Movement 4: The last night at home and arrival at the Annexe
Theme: Alone and Brave
My last night in my own bed.
A warm rain fell.The four of us wrapped in layers of clothing,
the stripped beds, the breakfast things on the table.We closed the door behind us.
Walking in the pouring rain,
walking down the street,
each of us with a satchel filled to the brim.
We arrived at Prinsengracht,
led through the long passage
and up the wooden staircase
to the Annexe.
The door was shut behind us,
leaving us alone.
Then, for the first time,
I found a moment to tell you about it,
to realize what had happened to me
and what was about to happen.
We’re Jews in chains,
chained to one spot,
without any rights,
a thousand obligations.
We must be brave
and trust in God.
Is it easy to be brave when you are all alone? Would you find it easier or harder to display bravery when you are with someone else?
Theme in other Musical Examples:
Rollins Band – We Walk Alone:
Destiny’s Child – I’m a Survivor:
Demi Lovato – Skyscraper:
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9:
Kelly Clarkson – Stronger:
Think of a time when you needed to be brave alone, whether it was some kind of internal bravery, or bravery that required action. What thoughts went through your mind?
Examining the Theme and Historical Context through the Text/Music:
The Frank family finally decided they would no longer be safe at their own home. They had to move. It was Anne’s “last night in [her] own bed” and she cherished each moment. The next day, the family moved bringing all that they could. They dressed in all the clothing they could put on themselves and carried a small satchel filled with as much as it could hold. They didn’t want to look like they were purposely running away by carrying a lot of baggage. It was raining, furthering the depression and misery the family was going through. When they arrived at the house with the Annex, they walked “through the long passage” and up a tall “wooden staircase.” Suddenly, the door was shut behind them and they were left alone in the darkness.
Anne says, “for the first time I found a moment to tell you about it.” At that moment, she realized they were trapped in this Annex without knowing when they would be able to leave. The line, “we’re Jews in chains” is a metaphor. They were not literally chained to the Annex, but they could not leave or they would be caught. Jewish people were like slaves, without any freedom. From that moment on, all Anne could do was be brave and hope things would get better. The line “We must be brave and trust in God,” comes up a few times in the entire work. This line represents the resolve that Anne and her family had to survive, to trust that God would protect them, either in life or in death.
Musically, the opening is slow, representing Anne’s sadness and longing for just one more night in her bed. The tempo represents the Anne’s sad and lonely feeling, but the major key almost contradicts the text in the first half of this movement. This sonic quality could represent the idea that despite this tragedy, Anne is still with her family. They can be hopeful and brave and fight this together. The instrumentals drop out, helping to emphasize the soloist who sings “for the first time…” The final lines are sung by the choir in a repeating, chant-like manner representing this awful realization that Anne is alone. By the very last line, “we must be brave and trust in God,” the music is moving, higher in pitch, and louder, showing the reach to God for trust, hope, and bravery.