31st March, 2019
See them sitting round the table,
Smiling like thieves.
Nothing in their pockets,
Nothing up their sleeves, ohh-oh.
Just a strange way of working it out.
While the factories back home are churning out more,
Missiles and bombs, enough to settle their score, ohh-oh,
Such a strange way of working it out…
I remember writing that song while I was playing with my band Kirk in 1986. I was in the middle of my “writing-songs-like-Billy-Bragg” period, very skeptical of either Regan or Gorbachov’s chances of changing anything.
However, the idea of them meeting in Iceland intrigued me. Historians generally agree that while they did not agree on anything significant during that meeting in Reykjavik, what they talked about together ultimately led to the end of the Cold War.
Looking back now in 2019, compared to the way Trump and Putin bang their heads together today, I should have been less cynical. Jane and I are here in Iceland now to explore and the place still intrigues me.
We both completed a course from the University of Iceland last year that introduced us to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas. We got to read the first three major Sagas and understand the foundations of ancient Icelandic culture. Iceland is not like Scandinavia so this is a whole new place to explore.
Iceland feels cold, very cold this time of year … but it’s gorgeous here … this is going to be fun.