Saturday, June 4, 2011

War and Memory: Children’s Crusade

Sting: Children‘s Crusade


I can’t say that I know all of the reasons this was such a slow week here, but I do know one reason. Our own Boyhowdy lives in Monson MA, which you may know was hit by a tornado on Friday. He and his family are fine now. Boyhowdy responded to this disaster in heroic fashion, with some of his best writing and by sharing music on his own blog, Cover Lay Down. I know our readers will wish him this best as Monson struggles to regain a sense of normalcy. And I know that I can speak for my fellow Star Makers in adding our best wishes to those.

Meanwhile, I do have one last song for our War and Memory theme. Children’s Crusade is Sting’s take on World War I, a subject Geovicki spoke of so eloquently in her last post. The Great War, as it was called, has left a deep scar on Western culture, particularly in Europe. About 70 years later, Sting is still writing a song about it. Sting equates the loss of young lives in the war to the legendary “children’s crusade” of 1212. According to the legend, tens of thousands of children responded to the visions of a young boy by committing to a journey to the Holy Land to peacefully convert Muslims to Christianity. They marched to the Mediterranean Sea, where they were taken by two unscrupulous sea captains to Tunisia, and sold as slaves. End of Story. So it plays out as a tale of a sacrifice of Holy Innocents, and that is the parallel that Sting wants to draw. That is also what the references to slavery in the lyrics are about.

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