Comedy and Woke culture

HI there. I’m coming out of  temporary slumber to present this video which appeared in my you tube feed recently which I thought was very engaging. It is a piece by radical feminist and socialist Tatiana McGrath written by Andrew Boyle.

This parody reminded me of Chris Lilley’s fantastic Australian comedy series ‘We Can Be Heroes’ and ‘Summer Heights High’ where he played girl’s private school student Ja’ime King:

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Posted in Movies and TV, politics

The Small One – A Christmas Story (Bing Crosby)

The Small One

Happy Christmas all! To celebrate this year’s Christmas festivities I would like to present a narration by Bing Crosby of a moving Christmas story called The Small One. I loved listening to this as a child around Christmas time. It was on the same LP (image above) as Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Happy Prince‘ which I posted about in May this year.

According to wikipedia: The Small One is a Charles Tazewell story with musical accompaniment from Victor Young and His Orchestra. Charles Tazewell was a radio playwright and children’s book author, whose work has been adapted multiple times for film…..

I will be taking a break from posting for a while. I want to use this opportunity to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my blog. I feel owing in gratitude to have conversed with you along the way because it has made this venture all the more satisfying. I wish you and all your families a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

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Posted in Reading, Reflections

Do you believe in Santa Claus?

It’s Christmas eve in this exact moment here in Colombia and I imagine Santa Claus has already delivered presents to many of the world’s children. The next time you doubt the existence of Santa then I recommend you read this….

Observation Blogger

How Jordan Peterson might respond to the question (From Dr Beckerwood on Reddit):

Santa lobsterI act as if Santa Claus exists.

People have often asked me (especially around this time of year) if I believe in Santa Claus… and I don’t like that question because it’s an attempt to box me up, to put a bow on me in a sense. It’s like, what do you mean, “believe”? We know what Santa looks like. We know what he sounds like. We know how he behaves. We put up pictures and statues of him. We even make offerings to him! Do I believe the man at the mall with the white beard is the one and only Santa? Crowds are addressing him as Santa and he is responding to the name “Santa” and answering AS Santa as such, so some extent at least, he is real. To the degree he…

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Big Big World (1998) – Emilia


I can see the first leaf falling
It’s all yellow and nice
It’s so very cold outside
Like the way I’m feeling inside

I’m a big big girl
In a big big world
It’s not a big big thing if you leave me
But I do do feel that
I do do will miss you much
Miss you much…

Lets just keep this a secret between you and I, shall we? But, I love this song! My eyes become watery every time I hear it. It reminds me of my daughter.
I know the lyrics won’t be catching the eyes of the Nobel prize selection committee anytime soon, but if there was a Nobel for a song which immediately makes a grown man a complete mess then I’d nominate it. Coincidentally, the Nobel is awarded in Sweden and this is where today’s artist Emilia Ryberg is from.

Big Big World was a big hit in Europe, but tanked in the US where it remained bottom of the Billboard 100. Ouch! But the song was given a Grammis award for “Song of the Year”. The Swedish music award Grammis not to be confused with the Grammy. It even hit No 17 spot in Australia! See, us Aussies can be a sentimental bunch. Big Big World was the premier single off Emilia’s debut album of the same name. The album went platinum in Norway and Sweden in just 11 days!

I prefer the simple audio recording over the official Video produced recording which strangely has a low volume output so I have presented a lyrics video of the song below.

According to wikipedia: Rydberg was discovered in 1996 by Lars Anderson, son of ABBA‘s manager, Stig Anderson. She used the mononym of Emilia in the first years of her career, but more recently she has started to perform under the name of Emilia Mitiku, using her father’s surname. Rydberg’s father is the Ethiopian popular singer Tèshomè Mitiku. Her mother is Swedish. As a student she attended the Adolf Fredrik’s Music School in Stockholm.

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Posted in Music

17/12 – 23/12 incl. Woody Allen, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Lynyrd Skynyrd

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

 Interview excerpt from the Dick Cavett show:

Although the title of this video is ‘Dick & Woody discuss Particle Physics’, they do anything but. They do talk about the exchange of blunt instruments. This is a hilarious interview excerpt, which really highlights Woody’s wit and command of the English language. I couldn’t imagine an interview of this sort or the innuendo suggested seeing the light of day in mainstream media today..….… (Watch entire excerpt).

