I always loved watching TV and my weekly highlight was ‘Juke Box Jury’, which was on BBC 1 on Saturday evenings. Newly-released singles were played and a jury made up of celebrities awarded points, forecasting which song would be a hit. At that time, the BBC did not archive their programmes, but two episodes of Juke Box Jury still exist, so you can get a flavour of my favourite programme.

Oh dear. It was great at the time.

Had my parents known the origin of the word ‘Jukebox’ I am rather sure I wouldn’t have been watching:

jukebox (n.)

also juke-box, “machine that automatically plays selected recorded music when a coin is inserted,” 1939, earlier jook organ (1937), from jook joint “roadhouse, brothel” (1935), African-American vernacular, from juke, joog “wicked, disorderly,” a word in Gullah (the creolized English of the coastlands of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida). This is probably from an African source, such as Wolof and Bambara dzug “unsavory.” The adjective is said to have originated in central Florida (see “A Note on Juke,” Florida Review, vol. vii, no. 3, spring 1938). The spelling with a -u- might represent a deliberate attempt to put distance between the word and its origins. (jukebox | Origin and meaning of jukebox by Online Etymology Dictionary (etymonline.com)

Jusr before my eighth birthday, Cilla Black’s recording of ‘Anyone who had a heart’ was released. I loved it. I sang it all day, every day, loudly (my mother reckoned I ruined my voice); I had a Cilla Black haircut and put toothpaste on my lips copying Cilla’s pale lipstick.

Those were the days.

Anyway, 14 February being Valentine’s Day, I have been thinking about hearts. Here’s a very interesting TED Talk about how and why the heart became a symbol of love, including why we wear our wedding rings on our left ‘ring finger’:

How did the human heart become associated with love? And how did it turn into the shape we know today? |

Most Germans I have met think that Valentine’s day is something modern and commercial. It really isn’t.

Back in the 1960s sweets called ‘Love Hearts’ were very popular: brightly coloured sugar hearts with messages on them: “Be mine!” “My girl”, “Kiss me!”. A few years ago, the company held a competition for new slogans. Here are the winners:

As Jimmy Ruffin sang, hearts can also be broken.

I think my heart has been in a brokenish sort of state for a few years; not I hasten to add to do with my lovely husband, but to do with the state of Brexit Britain and Trump’s America.

The last nights I have been sitting watching the impeachment trial in the Senate and have felt so encouraged. Seeing the intelligence, the integrity, the passion of the Democratic house managers has been inspiring and heartening. Lead manager Jamie Raskin summed up, quoting English-born Tom Paine:

“Paine wrote this pamphlet called ‘The Crisis’ and in it, he said these beautiful words, and with your permission, I’m going to update the language a little bit, pursuant to the suggestion of Speaker Pelosi, so as not to offend modern sensibilities,” Mr. Raskin said. “He said,

These are the times that try men and women’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will shrink at this moment from the service of their cause and their country; but everyone who stands with us now, will win the love and the favor and affection of every man and every woman for all time. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; but we have this saving consolation: the more difficult the struggle, the more glorious in the end will be our victory.”

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