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nanowrimo 2010


Diary of a Blind Madman

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Crappy day
nanowrimo 2010
This is shaping up to another one of those days. I just can't seem to find anything useful to do at work. I have a project to work on but I'd rather have a root canal. Describing the find command of INSYNC to the non-technical is tedious in the extreme.

I can't seem to think straight today. Typing is hard. I don't know what is going on. I'm not sleepy, I'm not zombied by the meds. I just am not functioning.

Yesterday was rough. Good things and bad things, I suppose. I completed my project on how to look at VSAM files using INSYNC. It was elementary. I enjoy creating teaching documents, I just wish I could teach something at a slightly higher level. I spent the day hiding. I am breaking into tears over nothing at all a couple of times every day. Yesterday was hellish, I cried six times and spent probably an hour in the bathroom hiding out. This really can't go on.

On the good side, I finally found the words and music for that song that Sean Connery and Michael Caine sang in The Man Who Would Be King - a favorite of mine. It is variously called The Minstrel Boy and The Warrior Bard. Words follow:

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
"Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slavery!"

Verse added later:

The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news, we all will cheer it,
The minstrel boy will return one day,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as Heaven intended,
For all the bitterness of man must cease,
And ev'ry battle must be ended.

Wouldn't you know it was written by Thomas Moore? The last couple of songs I've been looking for (Those Endearing Young Charms) turned out to be traditional songs to which Moore added the lyrics.

The Minstrel Boy is a great story. They should do a crappy TV series based on it to go with Beastmaster, William Tell, and those horrible things. Maybe he could be a politically correct bard whose most violent action was to whop somebody with his harp now and again.

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Ah. Minstrel Boy is also one of my favorites, but I came to it through formative folk music experiences.

See also:
Skye Boat Song
The Scottish Soldier (which has heartrending lyrics including:
For these green hills are not highland hills
Or the islands hills,
They're not my land's hills...

There was a soldier,
a scottish soldier
who'd wandered far away
and soldiered far away
He'd seen the glory
and told the story
Of battles glorious
and deeds victorious,
and now this soldier
this scottish soldier
lay dying far from home.

So he called his piper,
his trusty piper,
and bade him sound a lay
a piebroch sad to play

I'm forgetting the transitions, sadly.
John McDermott is a good one for that sort of thing. I think he also does "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", which makes me cry.

Er. Oops. You struck enthusiasm.

http://www.contemplator.com You'll find scads of English, Irish, Scottish and American ballads from the same era as The Minstrel Boy and Endearing Young Charms. I love the site, though some of the midi files leave a little to be desired.

Hey Karl,

I tried emailing you a little while ago but got back returned messages. Could you email me your current email address?

Work: robert_louderback@momed.com
home: karl@myself.com
home: louderback@mchsi.com

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