Poem by Mike Ennenbach at Mike’s Manic Word Depot:

he built
to the monumental
of thinking
the world owed him
the chip on his shoulder
just a pebble
from the avalanche
of self doubt
leaving clouds of dust
with every
aching footstep…
..Read Entire Poem

Poem at Intellectual Shaman:

Take a step back
you are dancing
so pause
before the two step
and twirl
catch the room off-guard
enter the dangerous
where each foot follows a line...… (Read entire poem).

HBO Trailer at HBO:

For those of us who have been hanging out to see Larry David revisit our screens here is the great news … Larry David, living the good life out in Los Angeles and stumbling through one faux-pas after another. Curb Your Enthusiasm returns for its tenth season Sunday, January 19 at 10:30PM.…....…. (Watch trailer)

Article by Pam at All Things Thriller:

True, Lynyrd Skynyrd didn’t really fit our vibe. There were no flourishes of heavy metal or brush strokes of new wave. Skynyrd didn’t dabble in pumped up studio antics that were the rage in those days; in fact, the band had disbanded after the tragic plane crashed that killed three of their members, including their alpha dog lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant in 1977.

That was before our time. There had been a cultural shift in the time between the plane crash and our coming of age.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, was THEN and we were NOW. The members had really long, unkempt hair; we desired men with short, edgy haircuts like Sting, of The Police, had...….(Read entire article)

news on the march the end

Posted in Movies and TV, Music, News, Reading

Better Man (1994) – Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam 1994

Pearl Jam Vitalogy – 1994

Better Man is the third song to feature from Pearl Jam in this music project and quite possibly my joint favorite song of theirs, along with Nothingman. It is the eleventh track on the band’s third studio album, Vitalogy. Better Man was never commercially released as a single but reached the top of the Billboard mainstream charts and stayed at number 1 for a total of 8 weeks.  Vitalogy became the second-fastest selling album in history, only behind the band’s previous release Vs., selling 877,000 copies in its first week and went multi-platinum quickly.

The song was written by Eddie Vedder when he was in High School. Vedder stated, “Sometimes I think of how far I’ve come from the teenager sitting on the bed in San Diego writing ‘Better Man’ and wondering if anyone would ever even hear it“. Extraordinarily, the song was omitted by the band from their previous album Vs.  When the band’s producer Brendan O’Brien heard the song in rehearsals he said “Man, that song’s a hit”, but Eddie just went “uhhh.” Al Weisel of Rolling Stone called the song a “haunting ballad about a woman trapped in a bad relationship.” When “Better Man” was performed on VH1 Storytellers in 2006, Vedder introduced it as a song about “abusive relationships.

Waitin’, watchin’ the clock, it’s four o’clock, it’s got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over

She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man
She dreams in colour, she dreams in red, can’t find a better man
Can’t find a better man

According to wikipedia: In Atlanta 1994 at the Fox Theatre, Vedder clearly said “it’s dedicated to the bastard that married my Momma.” He was referring to his stepfather, Peter Mueller, a California attorney whom Vedder had long believed to be his biological father and who divorced his mother in the early 1980s….

In Pearl Jam concerts, the slow opening verses and choruses of “Better Man” are frequently sung as much by the audience as by Vedder. The song is often performed live as a medley with The English Beat’s “Save It For Later”. At the last Vote for Change concert on October 13, 2004 in East Rutherford, New Jersey at Continental Airlines Arena, Vedder made a guest appearance with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and sang “Better Man” upon Springsteen’s request.

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Posted in Music

Phar Lap (1983) – Simon Wincer (Friday’s finest)


Phar Lap

Sub Editor: We have two versions ready to go. If he wins, “Australian wonder horse beats the world.”

News writer: And if he loses?

Sub Editor: “New Zealand horse fails in Mexico.”

(Referring to Phar Lap’s last race in 1932 where he traveled to the United States to race against the best racehorses in the world at the Agua Caliente race track on the Mexican border.)

Phar Lap is an Australian movie based on the true story of legendary Australian racehorse Phar lap. I decided to showcase this movie in Friday’s-finest for mainly nostalgic reasons. You see, I watched Phar Lap more than any other movie when I was a child. The racing scenes made my hair stand up on end, no matter how many times I watched them. It’s a true ‘underdog’ and rags to riches story which occurred during the Depression era. The movie is a relatively accurate depiction of what took place and even the real strapper (stableboy) Tommy Woodcock appears in the film.

