"I do not want it said of our generation what T.S. Eliot wrote in his poem, 'The Rock' -
'and the wind shall say: these were decent people, their only monument
the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls.'
We can do better than that."
~ JFK, in 1960


"He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear.
But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way the continuity was not broken.
It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane
that you carried on the human heritage."
~ Orwell, in "1984"

To Orwell Today,
re: "It Was Only A Hopeless Fancy" song

Hello Jackie,

Hello, My name is Tim and I stumbled across your site in search of lyrics to a song called "It was only a hopeless fancy" or "hopeless fancy".

When I got to your site it intrigued me because I had recently borrowed 1984 from the library and was going to read it but was short on time and was unable to even start it. But it seems like such an interesting book I really want to find some time to read it. Your site is great! Keep up the great work. It is great to have people like you sharing their wealth of knowledge to everyone!

Anyways, about the song "hopeless fancy" if you have any other information as to the meaning and origin of the song and the lyrics of it I would greatly appreciate this information! I did some poking around and it seemed as though it may be from "1984" but I have yet to read it so I am unsure. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Secondly, I am in university and am extremely busy, but for the next few months I am off school and working. So I am going to have a great deal of time on my hands and I was wondering if you could recommend any literature for me to read. Some of the "classics" would be great!

Also, I'm not sure if there are such things but I am a big fan of quotations, whether they be excerpts from poems, books etc. or things that people had said, regardless I am a huge fan and would love to know if there are any books available that would be a collection of these! Thank you very much for your help!!

Keep up the excellent work!

Greetings Tim,

The "hopeless fancy" song never existed other than in Orwell's imagination. He made it up for use as an example of the music "the proles" (masses) like to listen to. Orwell called it "prolefeed".

All of the music in Oceania is composed in the "Ministry of Truth" (Lies) on an artificial machine named the "versificator" and it is intended to put the proles into whatever mood Big Brother desires at the time. For example, during "Hate Week", when Big Brother wants to rile up hate against the new enemy of the day (and the enemy always changes, see "Reality Control") alot of "hate songs" are played, which have savage sounds.

But intermingled with "hate songs" are also songs for relaxation and mindless noise. These have catchy tunes that the proles can't get out of their minds, and one of these songs is "A Hopeless Fancy" which Winston - the hero of "1984" - hears the prole woman sing as she hangs up diapers beneath the window of the room he rents to have romantic rendezvous with Julia. The song was the last thing Winston heard before he and Julia were hauled off to the "Ministry of Love" to be tortured:

...He lay dozing for a little while; then the usual deep-lunged singing struck up from the yard below:

"It was only an 'opeless fancy,
It passed like an Ipril dye,
But a look an' a word an' the dreams they stirred
They 'ave stolen my 'eart awye!'

The drivelling song seemed to have kept its popularity. You still heard it all over the place. It had oultived the Hate Song....

Winston got up and dressed himself. The indefatigable voice sang on:

"They sye that time 'eals all things,
They sye you can always forget;
But the smiles an' the tears across the years
They twist my 'eart-strings yet!"

...The birds sang, the proles sang, the Party did not sing...

It's great that soon you'll have time on your hands to catch up on reading the classics, including "1984" which I suggest is the FIRST book you read, as it is a MUST READ at this dangerous time in the history of our planet.

I personally don't read much classic literature anymore because I read it all back in my 20s and 30s (where you are now). During the past twenty years I've been mainly reading history and biography. The great thing about reading history and biography is that it contains stories that are stranger than fiction and at the same time is instructive and inspirational.

I've read many biographies on Lincoln and Kennedy because it is recent history and covers a timespan that encompasses the beginning and the end of government "of the people, by the people, for the people".

I, too, love to read great quotations and am inspired by them. If you do a Google search you'll find many websites devoted to "famous quotations". See BRAINY QUOTES (by Benjamin Franklin for example).

The book scanned at the top of the page contains some great "JFK quotes". It is by no means complete but is a good place to start.

Thank you very much for your interest in "Orwell Today". It's great to have you as a reader.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - Some day (when I get time) I'll compile a list of my favourite Orwell quotes, and will let you know when it's done. By that time you'll have no doubt come across many of them on your own.

PPS - You have to be careful what JFK and Lincoln biographies you read as many of them are nothing but "prolefeed", written by "anonymous brains" in the Ministry of Truth. I've made a list of JFK books I recommend. I've been meaning to do the same for Lincoln and will get around to that within the next few weeks. I'll make it a New Year's resolution.

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com