It never ceases to amaze me what hidden recesses of our souls inspiration can reside in. Here’s a story about a music which was inspired by this 11-second clip from last night’s Oscars 2014 show.
I was not even aware that these few bars of music had stayed with me until I sat down to play my Clavinova this morning. Even before I touched the keyboard, I kept hearing the theme music from “Chariots of Fire,” a 1981 Oscar winner for the Best Picture and Best Screenplay. But it was the music that evidently stayed in my soul for over three decades. All it took was a few bars Jamie Foxx had hummed, and out it came out of the recesses of my soul.
Here’s my new arrangement of that famous tune. Also, be sure to read the “Story Behind the Story” below about the spiritual meaning of this piece as it was revealed to me today.
CHARIOTS OF FIRE – INSPIRED BY JAMIE FOXX
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Story behind the Story of “Chariots of Fire”
Ever been to Hennebont? It’s a charming little town on the Brittany peninsula in France. My family and I vacationed there in an old chateau (castle – see below). The year was 1982. My daughters were 6 and 4 at the time.
I was especially interested in that town because it had been the naval base of the German U-boat pens. Back in the early 1980s, as a family, we were retracing the famous World War II battlefields across Europe. So you could say my kids were steeped in history early on.
Our accommodation at the chateau was charming. We had to rooms that formed a loft on the top floor. The living rooms on the main floor were very gracious, decorated in the Rococo style of the 18th century. There was a piano. Every morning, I would play it to the delight of the small number of guests who were also staying at the chateau.
One of the tunes I played was the theme song from “Chariots of Fire.” Everybody loved it. After the film had won all those Oscars, it was the hit song of the year, especially in Europe.
Over time, however, this music had faded from my memory. I can’t remember the last time I played. It has been years. So you can imagine my surprise when this morning it popped out just like that, from out of nowhere.
There was another reason for it besides Jamie Foxx and last night’s Oscars. There was a famous battle fought near Hennebont in 1342. And it involved a woman-warrior and the fire she had set. Enter “Chariots of Fire.”
I did not know that story back in 1982, but here’s what happened…
Hennebont is famed for its resistance, under Joanna of Flanders, the widow of Jean de Montfort, to the armies of Philip of Valois and Charles of Blois when besieged in 1342 during the War of the Breton Succession. A century before Joan of Arc, Jeanne dressed herself in armour and led the resistance to the besiegers. She personally led an attack on the enemy camp, setting fire to it and earning the nickname “Jeanne la Flamme” (“Joan the Fiery”).
“Above LI THE CLINGING, FIRE; Below K’UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH
The hexagram represents the sun rising over the earth. It is therefore the symbol of rapid, easy progress, which at the same time means ever widening expansion and clarity.”
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