Saturday, November 27, 2010

First Sunday in Advent

Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday, called Levavi. The Eastern churches' equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast, but it differs both in length and observances and does not begin the church year, which starts instead on September 1.

The progression of the season may be marked with an Advent calendar, a practice introduced by German Lutherans. At least in the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, the Sunday from November 27 to December 3 inclusive.

Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return.

In the 5th Century Advent began on St Martin's Day -11th November and entailed a six week fast leading up to the Christmas celebrations. During the 6th Century, Advent was reduced to four weeks with no fasting.

Our ancestors used wreathes with lit candles during the dark December days as a sign of hope, as they looked forward to the winter solstice and the lengthening of the days, and the return of the life-giving sun.

Advent 2010 begins on the First Sunday in Advent, November 28, 2010.

Aileen Carr -This Is No' My Plaid (trad.)

This is a favorite song of mine sung here by Aileen Carr. The song is often said to be a Jacobite-era song. The lyrics are possibly coded speech about the exiled Charles Edward Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. After the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, much of the familiar trappings of Scottish culture were outlawed. To openly speak support for the Jacobite cause would have been folly, so this (and probably many other) songs were written to communicate love (that is, the love of a patriot, disguised as a romantic love in the song) for Bonnie Prince Charlie. The plaid is a symbol of the loss of an independent Scotland. After the 1707 Act of Union bound Scotland and England, many Scots were left feeling that their country was no longer their own. (...this is no ma plaid, bonnie though the colours be...)

MA PLAID (trad.)

This is no' my plaid, my plaid, my plaid
This is no' my palid, bonnie though the colour be

The ground o' mine was mixed wi' blue
I got it frae the lad I lo'e
He ne'er has gied me cause tae rue
And oh the plaid is dear to me
For mine was silky soft and warm
It wrapped me round frae arm tae arm
And like himself it bore a charm
And oh the plaid is dear to me

Although the lad the plaid wha wore
Is now upon a distant shore
And cruel seas between us roar
I'll mind the plaid that sheltered me
The lad that gie'd me it like me well
Although his name I duarna tell
He likes me just as weel's himself
And oh the plaid is dear to me

Oh may the plaidie yet be worn
By Caledonians still unborn
Ill fa' the wretch whae'er shall scorn
The plaidie that's sae dear tae me
Frae surly blasts it covers me
He'll me himself protection gie
I'll lo'e him 'till tha day I die
And oh the plaid is dear to me

I hope he'll no' forget me now
Each aften pledged aith and vow
I hope he'll yet return to woo me
In the plaid sea dear tae me
And may the day come soon my lad
When we will tae the kirk and wed
Weel happit in the tartan plaid
The plaidie that's sae dear to me


About Aileen Carr

Aileen is originally from Blairgowrie in Perthshire, and now lives in Auchtermuchty. She's been singing traditional songs since her teens - what else would you be doing coming from these places? During her long career she has sung by herself, with Coelbeg among others, and now with Palaver. Hers is the deep voice in Palaver's sound. Aileen has contributed tracks to a number of compilation albums.

The 1960's were exciting times for the folk revival in Scotland but it was hearing the likes of Belle Stewart at the 1967 Blairgowrie Festival that was a defining moment for Aileen - not to mention the day she was given, at teacher training college, a copy of Norman Buchan and Peter Hall's 1973 'Scottish Folksinger'. On her family moving to Goole in Yorkshire, Aileen became a floor singer at the South Cave folk club and at the Bluebell Club in Hull, where she met many performers such as Alison McMorland and Archie Fisher. In the 1970's she returned to Scotland and became a regular solo singer at St Andrews and other folk clubs, performing at Kinross Festival and throughout Britain and Ireland. During her long career she has sung by herself, with Coelbeg among others, and alongside Maureen Jelks and Chris Miles in the highly popular a capella group, Palaver

Aileen continues to sing solo, and over and above her clear, disciplined performances and her excellent, powerful singing voice, her most important attribute is the way she persistently searches out fresh and interesting material from both sung and printed sources, constantly researching texts, tunes and history. Although an eclectic singer in the true folk tradition, it is the great classical story ballads - especially Scottish - and their rich history that she enjoys most of all.

Our First Real Snowfall

We picked up a couple inches last night and it looks like a Christmas Card.

Over the River and Through the Wood

Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood -
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding",
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood -
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood -
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

This Thanksgiving song originally appeared as a poem written
by Lydia Maria Child in Flowers for Children,
volume 2, in 1844. Lydia Maria Child was a novelist,
journalist, teacher, and wrote extensively about the need to eliminate slavery.

