Robert Palomo

Robert Palomo

from St. Petersburg, RU

About "Cloudy And Cold (A St. Petersburg Shanty)"

On April 3, 2017 the metro of my adopted home town was attacked by fanatical scum of that variety which, in delusional arrogance in the face of their cosmic insignificance, thinks that an almighty supreme creator of the universe somehow needs puny animated bags of water and dirt as enforcers.

I already had the beginnings of an idea for a shanty about the local butt-end-of-March weather, which we who live here all love to hate. After 6 months of winter one wants, as Milne’s Winnie the Pooh called it, “a complaining song”. You get up, look out the window, and observe: it’s “cloudy and cold” again today. Like yesterday. And probably tomorrow. And in July. Bleah!

Of course a bomb attack is always a surprise, but along with the usual, I had another. I realized something that I had not fully realized before: just how much I’ve come to care for this city and it’s people. The new shanty, as begun, was mainly just bitching about our chronically lousy weather (“Maritime climate”, as one enterprising travel guide called it!) But in the days following April 3, I wanted to make it into something more than that - a tribute to the city and its people.

The weather bit certainly marks this song as a “Piter” shanty. But what I really hope is that, woven in along with some lighthearted sailor humor, is a salute to the people of Saint-Petersburg: the city that the might of Nazi Germany failed to bring down, the people who spontaneously rallied city-wide in the face of another attack to make sure their fellow citizens were able to get home on April 3.

These are people who, if they were all sailors, although it be cloudy and cold today, tomorrow and forever, would always up-anchor and set sail anyway, dammit!

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