Stranger on the shore


There she was – alone on the shore. A silvery morning light, and, a silence – a silence broken only by the gentle sigh of the softly breaking waves.

Who is she? She’s a french woman – and she’s looking across the sea, looking south.

Just then I hear the sound of a clarinet and the beautiful melody of ‘Stranger on the shore’.

We first heard ‘Stranger on the shore’ in 1961. Now, and unexpectedly, I hear it again in 2015. A reprise – and it’s still hauntingly beautiful.

Footnote: ‘Stranger on the shore’ was a tune written by the late Bernard Stanley Bilk (better known as Acker Bilk). The instrumental ‘song’ was originally named ‘Jenny’ (after his daughter) on his LP ‘Sentimental Journey’.  However, the song’s name was changed when it was chosen as the theme tune for a BBC children’s television show,  entitled ‘Stranger On The Shore’. The show was about a French au pair girl living in England – the original ‘Stranger on the Shore’. At the close of the televised episodes she is seen standing on a beach looking out to sea towards France.

The french woman in the photograph was once an au pair in England.

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