This is the only version I could find other than one where the verses were changed and made into a Christmas song.

Friday, November 26, 2010


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This was made by my friend Solitaire Miles.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scanners and Scammers

Wondering here tonight when are Americans going to pick up on issues like Chertoff (former head of Homeland Security) touting the benefits of Rapiscan (Rape & Scam) while being a paid consultant to the company? It would be so easy to put explosives in the power supply to electronics, a camera or in ones body cavities. If a terrorist really wants to bring down a plane they can do it with ease with or without all this ridiculous unconstitutional invasion of peoples bodies and rights. The terrorists have won we are destroying our own society.

Monday, November 22, 2010

An old favorite painting by Norman Rockwell

Norman Percevel Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. His works enjoy a broad popular appeal in the United States, where Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than four decades.[1] Among the best-known of Rockwell's works are the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter (although his Rosie was reproduced less than others of the day), Saying Grace (1951), and the Four Freedoms series. He is also noted for his work for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA); producing covers for their publication Boys' Life, calendars, and other illustrations.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Essential Liberty

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Violation of the constitution

Security protest could disrupt Thanksgiving travel

By Doug Pensinger

Body scans take as little as 10 seconds, but people who decline the process must submit to a full pat-down, which takes much longer.

CHICAGO (AP) — As if air travel over the Thanksgiving holiday isn't tough enough, it could be even worse this year: Airports could see even more disruptions because of a loosely organized Internet boycott of full-body scans.

Even if only a small percentage of passengers participate, experts say it could mean longer lines, bigger delays and hotter tempers.

The protest, National Opt-Out Day, is scheduled for Wednesday to coincide with the busiest travel day of the year.

"Just one or two recalcitrant passengers at an airport is all it takes to cause huge delays," said Paul Ruden, a spokesman for the American Society of Travel Agents, which has warned its more than 8,000 members about delays resulting from the body-scanner boycott.

It doesn't take much to mess things up anyway — especially if someone purposely tries to mess it up."

Body scans take as little as 10 seconds, but people who decline the process must submit to a full pat-down, which takes much longer. That could cause a cascade of delays at dozens of major airports, including those in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.

"I don't think it would take that much on the busiest day of the year to slow things down," said Gerry Berry, a Florida-based airport security expert. "If I was an airport guy, a screener, a traveler — I'd be concerned."

Not all airports have the machines, which resemble large refrigerators. And not all travelers are selected for scans. But Berry estimated that up to 20% of holiday fliers will be asked to use the full-body machines — meaning tens of thousands could be in a position to protest.

The full-body scanners show a traveler's physical contours on a computer in a private room removed from security checkpoints. But critics say they amount to virtual strip searches.

The protest was conceived in early November by Brian Sodergren of Ashburn, Va., who built a one-page website urging people to decline the scans.

Public interest in the protest boomed this week after an Oceanside, Calif., man named John Tyner famously resisted a scan and groin check at the San Diego airport with the words, "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested." A cell-phone video of the incident went viral.

Other groups have since taken up Sodergren's cause.

"I had no idea what was being started and just how upset people were," said Sodergren, a health industry employee. "I'm just a guy who put a website up."

The Transportation Security Administration has a new pat-down procedure that includes a security worker running a hand up the inside of passengers' legs and along the cheek of the buttocks, as well as making direct contact with the groin area.

Pat-downs often take up to four minutes, according to the TSA's website, though that could be longer if someone requests it be done in a room out of public view or if an ill-at-ease traveler asks for a full explanation of the procedure beforehand.

Factoring in those time estimates, it would take a total of around 15 minutes to put 100 people through a body scan — but at least 6 hours to pat down the same number of travelers.

The TSA's Chicago spokesman, Jim Fotenos, would not disclose how many travelers are normally selected for scans. He said only "a relatively small percentage" normally need pat-downs.

Fotenos declined to say if the agency was taking precautionary steps ahead of the protest, saying only that passengers can make their experience better "by coming prepared and arriving early."

On Friday, TSA head John Pistole told CBS's "The Early Show" that the close-quarter body inspections are unavoidable in a time of terrorist threats.

Pistole acknowledged the public distaste for more intense security, particularly hand pat-downs, and called it a "challenge" for federal authorities and airport screeners.

Also Friday, the TSA agreed to allow airline pilots to skip security scanning and pat-downs. According to pilot groups, pilots in uniform on airline business would be allowed to pass security by presenting two photo IDs, one from their company and one from the government, to be checked against a secure flight crew database.

