VALERIE REMEMBERED

Boney M

When I was thirteen years old, I went on a camping trip to the South of France, in the summer holidays. There was a little circus that set up each day on the beach. Over the tannoy they played ‘Rivers of Babylon’ and ‘Rasputin’ by Boney M on repeat. There I met a French girl called Valerie—olive-skinned, dark eyed and extraordinarily beautiful.  We bonded because I had grown up in Malawi and she had grown up in the Congo. She had long dark hair to her waist and wore a long white t-shirt as a dress, knotted at the bottom. I guess I fell in love with Valerie, but when the summer ended, we went our separate ways, and although we wrote to each other for a month or two, the friendship slowly faded and Valerie receded into my memory. I fell in love with her long dark hair and the way she danced to Boney M on the seafront, in her white, knotted tee shirt. One day, I will design one of those t-shirts—and it will be for Valerie, wherever she may be.  Until then, here is a song for her. Love, Susie x

By the Rivers of Babylon

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down
Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down
Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion

There the wicked
Carried us away in captivity
Required from us a song
Now how shall we sing the Lord's song

In a strange land?

There the wicked
Carried us away in captivity
Requiring of us a song
Now how shall we sing the Lord's song

In a strange land?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Let the words of our mouth

And the meditation of our heart
Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight
Let the words of our mouth

And the meditation of our hearts
Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down
Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down
Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion

By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat down
Yeah, we wept
When we remembered Zion

By the rivers of Babylon

There we sat down

Yeah, we wept
When we remembered Zion


The Vampire's Wife