A ROBERT BURNS POEM FOR BURNS’ DAY: “TO A LOUSE”

To A Louse On Seeing One on a Lady’s Bonnet at Church. Ye ugly,creepan,blastit wonner (wonder) Detested,shunn’d by saunt an’sinner, (saint) How daur ye set your fit upon her- (dare, foot) Sae fine a Lady! (So) Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner (Go) On some poor body. Swith, in some beggar’s haffet squattle: (Away!hair,squat)Continue reading “A ROBERT BURNS POEM FOR BURNS’ DAY: “TO A LOUSE””

“ONLY A MAN HARROWING CLODS”

IN TIME OF THE BREAKING OF NATIONS Only a man harrowing clods In a slow silent walk With an old horse that stumbles and nods Half-asleep as they stalk. Only thin smoke without flame From the heaps of couch-grass; Yet they will go onward the same Though Dynasties pass. Yonder a maid and her wightContinue reading ““ONLY A MAN HARROWING CLODS””

CHRISTIAN AND PAGAN : ORIGINS OF FOLK-SONG AND DANCE.

Recently we looked at Christmas carols and wassailing songs and their early development from Medieval times. I drew attention to a wassailing song featured on the Waterson’s album “Frost and Fire”(first released 1965) which has a variety of songs associated with different seasons and rituals of the rural year. This album has very interesting notesContinue reading “CHRISTIAN AND PAGAN : ORIGINS OF FOLK-SONG AND DANCE.”

NEW YEAR: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD.

As we move from one year to another I wish all followers and occasional readers a happy New Year, secure from the worst that might assail us. I wish to thank you also for your support, as readers from around the world from a variety of cultures. I am delighted you have found in thisContinue reading “NEW YEAR: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD.”

JOURNEY OF THE MAGI

(READERS PLEASE NOTE: This blog post with minor revisions is being re-published because of problems with website design issues. I apologise to followers who will receive the same post a second time.) Today is the sixth of January, Epiphany, recognised by Christians as the day of the manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles. It isContinue reading “JOURNEY OF THE MAGI”

QUOTATIONS FOR REFLECTION

In our age when technology is gaining control over life, when material- well being is considered the most important goal, when the influence of religions have been weakened everywhere in the world, a special responsibility lies upon the writer.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn “If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.” Ezra Pound

A NEW YEAR WASSAILING SONG.

Here is a wassailing song celebrating the New Year. As mentioned in a previous post “Christmas Carols” wassailing was a way of roisterous singing by groups touring the neighbourhood- including the big House- seeking to exchange their music for gifts of mead or beer. The word “wassailing” goes back to Old and Middle English usingContinue reading “A NEW YEAR WASSAILING SONG.”

A POEM TO WELCOME THE NEW YEAR.

In Scotland this evening, the 31st of December is called Hogmanay. Usually it is a time of celebration, of gleeful gathering and communal hope. All that this year, however, is not to be. There will be no social revelry, no communality, no first footing of friends and neighbours. For, despite welcome and hopeful news ofContinue reading “A POEM TO WELCOME THE NEW YEAR.”

THE HOLLY AND THE IVY

One of my favourite carols is “The Holly and the Ivy” an old carol which developed in the Christian Middle ages from medieval roots. The holly and the ivy When they are both full grown Of all the trees that are in the wood The holly bears the crown. [Chorus] O the rising of theContinue reading “THE HOLLY AND THE IVY”

CHRISTMAS CAROLS

What would Christmas be without Christmas carols? There is an astonishing range of these. The exquisite, purely religious ones you will hear, for example, on formal occasions, which so many churches celebrate, like Nine Lessons and Carols. There are the favourites you sing lustily out carol singing as you go round doors in cheery groupsContinue reading “CHRISTMAS CAROLS”