was so far gone
Down the road of disrepair.
Did you feel it at all in the air?
Did you notice when I wasn’t there?
It’s getting late for a daytime song
Like they play on the streets everywhere.
Do you know the words of Scarborough Fair?
You, with your streaming red hair?
I’m sleeping better when the night comes down
Since we had our brief affair.
Now I know the words of Scarborough Fair.
What about you? With your streaming red hair?