Say yes! Say yes! You know you want to!
The brilliant script by C.F.Ramuz for Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale is so perceptive of human nature, so terribly familiar. How we identify with that poor Soldier and his failure to withstand "the wiles of the Devil".
"Give me your fiddle" says the Devil. "No". "I'll give you this book for it then". "Can't read", says the Soldier. "H'm, this book's not easy to understand. Market quotations for Friday the 20th? What day is today? It's Tuesday the 17th. Why, this book tells you things before they happen! GOLD! .....Alright then - it's a deal!"
The Soldier has sold his soul to the Devil and becomes unbelievably rich. I have everything, he thinks, I always will. Or do I have nothing? One day his new partner the Princess (the one he brought back to life with his music therapy) says: "I know so little about you. Tell me about yourself." "Well, it all started a long time ago, There was a cottage I used to share with my mother - far, far away". "Suppose we went there", she says. "No, it is forbidden". She looks at him and smiles and says: "You want to, I can see you do". Say yes, say yes!" (Oh no, here we go again).
They're on their way, they're nearly there. He has gone on ahead to find the frontier (against the rules).
At that moment we hear the Devil laughing. He has the violin again and begins to play. The romance vanishes into thin air and the Devil performs his final Triumphal March.
Click here and here for earlier blogs on The Soldier's Tale.