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For the still-shivering among us…

UD‘s beloved Henry Purcell’s Cold Song.


Its meaning? The long-dead – frozen-dead – Spirit of The Cold has been called back to life by Cupid (the song appears in Purcell’s opera King Arthur, first performed in 1691). Having been comfortably dead for a long while, however, The Cold finds thawing into life again excruciating. Having enjoyed

A Quartz contentment, like a stone

The Cold is not at all sure he wants to “rise unwillingly and slow from everlasting snow.” He’s no longer “fit” to bear the “bitter cold” of human life; he prefers to “freeze again to death.”


Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow

Same deal.


Or, as Adam Phillips more prosaically says:

The reason that there are so many depressed people is that life is so depressing for many people. It’s not a mystery.

Margaret Soltan, January 8, 2014 2:58PM
Posted in: henry purcell

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