- May 2021
An overview of Milman Parry's life, work, and some of his impact on Homeric studies and orality as media.
The song's title was mentioned in Sly and the Family Stone's hit song "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)” (1969).
- Jun 2020
- Sep 2018
- Feb 2018
Bhí triúr mac agam a bhí oilte tóigthe,Cé gur ghearr an lón dhom iad, céad faraor géar;Mar d’fhág siad a máithrínn bhocht ag silt na ndeoraGach aon lá Domhnaigh is a bhris a croí. Ní raibh suim ar bith agam ins an mac ba óige,Cé go mba deas an t-ógánach é Peadar fhéin;Ach an mac is sine acu sé a chráigh go mór mé‘Gus mí ní beo mé le cumha in do dhiaidh. Mo Pheadar muirneach a bhí oilte múinte‘S a chuaigh ar chúntar a bheith ní b’fhearr;Bhí gean na gcomharsan ort an fhad is bhí tú liomsa,‘S nach mba ait an cúntóir thú amuigh le Seán. ‘S tá súil agamsa go bhfaighidh tú umhlaíocht‘Gus pardún cumhachtach ó Rí na nGrást,A thabharfas abhaile agam sibh ó slán gan chontúirt,Mar is mór mo chumha-sa i ndiaidh mo mhaicín bán. ‘S dá bhfuil trua in Éirinn is mó ná mé anois I ndiaidh an chéad mhac a chráigh mo chroí ‘Gur ag guibhe Dé a bhím agus ag iarraidh déirce Mar scéal ní fhaighim uaibh ar mhuir ná ar tír. Is nuair a fheicim gach bean acu is a gclann fré chéileGo gcaillim mo radharc agus meabhair mo chinnIs tá deireadh mo sheanchais agus mo chomhrá déanta ‘S ní labhród aon smid go dté mé i gcill. Is nach mac gan cuntas thú anois dar liomsa Nach dtiocfadh ar cuairt agam d’oíche ná láGur chaith mé trí ráithe mhór ar fad go t’iomparAgus chuaigh mé i gcontúirt leat aon oíche amháin. Nach dtug mé scoil díbh ‘gus beagán foghlaimGur d’léir mo chuntaíocht nach rinneas thar barrIs nach beag a ghoileanns mo ghalra dumhach ortNó fébí cúige ina mbíonn sibh ann. Cá bhfuil truaighe in Éirinn is mó ná mé anoisI ndiaidh an chéad mhac a chráigh mo chroíA d’oil go cneasta sibh gan guth ná náireFuair bia ‘gus anlann deas glas a chionn Ach má’s sé an bás a chlis orm agus a d’fhág faoi bhrón méMar is iomaí geall mór a chur mé i gcillGurb é an fortún deireanach a bhí dhá bharr agamGur gheal mo cheann-sa agus dhubh mo chroí Is nach beag a ghoilleans mo ghalra dumhach ortIs a liachtaí brón mhór dul fré mo chroíGur dtáinig an tinneas orm agus chaill mé móránIs níl luach mo chónra agam anois faraor. Ach ní hé sin is measa dhom ná d’fhág mé buartha Ach rinne mé an pósadh ar m’ais aríst,Gur bhain sé an chlann díom a bhí oilte tógtha‘Gus d’fhág muirín óg orm ‘s mé go lag ina gcionn. Is dá bhfuil truaigh in Éirinn ach mac ‘gus máthairBheith ag goil le fána ar a chéile chóichínA chuaigh go Sasana in san Arm Gallda‘S gan fios a bpáighe ach beagán bia. 'S dá mba i mBaile na Cille agam a bheadh a gcnámhaNí bheinn chomh cráite ná a leath ina ndiaidh,Ach mo chúig chéad beannacht libh go Ríocht na nGrástaMar a bhfuil sé i ndán dhom sibh a fheiceáil choíchín.
