Saturday, 31 December 2011
Reading many articles about this tune, would lead you to believe that it is purely an Irish Traditional tune - well like many a good tune it is well travelled and sung and played by many, many famous and not so famous musicians.
I tend to like the story that it IS a traditional Scottish tune and once more popular than Auld Lang syne!
In my opinion - if you play or sing a tune or song give it its true meaning and recognition, it is only professional courtesy!!
So at midnight tonight what ever your tipple - may joy be with you all !!
Of all the money e'er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm I've ever done,
Alas! it was to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all.
Oh, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er I had,
They'd wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
Good night and joy be with you all.
If I had money enough to spend,
And leisure time to sit awhile,
There is a fair maid in this town,
That sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips,
I own she has my heart in thrall,
Then fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.
Saturday, 24 December 2011
With luck and good will, a short play about the harvest fair will be performed by a school in Newtownards - incorporated in an Ulster Scots Concert night around March time.
This newspaper piece in the Newtownards Chronicle from 1925 looks back 50 years to 1875 at the Harfest Fair in Newtown!!
Friday, 23 December 2011
I am sure there is a 5,000 page government document somewhere explaining the health and safely implications of scatting on ice nowadays!!
Friday 16th December I attended a book launch at the Thomas Andrews Memorial Hall Comber, where over 180 people attended the launch, on what turned out to be a very enjoyable and interesting evening.
I was invited by one of the books co-authors Laura Spence.
I would highly recommend the publication to all my friends and filmily.
I don't have much of a connection with Comber, nevertheless all those interested in local history and particularly Comber, will thoroughly enjoy the book.
Congratulations to Laura and her friend Desmond Rainey for an excellent evening and thanks for signing a couple of copies- one for me and the other one for the Low Country Exile in Londonderry!
Sunday, 18 December 2011
I have accumulated 20,550 individual hits - an amazing total for me, I did not think anything that I posted would be of interest to the wider public. It pleases me that throughout the past 2 years I have received communications from all around the world, made 'friends' with the unlikeliest people, annoyed a few (intentionally) and entertained others!
So here is to another 2 years of Bloggin!
Anyone who knows me well, will testify that I am determined to get to where I want to go, using all avenues that will lead me to 'the truth' - here is one example!
In November I blogged about gate crashing / going to a book launch at the Somme Centre at Conlig, near Newtownards on Remembrance Day 2011. The books Remembering Their Sacrifice of the Great War - The Ards & North Down by Barry Niblock - I bought 2 x copies of each, 1 set for me and 1 set for my good friend Jack Greenald.
I have read through extensively but found no reference to William Anderson, my Great Uncle, so I decided to contact the Mr. Niblock to see if he had any information on William Anderson.Within 24 hours Barry e-mailed me back with a holding e-mail then a week or so later he forwarded me some exciting and emotional news!
Here is part of the e-mail regarding Uncle William :-
Born in Ballymacarrett, Belfast, William Anderson enlisted on 17 September 1914 in Newtownards.
He was a mechanic, 5 feet 8 inches tall and he was aged 19 years 10 months.
He was posted to 'B' Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (No. 17148). On 22nd December 1914 he was transferred to the Motor Machine Gun Section of the Royal Artillery (No. 32504).
He went to France on 8 February 1915.
On 1 December 1915 he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.
He was hospitalised in July 1917 due to the effects of gas poisoning.
He was later discharged from the army on 10 February 1919 on a pension of 11 shillings per week.
At that time his next-of-kin was his aunt, Jane Anderson, who lived at 157 Greenwell Street, Newtownards.
He was single when he was discharged and some time later he got married.
In January 1926 his widow applied to the military authorities for financial assistance.
So it may be assumed that William died around December 1925/early January 1926.
Well I was totally surprised and a little shocked - I am very grateful to Barry Niblock for his prompt response and wonderful information! However I don't like where this is taking me - I have the feeling there is going to be a very sad story at the end of this trail!
Friday, 16 December 2011
A few weeks ago I blogged about planting an Echlinville Apple Tree in my back garden, here is a connection.
My good friend Mark Thompson blogged this on 'Bloggin fae the Burn' article entitled Scottish Bishops and Ulster-Scots apples. The article explores Robert Echlin from Fife, Scotland who settled in these shores from Pittadro in Fife and became Bishop of Down & Connor - later a brand of cooking apples were named Echlinville.
I came across this newspaper entry
Local History is so fascinating at times!
Well my favourite Bond movie is Dr. No and every time I watch this scene I go weak at the knees - for me an iconic moment in movie history!
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
I visited the Newspaper Library in Belfast and viewed the Newtownards Chronicle Jan 1917 to December 1917. Looking through the year the news was dominated with news from the Western Front and associated stories - church, community groups, Orange Lodges, Council - all collecting, sweets, chocolate, knitted gloves, socks, underwear etc.
The other big news item running throughout the year was the Home Rule Crisis - Lord Carson taking the fight to the Westminster Parliament, and arguing the Ulster cause against increasing English hostility!
I was looking for information on my Great Uncle William Anderson, who I believed died during the great war - wrong! Having looked through the paper I did come across a letter that he had sent to the Chronicle thanking the good folk of Newtownards for sending him a 'parcel of comforts'
It is truly amazing what can be found - if you have the patients of course.
