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Part IX

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Dreams of Peace & Freedom : Part IX



Words from Rupert Brooke's War Sonnet II

Music by Sue Casson


David Maxwell Fyfe : Robert Blackmore

Sung by Lily and Sue Casson

Played and narrated by Sue Casson


Violin : Mary Young

   Cello : Fraser Bowles


Recorded and mixed at Lana Banana Studios


Safety - a musical free setting by Sue Casson of part of

Rupert Brooke's War Sonnet II of the same name.

In the narration, taken from David Maxwell Fyfe's papers, he ponders on the nature of human rights.


David Maxwell Fyfe described The European Convention on Human Rights, possibly unconsciously invoking Rupert Brooke, as ‘a simple, and safe, insurance policy.’ I set the beginning of Brooke’s War Sonnet II as a simple hymn of thanks for a carefree natural world, where peace reigned, birds sang. After the years of wartime fear and uncertainty, these words served as a paean of praise and relief that those years were over, but in the light of recent threats to the Convention, perhaps lends an equivocal edge to his question  ‘Who is so safe as we?’


There is an unresolved tension at the heart of this celebration of a life that, as a generation so far from war, we have come to take for granted. As the verse closes, I literally introduce a questioning note, an unresolved cadence. To finish, it is resolved to perfection. Everything’s fine now. But I hope it leaves an underlying unease.

Are we as safe as we think?

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