Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Coffee with Bach

One of life's great miracles is Coffee!
 

I am certain that most of you already know that. My sister commented on it recently. In fact, Europeans have had their eyes opened (heh) to this fact since the 1720s. Coffeehouses provided a meeting place for people of all social strata: rich and poor, aristocrats and tradesmen. One such coffeehouse, the Zimmerman Café (Zimmermannsche Kaffeehaus) in Leipzig was a popular hangout for Johann Sebastian Bach. That’s right, the famous composer Bach hung out at a coffee house and some evenings he would even play with his band. Doesn’t sound too different from the coffee house culture today.

In honor of his favorite drink, Bach wrote a special cantata. It’s official name is “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht”, but it is often simply referred to as the “Kaffe Kantate” (Coffee Cantata). In the cantata, the father is at his wits’ end because he cannot keep his wayward daughter from drinking coffee. On her part she says that she cannot imagine living if she cannot have her coffee everyday. Below you can hear Bach’s homage to the wonder and beauty that is coffee. Here’s a link to the English translation if you want to follow along. 


Comments

Hayley Robinson said…
That's one of the best examples I've heard of history repeating itself!
Rick said…
Isn't it? It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Wayne Brown said…
That sweater though.
Rick said…
Sweaters are why fall and winter are the best seasons of all.