IMDB Storyline:
Phar Lap, the legendary Australian racing horse, is as well-known today for his mysterious death as for his fabulous accomplishments in life. Beginning at the end, the film flashes back to the day that Phar Lap, despite his lack of pedigree, is purchased on impulse by trainer Harry Telford. Phar Lap loses his first races, but Telford’s faith in the animal is unshakable. Suddenly the horse becomes a winner, thanks to the love and diligence of stableboy Tommy Woodcock. American-promoter Dave Davis arranges for Phar Lap to be entered in several top races, where his “long shot” status results in heavy losses for the professional gamblers. Just after winning an important race in Mexico, Phar Lap collapses and dies; though the film never comes out and says as much, it is assumed that the horse was “murdered” by the gambling interests.

My father was extremely fond of horses. Despite not owning one, he always enjoyed a flutter on the Saturday races. It was just part of our family routine on a Saturday afternoon, that we would put small wagers on the races, even us kids. Sometimes we went to the local Hawkesbury races which was a lot of fun. Later in my adult life I ended up living in a gorgeous cottage cabin alongside the Mornington racetrack in South-east Victoria, Australia. I remember one day attending the races there and as I walking up to the event the champion Australian jockey Damien Oliver passed me going the other way. That was a thrill. Interestingly another Australian movie was made about Damien Oliver’s Melbourne Cup winning ride called ‘The Cup‘ (2011).

If I was to choose just one Australian movie to take away with me on a Desert Island it would be this one. I still find it irrepressibly moving and charming. Phar Lap transports me to a time and place that I never grow tired of revisiting. The sights, smells and sounds of Australia and my youth all come flooding back. Tom Burlinson is excellent as Tommy Woodcock, the stable hand who was the only one who had any faith in the horse’s ability and brought the best out of Phar Lap even when everyone else gave up on him. Phar Lap is a remarkable story of heartbreak and triumph. Any horse or sports lover should watch and enjoy this movie. The cinematography, production and music in particular is outstanding. Also it remains one of the most popular Australian films.

IMDB Trivia:

  • Billy Eliot, Phar Lap’s jockey at Agua Caliente had been devastated by Phar Lap’s mysterious death, gave his saddle to George Woolf as a gesture of friendship. Woolf went on to become one of America’s greatest riders, using the saddle on his favourite mount, Seabiscuit (2003), who, like Phar Lap, captivated a nation in the midst of the depression. The saddle was Woolf’s lucky charm. From that date on until the time of his death he used it. Coincidentally, the only time he did not use it, from the time when Elliot gifted it to Woolf, was in his last race which he, unfortunately, was killed in.
  • After Phar Lap’s death, his stuffed hide was donated to the Melbourne Museum (where it is one of the main attractions), his skeleton to the Museum of New Zealand and his heart to the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. His heart was remarkable for its size, weighing 6.2 kg, compared with an average horse’s heart weight of 3.2 kg.

The clip from the movie I included below is when Phar Lap makes his late entrance for the Melbourne Cup.

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Posted in Movies and TV, Reflections

Best Laid Plans (2010) – James Blunt


James Blunt 2010 – Brit Awards

Best Laid Plans is the first song to feature from James Blunt in the music library. James Blunt like fellow English pop artist Robbie Williams was born in the month of February 1974 – the 22nd to be exact and 9 days after Robbie and 37 days after yours truly. What’s this got to go do with the price of eggs I hear you ask. Well, because I’m their senior they would have to look up to me if we ever met and that’s that.

Just like with Robbie, I hopped onboard the James Blunt bandwagon when he broke through as a solo artist with his debut album Back to Bedlam which of course was a worldwide smash with the big hits ‘You’re Beautiful’ and ‘Goodbye My Lover’. The latter song was what got him his big breakthrough at the beginning of his career and discussed further below.

I always had a penchant for James because he’s an ex military officer like me, and he has made a very successful career post -military like me; he as a singer/songwriter and me as a blogger whose website sometimes scrape 50 views on any given day.

According to wikipedia: Blunt was a reconnaissance officer in the Life Guards, a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and served under NATO in the Kosovo War in 1999…… During Blunt’s Kosovo assignment he had brought along his guitar, strapped to the outside of his tank, and would sometimes perform for locals and troops….

While still in the army Blunt would write songs during his time off. A backing vocalist and songwriting collaborator suggested he contact Elton John’s manager, Todd Interland, with whom she used to share a house. Interland told HitQuarters that he listened to Blunt’s demo while driving home and, after hearing the track “Goodbye My Lover”, pulled over and called the mobile number written on the CD to set up a meeting.

