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Eruch on “Begin the Beguine,” by Daniel Ladinsky

So one day Eruch starts talking about the song “Begin the Beguine.” And he starts to say things that I have never heard him say in Mandali Hall. He began the conversation like this: “Do you know about Baba’s — and my — marriage to ‘Begin the Beguine’? For that is really what it was. Baba wed himself to that song in ways beyond human comprehension, and he also wed me to the song. I carried the words of that song in my pocket for years, and I still have them in my room. Baba’s sustained interest in that song would have undone any normal human being. Whenever Baba left Meherazad — for years — he would want to make sure I had that song with me. And he would not ask just once, but could ask so many times (and from different angles), that it would defy reason. As I said, no normal human being could have withstood Baba’s interest in and profound attention to that song. That song Baba really made sacred—and a prayer. And as some know, or should be able to easily compute—one could say that Cole Porter song was Baba’s last message to the world. And everyone should really know the words. And I could say to you that “Begin the Beguine” is my greatest link to the world of art — music, and it is the last song I ever sang … besides singing Happy Birthday to people. True. And in some ways one could say those words, in the Begin the Beguine, were Baba’s greatest link to the world of human music and human art. They surely were mine.” 

—Daniel Ladinsky

   January 5, 2017

   Taos, New Mexico

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