Monday, August 04, 2008

Tears are not enough

Michael Vaughan's wept at his decision to stand down as England cricket captain. Jeremy Paxman cried when he discovered one of his ancestors had been sent to the workhouse. Tough-guy Aussie PM Bob Hawke shed tears about his daughter's drug addiction.

The BBC has been asking visitors to its site today "What makes men cry?" Here's my list of anniversaries, films, songs, books, and memories that have turned on the waterworks in recent years.

1. Good Friday.

2. Leaving my old home last November. The rest of the family had gone on ahead to the new house leaving me to say my final farewells to the place that had been my home on and off for nearly 20 years. I was fighting back the tears as I said goodbye, but I think they were tears of love as much as grief.

3. Thinking about how much I still miss my grandad, who died when I was 12.

4. That bit in Love Actually when, having declared his (unrequited) love for his best friend's girl (Keira Knightley), Andrew Lincoln walks away from her home telling himself: "Enough, enough now."

5. Thomas Hardy's Christmas poem, "The Oxen"

6. The opening lines of "I Trawl the Megahertz" by Paddy McAloon. "We start with the joyful mysteries before the appearance of ether, trying to capture the elusive: the farm where the crippled horses heal, the woods where autumn is reversed, and the longing for bliss in the arms of some beloved from the past."

7. The closing line of the hymn "I Cannot Tell, How He Whom Angels Worship," to the tune of "Danny Boy."

8. Listening to recordings of Winston Churchill saying: "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

9. "Abraham, Martin and John," by Marvin Gaye. Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin...?

10. Heroism, literary and real. Sydney Carton's at the end of A Tale of Two Cities, Bigwig's at the end of Watership Down, the real-life heroism of my parents' generation who saved this country in WW2. I think this and No 1. are linked, somehow.

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3 comments:

S Penketh said...

I always shed a tear on Donald Pleasance's death scene in the 'Great Escape'.

Again when the British officer sacrifices himself and the massacre scene in 'The Last of the Mohicans'.

Most of Churchills speeches

The book and Film 'The Cruel Sea' and the film 'In which we serve'

The Band of the Royal Marines playing 'Hearts of oak', 'Jerusalem', 'I vow to thee my country' oh & the 'Battle of the Atlantic suite'.

reeding Robert Peel's speech to parliament to remove the corn laws.

and Finally Tracy Bond's death in 'On her Majesty's Secret Service.'

Though you have some very beautiful choices

Stephen Rouse said...

Robert Vaughan's death in The Magnificent Seven, just seconds after finally conquering his inner demons.

Anonymous said...

Watching TV the night the Berlin Wall came down.