I dedicate my song today to my Facebook friend, Philip Ellis of Bramley, Leeds. Philip is of single status and works in Morrisons. He is a loving and dutiful son who maintains daily contact with his elderly parents. Both parents are on ill health. Mum is in a Residential Home and dad, who has Parkinson’s, lives at home and is visited regularly by Philip. It is Philip’s 50th birthday today. Have a super birthday, Philip and have a drink on me. Love and respect Bill and Sheila.
My song today is ‘Rasputin’. This was a 1978 Euro disco hit single by the Germany-based pop and Euro disco group ‘Boney M’. It was the second song from their album ‘Nightflight To Venus. It was written by the group's creator Frank Farian, along with George Reyam and Fred Jay. With a tune resembling the second half of the Turkish folk song ‘Katibim’, it is a semi-biographical song about Grigori Rasputin, a friend and advisor of Tsar Nicholas 11 of Russia and his family during the early 20th century. The song variously sensationalises Rasputin as a playboy, mystical healer, political manipulator and lover of the Tsaritsa, Alexandra.
Grigori Rasputin attended the Tsaritsa’s haemophiliac son, Tsarevich Alexei of Russia, after which Alexei recovered. It also claims that Rasputin was Alexandra's paramour. As the words of the song says "Ra Ra Rasputin, lover of the Russian queen, there was a cat that really was gone". It also references Rasputin as being "Russia's greatest love machine" and refers to his sexual appetite and numerous associations with many Russian ladies. The song claims that Rasputin's political power overshadowed that of the Tsar himself in ‘all affairs of state’. When his sexual and political acts became intolerable, ‘men of higher standing’ plotted his downfall, although ‘the ladies begged’ them not to. Although the song states "he was a brute", it claims that the ladies "just fell into his arms."
The end of the song recounts a modified version of a popular description of the events that culminated in Rasputin’s assassination on 16 December 1916. The song claims that Rasputin's assassins fatally shot him after he survived the poisoning of his wine. While the song accurately re-tells many of the unfavourable rumours that damaged Rasputin's reputation, there is no verifiable evidence to suggest that Rasputin had an affair with Alexandra, although he did exercise a significant degree of influence over her actions and decisions. Boney M’s song is as good a potted history as one can get of Rasputin’s influence in Russia during the mad monk’s lifetime.
As a person who has been a lifelong lover of British, American and European History, I have always had a fascination for those individuals who have wielded great power as a result of having loved the right man or woman at a particular time in history.
We all know of the tremendous power that love can yield. For today’s post, I would refer to a quotation by the Australian television writer and producer, Rhonda Byrne who said: “ The more love you give in your day-to-day life, the greater the magnetic power of love you have in the field around you, and everything will fall at your feet.”
This quotation by Rhonda could literally have been made for the situation that rocketed the monk Rasputin to the highest rank of Russian power, privilege and influence.
Love and peace Bill xxx