“WHERE HAS THE LANGUAGE GONE?”: A CONVERSATION.

Questioner: Excuse me, I am looking for language. Where can I find it? Answerer:”I’m not sure what you mean. You are using language. Q: Yes but where is the centre of the language I am using ? A: Ah get a good dictionary. The Oxford one has a good reputation.! Q: Yes, I have seenContinue reading ““WHERE HAS THE LANGUAGE GONE?”: A CONVERSATION.”

NICOLA BENEDETTI: MUSIC AND FAITH.

Nicola Benedetti , the violin virtuoso, and passionate advocate of music in education, has thought very interestingly about the ways in which the love of music and the development of faith act upon us. In an interview with Vikas S. Shah in “Thought Economics” she is reported in The Times to have said in relationContinue reading “NICOLA BENEDETTI: MUSIC AND FAITH.”

“CHAUCER AT LEICESTER; NOT!”

For a variety of reasons I won’t go into, I did not do Latin at my grammar school. People would say when they knew “What relevance today is Latin anyway, a dead language!”. Some would retort, “It is useful for medicine”-or whatever. Now I am deeply sorry I did not do Latin at school. ItContinue reading ““CHAUCER AT LEICESTER; NOT!””

BURNS’ SEASON: TO A MOUSE

To A Mouse. On turning her up in her Nest with the Plough November 1785 Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie, O, what a panic’s in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty Wi’ bickering brattle! (hasty scurrying) I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee, (loath) Wi’ murdering pattle! (a wooden plough-scraper)Continue reading “BURNS’ SEASON: TO A MOUSE”

BURNS’ SEASON: “The Rigs o’ Barley”

It was upon a Lammas night, (harvest festival) When corn-rigs are bonie, Beneath the moon’s unclouded light, I held awa’to Annie; The time flew by, wi’ tentless heed (carefree) Till tween the late annd early, Wi’ sma’ persuasion she agreed To see me through the barley. Chorus Corn rigs, an’ barley rigs, An’ corn rigsContinue reading “BURNS’ SEASON: “The Rigs o’ Barley””

BURNS’ SEASON : “Ye Banks and Braes”

Ye banks and braes o’ bonie Doon, How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair; How can ye chant, ye little birds, And I sae weary fu’ o’ care! Thou’ll break my heart thou warbling bird, That wantons thro’ the flowering thorn: Thou minds me o’ departed joys, Departed never to return. Aft hae IContinue reading “BURNS’ SEASON : “Ye Banks and Braes””

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.”