Tuesday, December 11, 2012

roads to moscow

One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to. 
Alexander Solzhenitsyn  (11 december 1918 - 2008) writer, dissident, human rights activist

today's tats adorn the neck and face of two colorful blokes i cross paths with in london .  the first photo was taken of a fellow leafleting along brick lane - this snap was taken using guerrilla photography techniques (in other words i didn't stop and ask permission).   second photo is of a  fellow staffing the muttley's kitchen stand in the greenwich market.  muttley's specializes in dog treats which are hand made in greenwich (of course we had to bring treats home for the family pups!).   as you can probably tell this guy did know i was taking his photo - in fact, i even asked permission!

photos:  london, october 2012

al stewart's epic song roads to moscow, according to songfacts, stewart supposedly read forty books and spent countless hours doing research to write the song.  the song contains some beautiful acoustic guitar work.    there is a bit of controversy about who the song is about - some say it is solzhenitsyn's story, others say it is about an anonymous russian soldier.

al states in the liner notes that the song is about "The German Invasion of Russia, on the 22nd June 1941 was on of the greatest single events in the history of the world. The hero of "Roads to Moscow" fights his way first backwards towards Moscow, and then all the way to Berlin, only to be imprisoned by Stalin, as were incalculable millions of others at the end of the Second World War." 

those aware of solzhenitsyn's story can tell the song was obviously inspired by solzhenitsyn.  it is a powerful, poignant  and at times haunting song. 

roads to moscow appeared on stewart's fifth studio album, past, present and future in 1973. each song on the album has a historical theme and represents a decade in the 20th century. the final song nostradamus is about the prophecies of the alleged prophet


Steve Reed said...

I do not know this Al Stewart song! I look forward to giving it a listen, but I'll come back after I've done my blog rounds.

The body art is pretty intense. Is that a tattoo on the second guy, or just face paint? I can't imagine getting a tattoo around my eye. Ouch!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

hmmmm steve you might be right about that being face paint on the second guy! maybe you can check it out next time you go to the greenwich market - he was a very nice gentleman....

Watson said...

mouse, I always learn something new on your blog. And see some amazing things as well!

Merle Sneed said...

I hope that some day soon I cross paths with blokes in London!