Today is the final day for the Pollone festival. Each day featured different opportunities to enjoy the local music. Last night, I attended a concert in one of the churches presented by two local choirs. One of the groups was a men’s choir that has traveled to many different countries to perform. It was interesting to me to hear familiar songs sung in a different language. For example, they performed what sounded exactly like our New Year’s Eve classic, “Auld Lang Syne.” Interestingly, the Polish man who was with me also knew that song in his language.
This afternoon, a few of us went up to the little market to see the local wares being sold along the cobblestone street. There was a group of musicians walking along the street stopping to perform at different spots. Again, I heard music I am very familiar with but that is obviously known to others in different languages. It is one of the curious things I have found here in Italy. You can walk in shop after shop and almost certainly hear American music even though nobody working there may speak English. The other day, I was in a store that was playing the song, “It’s a hard-knock life” from the musical “Annie.” The opening hymn at Mass this morning was the “Hallelujah Chorus” sung in English (with a very heavy Italian accent) by the choir.
Pier Giorgio loved to sing. He was responsible for publishing a book of songs for his Catholic University club. He attended concerts and enjoyed going to the opera. He sang in the mountains and in the gardens of Pollone. Although his voice was unmistakably recognizable by those around him because he was completely tone deaf, he was never embarrassed. His objective was simply to sing the praises of God – understood in the heavens in every language. ///cmw