So guess what, William Anderson to my surprise survived the war - see next blog post regarding the information!
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Thanks to two local folk the Ecklinville Cooking Apples are once again growing in Co. Down – with two other trees near Londonderry.
Research carried out by Mr. Mark Thompson identified the Ecklinville cooking apples arriving into Co. Down, in particular Ards Peninsula – over 400 years ago. More information can be found at Mark’s Blog – Blogging Fae the Burn and Darren Gibson’s Blog – Fae the Han o a Low Country Lad.
Today, we planted our Ecklinville apple tree in the back garden in North Down – Matthew, Christopher and Dudley gave me a hand.
I look forward to the first crop of apples – I can’t wait for an Ulster Scots apple tart / apple crumble!
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
As part of the Timewatch series, MacIntyre reveals the gripping true story of Britain's most extraordinary wartime double agent, Eddie Chapman. A notorious safe-breaker before the war, Chapman duped the Germans so successfully that he was awarded their highest decoration, the Iron Cross. He remains the only British citizen ever to win one.
Including remarkable and newly discovered footage from an interview Chapman gave three years before his death in 1997, the programme goes on the trail of one of Britain's most unlikely heroes - a story of adventure, love, intrigue and astonishing courage.
Monday, 14 November 2011
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Friday, 11 November 2011
Boom! What’s that? That’s the sound of death calling
Dragging you to eternity
It’s that fear you see in your comrade’s eyes
As he wallows into a pit of despair
The puff of smoke as their lives evaporate
Can you hear the screams as they drown into the fog of gas
Their very screams that haunt you as you lie awaiting
Wandering what death has for you
You can feel yourself being dragged into the chaos and destruction of this futile war
You ask yourself why?
Why is it that so many had to suffer?
Suffer so that you can live in peace and harmony today
They fought for you and gave one plea
This afternoon, Friday 11th November 2011 (Armistice Day) I attended a rather special book/s launch - at the Somme Heritage Centre, White-spots, Conlig, N’Ards.
I did not receive an official invitation, I kind of gate crashed the event, however I did call with the Somme Centre who agreed that I could slip in at the back of the event.
The great and the good were there - both Local PM's, both Local Mayor's, a host of MLA'S and Councillors from both Council areas.
The book/s Remembering Their Sacrifice in the Great War – The War Dead of North Down and Ards, Compiled by Barry Niblock.
I am looking forward to browsing through both volumes over the coming weeks.
You never know who you meet at these events are they are usually great social / community gatherings – the first man I met was the great Willie Cromie!
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Well, I am very proud of the fact that I was born in the 'Front Deed' (Wallace's Street N01) in the Movilla end of the town. My father was Blakely Anderson and a lifelong friend of Wilbert Magill.
Wilbert is a fine man and of great character, a writer & musician of note and one time local Politician and Mayor of Ards.
Wilbert has attended a number of events hosted by Loughries - he visited our Ulster Scots summer school, reading local poetry from his book Aboot Tha Airds, we also were blessed by his attendance at a couple of our Burns Night Suppers where Wilbert addressed the haggis in a wonderfully theatrically way. He also graced our guests with a number his poems. I recall having to wipe away tears of laughter as Wilbert had me and the audience in roars of laughter and of course we were in the grasp of his Wilbert’s hand – what a fine exponent of the Ulster Scots Tongue!
It is my understanding that Wilbert is unwell at present – I wish him well on his road to recovery.
It makes me intensely proud to know 3 great local Ulster Scots Speakers Wilbert Magill, Willie Cromie and of course Willie McAvoy!
Here are a few snaps from one of Loughries Burns Night Suppers.
Wilbert Magill's Aboot Tha Airds
Earlier this year I was contacted by Miss Jenny Hill - a student teacher at Strandmillis Teacher Training in Belfast. Jenny was working on her college dissertation, her chosen subject being The Fife and Lambeg Drum Tradition in Northern Ireland.
Jenny travelled around Ulster visiting schools that I was working in, whilst there Jenny carried out her own research, speaking with teachers, pupils, as well as noting my working practice and exploring my thoughts on the fife and lambeg drum musical tradition as well as my view on the Ulster Scots Culture.
Jenny promised me a look at her dissertation, after it had been submitted for marking and evaluation, thankfully Jenny honoured her promise and allowed me to view her work.
The dissertation was well written and meticulously researched - Jenny has encapsulated the tradition and developed an understanding of where this musical tradition fits within the overall patchwork quilt - that is Ulster Culture. I was fortunate to read the article in its entirety and pleased at with the final product, so congratulations to Jenny on an excellent project.
Jenny has started work in a Primary School in East Antrim.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Saturday, 8 October 2011
This morning Saturday 8th October, I spent an hour or so in my hometown of Newtownards.
The 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards were given a civic reception by the Mayor of Ards and his fellow Councillors. Huge crowds turned out for Parade and Church Service - The Service was held at St. Marks Church of Ireland, then followed the parade and march pass by the flute, pipes and drums of the Battalion Band and Officers and Men of the Irish Guards. The Mayor of Ards and the Lord Lieutenant of Co. Down took the salute.
It is wonderful to live in a democracy where - what the majority of the community wants happens, where all the citizens of the Borough of Ards can pay respect to 'Our Troops' as they return from active service serving Her Majesty's Armed Forces.