A collection of observations and lies, broadcast to mark so- called Freedom Day. How did we let this happen?

It was the strangest of times

that long furloughed season
when the days and weeks melted into one-another,
towns and cities went into lockdown,
and entire countries came to a standstill.

We stayed at home, we stayed alert,
we clapped in the streets on Thursday evenings,
we stood six feet apart in supermarket queues,
and evoked the spirit of the blitz
as the body count rose,

and all the while
we did what we were told.
And when it was all over, and things started to return to some kind of normal,
we threw away the face-masks and gloves,
headed back to the restaurants and bars,
we flocked into the shops
and took advantage of all the closing-down sales.

We enjoyed the great outdoors once more,
and descended on the beaches and the wide open spaces,
we herded together to keep ourselves safe
and were no longer concerned with the tracking and tracing.

And the historians of that period all agree
that despite the economic crash,
and despite the second wave,
we were a happy breed
and we all pulled together

and good old-fashioned British common-sense prevailed.

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day the Queen gave an address to the nation. Not to be outdone, Mrs. Sanderson also gave an address...

Mrs. Sanderson’s address to the nation:

“As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day today and remember the fears, losses, courage and sacrifices that our parents and grandparents experienced during those wartime years let us also remember that these same people were determined to live in a better world when it was all over. To create a country in which everyone had opportunity through the provision of social housing, access to education, support for the arts and creativity, the provision of welfare for those in need and of course the creation of a National Health Service, universally available to all. All of this while they continued to live with rationing and austerity. They made a better world for us their children, for me personally that led to opportunities of which they could have only dreamed. As we now live through our own crisis I hope that we can think and plan for a better world for our children, finally understanding that when we work together we can achieve not only our own dreams but create opportunity and better lives for all”.

A Litany in Time of Plague
Thomas Nashe

Adieu, farewell, earth's bliss;
This world uncertain is;
Fond are life's lustful joys;
Death proves them all but toys;
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade.
All things to end are made,
The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Beauty is but a flower
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair;
Dust hath closed Helen's eye.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave;
Swords may not fight with fate,
Earth still holds open her gate.
"Come, come!" the bells do cry.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Wit with his wantonness
Tasteth death's bitterness;
Hell's executioner
Hath no ears for to hear
What vain art can reply.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

Haste, therefore, each degree,
To welcome destiny;
Heaven is our heritage,
Earth but a player's stage;
Mount we unto the sky.
I am sick, I must die.
Lord, have mercy on us!

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    Field Recording / Sound Art, Coronavírus, pandemic, spoken word, plague, thomas Nashe
    • Type: Podcast
    • Norwich, UK
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