Shortly after leaving the army he was signed to EMI music publishers. A record contract remained elusive, with recording label executives pointing to his posh speaking voice as a barrier in class-divided Britain…. Linda Perry, who was just launching her own Custard Records label in early 2003, heard Blunt’s promotional tape when visiting London, and soon after heard him perform live at the South by Southwest Music Festival. She made an offer to him the same night, and within a few days he signed a recording contract with her. A month later, he travelled to Los Angeles to meet producer Tom Rothrock.

SomekindoftroubleToday’s song Best Laid Plans is from James third album Some Kind of Trouble which despite mixed critical reviews sold more than 1 million copies. Unlike some other songs from Blunt, I haven’t grown tired of Best Laid Plans. He describes a relationship which despite one’s best efforts, the other doesn’t reciprocate or show genuine interest. I had that happen to me recently and when I finally understood that it’s me they couldn’t warm to, I felt disheartened.  I was very emotionally invested, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get her to feel anything anything for me. So this song seems to depict something which I can relate to.

You don’t like it in the shadows
You won’t let me shine the light
I would wash away your troubles
But it seems

The more that I hold on
The more that you let go
And I know, you better let somebody love you
Or find yourself, on your own

Tell me why all the best laid plans
Fall apart in your hands
And my good intentions never end,
The way I meant

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Posted in Music

Breath (the Introduction) – Tim Winton

Tim Winton Reading

My original ticket stub of Tim Winton’s book reading of ‘Breath’ in Melbourne, 2008

Breath (Back insert)

Back cover insert of ‘Breath’

Today’s book excerpt is a continuation piece of a review I wrote of Tim Winton’s classic Australian novel ‘Breath’. Tim Winton is my favourite Australian author and Breath is one of my all-time favourite novels.

Readings, an independent Australian retailer of books, movies and film which sponsored Tim’s book reading stated about the event in anticipation:  ‘It’s been a long time since Tim visited Melbourne and we are delighted to have him available to talk about his new book Breath and why he has become the voice of Australian stories.

To recap I wrote about ‘Breath’: I have lived overseas a long, long time and of course I miss my home country, but if I ever want to get reacquainted with my island home then I will dive head-first into a Tim Winton novel. I have him to thank for that.

I had never before or ever since procured a book and read it as quickly as I did with Breath.  I would read it another 3 times that year before I eventually moved overseas. A week ago I dusted it off to rekindle that old flame and see if my obsession with it was justified. Part way through I realised I was reading from a master at work. I was just as mesmerized as I had been 10 years earlier. Every page I was gobsmacked by some outstanding literary prose thinking to myself, ‘How did he come up with that, that, and that?’. To put it bluntly, reading a Tim Winton book is a very humbling experience for any writing enthusiast. He sets the bar high’.

For information about the plot of Breath I encourage you to visit my original post. Today’s book excerpt is lifted from the Introduction stanza. Like the rest of the book Tim throws the reader headfirst into a very confronting situation, which makes you sit up and pay attention. If you get to read Breath you will understand only too well how this Introduction piece fits into the events which unfold. It is narrated by Bruce “Pikelet” Pike, a divorced, middle-aged paramedic. The rest of Breath takes the form of a long flashback in which he remembers his childhood.

WE COME SWEEPING up the tree-lined boulevard with siren and lights and when the GPS urges us to make the next left we take it so fast that all the gear slams and sways inside the vehicle. I don’t say a thing. Down the dark suburban street I can see the house lit like a cruise ship.

Got it, she says before I can point it out.

Feel free to slow down.

Making you nervous, Bruce?

Something like that, I murmur.

But the fact is I feel brilliant. This is when I feel good, when the nerve-ends are singing, the gut tight with anticipation. It’s been a long, slow shift and there’s never been any love lost between Jodie and me. At handover I walked up on a conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear. But that was hours ago. Now I’m alert and tingly with dread. Bring it on.

At the call address Jodie kills the siren and wheels around to reverse up the steep drive. She’s amped, I guess, and a bit puffed up with a sense of her own competence. Not a bad kid, just green. She doesn’t know it but I’ve got daughters her age.

When she hits the handbrake and calls in our arrival at the job I jump out and rip the side door back to grab the resus kit. Beneath the porch steps on the dewy grass is a middle-aged bloke hugging himself in silence and I can see in a moment that although he’s probably done his collarbone he’s not our man. So I leave him to Jodie and go on up to announce myself in the open doorway.