David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, which represents the airline industry, declined to speculate whether the protest would trigger delays.

"It is impossible to assess how many people will take part, but we would be disappointed if many travelers did participate on one of the busiest days of the year," Castelveter said.

He said airlines always urge customers to show up early during peak holiday travel times and were not suggesting any changes specifically because of the protest.

Delta Air Lines planned to have extra staff in place as it normally does during a holiday travel period. Spokeswoman Susan Elliott said the company was not taking any extra precautions in case of widespread protests.

Southwest Airlines Paul Flaningan said only that his company was "aware of what is being talked about, and we are in constant communication with the TSA."

He said Southwest was not bringing in extra workers specifically because of the threatened protest.

Karen Pride, a spokeswoman for Chicago's Department of Aviation, which oversees O'Hare and Midway airports, would say only that the airports planned to bring in extra workers for the holiday, but she declined to address the potential effect of the protest.

Sodergren sounds much less strident than many critics of screening procedures. And he says he's not trying to cause disarray at airports.

"I have no idea what's going to happen," he said "I don't think it will be chaos. And I have no desire to slow the system down."

But some protesters are aiming to do just that.

Another participating organization called "We Won't Fly" features a blurb at the top of its website that says, "Jam TSA checkpoints by opting out until they remove the porno-scanners."

Organizer James Babb of Eagleville, Pa., agreed many travelers would see the pat-down as equally intrusive or more so. But he's still recommending the pat-down because, he says, it would create more disruption and send a stronger message.

"They won't have the manpower to reach into everyone's crotch," he said.

Passengers cannot opt out of both the scan and the pat-down once they have been selected for the enhanced searches, according to TSA rules. If they then try to evade the measures, they could face an $11,000 fine.

Even if someone in a security line becomes frustrated and decides not to fly, TSA rules require they submit to a scan or pat-down. If people were allowed to walk out, the agency says, would-be terrorists would have an easy escape.

At least some entrepreneurs are offering passengers other forms of protest.

One Las Vegas company is selling designer rubber patches to cover body parts that travelers do not want screeners to see. One patch for the crotch area includes text written in fonts associated with Las Vegas billboards that reads, "What Happens Under Here — Stays Here."

And for anyone who wants to express displeasure with pat-downs, Tyner's confrontation has spawned online sales of T-shirts, bumper stickers and even underwear emblazoned with the words, "Don't Touch My Junk!"

Ironically, one person who will not take part directly in Wednesday's protest is its instigator, Brian Sodergren. He said his wife is too uncomfortable with the prospect of either a body scan or a pat-down, so they are driving the several hundred miles to a relative's home.


This invasive scanning and body searching is a direct violation of the constitution and because it doesn't make us any safer. People are being roughed up and irradiated for nothing basically. The US boarders are as porous as a spaghetti colander. If terrorists want to do anything they need only walk across our borders. This is not about safety its about control. A terrorist need only check a bag with a bomb or send it cargo to blow something up. You are far more likely to die in a car crash in you own home town than be killed by a terrorist. This is fear mongering and all radiation is dangerous to your health. The next thing you can expect to find is these scanners in every single courthouse and federal building and then on to every subway. I am very concerned how many people think this is no big deal.

U.S. Constitution:
Fourth Amendment - Search and Seizure
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Susan Boyle -Perfect Day

Friends - a poem by William Butler Yeats

Now must I these three praise
Three women that have wrought
What joy is in my days:
One because no thought,
Nor those unpassing cares,
No, not in these fifteen
Many-times-troubled years,
Could ever come between
Mind and delighted mind;
And one because her hand
Had strength that could unbind
What none can understand,
What none can have and thrive,
Youth's dreamy load, till she
So changed me that I live
Labouring in ecstasy.
And what of her that took
All till my youth was gone
With scarce a pitying look?
How could I praise that one?
When day begins to break
I count my good and bad,
Being wakeful for her sake,
Remembering what she had,
What eagle look still shows,
While up from my heart's root
So great a sweetness flows
I shake from head to foot.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This speaks volumes


by Jo Shapcot

In reality, sheep are brave, enlightened

and sassy. They are walking clouds

and like clouds have forgotten

how to jump. As lambs they knew.

Lambs jump because in their innocence

they still find grass exciting.

Some turf is better for tiptoeing

say lambs. Springy meadows

have curves which invite fits

of bouncing and heel-kicking

to turn flocks of lambs

into demented white spuds boiling in the pot.

Then there is a French style of being a lamb

which involves show and a special touch

at angling the bucking legs. Watch carefully

next time: Lambs love to demonstrate -

you wont have to inveigle.

