Everyone collects something. For me, it’s versions of Black is the Colour. It’s a beautiful song and its modern lyrics and version were composed by the late, great Hamish Imlach. A much older version is said to have originated in the early 20th Century in the Scottish migrant community in the Appalachians in the US. But it’s definitely not Irish, no matter how much they claim it.
Hundreds of artists have recorded it. Many produce faithful translations, a few add their own stamp. Here are two very different takes. My all time favourite version is by Luka Bloom, who, in the burdz humble opinion, is at least the equal of his much more famous brother, Christy Moore. The second is by Wye Oak. Just don’t ever try Paul Weller’s risible recording.
Toiling to give you something new this week folks. It’s too boring to explain but normal service will be resumed soon. Instead, have a couple of plugs. First up, the excellent Any Decent Music website which I’m proud to say is Scottish. In its own words: “Here’s how it works: The recent releases chart brings together critical reaction to new albums from nearly 50 publications. It’s updated daily.” The reviews are then ranked and at a glance you can tell what’s hot and what’s not. They cover all genres and you might just find yourself liking and buying something you never thought you would. I love it. And from the current chart, I’d recommend Deer Hunter, Women, Grinderman, Edwyn Collins, the Jim Jones Revue, Summer Camp, Mogwai, Swans and the Burns Unit.
Next, try Insound‘s website. If you like all the paraphernalia – Tshirts, posters and stuff – as well as access to some great indie vinyl, then this is the site for you. Did I mention that they do a free download every week? And even better, every month they do a free mixtape for a limited time. It’s a right hotchpotch but I always find at least a handful of great new artists and tracks. From where, of course, I go buy some more of their work. Subscribe to their newsletter to get the weekly download sent to your Inbox and alerted to the mixtape posting.
It’s National Poetry Day on 4 October and it’s usually at this time that the BBC indulges in one of its populist, dumbing down list fests. Phooey. This year’s was to find “the nation’s favourite poet”. Apparently it’s T S Elliot who was US born which says it all really. Not one of the Scottish masters in sight of course. Burns didn’t even make the top ten….
One of my favourite sessions at the Wigtown Book Festival was with Liz Niven and her latest publication, the Shard, is just fabulous. Over the last decade, Liz has visited China regularly and the Shard contains many poems about those travels and her observations of the people and culture. Many are made by a Scots speaking dragon. Yep, you read it right. In a very Scottish way, Liz’s dragon superbly combines wit, pathos, and withering social comment. Enjoy.
Let’s hear whit the dragon’s goat tae say
It’s no gonnie be easie this.
If ye think it’s a skoosh case ye’re wrang.
A’ve been ettlin tae mak masel heard fir yonks
An naebodie a mean naebodie listens.
A’ve goat ma shades, ma ipod, ma Nokia
An a’ve stoapt spittin fire.
Soon as the taxi boays stoapt gobbin a stoapt.
Solidarity brithers eh?
We need tae work thegither if this kintra’s gan oniewhaur.
An damsels. Dinna tak tae me aboot wummen.
Furst aff there’s no enough o them.
Mind how it yaised tae be. Boays wir the bees knees.
Needit for the fairmin, liftit heavy stuff.
Shilpit lassies wirnae wantit. Cannae dae the joabs. Dochters wir droont.
Mair boather than they wir wirth awbodie said.
An no thir’s no enough o them!
A havenae had a damsel in distress fir years
An onie thit there is his left the kintraside.
Tellin ye they’re aw aff tae the Jing,
Meetin whiteys. Makin a fortune. Big joabs.
Thir no likely tae gan oot wi wee reuch an readie fermers boays
wi stra in thir bunnets, never mind merry them?
Aw naw. Whit a boorach.
Whaur’s it gonnie end? That’s whit a’m askin.
There’ll be a population crisis that’s whit. A demographic stooshie.
Wan wean policie? Hauf the time it’s a nae wean policie.
Aw thae lahdedah citie wummen.
Teeterin aboot wi thir heich heels an perjink wee cocktail frocks.
They’re no wantin weans.
Mair lik wantin a dug. Twa dugs.
Bow wow mao.
Wee white Pekinese things
Ye see tham aw ower the Jing,
mincin aboot oan thir wee kiddie oan feet.
No even worth poppin oan a cocktail stick.
Nae eatin in them..
Mind that’s aw been chyngin an aw.
Haurdlie onie dug an donkey restaurant onie mair.
The West doesnae like it, they’re seyin.
The West doesnae like it?
The West can tak a rin an jump tae itsel
A’ll tell you this,
It’ll no much maitter soon whit the West wants.
Fowerhunnerandsixtemillion mobile phone yaisers.
Fiftyechtmillion mair nor last year Eh?
An caurs. Jeeso.
Dinna get me stertit oan yon.
Gie’s a brek. Ye can come back tae me oan that yin.
A’m awa tae licht up
A need A fag. At least ye can still hiv a fag inside ower here.
…. something blue
What about the mighty Killie eh? Yes, we are 8th in the league but it’s a tight squeeze mid table. We (and everyone else) are sitting only two behind Motherwell in 3rd place. Our advantage is that we’ve already played both halves of the Old Firm so our losses are in the bag, so to speak. And on Saturday we’re at home to Dundee Utd. A scoosh for 3 points I’d say…..