Friday, November 29, 2019

buttons and bows

East is east and west is west
And the wrong one I have chose
Let's go where they keep on wearin'
Those frills and flowers and buttons and bows
Rings and things and buttons and bows.
Don't bury me in this prairie
Take me where the cement grows
Let's move down to some big town
Where they love a gal by the cut o' her clothes
And you'll stand out, in buttons and bows.
I'll love you in buckskin
Or skirts that you've homespun
But I'll love ya' longer, stronger
Where yer friends don't tote a gun
My bones denounce the buckboard bounce
And the cactus hurts my toes
Let's vamoose where gals keep a-usin'
Those silks and satins and linen that shows
And I'm all yours in buttons and bows.
Gimme eastern trimmin' where women are women
In high silk hose and peek-a-boo clothes
And French perfume that rocks the room
And I'm all yours in buttons and bows.
Buttons and bows, buttons and bows
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jay Livingston / Ray Evans
Buttons And Bows lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Monday, November 25, 2019

pantheon of fine wimmin ... mary sidney herbert

Psalm 51

O Lord, whose grace no limits comprehend;
         Sweet Lord, whose mercies stand from measure free;
To me that grace, to me that mercy send,
         And wipe, O Lord, my sins from sinful me.
         Oh, cleanse, oh, wash, my foul iniquity;
               Cleanse still my spots, still wash away my stainings,
               Till stains and spots in me leave no remainings.
For I, alas, acknowledging do know
         My filthy fault, my faulty filthiness
To my soul’s eye incessantly doth show,
         Which done to thee, to thee I do confess,
         Just judge, true witness, that for righteousness
               Thy doom may pass against my guilt awarded,
               Thy evidence for truth may be regarded.
My mother, lo, when I began to be,
         Conceiving me, with me did sin conceive:
And as with living heat she cherished me,
         Corruption did like cherishing receive.
         But, lo, thy love to purest good doth cleave,
               And inward truth: which, hardly else discerned,
               My truant soul in thy hid school hath learned.
Then as thyself to lepers hast assigned,
         With hyssop, Lord, thy hyssop, purge me so:
And that shall cleanse the lepry of my mind.
         Make over me thy mercy’s streams to flow,
         So shall my whiteness scorn the whitest snow.
               To ear and heart send sounds and thoughts of gladness,
               That bruised bones may dance away their sadness.
Thy ill-pleased eye from my misdeeds avert:
         Cancel the registers my sins contain:
Create in me a pure, clean, spotless heart;
         Inspire a sprite where love of right may reign
         Ah, cast me not from thee; take not again
               Thy breathing grace; again thy comfort send me,
               And let the guard of thy free sprite attend me.
So I to them a guiding hand will be,
         Whose faulty feet have wandered from thy way,
And turned from sin will make return to thee,
         Whom turned from thee sin erst had led astray.
         O God, God of my health, oh, do away
               My bloody crime: so shall my tongue be raised
               To praise thy truth, enough cannot be praised.
Unlock my lips, shut up with sinful shame:
         Then shall my mouth, O Lord, thy honor sing.
For bleeding fuel for thy altar’s flame,
         To gain thy grace what boots it me to bring?
         Burt-off’rings are to thee no pleasant thing.
               The sacrifice that God will hold respected,
               Is the heart-broken soul, the sprite dejected.

Lastly, O Lord, how so I stand or fall,
         Leave not thy loved Zion to embrace;
But with thy favor build up Salem’s wall,
         And still in peace, maintain that peaceful place.
         Then shalt thou turn a well-accepting face
               To sacred fires with offered gifts perfumed:
               Till ev’n whole calves on altars be consumed.

her epitaph ...

Underneath this sable hearse,
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother.

Death, ere thou hast slain another
Fair and learned and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.

Monday, November 11, 2019

cecil harrison, an old soldier, remembered

there is an excellent memoir of cecil harrison on my brother david forward's blog

i'd like to add a few notes about my own memory of him

below you can see the war office records of his medals, earned as a soldier with the Worcesters in France and then as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps in Egypt

cecil's name also appears on an old boys' list printed at the time ...

and this list of those who served in the worcestershire regiment ...

my father, colin forward, was a labour party member, an artist, a very hard worker, and everyone's friend

people from all walks of life came to our shabby council house to enjoy conversation with my parents

as a small boy, easily dominated and very sensitive to peer pressure, i was aware that some neighbours were contemptuous of my father's non-conformity and his pacifist views ... and during the cold war i often heard him denounced as a communist ... which he never was ... he was overly class-conscious, too sensitive about his social status ( as were many ) but was without malice ... at that time i began to wish that my family had zero interest in politics

people who were new to the town often came to knock at the front door, not realizing that the back door was always open

one such was a man on an old bicycle who seemed prematurely aged and wore agricultural clothes, yet spoke with the utmost gentility of an officer and a gentleman

cecil had come to live in croome house in ingram street, having previously spent many years struggling to live off  a small holding at sandridge, between melksham and bromham

i would hear Cecil and my father talking about politics, which only interested me in a superficial way, and i took very little notice until this happened ...

the neo-nazi National Front were hitting the headlines ... in the middle of england, they were trying to form a para-military force ...their leader was a man called Colin Jordan who was living in Coventry

cecil harrison, then an emaciated "old" man in his late sixties disapproved of fascists

he cycled from Malmesbury to Coventry overnight and found his way to Colin Jordan's doorstep in time to knock on the door before the lights came on

there was a discussion of views, there was no disturbance of the peace, and Lieutenant Harrison left and cycled back to malmesbury, having spoken his piece

over a period of a couple of years it became clear, even to a child, that cecil had been traumatised by his war experiences and by his decades-long social isolation

yet i was incapable of sympathy, only seeing him as an embarrassment

on remembrance sunday in malmesbury, maybe 1963 or 1964, dressed in his old clothes, he stood up on the steps of the war memorial in the triangle after the ceremony and asked the departing old soldiers to tarry and listen whilst he briefly and cogently warned them of the dangers of social conflict and militarism ... i don't think anyone there acknowledged his presence, let alone stood to listen properly ... surprisingly, he didn't once mention his own military service or his rank ... i only found out today, Armistice Day 2019, when I went online and payed £3.50p to check the record

i am sad and ashamed that i never showed an interest in his history or his plight until i was as old as he was when he hanged himself

Friday, November 8, 2019

rubens and velasquez met in madrid in 1628

rubens stayed for eight or nine months, 22 years older than velasquez, they became well acquainted and looked at titian's paintings together

rubens painted this whilst in madrid ... and much more ...

velasquez was working on this picture at that time ...

they must have seen titian's worship of venus together ...

rubens copied it ... brilliantly ...

and re-interpreted the theme more than ten years after ...

both painters were commissioned to provide numerous works for this project ...

e.g. ...

Rubens' The Rape of Prosperine

and ...

Velasquez' El Bufon Don Diego de Acedo

the ruins of la torre de la parada are located to the north-west of madrid