Eventually, of course, lambs grow trousers

and a blast of wool

which keeps them anchored to the sward.

Then grass is first and foremost

savoury, not palatable.

I prefer the grown sheep: even when damp

she is brave, enlightened and sassy,

her eye a kaleidoscope of hail and farewell,

her tail her most eloquent organ of gesture.

When she speaks, it is to tell me

that she is under a spell, polluted.

Her footwear has been stolen

and the earth rots her feet.

In reality she walks across the sky

upside down in special pumps.

The Oldham Tinkers


"If a man does not make new acquaintances as he
advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone;
one should keep his friendships in constant repair."
~ Samuel Johnson


"Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to
new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints
on our hearts, and we are never ever the same."
~ Flavia Weedn


"The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
nor the kindly smile nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when
he discovers that someone else believes in him
and is willing to trust him."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blessed Quietness by Beggar's Velvet

This is a new video I just put together of Beggar's Velvet singing acapella the traditional Hymn, Blessed Quietness. Beggar's Velvet was an outstanding UK group made up of Cathy & Charley Yarwood and Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman. Beggar's Velvet stopped performing in 1993 after eight successful and happy years but you can still buy their music! The photos were taken by my husband in Scotland in Oct and Nov. of this year. 2010.T he hymn Blessed Quietness was written by Manie Payne Ferguson (1850 -- 1932)

Joys are flowing like a river,

Since the Comforter has come;

He abides with us forever,

Makes the trusting heart His home.


Blessèd quietness, holy quietness,

What assurance in my soul!

On the stormy sea, He speaks peace to me,

How the billows cease to roll!

Bringing life and health and gladness,

All around this heav’nly Guest,

Banished unbelief and sadness,

Changed our weariness to rest.


Like the rain that falls from Heaven,

Like the sunlight from the sky,

So the Holy Ghost is given,

Coming on us from on high.


See, a fruitful field is growing,

Blessèd fruit of righteousness;

And the streams of life are flowing

In the lonely wilderness.


What a wonderful salvation,

Where we always see His face!

What a perfect habitation,

What a quiet resting place!


Monday, November 15, 2010

The Iron Horse by Kentigern

This is a song about a Scottish train called the Iron Horse by Kentigern. The wonderful vocals here are by Sylvia Barnes. Kentigern was a group formed in 1978 out of a regular session at the Victoria Bar, Glasgow. John Gahagan (whistle) had been a member of The Battlefield Band, and with Jimmy McGuire (fiddle, banjo) combined with the four members of Tinkler Maidgie - Sandy Stanage (cittern, guitar, banjo) (who had also been in Molendinar), Ian MacDonald (pipes), Jim Barnes (cittern, guitar, vocals) and Sylvia Barnes (vocals, dulcimer, guitar, bodhran) - to form Kentigern. Dougie Pincock (pipes, whistle) replaced Ian MacDonald. The photos with the music were taken in Scotland of the stream train known as the Jacobite. This ride is often described as one of the great railway journeys of the world. The 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain's most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis.

November Night

by Adelaide Crapsey
Listen. .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.

The Death of Autumn

The Death of Autumn

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

When reeds are dead and straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like agèd warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe; and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,––
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,––but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn! Autumn!––What is the Spring to me?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scotland marking Remembrance Sunday


Events of remembrance are being held in towns and cities across Scotland

Remembrance Sunday services are set to take place across the country in memory of Scotland's war dead.

A ceremony will be held at the Stone of Remembrance on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, which will include a march by ex-service and civilian organisations.

HMS Ark Royal crew members will lead a parade as part of Glasgow's ceremony in George Square, while a service will be held in Glasgow Cathedral.

Events will also be taking place in towns and cities across Scotland.

First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore will be at the ceremony in Edinburgh.

The parade will include service personnel, regimental associations, the St Andrews Ambulance Association, the Humanist Society, Girl Guides, Sea Cadets and the Army Cadet Force.

Royal British Legion Scotland general secretary George Ross said: "We want this to reflect the whole of society.

"Remembrance is not the exclusive preserve of the Armed Forces and we hope the parade will reflect this."

