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Reprise: Valiant Valentine!
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Thu, 2013-02-14 03:01
(In honour of St. Valentine's Day - originally broadcast on the Politically Incorrect Show, February 14, 2001)
Oooo!! Today is an especially Politically Incorrect day, Valentine's Day, when your fancy may unashamedly turn to romance. The Human Wrongs Commissariat won't try to have you arrested and even the Ministry of Ugly Wimmin's Affairs will acknowledge the last word of its title.
Ironically, this day on which metaphorical wolves may be let loose owes its origin to attempts in Roman times to keep literal ones at bay. Fierce wolves prowled in the woods around Rome, and it was the lot of the god Lupercus to fend them off. Every year on February 15 a holiday festival would be held in Lupercus' honour. On the eve of the celebrations the names of young Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man then drew a slip, and whoever's name was on it was to be his sweetheart for the year.
The holiday later became called Valentine's Day after a priest of that name. The Emperor at the time, Claudius II had forbidden his soldiers to marry. He believed that marriage would distract them from the task at hand and make them less inclined to fight wars on his behalf. The priest Valentine, so it is claimed, married the soldiers in secret, in defiance of the Emperor's decree. Unfortunately he was found out and beheaded, on the eve, coincidentally of a festival in honour of Lupercus. When Rome became more Christian, the holiday was moved to the 14th in honour of Valentine and named after him. He was also declared a saint - one of the few, I would think, to be so honoured for services to the pleasures of the flesh and the heart rather than the mortification thereof that became the church's specialty.
Knowing that music is indeed the "food of love," I'm going to honour the occasion with an extract, "Happiness," from the operetta whose strains open my programme every day, Die Fledermaus. I especially enjoy the lyrics,
I hope it quickens your heart and transports your thoughts to the loves of your lives and the happiness they bring you. Even if unrequited, let there be pleasure in their contemplation. Happy Valentine's!
[Die Fledermaus excerpt]
Edit, Feb 14, 2013: well, they don't seem to have that one on YouTube, so ...
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