I had three songs, had them reared and taught, But their use to me did not last, They left their poor mother weeping Every Sunday, and break her heart The youngest son wasn’t the dearest to me, Even though he, Peadar, was a fine young man, It was the eldest son whose lost hurt me deepest, He has me nearly killed with sorrow
My darling Peadar who was most polite, Who life to make a better life, Our neighbours loved you when you dwelt here, And you were the best of help when out with Seán
I hope you’ll be greeted forgivingly, with a powerful pardon from God above, Who might bear you home to me, safe from danger, Because I sorely miss my baby son,
And you are the heedless son, That won’t visit me by day or by night, After me carrying you for 9 months, And graving great danger to give birth to you, Didn’t I give you schooling and a bit of learning, But it seems now that I didn’t do well, My heartbreak concerns you little, Where you are
Bhí aithne a’m is eolas ar sheanfhear sách dóighiúil‘Sé an áit a raibh cónaí air thíos ins an ngleann,Bhí sé i ndeis mhór ann, ‘s bhí eallach go leor aige,Airgead ‘s ór buí le cur ina cheann. Thóg sé suas comhairle bean óg a phósadh,Go gcoinneodh sí a chúrsaí seacht n-uaire ní b’fhearr,Ach ar maidin is tráthnóna bhí fearg is gruaim air Faoi eochair an trunc mar ní raibh sí le fáil. ‘S nach suarach an ní dhuitse bualadh faoi mhnaoi ar bith‘Gus fios ag do chroí istigh nach dtabharfaidh dhuit gráNuair nach mór é do ghnaoi ort nár fhága tú de shaol é ,Go bhfanfainnse taobh leat a sheanspleantair cam.’ ‘S nach dtug mé go leor dhuit, airgead ór buí,Báid bheaga, báid mhóra, capall is carr,Le nithe do dhóthain ’gus beatha mhaithe chóiriúilTogha leaba chlúmhaigh is cead codladh go sámh. Gach uile shórt eile dár chuir do chroí spóirt ann,Go fiú an parasól le tabhairt leat i do lámh,Capall nó pónaí le cur fút i gcónaí,Goil ag an aifreann Dé Domhnaigh dá dtográ a dhul ann. Dá dtabharfá an saol mór le n-ithe is le n-ól dom,Saibhreas Rí Sheoirse is ba mhór é le rá,Loingis faoi sheolta ‘gus cóistí ar bhóithrí,‘S b’fhearr liom fear óg ná thú, a sheanduine cam.’ Mar a nglacfaidh tú comhairle téirigh dhá thóraíocht,Cuir ort do chóta is do chlóca ar do bhráid.Bí ag na crosbhóithrí le theacht an tráthnóna,Is beidh seans ar fhear óg agat má bhíonn tú i bhfad ann. Is nuair a thiocfas an oíche ‘s nach bhfaigh tú aon dídean,Tosóidh tú ag caoineadh ‘s gan aon mhaith dhuit ann.Thabharfainnse an Bíobla, anois le glanfhírinne,Go mb’fhearr leat a bheith arís ag do sheanduine cam. ‘S nach suarach an tslí dhom mo shamhail de mhnaoi,Bheith ag caitheamh mo shaoil leat gan súgradh ná greann,Shá fhairsinge do shaol é Ghaillimh go Luimneach,Is a liachtaí sin Muimhneach i gCo. an Chláir. Dhá bhfaighinnse dídean timpeall na Saoirseacht,Ó d’fhéadfainn an geimhreadh seo a chaitheamh go sámhShasódh sé m’intinn ‘s ní bheadh briseadh croí orm,Ná a bheith sínte síos leatsa a sheanspleantair cham! Dhá mbeifeá chomh críonna ‘s ba chóir do bhean tí a bheith,Ó d’fhéadfá an geimhreadh seo a chaitheamh go sámh,Mar olann na gcaorach d’íocfadh sé an cíos dúinn,‘S an méid eile a bheith agat le cur faoi do láimh. Ach ní mar sin a bhí tú ach lán de dhroch smaointe,Mar is iomaí sin intinn a thagann do mhná,Tá mé ríchinnte dá mbeifeá sách críonna,Go mb’fhearr leat a bheith arís ag do sheanduine cam!
I was well acquainted with a well-off old man, And his place of dwelling was down in the glen He was well propertied, with plenty of livestock, And silver and gold to go along with it
He took the advice that he should marry a young woman, As she’d look after his house much better than he, But by morning and night she was cross and upset, About the key to the trunk which was not to be found
Isn’t it a pitiful case, that you’d approach any woman, When you know in your heart you couldn’t be loved, Amn’t I kind to you, that you’d ever be so lucky, That I’d stay by your side you crooked old wretch
Didn’t I give you much, silver and gold, Small boats and big ones, a horse and cart, Your fill of fine things, and of good hearty good, A fine bed of feathers, where you sleep at your ease
If you gave me the world, and all it has to eat and drink, All the wealth of King George which is known to be grand, A fleet under fine sail and coaches under the road, I’d rather have a young man than you, you old wretch
If you can’t see sense, go find your young man Put on your coat, and your cloak round your neck, Be at the crossroad when evening comes, And you’ll get yourself a young man if you wait long enough
If I could find shelter somewhere in the Liberties Oh how happily I’d spend winter there It would gladden my mind, and not at all break my heart Like it does to lie with you, you old wretch
- Oct 2016
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song
This repetition in words seems to be a song or chant of some sort. The writer is describing all this trash around him but then jumps to the perspective of others.
And dry grass singing
Dry grass to me seems so lifeless, basically dead. But as the stanza before, this is like pairing opposites. If dry grass does sing, I imagine it's a sad song.
- Aug 2016
It was not easy to make the music of the film which belongs to a 3000 years Old civilization and which have very few evidence and things available which belong to that time so for the film maker the most challenging part was the film's music.
