Rusted Cross

One Cannot Find a Name…

One Cannot Find a Name on this Rusted Cross is the somewhat elongated yet poetical title of a song by Jacques Higelin. Higelin sadly passed away in 2018, time flies.

As I was posting the pictures of the four-nations cemetery the other day, it reminded me of a song by Higelin. I’m not much of a fan of French pop music, but Higelin is a different kind of artist, one who stood out from the crowd, a true poet, a bard whom we can remember from our childhood as we were singing his songs while listening to his records. One of the only local singers to make it to my record shelves next to the prog Rock stars I was so fond of as a child.

Rusted Cross

The nameless tombstones and rusted crosses reminded me of this song which was written in the 1990s.

Rusted Cross

Here are the lyrics and I’ll post the song underneath in case you feel like listening to it anyway.

One cannot find a name on this rusted cross

One cannot find a name on this rusted cross
Right there in the bosom of the earth
At the end of a derelict graveyard

Who was born, who died, who sleeps under this cross?
What fate has condemned him without regret or remorse
To the secret of anonymity?

For how many years has no one come
To pay a final tribute, flowering his grave with a thought
To him who is no more?

In the desert of loneliness from which no one ever returns
To claim from ingratitude the meagre share of the respect we owe him
Nothing but a prayer, so his soul can rest

Life, love, death are daughters of oblivion
That the wind of history sweeps with a draft
In the corridors of infinity

In the desert of loneliness from which no one ever returns
To bear witness to the ingratitude that abandoned him at the threshold of the grave
Without a prayer, so his soul can rest

Rusted Cross

 

May you rest in peace, Jacques.

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