THE COMMANDO MEMORIAL - The Memorial commands wonderful views of Ben Nevis, the Grey Corries and the western end of the Great Glen. It was unveiled in 1952 by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and commemorates the elite soldiers of the Commandos who died during the Second World War. Achnacarry, six miles from Spean Bridge, was the Commandos' Basic Training Centre from 1942. Over 25,000 men were trained here and in the surrounding area including British, American, French, Belgian, Norwegian, Polish, German (Jewish) and Dutch troops. With Ben Nevis only an 18 mile run from Achnacarry, reaching the summit was just one of the challenges for a day's training! Many veteran Commandos make the annual pilgrimage to attend the Service of Remembrance and Wreath Laying held at the Memorial in November. At any time, this moving tribute offers a rewarding visit, and spectacular photos are often available, especially at sunset.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Remodeling going on at the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland site is undergoing an incredible transformation into a 21st-century museum experience, re-opening in summer 2011. This means that at present, around half of the museum complex is closed, including the Victorian main hall. Jim was able to see a large part of the museum but the ancient jewelry and artifacts were still on display.

Treasured: Oliphant hunting horn from National Museums Scotland on Vimeo.

New Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller CD released on Greentrax

Jeana Leslie & Siobhan Miller are two of Scotland's talented young traditional musicians. Working together as a duo, they won the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2008

Jeana Leslie - fiddle, voice
Jeana hails from Deerness in Orkney. A member of the group Hadhirgann she has many varied influences and has visited the east coast of Canada (PEI & Cape Breton) many times where she has played with the local musicians. Jeana is a also a keen tune writer and has played at Orkney Folk Festival both as a soloist and band member. A student at RSAMD she received the Jimmy Shand Scholarship from the academy for promising musician with first study in fiddle or accordion. Jenna is also a senior teacher for the RSAMD YouthWorks programme, along with teaching for Glasgow Fiddle Workshops, Glasgow Cultural Enterprises and Celtic Connections workshops throughout the year.

Siobhan Miller - voice
Siobhan is 21 and from Penicuik near Edinburgh. She is a favourite at TMSA’s Auchtermuchty Festival since first appearing there at 13 and has won both the children’s and women’s singing competitions. She has appeared as a solo singer at several festivals including Celtic Connections and guested with Jock Tamson’s Bairns at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall last year. Siobhan is currently in her third year at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow studying a BA in Scottish Music.

The CD Shadows Tall, I believe is to be released officially on the 19th of Nov. on the Greentrax label. Jim met Siobhan Miller in Leadburn. She actually waited on my husband Jim at the Leadburn Inn as she works there. To make this all the more amazing she knows Ed Miller. I hear a strong Kate Rusby influence in her music only with a Scottish twist. Her fellow musician, Jeana Leslie is also excellent and the two of them make for an outstanding sound. They hope to tour in the US soon.

Greentrax Recordings
Specialising in traditional and contemporary Gaelic and Celtic music
from Scotland and beyond.

Eilean Donan Castle on Skye

Photo by James Boyle

As one of the most iconic images of Scotland, Eilean Donan is recognised all around the world. Situated on an island at the point where three great sea lochs meet, and surrounded by some majestic scenery, it is little wonder that the castle is now one of the most visited and important attractions in the Scottish highlands.

Although first inhabited around the 6th century, the first fortified castle was built in the mid 13th century and stood guard over the lands of Kintail. Since then, at least four different versions of the castle have been built and re-built as the feudal history of Scotland unfolded through the centuries.

Partially destroyed in a Jacobite uprising in 1719, Eilean Donan lay in ruins for the best part of 200 years until Lieutenant Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the island in 1911 and proceeded to restore the castle to its former glory. After 20 years of toil and labour the castle was re-opened in 1932.

Today, you can explore nearly every part of the castle, and enjoy a journey through the history of the area.

The Castle now has its own visitor centre, which includes the Ticket Office, Coffee Shop, Gift Shop and toilets.

This is lovely, it is about forgiveness

Isle of Skye

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jim has come hame

Jim's plane landed in Erie at about 5:00 and he had a good flight. His 17 days in Scotland over he is back home again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lassie wi' the lint white locks

LASSIE WI THE LINT WHITE LOCKS is sung here by Ian Bruce with photos of Scottish Blackface Sheep taken by Beth Maxwell Boyle.

Lassie wi' the lintwhite locks,
Bonie lassie, artless lassie,
Wilt thou wi' me tent the flocks -
Wilt thou be my dearie, O?

Now Nature cleeds the flowery lea,
And a' is young and sweet like thee,
O, wilt thou share its joys wi' me,
And say thou'lt be my dearie, O?
Lassie etc.
The primrose bank, the wimpling burn,
The cuckoo on the milkwhite thorn,
The wanton lambs at rosy morn
Shall thy heart, my dearie, O.
Lassie etc.
And when the welcome simmer shower
Has chear'd ilk drooping little flower,
We'll to the breathing woodbine bower
At sultry noon, my dearie, O.
Lassie etc.