It was not easy to make the music of the film which belongs to a 3000 years Old civilization and which have very few evidence and things available which belong to that time so for the film maker the most challenging part was the film's music. Mohenjo Daro
- Jul 2016
Dù không còn ai để tin, vẫn sẽ tin vào AI và tâm lý học Psyc ít nhất là cái mình có thể thử nghiệm hàng ngày! AI trong cuộc sống có lẽ giờ khoa học dữ liệu vẫn là phổ biến nhất nhưng nếu theo khoa học dữ liệu bây giờ, mình sẽ xa rời mục tiêu đầu tiên: xe tự hành. Có nên theo một thứ không biết bao giờ mới có, có thể chả bảo giờ, mà theo một thứ khác có thể làm ngay bây giờ, mà vẫn có liên quan
Dù sao Trí tuệ Nhân tạo vẫn là cái mình có thể tin dù tất cả mọi thứ fall down, tear broken, mình vẫn sẽ theo nó tới cùng. Vì nó là thứ duy nhất dạy mình cách sống sao cho hiệu quả, dễ dẫn tới thành công nhất tâm lý học dạy mình cách sống tốt, có ý nghĩa, hạnh phúc nhất cần kết hợp cả 2 cái này để đạt được cả thành công lẫn hạnh phúc
- May 2015
The River Lethe was one of the rivers of Hades in Greek mythology. Exposure to its waters was held to lead to loss of memory, or, more intriguingly, a state of "unmindfulness" and oblivion. From this origin, it has re-appeared throughout western culture, from Dante to Tony Banks's first solo album (River Lethe in popular culture, Wikipedia).
By providing the alternative spelling of Leith, Alasdair Roberts 'doubles' this meaning with the Water of Leith, a river that runs through Edinburgh, and co-locates ancient Greek and contemporary Scots mythology.
The idea of eternal return is bound up with memory, with cultures being compelled to repeat and confront the missteps of the past. So the oblivion of forgetfulness provided by the endless Lethe provides a form of antidote or escape.
my sermons seven
In interview with Tyler Wilcox in 2009, Alasdair Roberts referred to the
specifically Jungian references to the "sermons seven" and mandalas... it's like a quest song against conflict and towards individuation. I know a lot of people with strong political or religious convictions whose musical and artistic practice is guided by that – in some ways I envy that kind of certitude, but I suppose my thing is always about flexibility, multiplicity, confusion wanting to reflect the turmoil of reality... always trying to remember that the oar in the ocean is a winnowing fan on dry land.'
They took the air and they swarmed as one
The end of this first song on Spoils recalls the end of the first song on the Farewell Sorrow album, particularly the lines:
Life is but Death's own right-hand man<br> In every piece of his own left-hand business.<br> So arm in arm, we'll run toward that pair<br> And we as they, joined and double-threaded
Similarly Grief and Joy are "as one", and the parallel with Life and Death brings us full circle to the tacit allusion in this song's title to Hamish Henderson's Flyting o' Life and Daith.
The concept of eternal return has a chequered history through philosophy and culture, but Alasdair Roberts is invoking the particular use of the term by the religious historian Mircea Eliade. The Wikipedia entry) says that Eliade's eternal return is "a belief, expressed... in religious behaviour, in the ability to return to the mythical age, to become contemporary with the events described in one's myths".
Thus, through the medium of song, we are taken back to become contemporary with, among other things, the Crusades and the falls of Jericho and of Babylon.
the first song in some ways explores the idea of “eternal return” – I was reading Mircea Eliade on the subject, and Nietzsche obviously wrote about it – I became obsessed with the idea and the various ways in which it could be configured. There’s obviously the classic image of the ouroboros serpent… but I was also think about it in terms of the myth of progress – when what we think of as progress is actually destruction. Like Kekulé’s ring, Benzene. And the fact that I personally constantly return to Song as a form of “expression” or creation rather than, say, improvisation or composition.
From out her breast there grew a broken crocus From Grief there grew a rosary of tears They grew to form a swarm of hornets
Recalls the 'rose and briar' motif that ends many versions of Barbara Allen, including the one performed by Alasdair Roberts himself (on Too Long in this Condition, which follows reasonably closely the singing of Joe Heaney):
They buried her in the old churchyard, <br> And William was buried beside her. <br> From Barbara's grave grew a red red rose. <br> From William's a green briar.
They grew to the top of the old church wall, <br> 'Til they could grow no higher. <br> They wrapped and entwined in a lover's knot, <br> The rose around the briar.
This sets up the idea that Joy and Grief are deeply coupled...
The Flyting of Grief and Joy
Flyting is fighting with words, a verbal contest between two adversaries who trade barbed insults and boasts, often in verse (Wikipedia entry). In working with this form, Alasdair Roberts is very probably inspired by Hamish Henderson's sung poem The Flyting o' Life and Daith (words, recording). The Tobar an Duchlais site notes that
Hamish Henderson finished this poem in 1963, having drawn on an anonymous German poem he had seen in 1939. Referring to the melody that he composed in order for it to be performed as a song, he stated: "[it] somewhat resembles the 'urlar' (or 'ground') of a pibroch". The poem was first published in 'The Scottish Broadsheet' (May, 1963).
- Barbara Allen
- Tyler Wilcox
- Greek myth
- The Flyting of Grief and Joy (Eternal Return)
- Carl Jung
- Farewell Sorrow
- Mircea Eliade
- Child Ballad
- eternal return
- Hamish Henderson
- Alasdair Roberts