Friday, 21 December 2007


“None love, but they who wish to love” – Jean Baptiste Racine

It is Jean Baptiste Racine's (French playwright - 1639) and Giacomo Puccini’s birthdays today (1858). The birthday plant for this day is the houseleek, Sempervivum tectorum. The name is derived from the Latin: semper = ever; vivum = living; tectorum = of roofs. It was often planted on cottage roofs to stops leaks and to protect against lightning. This explains the common name for the plant and also some of its alternative names: Jupiter’s beard, Thor’s beard (both were gods associated with thunder and lightning). Medicinally, the plant was used to treat burns, fevers and headaches. It signifies industry and domestic economy and astrologically it is a plant of Jupiter.

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was an Italian operatic composer. He was the last great exponent of Italian opera. His lyric style, wonderful orchestration, and his sentimental effects, have his operas some of the best loved. Some of the most celebrated are Manon Lescaut (1893), La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (produced, 1926).

For our Song Saturday, therefore, what better than some music by Puccini? Here is the famous “Humming Chorus” from his opera “Madama Butterfly”.

Just the sort of thing to listen to and relax after a hectic day out there in the pre-Christmas frenzy!

Enjoy your weekend…

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