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When melancholia was acceptable

topic posted Fri, August 13, 2004 - 11:02 PM by  Suzanne Bella
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In the 1800's melancholic consciousness was everywhere, albeit revered and in some areas amplified fashionably. Longing and sadness combined with joy and ecstatic heights were in love letters, poetry art, music...enjoy the sweet tender aching reflective tears of Stephen Forsters delicate masterpiece, I dream of Jenie. Stephen Forster, 1825-1864.
The romance of sadness was part of the Victorian age's zeitgeist and made ever more fashionable in the mid to late 1800's as the opiates influenced melancholia even more. But not to digress...here is the exquisite and now rather antique, but still popular song by the supremely melancholic soul, Stephen Forster. The equally heart wrenching 'Beautiful dreamer' was his last song, very haunting as well. What makes his songs so exquisitely painful is the combination of sweatness and whimsy in his lovely and unforgettable melodies, then the poetic, full of longing and love...read on...
sweet dreamers. The tears are oh too sweet to keep, yet too salty to drink.

Bella



I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair

I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Borne like a vapour on the summer air;
I see her tripping where the bright streams play,
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way.

Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour,
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them o'er;
I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating like a vapour on the soft summer air.

I sighed for Jeanie but her light form strayed,
Far from the fond hearts round her native glade;
Her smiles have vanished and her sweet songs flown,
Fitting like dreams that have cheered us and gone.

Now the nodding wild flow'rs may wither on the shore,
While her gentle fingers will cull them no more;
I sigh for Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating like a vapour on the soft summer air.



Longer version:



Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair

I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air;
I see her tripping where the bright streams play,
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way.
Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour,
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them o'er:
Oh! I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.

I long for Jeanie with the daydawn smile,
Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile;
I hear her melodies, like joys gone by,
Sighing round my heart o'er the fond hopes that die:-
Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain,-
Wailing for the lost one that comes not again:
Oh! I long for Jeanie, and my heart bows low,

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair

I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air;
I see her tripping where the bright streams play,
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way.
Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour,
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them o'er:
Oh! I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.

I long for Jeanie with the daydawn smile,
Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile;
I hear her melodies, like joys gone by,
Sighing round my heart o'er the fond hopes that die:-
Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain,-
Wailing for the lost one that comes not again:
Oh! I long for Jeanie, and my heart bows low,
Never more to find her where the bright waters flow.

I sigh for Jeanie, but her light form strayed
Far from the fond hearts round her native glade;
Her smiles have vanished and her sweet songs flown,
Flitting like the dreams that have cheered us and gone.
Now the nodding wild flowers may wither on the shore
While her gentle fingers will cull them no more:
Oh! I sigh for Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.

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    Re: When melancholia was acceptable

    Sat, August 14, 2004 - 8:11 AM
    Beautiful. Amazing how a popular song like this contains such poetry and complexity in its simple story of love and loss.

    It mingles melancholia with happy nostalgia in rare form. So often today, we think of melancholia as ruling over all other emotional forms within our psyche. We think of it as bordering on depression. But I too, believe that melancholia is simply a way to acknowledge the sadness and suffering in life without completely falling under its permanent sway.

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