Monday, February 20, 2017

What The Moon Saw and Correct Quotations

It is somewhat ironic that I haven't found time to write here on the blog because I've been so busy writing elsewhere. Yes, I'm back where I started yea these many years ago, earning my daily bread with a pen ... on in this case, a pen for the notes but a keyboard for the writing. And 'daily bread' comes into this conversation, as will be revealed.

I currently have one ongoing client and one project-specific client. The second came with some rather tight deadlines but it's going fine so far (touch wood). It was while going through my notes from the last meeting (it's a series of stories/articles and so I'm meeting with a lot of people) that prompted this entry.

One of the two women I was speaking with provided a quote: "When words fail, music speaks." and she knew not where it came from.

If I have a bugbear (and I have one or two - do NOT get me started on the Oxford comma) it is unattributed/incorrect/wrongly attributed quotes. This one scored two out of three. It was unattributed and incorrect.

The quote is often incorrectly repeated as "Where words fail, music speaks." and often incorrectly attributed to Shakespeare.

It is actually, "where words fail, sounds can often speak" and is from a fairy tale called What The Moon Saw by our old friend Hans Christian Anderson, in the 31st evening that the moon visits the narrator.



It's a lovely tale. I quite enjoy it. The moon travels 'round the world and shares the observations. Of course there are all sorts of moral lessons included but sometimes it is pure delight, such as this very last piece of the tale.


I looked in, over the lamp, into the little maiden’s bed, where she lay under the neat white coverlet, her hands folded demurely and her little face quite grave and serious. She was praying the Lord’s prayer aloud. But her mother interrupted her in the middle of her prayer. ‘How is it,’ she asked, ‘that when you have prayed for daily bread, you always add something I cannot understand? You must tell me what that is.’ The little one lay silent, and looked at her mother in embarrassment. ‘What is it you say after our daily bread?’ ‘Dear mother, don’t be angry: I only said, and plenty of butter on it.’”

There are a few places on the internet where you can read the entire fairytale. Give it a whirl.

1 comment:

  1. Delightful. I hadn't heard of that one before. :)

    ReplyDelete