In the living room two teenage girls hunch at opposite ends of a leather couch.

Upstairs? I ask.

One of them points without even lifting her head, and already I know that this job’s become a pack and carry. Usually they see the uniform and light up with hope, but neither of them gives me as much as a glance.

The bedroom in question isn’t hard to find. A little mat of vomit in the hall. Splinters of wood. I step over the broken-down door and see the mother at the bed where the boy is laid out, and as I quietly introduce myself I take it all in. The room smells of pot and urine and disinfectant and it’s clear that she’s cut him down and dressed him and tidied everything up.

I slip in beside her and do the business but the kid’s been gone a while. He looks about seventeen. There are ligature marks on his neck and older bruises around them. Even while I’m going through the motions she strokes the boy’s dark, curly hair. A nice-looking kid. She’s washed him. He smells of Pears soap and freshly laundered clothes. I ask for her name and for her son’s, and she tells me that she’s June and the boy’s name is Aaron.

I’m sorry, June, I murmur, but he’s passed away.

I know that.

You found him a while ago. Before you called.

She says nothing.

June, I’m not the police.

They’re already on their way.

Can I open the wardrobe? I ask as Jodie steps into the doorway.

I’d prefer that you didn’t, says June.

Okay. But you know that the police will.

Do they have to?

The mother looks at me properly for the first time. She’s a handsome woman in her forties with short, dark hair and arty pendant earrings, and I can imagine that an hour ago, when her lipstick and her life were still intact, she’d have been erect and confident, even a little haughty.

It’s their job, June.

You seem to have made some kind of . . . assumption.

June, I say, glancing up at Jodie. Let’s just say I’ve seen a few things in my time. Honestly, I couldn’t begin to tell you.

Then you’ll tell me how this happened, why he’s done this to himself.

I’ve called for another car, says Jodie.

Yeah, good, I mutter. June, this is Jodie. She’s my partner tonight. Go ahead and tell me why.

Because your husband’s broken his collarbone, says Jodie. He broke down the door here, right?

So what do I tell them? the mother asks, ignoring Jodie altogether.

That’s really for you to decide, I say. But there’s no shame in the truth. It’s fairer on everybody.

The woman looks at me again. I squat in front of her beside the bed. She smooths the skirt down onto her knees.

I must be transparent, she murmurs.

I try to give her a kindly smile but my face feels stiff. Behind her I can see the usual posters on the wall: surfers, rockstars, women in provocative poses. The bookshelf above the desk has its sports trophies and souvenirs from Bali and the computer goes through a screensaver cycle of the twin towers endlessly falling. She reaches for my hand and I give it to her. She feels no warmer than her dead son.

No one will understand.

No, I say. Probably not.

You’re a father.

Yes, I am.

Car doors slam in the street below.

June, would you like a moment alone with Aaron before the police come in?

I’ve had my moment, she says, letting go my hand to pat her hair abstractedly.

Jodie? Will you just pop down and let the police know where we are?

Jodie folds her arms petulantly but goes with a flick of her little blonde ponytail.

That girl doesn’t like you.

No, not much.

So what do I do?

I can’t advise you, June.

I’ve got other children to consider.


And a husband.

He will have to go to hospital, I’m afraid.

Lucky him.

I get to my feet and collect my kit. She stands and brushes her skirt down and gazes back at the boy on the bed.

Is there anyone else you’d like me to call?

Jodie and two cops appear at the door.

Call? says June. You can call my son back. As you can see, he’s not listening to his mother.

When we’re almost back to the depot for knock-off Jodie breaks the silence.

So when were you planning to let me know what all that was about?

All what?

With that poor woman. For a moment there I thought you were flirting with her.

Well, you can add that to your list of complaints.

Look, I’m sorry.

Arrogant, aloof, sexist, bad communicator, gung-ho. Obviously I missed a few things, coming in late. But for the record, Jodie, I’m not a Vietnam vet. Believe it or not, I’m not old enough.

I feel awful, alright?

So get a roster change. Be my guest. But don’t do your bitching at handover in the middle of the bloody shed with your back to the door. It’s unfriendly and it’s unprofessional.

Look, I said I was sorry.

When I look across at her I see in the lights of a passing truck that she’s almost in tears. She hangs on to the wheel as though it’s all that’s holding her together.

You okay?

She nods. I roll a window down. The city smells of wet lawns and exhaust fumes.

