Keira Knightley’s memorial song: why silent night should be sung

An exquisite way to spend the final hour of your life, thanks to the Bard and a period number

“I need this car”

Silent Night is such a beautiful song.

Silent Night by Keira Knightley, from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Dear God, please let me be buried at sea, or don’t try to open the grave.

No one should see you die.

Some people have taken it upon themselves to give me a funeral.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from Sacred Heart

Keira Knightley’s memoir is called The Kite Runner, but for its parts it could have been called The Kite Runner You Should Never Love.

Legend has it that when Knightley was seven, a boy accidentally drove his car through her bedroom window while she was asleep in her rocking chair. Some girls would have let it go; she returned to the wilds, screaming, “He hit me!”

But not Keira. She ran to her backyard, smashed the windows of her neighbour’s BMW into a hairdryer, and climbed on top of the engine, ordering the driver to “I want you!”, and then to “Drive me!”

The next morning, at the age of 11, Keira was discovered naked in the boot of the BMW by a policeman who treated her with kindness and began a very long and very loving relationship with the police force for the rest of her life.

The six days spent every Wednesday with Mr Hague, she said, provided an affectionate hour of daylight she has never again had.

You should not cry when you die. You should remember that it’s a very nice thought.

When you die, all that is true, and all that is false, which can change.

Love lost,

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from The Winter’s Tale

Most of Keira’s emails were sent on holidays, when she was in another country, or from London to Canterbury or Denmark, or listening to Wagner or asking for another drink.

Keira Knightley’s Christmas was always a time to fly high above the waves on a jet ski and do as little as possible.

I don’t know why Keira Knightley was such a helicopter girl. Maybe it was an addiction she wished to keep secret.

We should celebrate in this corner of Tuscany the late bird that has gone up.

Our time here on earth ends today. Silence is a thought like this, a song like this. We’re just crying out for our freedom.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from Die Frau ohne Schatten

Keira was open about the rape she experienced at the age of 12 by her tutor, and the years of bullying that followed. For four years she endured insult from every direction: books, music magazines, schoolboys, teachers, parents, her own sister.

Eventually she joined a boys’ choir and gave it all up to attend art school. Today, she is widely respected as one of the great acting actresses of her generation, whose heart and soul she puts into every part.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from The Winter’s Tale

Still, it is time for Keira to be reborn.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from Die Frau ohne Schatten

Knightley’s end is strange and unexpected. Up until she is buried in the sea she laughs, flits, dances, projects herself as glamorous, and even romances a beautiful young man, who catches her eye.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from The Winter’s Tale

Keira’s red cloak is her warrior’s armour.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from Die Frau ohne Schatten

But suddenly she is dead. Or is she?

I cannot say.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from The Winter’s Tale

“There are others who live with us, some rise and fall, others don’t move.”

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from The Winter’s Tale

Finally, Knightley finds the strength to tell the audience her face and body are lined with the signature hallmark of a woman for a woman.

Silent Night by Richard Strauss, from The Winter’s Tale

Keira – bathed in a state of profound atavism – stands naked in the snow outside a stock exchange tower.

The last song over, she sings again.

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