Easter Parade by Irving Berlin
2022 / April 2022

You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade

Easter Parade by Irving Berlin

Photo by Michael Mogensen on Unsplash

So with today being Easter Friday I thought I’d choose an Easter song, Easter Parade by Irving Berlin. I first heard the song in a rock’n’roll medley by Chas’n’Dave.As many of you will know, I love Chas’n’Dave. They always make me smile. And their version of this song was no different. There are so many times when I’ve been driving down the M1 and heard these lyrics and just been cheered by them:

You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.

In so many ways, the lyrics are out of time (not in a musical but literal way). The whole song, by modern standards, seems perhaps a little sexist, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Easter Parade in my time alive. But it’s not the intention of the song to be sexist or distant, and it’s not what I hear when I listen to the song. I’m just amused by the distance between the lyrics and my experiences and the nostalgia it can create for people.

But this whole idea of how we hear the song and the emphasis we might give it also shows in other versions. Take Judy Garland’s version here from the film Easter Parade.  Here the roles are reversed and the man is being shown off in the Easter parade. Or, take a look at this version from Disney. Here the emphasis isn’t on showing someone off but the entertainment of the crowds.

How we hear and see this, as with all things in life, is more influenced by us and our experiences and perceptions, hopes and fears, than it is of the thing itself. Which returns us to one of the themes of Easter in the Christian tradition. It is a time to pause and allow things to cease so we can start afresh with new life and new perspective.

So, this Easter, if you feel you are caught up in seeing something in a way that’s not really helping you, why don’t you take the time to pause and allow yourself to drop that perspective and start afresh.

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