Posted in May 2012

Songs About Night

Songs About Night

the night is a dark time, so it should have some dark songs, but doesn’t seem so. This is a second encore from a real gnarly old trooper, Bob Seeger with Night Moves from 2011 This is John Travolta strutting his stuff to the Bee Gee’s Night Fever: This is a great singer, Maria Muldaur … Continue reading

Henry Fielding Goes to the Fair

Henry Fielding Goes to the Fair

Henry  Fielding (1707-54)is a character who keeps cropping up in my research, so here’s a chance to share some little known stuff on him. I’ve always associated him with the London literary scene, and his achievement as chief magistrate when he created the Bow Street Runners, the first modern police force. He was born in … Continue reading

On Temperance

On Temperance

Way back in the 19th century, the Temperance movement was one of the biggest and most influential of the many groups aiming to improve the mess that the industrial nation had become, with filthy, crowded cities and a population out of control. People advocating temperance often seem to be rather miserable, after all, where’s the … Continue reading

Turning a Lady’s Pastime into a Profession

Turning a Lady’s Pastime into a Profession

Ellen (1769-1849) and her daughter Rolinda (c1793-1838) are the best known but often poorly documented of a famously talented family  of painters, some of whose work is in the Bristol City  Museum and Art Gallery. Ellen, the last of the clan, is fondly  remembered for leaving funds to establish what is now the Royal West … Continue reading

Units of Measurement

Units of Measurement

One of the things many visitors to Britain are confused by is the working system of weights and measures. Although these islands officially went metric some decades ago, much is still sold in the old imperial measures. I grew up in Australia, and when we went metric, we went metric. End of story. But then, … Continue reading

Scenes From Bartholomew’s Fair

Scenes From Bartholomew’s Fair

I have at last got to the end of this tome, and want to share with you some of the line drawings from it. Some are too strange for even me to make sense out of, but here goe with some of the rest: Some strange animals – a 6 legged ram, and a unicorn … Continue reading

Songs With Questions

Songs With Questions

Pop songs are primarily based on the notion of a person singing to you. Yes, you in particular, so are generally in the first person. That helps them sell, because the song becomes your special song. They can tell stories, they can just be a load of nonsense, but sometimes they ask the listener questions, … Continue reading

New/Old Word : Doll

New/Old Word : Doll

This seems to be a straightforward term, but only as we know it in the modern useage.  It is a children’s toy, specifically a female, or, in earlier times, it was a term of endearment. But in the past there has been some confusion, especially in England in the late 17th/early 18th century, when at … Continue reading