You’ll no doubt have heard how dangerous the age of 27 can be for rock stars.
The “27 Club” charts the demise of famous musicians at this age. It’s an extensive list that starts with the father of the blues Robert Johnson, includes Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison either side of 1970, and more latterly Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.
Well April 23, England’s national day, seems to have a similar life and death hold on the country’s most artistic sons beginning with St George, after whom the national day is named and who is thought have been executed on this day in 303.
Word of his death spread and inspired people across Europe. Seen as the embodiment of chivalry, he was adopted by a number of countries, including England, as a patron saint and the legend of St George defeating a dragon became symbolic of good triumphing over evil.
According to William Shakespeare “Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’” was the battle cry from Henry V at Agincourt. England’s finest wordsmith was born on April 23 1564 and died on that same date 52 years later.
On St George’s Day 1775 in Covent Garden a child was born who would go on to be regarded by many as England’s finest painter. JMW Turner’s works range from the tranquillity of pastoral scenes to the fury of sea storms with back-drops from the length and breadth of England.
April 23 has proved the death knell for not one, but two of England’s finest poets.
William Wordsworth, who died in 1850, was inspired by the Lake District he grew up in and one of his most famous works “Daffodils” epitomises the blossoming of spring.
Rupert Brooke penned one of the most famous lines in English poetry as he encapsulated the thoughts of a young soldier about the go into first world war battle
“If I should die, think only this of me, that there’s some corner of a foreign field, that is forever England.”
Brooke enlisted at the outbreak of World War 1. He died, not from a bullet, but from an infected mosquito bite when serving with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on April 23 1915.
In terms of modern culture, the popularity of poetry and paintings have been replaced by television shows and the most watched broadcast of all time in the UK was the 1996 Christmas Special of Only Fools and Horses.
Topping several polls as the most popular TV show ever, Only Fools charts the ups and downs of London market trader Derek “Delboy” Trotter and his determination to become a millionaire. It’s writer, John Sullivan, who wrote the series as a tribute to the characters he remembered from his childhood growing up in London, died on April 23 2011.
SK Foods traditional range, including toad in the hole, mini cottage pie and cheese and pickle bites, is an ideal way to celebrate England’s national day and remember the great artists the country has produced, and we would go as far to say it’s food good enough for rock stars!
Perhaps there’s nothing unusual about April 23 – though it’s certainly food for thought.