War Song of the Saracens – JE Flecker

Here another of my old favourites. Also recorded this morning. Such an interesting poem for the modern age… this is basically a song about the fury and the military skill of the muslims in the Middle Ages. It is sympathetic or at least in some wise celebrates the potency of this force and the conviction which underpinned it. However Flecker himself was a Jew. He was a Sephardic Jew whose name was anglicised from Fleischer, as a result of the fact not only that his recent forebears had adopted the Christian religion, but also to avoid the rampant anti Semitic (meaning not just Jews but all Semitic peoples) feeling of Britain in that period. The poem predates the modern problems between the “Saracens” and the jews. In any case, it is an excellent and stirring poem simply about the warrior spirit. I hope the listeners will take it in exactly that manner.

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