A threnody is a slow sombre song, that aknowledges that loss and sadness are part of life. It may be compared to a dirge but I prefer to interpret it as something different, and beautiful, and not just grief. The sun rising makes me excited, a new day is born everything is possible. The sunset is the end of that days possibilities and always makes me feel a little melancholy.

At sunrise and sunset the sky is so beautiful, the rapid colour changes that so often we no longer look at. When I lived in Sydney I was often on a ferry coming home from work at sunset. The lights on the water and the colours in the sky were the high point of the day, something I made time for, that filled me with richness.

The song Threnody was the title track of the album my brother Ian Francis  recorded with Geoff Davies  in the 80’s. Geoff created the music for a poem I wrote.

As an album track, it was never going to be heard much, but Geoff wrote such a dynamic piece of music for it with the dramatic building chords, and Ians lead guitar is amazing, I really wanted people to hear it. In 2010 my husband and I decided to drive to Sydney for the fireworks. The photographs featured in the New Years Eve Sydney Video Threnody were taken at the 2010 New Years Eve fireworks display on Sydney Harbour. from North Sydney. You can see some of the stills by clicking the gallery link below.

New Years Eve 2010 – Sydney Harbour at Night Photos


This scenescape is my ‘find time for’ of all the 24
When the darkness is not yet completely night
but still tinged with setting sunlight

Overhead the sky is deep
not navy yet, but still
identifiably dark blue…

Stars flicker almost imperceptibly

The blue lightens, reddens through green
then abruptly ends where the
black belt of the horizon steals its colour

Trails of light dot land all around
The water is dark as the deepest centre of sky
slightly shaded still with colour at it’s shallowest edge

Light shifts and moves across the water

Reds and blues and golden hues of white light
clink to the cloak of night, that has not yet quite fallen

It is not a long a time
These colours darken as the day is ended

It is just a few minutes of quiet
like a threnody
melodiously, lingering in a memory

© Music: Geoff Davies – Lyrics&Photographs: Julie Francis
from the album Francis & Davies – Threnody