When Cynthia lights, wi' silver ray
The weary shearer's hameward way,
Through yellow waving fields we'll stray,
And talk o' love, my dearie, O.
Lassie etc.

And should the howling wintry blast
Disturbs my lassie's midnight rest,
I'll fauld thee to my faithfu' breast,
I'll comfort thee, my dearie, O. Lassie etc.

LASSIE WI THE LINTWHITE LOCKS – This is one of Burns's most striking pastoral love songs, for which he did battle with his editor, George Thomson, over the air to which it is set - a modified version of 'Rothemurche's Rant' - and the subject matter of a beauty possessing 'lint-white locks'.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lassie wi' the Yellow Coatie

I just made this video today and uploaded it tonight on YouTube. It's a very stirring song I love. Lassie wi' the Yellow Coatie is a recording of a Scottish ballad from Ford's Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland. It was written by James Duff from Perthshire in the early 19th century. The slide show is of classic Paintings of Scotland set to the music of Kornog. Vocals by Jamie McMenemy.

by James Duff

Lassie wi' the yellow coatie,
Will ye wad a muirlan' Jockie?
Lassie wi' the yellow coatie,
Will ye busk an' gang wi' me?

I hae meal and milk in plenty,
I hae kale an' cakes fu' dainty,
I hae a but an' ben fu' gentie,
But I want a wife like thee.

Tho my mailen be but sma'.
An' little gowd I hae to show,
I hae a heart without a flaw,
An' I will gie it a' to thee.

Wi ma lassie an' ma doggie,
O'er the lea an' through the boggie,
Nane on earth was e'er sae vogie,
Or sae blythe as we will be.

Haste ye, lassie, to ma bosom,
While the roses are in blossom;
Time is precious, dinna lose them,
Flooers will fade, an' sae will we.

Final Chorus
Lassie wi the yellow coatie,
Ah! tak' pity on your Jockie;
Lassie wi the yellow coatie,
I'm in haste, an' sae should ye.

Footnote: A Scottish ballad from Ford's Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland. It was written by James Duff from Perthshire in the early 19th century.

Jamie sings this so well

A founding member of the Battlefield Band, Jamie McMenemy has continued to influence modern Celtic music with his distinctive vocals and bouzouki, mandolin, and cittern playing. Since moving to Brittany in 1979, McMenemey has served as frontman for two groundbreaking Celtic bands: Breton-based trad folk band Kornog, from 1981 to 1987, and Belgium-based Celtic/Balkan band Orion since 1987. McMenemy has also performed in a duo with Kornog guitarist Christian Lemaitre and a band, Taxi Mauve, that has accompanied vocalist Gerard Delahaye, featuring Marc Pollier on uilleann pipes, Jean-Claude Phillippe on violin, Patrick Desauney on guitar, Matthieu Dalle on bass, and Michel Sikiotokis on flute and tin whistle. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi

Kornog perfoms Sir Aldingar

Sir Aldingar

Our king he kept a false steward
Men called him Sir Aldingar.
He wolde haue layen by our comely queene,
Her deere worshipp to haue betraide;
Our queene shee was a good woman
And euer more said him nay.

Aldingar was offended in his mind,
With her hee was neuer content,
But he sought what meanes he cold find out.
In a fyer to haue her brent.

There came a lame later to the Kings gates,
A lazar was [b]lind and lame
He tooke the lazar vpon his backe
Vpon the queenes bed he did him lay;

He said, Lye still, lazar, wheras thou lyest,
Looke thou goe not away,
Ile make thee a whole man and a sound
In two howres of a day.

And then went forth Sir Aldingar
Our Queene for to betray,
And then he mett with our comlye King,
Saies, God you saue and see!

If I had space as I haue grace,
A message I weld say to thee.
Say on, say on, Sir Aldingar,
Say thou on and vnto me.

I can let you now see one of [the] greiuos[est] sights
That euer Christen King did see:
Our Queene hath chosen a new new loue,
She will haue none of thee;

If shee had chosen a right good Knight
The lesse had beene her shame,
But she hath chosen a Lazar man
Which is both blinde and lame.

If this be true, thou Aldingar,
That thou dost tell to me,
Then will I make thee a rich Knight
Both of gold and fee.

But if it be false, Sir Aldingar,
That thou doest tell to me,
Then looke for noe other death
But to be hangd on a tree.
Goe with me, saide our comly king,
This Lazar for to see.

When the King he came into the queenes chamber,
Standing her bed befor,
There is a lodly lome, says Harry King,
For our dame Queene Elinor!

