The fingers of fate are long and bony. They reach into the mind to turn up thoughts that you never imagined could be there. And so it was the other day when I revisited a post that appeared in my Hubzilla feed a few months ago. The post was headed “Eleuthera”, Stockholm – Monty Alexander, and it just contained a link to this YouTube video:
Suddenly, ticker-tape questions swirled around in my brain like confetti at a celebrity wedding. ‘Eleuthera’, is that a word? Something to do with the card game, Eleusis? From a Greek root, obviously, but what does it mean? Or is it a made-up word? A bony finger pointed me to Google and Wikipedia. And there I found that Eleuthera is, in fact, a string of islands in the Bahamas. It is also the name of the main island in that archipelago – the title track on an album of holiday islands.
This particular piece sparkles with the joy of the sun-soaked calypso lands, and that’s something that has been in short supply recently. It even puts you in the mood by borrowing from The Banana Boat Song (but let’s hide that deadly black tarantula).
The long bony fingers didn’t stop there, though. Turning towards the streaming services and pointing insistently again, they urged me to explore further. And to my surprise, more delightful Eleuthera songs spilled out. There’s a Michael Chapman solo guitar track and a rather lovely piece of ‘blissed out electronica’ by Tor Sjogren (another name new to me). Then, slightly to one side, there are yet more tracks titled Eleutheria (with an ‘i’), including a reggae song by Lenny Kravitz, a choral composition composed by Thomas Bergersen and a slow indie rock song by Rope Sect.
Eleuthera, then, is an idyllic island whose sandy beaches have inspired music of many styles. The name comes from the Greek, ‘eleútheros’, meaning ‘free’. So, shrug off the weight of the world for a while and listen to some songs that bring sunshine and joy into our lives.