Swan song

- Joseph Uysetuan () - April 22, 2007 - 12:00am
SWAN SONG, as we know, is a term derived from the fable that tells swans sing before they die. This must be the tale from Aesop''s Fables that relates the parable of the swan and the goose. Story goes that a man, in the dark, grabs by mistake the swan instead of the goose to cook for dinner. Scared to death, the swan lets out a song to let know the blunder. Thus, the swan song derivation. Anyway, let''s just roll into its interpretations, representations and connotations.

Swan song defines the finality of things - last hurrah, farewell performance, final production. So, here we shall dwell on the sad and happy notes of swan song. We shall take it courageously, receptively, comprehensively. After all, a swan song is an inherent reality of life that we must all face. We cannot elude it.

It is in the entertainment field that we usually heard of swan songs. Show business people demonstrate it in their farewell performances, musical or theatrical. A composer is remembered for his last work. A diva is paid tribute to in her final concert. A show has its final curtains dropped down. These are their parting shots. It is allegorical to the fabled singing dying swan.

In every division of the theatre, there is to it a culminating goodbye show or farewell appearance. This is in connotation to the significance of swan song, as in the fall of the curtain, the last round up, the homestretch. A movie series ends with an ultimate sequel. Actor Sean Connery''s role as James Bond finds its swan song in the film, Never Say Never Again. A Broadway musical comes to a last night finale. An opera concludes with the fat lady singing the final aria, so to speak. A carnival in town gets the last lights shut down to move to the next town.

Swan song is more significantly alluded to death. So, we cannot avoid harping on the death song, listening to somebody''s final words, or reading names on epitaphs or obituaries. There are sad songs of farewell, hymns of peace and quiescence, heart-rending strains of last hurrahs. Certainly, time will come when such music will be played. We just cannot say, "Sing me no swan song."

Masters of the arts have their swan song masterpieces. On or before their death or retirement, they certainly have produced a last work. To cite, Beethoven, an opus. Da Vinci, a painting. Shakespeare, a play. It is just that we have not heard of the romanticism of a final masterwork of theirs.

Take note that when it comes to the word "last," a lot of dramatization, ballyhoos and the footlights are focused there. We have those famous last words. For examples: Caesar saying, "Et tu, Brute?" as he went down from the last stab by Brutus. A famous ballerina, on her last legs, still had this to utter, "Get my swan costume ready." At His last gasp, Jesus cried out, "Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit." We see the theatrical play ups, packed with high emotions, of Custer''s last stand, of the Alamo ''s hold out to the last man, of Napoleon''s last battle at Waterloo , and even of the last dance of a convict walking down death row.

So, it all boils down to the fade-outs, the windups, the curtain calls. On this note, I, therefore, bow out with this final essay as my parting shot. The article you are reading now is the swan song of this book. The book you are holding is the swan song of the four-book series, Yet Not One Sparrow. Mind you, but these are hurrahs, encores, kudos. These are happy swan songs. Have a nice day!

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