If thou were a man, as thou art none,
Here thou sholdest be slaine;
But a paire of New gallowes shall be bult,
Thoust hang on them soe hye;

And fayre fyer there salbe bett,
And brent our Queene salbee.
Forth then walked our comlye King,
And mett with our comly Queene.

Saies, God you saue, our Queene, Madam,
And Christ you saue and see!
Heere you haue chosen a new new loue
And you will haue none of mee.

If you had chosen a right good Knight
The lesse had beene your shame,
But you haue chosen a lazar man
That is both blind and lame.

Euer alacke, said our comly Queene,
Sir Aldingar is false to mee;
But euer alacke, said our comly Queene,
Euer alas, and woe is mee!

I had thought sweuens had neuer been true,
I haue prooued them true at the last;
I dreamed in my sweauen on thursday at eueninge
In my bed wheras I lay,

I dreamed the grype and a grimlie beast
Had carryed my crowne away,
My gorgett and my Kirtle of golde
And all my faire heade geere;

How he weld haue worryed me with his tush
And borne me into his nest:
Saving there came a litle hawk
Flying out of the East,

Saving there came a litle Hawke
Which men call a Merlion;
Vntill the ground he stroke him downe,
That dead he did fall downe.

Giffe I were a man, as I am none,
A battell I weld proue,
I weld fight with that false traitor;
Att him I cast my gloue!

Seing I am able noe battell to make,
You must grant me, my leege, a Knight
To fight with that traitor, Sir Aldingar,
To maintaine me in my right.

Ile glue thee forty dayes, said our King,
To seeke thee a man therin;
If thou find not a man in forty dayes,
In a hott fyer thou shall brenn.

Our Queene sent forth a Messenger,
He rode fast into the South,
He rode the countryes through and through
Soe far vnto Portsmouth;
He cold find never a man in the South country
That weld fight with the Knight soe keene.

The Second messenger the Queen forth sent
Rode far into the east,
But (blessed be God made sunn and moone)
He sped then all of the best.

As he rode then by one riuer side
There he mett with a litle Child;
He seemed noe more in a mans likenesse
Then a child of four yeeres old.

He askt the Queenes Messenger how far he rode,
Loth he was him to tell;
The litle one was offended att him,
Bid him adew, farwell!

Said, Turne thou againe, thou Messenger,
Greete our Queene well from me;
When Bale is art hyest, boote is art next,
Helpe enough there may bee!

Bid our queene remember what she did dreame
In her bedd wheras shee lay:
Shee dreamed the grype and the grimly beast
Had carryed her crowne away,

Her gorgett and her Kirt[l]e of gold,
Alsoe her faire head geere.
He weld haue werryed her with his tushe
And borne her into his nest;

Saving there came a litle hawke,
Men call him a merlyon,
Vntill the ground he did strike him downe
That dead he did fall downe.

Bidd the queene be merry att her hart,
Euermore light and glad;
When bale is art hyest, boote is at next,
Helpe enoughe there shalbe [had].

Then the Queenes messenger rode backe,
A gladed man then was hee;
When he came before our Queene,
A gladd woman then was shee.

Shee gaue the Messenger twenty pound
O lord, in gold and fee;
Saies, Spend and spare not while this doth last,
Then feitch thou more of me.

Our Queene was put in a tunne to burne,
She thought no thing but death.
They were ware of the litle one
Came ryding forth of the East

With, Mu [ ]
A louelie child was hee;
When he came to that fier
He light the Queene full nigh.

Said, Draw away these brands of fire
Lie burning before our Queene,
And feitch me hither Sir Aldingar
That is a knight soe keene.

When Aldingar see that litle one
Full litle of him hee thought;
If there had beene halfe a hundred such
Of them he weld not haue wrought.

Hee sayd, Come hither Sir Aldingar,
Thou see-must as bigge as a fooder;
I trust to God, ere I haue done with thee,
God will send to vs auger.

Saies, The first stroke thats giuen, Sir Aldingar,
I will glue vnto thee,
And if the second glue thou may,
Looke then thou spare not mee.

The litle one pulld forth a well good sword,
I-wis itt was all of guilt;
It cast light there over that feild,
It shone soe all of guilt.

He stroke the first stroke att Aldingar,
He stroke away his leggs by his knee;
Sayes, Stand vp, stand vp, thou false traitor,
And fight vpon thy feete;
For and thou thriue as thou begins,
Of a height wee salbe meete.

A preist, a preist, sayes Aldingar,
Me for to houzle and shriue!
A preist, a preist, sayes Aldingar,
While I am a man liuing a-liue!