I didn’t think it would hit me that hard.


That was my first suicide, she murmurs.

Yeah, it’s tough. But it wasn’t suicide.

Jesus, Bruce, they had to bust in the door and cut him down. The kid hanged himself.


And how the hell do you know?

I’m a know-all. Remember?

She grimaces and I laugh.

God, you’re a strange man.

So I gather.

You’re not gonna tell me, are you? I can’t believe you won’t tell me.

I sit there a minute and think of those poor bastards sanitizing the scene before we showed up. The mother sitting there, trying to choose one shame over another. The other kids downstairs cold with shock. The father out on the grass like a statue. Maybe another time, I say.

Well, she says. I rest my case.

We ride back to the shed in silence.

I hurtle on too long through the pounding submarine mist. End over end in my caul of bubbles until the turbulence is gone and I’m hanging limp in a faint green light while all the heat ebbs from my chest and the life begins to leach out of me. And then a white flash from above. Someone at the surface, swimming down. Someone to pull me up, drag me clear, blow air into me hot as blood. He spears down and stops short and I recognize my own face peering through the gloom, hesitating an arm’s length away, as if uncertain of how to proceed. My own mouth opens. A chain of shining bubbles leaks forth but I do not understand.

So I wake with a grunt on the sofa in the empty flat where afternoon sun pours through the sliding door. Still in uniform. The place smells of sweat and butter chicken. I get up, crack the door and smell the briny southerly. I take a piss, put the kettle on and snatch the didj up off the seagrass matting of the floor. Out on the balcony my herbs are green and upright. I tamp down the beeswax around the pipe mouth and clear my throat. Then I blow until it burns. I blow at the brutalist condos that stand between me and the beach. I blow at the gulls eating pizza down in the carpark and the wind goes through me in cycles, hot and droning and defiant. Hot at the pale sky. Hot at the flat, bright world outside.

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Posted in Reading

Belfast Mill (1982) -The Fureys and Davey Arthur

When You Were Sweet Sixteen

When I was a preadolescent I bought the album by The Furey’s called ‘When You Were Sweet Sixteen‘. I listened and was charmed by these traditional Irish folk songs. Most of the songs from this album will feature in today’s project since I still enjoy listening to them. The title track of the album When You were Sweet Sixteen became a worldwide hit. That and The Green Fields of France were their only hit singles. Two of their albums have charted in the UK. Despite their modest commercial success, the Fureys have been around a long time and released many albums. The group originally consisted of four brothers ‘Furey’. For a while in 1969–1970, two of them performed with The Clancy Brothers and appeared on two of the Irish folk group’s albums.

Today’s song ‘Belfast Mill‘ was adapted from the original song titled ‘Aragon Mill‘ and was written by Si Kahn which laments the loss of mill village culture in the small Georgia town. Recognizing the sad universality of its theme, the song was recorded and retitled “Belfast Mill” by The Fureys.

Si Kahn the original songwriter even wrote about the connection in his comment in the you tube video below:

FROM SI KAHN: Thanks to whoever posted this great version of my song “Aragon Mill” by Davey Arthur and the Fureys. I wrote it in 1970 after spending several days in the town of Aragon, Georgia, right after the company closed the mill and threw 700 hard working people out of their jobs, some never to work for pay again. I was working with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), the coal miners’ union, at the time, and asked to go there by the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA) to see if anything might be done about the mill closing, since I was on that day the closest labor/labour organizer to Aragon. I recorded the song in 1974 for my first album “New Wood,” which was released on New Year’s Day 1974, 40 years ago. Check out also other great versions of this song by Andy Irvine & Planxty; the original Red Clay Ramblers; Hazel Dickens; Otto Groote (in Plattdeutsch); 4 Yn Y Bar (in Welsh); Renaud (in French); Dolores Keene; the Dublin City Ramblers; and Peggy Seeger. Last year I worked with Aragon’s Mayor Ken Suffridge to start the first Aragon Mill JamFest, in the hopes of bringing some attention and maybe even a few jobs to this town that was hit so hard by corporate greed, as are so many places all over the world today. Thanks to all of you who fight back! In solidarity, Si

Belfast Mill is another fine example of the Celtic tradition of storytelling through song.  Even though the Furey’s version is not original, it’s a great song none the less. The Banjo is superb in this and the singing oozes passion. Just a fantastic tune. The instrumentals even make you actually feel the wind, blowing through the town.

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Posted in Music

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