Friday, March 24, 2017

Joan Baez singing Mary Hamilton, a haunting love song

Joan Baez singing Mary Hamilton

When I was in college my favorite musicians were Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and others who often resurrected or re-wrote ballads from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Click on the above link to hear Joan Baez singing the song. The painting shows Mary Hamilton in custody.
This is a tragic love story and here are the lyrics Joan Baez wrote, following the story as it unfolded in a well-known sixteenth century ballad from Scotland (Child Ballad 173).

Word is to the kitchen gone, and word is to the Hall
And word is up to Madam the Queen, and that's the worst of all
That Mary Hamilton has borne a babe
To the highest Stuart of all
Oh rise, arise Mary Hamilton
Arise and tell to me
What thou hast done with thy wee babe
I saw and heard weep by thee
I put him in a tiny boat
And cast him out to sea
That he might sink or he might swim
But he'd never come back to me
Oh rise arise Mary Hamilton
Arise and come with me
There is a wedding in Glasgow town
This night we'll go and see
She put not on her robes of black
Nor her robes of brown
But she put on her robes of white
To ride into Glasgow town
And as she rode into Glasgow town
The city for to see
The bailiff's wife and the provost's wife
Cried Alack and alas for thee
You need not weep for me she cried
You need not weep for me
For had I not slain my own wee babe
This death I would not dee
Oh little did my mother think
When first she cradled me
The lands I was to travel in
And the death I was to dee
Last night I washed the Queen's feet
And put the gold in her hair
And the only reward I find for this
The gallows to be my share
Cast off cast off my gown she cried
But let my petticoat be
And tie a napkin round my face
The gallows I would not see
Then by them come the king himself
Looked up with a pitiful eye
Come down come down Mary Hamillton
Tonight you will dine with me
Oh hold your tongue my sovereign liege
And let your folly be
For if you'd a mind to save my life
You'd never have shamed me here
Last night there were four marys
Tonight there'll be but three
It was Mary Beaton and Mary Seton
And Mary Carmichael and me.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

My walk and some happy moments

On my walk today at 9 a.m. before church on March 19 I enjoyed the quiet. Few people were out. Later I know there will be many people out walking, jogging, bicycling, skate boarding, pushing baby strollers and walking dogs. On my quiet walk with my dog Bounce we discovered the same box full of free lemons we saw yesterday. Each day I took four gorgeous yellow lemons. Doesn't their cheerful color make you happy too? I treated myself to some pretty pink roses, as you can see. On that same walk I gave 3 magazines to a Little Free Library and took one book, set in Istanbul, a city I love. The book is "Arabesk" by Barbara Nadel and is the third in a detective series that is new to me. Along the bay two blocks away I saw people on a walk/run to raise money for charity. When we have moments like these it is wise to cherish them, before the tears come again. Somehow I found this walk and these moments to be healing.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ooops, I have more books to read

Yes, I do have a reading habit. Ha ha. Sometimes books end up in my house and I almost don't know why. I am still moving a lot of books out of my house, giving them to the public library and to Little Free Libraries, but when I visit these dens of iniquity some (most) times I leave with a book or two.
I "accidentally" bought 5 books on Kindle last week: "Angling Bumateurs", the fifth in a trilogy (yes, you read correctly)  by Tottie Limejuice, "Amberwell" by D. E. Stevenson, and "Squirting Milk on Chameleons: An Accidental African" by Simon Penton, his memoir of living in Senegal, "We Have Lost the President" by Paul Mathews, and "Old Age Private Eye" by W. Blakely.
 Then at an aforementioned Little Free Library while giving away some of my books, I took "Oryx and Crake" by Margaret Atwood, and am reading it as fast as I can because the plot grabs me. [I finished it quickly and found I am disappointed in the book as there was no hero, no character to cheer for or to admire. The narrator, Crake and Oryx were losers, in my opinion and the near future was full of evil and lack of hope. I know many people like this book, so that is just my take on it.]
Then today while working as a volunteer at a retirement home library I saw the fascinating "Mistress of Nothing" by Kate Pullinger. I like to read books set in Cairo and this novel is based on the true story of Lady Duff Gordon and her lady's maid, Sally Naldrett, in the 1860s, so I am borrowing this one.[I read "Mistress of Nothing" quickly and enjoyed it. The maid had a tough turn of events in Egypt. I also read "Old Age Private Eye", a short book, with the bored and retired senior citizen on a whim putting up a sign saying he is a P.I. for hire. Humorous bits and a mystery of a missing body to solve.]
Since I wrote this I got another book at a neighbor's Little Free Library, "The Woman in Cabin Ten" by Ruth Ware, and I am reading it. It is exciting, the narrator is a troubled woman who thinks she saw a body fall into the sea while on a luxury cruise. But all passengers and staff are still aboard. That is as far as I have gotten.
In my Bible study group we are reading Colossians so I bought a book "Paul: The Prison Letters: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon" by N.T. Wright. Imagine Paul writing those letters while he was in prison.
Oh, and at the beginning of my post is a photo of my brand new Star Magnolia tree's first flower.