Sunday, April 11, 2010

tis a durge, that is murmured...

having dinner with my dad last night, he mentioned an article he'd been reading about Gettysburg and conversation turned to civil war history and the south. being a lover of traditional music of the scots-irish variety my dad mentioned the songs of the mid 1800s and then to the work Stephen Foster. later in the evening i did an unrelated YouTube search for the Transatlantic Sessions and just-so happened upon the beautiful version of one of Foster's most famous songs, see below, which brings my dad's musical loves and mine together through the various voices joined here. (RIP Kate McGarrigle)...

this morning i find it making all too apt accompaniment to this AP article on, which is deeply disturbing (and i say that without an ounce of hyperbole): Even after death, gay Africans are abused. i'm not sure what one does in response to this story. in other recent reports on LGBT rights in Africa, (such as this one), there appears to be caution amongst Senegalese activists to speak about international support they are receiving for fear it will cause more harm than good. (I assume this is because, 1. publicising international activist support plays into the hands of the anti-gay political meme that homosexuality is being encouraged by pro-gay western intrusion and/or 2. activists risk being identified via any publicity that arises from links with western activist organisations.)

this is the most emailed article on at time of writing. at least it means some folks must give a damn...

(this version doesn't have the final, sadly all too appropriate final verse from the original lyrics - see below the video)

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.


Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.

There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.


- Stephen Foster, 1854

i give a damn. do you?


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