According to astronomers, Colin J Humphreys and W.G. Waddington, Friday April 3rd is a special day in history. This year in 2020 according to these eminent researchers is the 1987th anniversary of the death of Jesus Christ.
This conclusion was published in Nature 306, 743–746 (1983).
Apparently, the date was confirmed by the occurrence of a lunar eclipse reported to have occurred following the crucifixion, the data having been calculated from study of the Jewish calendar of the first century AD. This may seem therefore a particularly propitious day to depart this mortal earth, especially if you are keen on returning on the following Sunday.
But not many famous people have followed this approach of striving for immortality and only one pope, Honorius IV, otherwise the Italian Giacomo Savelli, who sat on the Papal Throne from 1285 to 1287, has succeeded in the first necessary action. We are not aware of any subsequent outcome.
Some better known musical talents have gone to their maker on this day. Johannes Brahms, the last great classical composer, who enjoyed some of his summers strolling in Italian hills, did so in 1897after a lifetime devoted to great music and Clara Schumann. His music at least attained immortality.
Of more modern fame was Kurt Weill, who passed on this day in 1950 at age 50, having been a famous satirical opera composer, unliked by Adolph who banned his masterpiece ‘Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny’, composed between 1927 and 1930 based on lyrics by Bertold Brecht and giving the world the wierdly wonderful ‘Alabama Song’ – the moon of Alabama ….
I cannot leave those for whom this was their last day without remembering Graham Greene whose most enigmatic novel for me was Travels with My Aunt and who blessed us until 1991 with over the 86 years of his worldly wandering penning a library full of novels, short stories, plays and travel books most of which captivate the casual reader.
But we should not dwell on the infinite, but also recall the creative spark of human procreation noting one special well-known souls who joined us on 3 April but have since moved on. The Godfather is remembered by bankers for being the most commercially successful movie of all time, while Last Tango in Paris introduced sexual reality to the big screen and Apocalypse Now, a chopping experience of the Vietnam War – all starring Marlon Brando.
But my memory is of Don Juan DeMarco with Jonny Depp and Faye Dunaway and the haunting theme song that most men can feel – ‘Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?’
For those who thrill to historical events, and for whom the crucifixion is not enough, there is not a wealth of dastardly deeds, and I am drawn once aging to the musical genre and the recording on this day in Nashville by the King, of the 1926 composition with the lyrics:
Are you lonesome tonight,
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you sorry we drifted apart?
Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day…
Just thought you may want to sing along!