July 27, 2007

Waylaid by a Banshee

Oh my. Don't get me started on that Google book search again. I think Bill of Summa Minutiae has in the past, and now Aliens in this World has with this post with the popular songs of Ireland. I continued searching; it's enjoyable to wade through the old print not only because "the past is a foreign country", as well as the political incorrectness, but for the favor and honor God still received, even from secular magazines.

One of the Irish songs is preceded by damning praise, specifically the unemployed and vacant minds riff:
Copied from Captain Rock in London, No. 42, a weekly publication of the year 1825, price twopence.

Gamble, in his "Views of Society and Manners in the North of Ireland," philosophically remarks, that "there seems a natural and instinctive fondness in the inhabitants of damp and mountainous places for ardent spirits; and perhaps everywhere,in vacant and unemployed minds, there is similar fondness; for a love of sensation seems the strongest appetite or passion of our nature."

Air—" The Kinnegad Slashers."
Oh ! merry am I, ever jocund and gay,
If for whisky in plenty my pocket can pay;
If we feel melancholy, and cannot tell why,
Whisky lightens the heart, though it deadens the eye.
From another book we have provincial characteristics with a periodical on "Irish time":
From The Milesian Magazine; or, Irish Monthly Gleaner," edited and, it is believed, entirely written by Dr. John Brenan of Dublin, who has been termed " The Hudibras of Medicine." Nine numbers of this periodical were published between 1812 and 1825. "Its very appearance was as eccentric as the articles it contained. It had a lofty contempt for all periodical punctuality; and, although it styled itself ' Monthly,' not only monthly intervals elapsed between its publications, but sometimes even years themselves were disregarded as ' trifles light as air' in its calendar."

A Connaught man
Gets all that he can,
His impudence never has mist-all;
He'll seldom flatter,
But bully and batter ;
And his talk's of his kin and his pistol.
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From the Bad Predictions Dep't, we have this 1922 gem: Which way goes Germany?
Bavaria is overwhelmingly Monarchist in sentiment already. She is going to have her own king back some day; and if Prussia and the national government do not like it, Prussia and the national government will have to lump it...All Bavarians regularly refer to Berlin as a Sanatall, a word which hardly requires translating.
<- In 1906, the storm clouds of war seemed scattered.


In his admirable poem on Reason, Superstition, and Infidelity, the great Haller says, "Reason like the moon, a consolation in dark times, can guide us with its faint rays through the dusky night. Tis, however, the morning dawn of truth that shows the real world, when the light of the divine sun falls through our twilight."

* * *

No more sea time for this ex-diver:
To be devoured by sharks is one of the last deaths that I should choose. At this distance of time, I do not think of the adventure without a shudder. The sea is still as transparent as on that day, — the sea-shells still as bright, — the graceful bass still pants, as he glides doubtingly by,— but these things tempt me not to renew my sport... Who can endure the thought of being sepulchred in the ' maw and gulf of the ravening salt-sea shark' ? Not I!
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The 1913 Flood in Ohio prompted this cartoon:

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