By Corey Sandler
We’ve successfully completely our carefully choreographed return to the sea and have begun making plans for years to come.
We’ve had it with this virus; go away from our door and everyone else’s.
I was born by the sea and have lived in its vicinity nearly all my life. And now we live perched in a glass-surrounded aerie above Boston Harbor. I’m looking out to sea as I write these words.
From somewhere in the deep recesses of my cluttered mind, a song bubbled up to the surface.
“By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea,
“You and I, you and I. Oh how happy we’ll be.”
The song was published in 1914, music by Harry Carroll (a successful Broadway and popular music composer of the time) and lyrics by Harold Atteridge (a prolific lyricist for shows, including those of Al Jolson, and early films.)
The song topped American music sales for six weeks in the summer of 1914, a time when the world went from relative peace to brutal conflict with the outbreak of the First World War.
None of this explained to me why the song is in my head.
But a bit of research turned up the fact that “By the Beautiful Sea” was written on the terrace of Reisenweber’s Brighton Beach Casino, a waterfront music hall in Brooklyn, New York near where my parents met and where I was born.
It had to be part of the background music of my childhood.
There is a Tide
From a pandemic, through a fraught election, to times of violent challenge many of us turn to the sea.
From Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare:
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat.
And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
All photos copyright Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to obtain or use an image, please contact me.