I weld haue laine by our comlie Queene,
To it shee weld neuer consent;
I thought to haue betrayd her to our King,
In a fyer to haue had her brent.

There came a lame Lazar to the Kings gates,
A lazar both blind and lame;
I tooke the lazar vpon my back,
In the Queenes bed I did him lay.

I bad him lie still, Lazar, where he lay,
Looke he went not away;
I wold make him a whole man and a sound
In two homes ofa day.

Euer alacke, sayes Sir Aldingar,
Falsing neuer doth well;
Forgiue, forgiue me, Queene, Madam,
For Christs loue forgiue me!
God forgaue his death, Aldingar,
And freely I forgiue thee.

Now take thy wife, thou King Harry,
And lone her as thou shold;
Thy wiffe shee is as true to thee
As stone that lies on the castle wall.

The Lazar vnder the gallow tree
Was a pretty man and small
The Lazar vnder the gallow tree
Was made steward in king Henerys hall.

Child #59
Arthurian overtones: Guenivere was found with Lancelot in her room and sentenced
to burn unless a champion would fight for her (trial by combat). Lancelot came
at the last minute and saved her from the fire. Also note the merlin hawk.
Child finds parallels to every Scandinavian tradition, Spanish, German, etc.,
but does not mention Arthur.

From The Oxford Book of Ballads by Kinsley. Child mentions Percy's Reliques
(1765) and Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1803). The spelling is as it
appears in Kinsley. SOF

Kornog is a Breton folk music band formed in the 1980s. They are notable in that they have been perhaps the only Breton band to have had a serious touring presence in the United States, so for many in North America, Kornog defines Breton music. The word ‘kornog’ means “west” in the Breton language. Unique to Breton groups, the band’s approach is intended for listening and not specifically for the traditional “Fest Noz” dance circuit, and contains the Scots dialect ballads of bouzouki and mandolin player Jamie McMenemy. The group was active from 1982 to 1987, then reunited again in 1999 and in 2000 released a new CD, “Korong”. The group still plays together occasionally, and some of the members play together regularly in duo formats (2010 has seen the first tour of duo Siberil-McMenemy), although for the most part they have been superseded by the offshoot group Pennoù Skoulm. Most of the members of Kornog are in the band Pennoù Skoulm. Like Kornog, Pennoù Skoulm has likewise existed in two separate iterations, first active from 1982 to 1990, releasing their first recording in 1985, and then regrouping in 2008 and releasing their newest recording ‘Trinkañ’ in 2009. Pennoù Skoulm remains active as a performing group, occasionally joined by Irish musician Andy Irvine. Kornog’s final performance (to date) was in 2006.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

National Museum of Scotland

This is a wonderful museum. Jim went on Wed with our friend Mike, I went in 2007. Some of the Lewis Chess men are housed here and many stone carvings and other ancient works of art.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Bonny Hawthorn

The Bonny Hawthorn

1. [: One midsummer's morn when all nature looks gay
A Hmi A D
I met lovely Jeannie a taking the air :]
I said my lovely creature come tell me where you dwell?
Beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale
that blooms in the vale that blooms in the vale
beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale.

2. Now hark bonny Bess to the birds in yon grove
how sweetly they sing when invites her to roam
I said my lovely creature come tell me where you dwell?
Beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale
that blooms in the vale that blooms in the vale
beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale.

3. She pressed me and said that my love was sincere
not one on the green was so charming and fair
so I listened with great pleasure to a kind and tender care
beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale
that blooms in the vale that blooms in the vale
beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale.

Hey Then Up We Go Jack a Lent

Pyewackett was a British folk band that combined traditional material, much of it from John Playford's English Dancing Master books first published in 1651, with modern instrumentation and some classic American jazz songs from the early to mid-20th century. Their four albums were recorded in the early to mid-1980s. In addition to recording, they also played music for early dances with a caller.

Although it has been nearly a quarter-century since Pyewackett last released an album, the band is still remembered as a favorite by people all over the world.

Jack 'o' Lent or Jack a Lent, was a tradition in England in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.

The effigy was a straw figure which had been dragged about the parish on Ash Wednesday and stoned and abused. Its burning on Palm Sunday was often supposed to be a kind of revenge on Judas Iscariot who had betrayed Christ. It is equally likely that it represents the hated figure of Winter whose destruction prepares the way for Spring. It is a left over pagan tradition that took on Christian meaning and survived until the late 17th and early 18th century in parts of England.

He is mentioned in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor.

The Rams Horn

The Rams Horn on Facebook