Soleares [demo]

Soleares: copyright David Harley 1988

This is, of course, a song called Soleares, not itself a soleá. Flamenco is not in my skill-set. The solemnity of the palo (form) seemed to suit the song, which is not one of my most cheerful. This is a demo because I just transferred it from a cassette, though the quality is quite good considering it was home-recorded in the 80s.

There’s a note she keeps re-reading from a graveyard far away
The writer begs to offer sympathy
The man she once married and left so long ago
is gone beyond remorse and anything that might have been

Automatically she washes up, tidies and dusts
Starts to drink her coffee and leaves it to congeal
She tries to write an answer but somehow it falls apart
The words are vague and stilted – how can she tell how she feels

A threat of soleares spins softly from stereo
Ghostly in the sunlight, reflecting ancient pain
Sombre rasgueado, a hint of distant thunder
Like the muted threat of Spanish rain

The phone rings: she shares the news but nothing of her feelings
Someone says “So sorry – I’ll ring back if you like”
Ringing off as if in dread of inapt and nervous laughter
Hanging brittle in the silence though it never left her throat

Shadows lengthen into evening: she has a drink or two
As if to fill the emptiness she feels
She can’t trace her emotions but her thoughts are wheeling
Around a situation scarcely real

Somehow all our failures rise to haunt us from the graveyard
At times like this it seems that guilt and death
Potentiate each other like phenobarb and whisky
It passes with time but she can’t believe it yet

Her nights won’t all be sleepless like the one that lies ahead
In a world of other people with their own claims on her time
Other joys and sorrows: other games to win and lose
But a whisper from the grave still tells her “Tonight is mine”

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