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Obit: John Barleycorn

DigiTrad:
JOHN BARLEYCORN
JOHN BARLEYCORN (2)
JOHN BARLEYCORN, MY JO
JOHN BARLEYCORN: A BALLAD


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John Barleycorn (11)


GUEST,livelylass 31 Jul 11 - 11:42 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 31 Jul 11 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,livelylass 31 Jul 11 - 07:27 PM
Joe Offer 01 Aug 11 - 12:55 AM
VirginiaTam 01 Aug 11 - 01:46 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 01 Aug 11 - 04:04 AM
Will Fly 01 Aug 11 - 07:16 AM
Ringer 01 Aug 11 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,livelylass 01 Aug 11 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Jon 01 Aug 11 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 01 Aug 11 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 01 Aug 11 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Jon 01 Aug 11 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,livelylass 01 Aug 11 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 01 Aug 11 - 12:58 PM
Steve Gardham 01 Aug 11 - 01:46 PM
Mo the caller 01 Aug 11 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 01 Aug 11 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,zeptepi 02 Aug 11 - 08:50 PM
BTNG 03 Aug 11 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,livelylass 04 Aug 11 - 06:44 AM
Lox 04 Aug 11 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,Jon 04 Aug 11 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Aug 11 - 08:17 AM
Rob Naylor 04 Aug 11 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Aug 11 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,livelylass 04 Aug 11 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,livelylass 04 Aug 11 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Aug 11 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,livelylass 04 Aug 11 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 04 Aug 11 - 02:06 PM
Felipa 07 Aug 16 - 07:16 AM
GUEST 07 Aug 16 - 02:47 PM
Nigel Parsons 08 Aug 16 - 11:59 AM
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Subject: BS: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 11:42 AM

Oh dear, it's that time of year again..

Ritual sacrifice is such a troubling thing, even when it is undertaken for the greater good of the community, eh?
Poor young chap cut down in his prime, only just began to grow a beard too!

Lammastide / Loaf Mass / Lughnassa or whatever you will, East-Anglian farmers are busy about their business harvesting the wheat (that's corn too by the way, though not corn in the way USAins tend to mean it). Huge humming combine harvesters have been cropping the golden fields to stubble this weekend, and will no doubt be continuing to do this coming week as the warm dry weather prevails.

A picnic for us tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully we'll find somewhere still softly golden and as yet unshorn, to sit in the warmth and eat bread and cheese and honey.

Traffic sing John Barleycorn

"They Hired Men" - August Wheat Harvest in East Anglia (no scythes)

Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle


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Subject: RE: BS: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 06:43 PM

Thanks for the chuckle, livelylass! But it is indeed serious business, and I"m grateful that there are still those who still speed the plow and then bring the harvest home.

Here in the frozen north, I ate my first cherry tomatoes and picked about half a dozen blueberries from my first-year bush!

Hail, John Barleycorn! Happy Lammas to all!


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Subject: RE: BS: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 07:27 PM

While it was kind that a Mod protected this 'folklore' thread by moving it "Upstairs" I'd be happier with it "Downstairs" where most of those who tend to such things in their own way, reside.

Meanwhile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j79wjIB46A0
(I chose this for the hissy vinyl backddrop and pretty pics)


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Subject: RE: BS: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:55 AM

Hi, Livelylass-
We don't have two separate forums. We have the music stuff upstairs and the non-music stuff downstairs, and that's where people expect to find things.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 01:46 AM

What? No " Ramble in the New Mown Hay?"


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 04:04 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbvqBtosSTA


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 07:16 AM

There's a superb version of "John Barleycorn" on the latest CD from Bartram, Brookes & Weatherall ("New Midsummer's Day") - sung by Chris Bartram in his inimitable way.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Ringer
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 08:55 AM

I don't wish to be pedantic (he lied) but what has "wheat" got to do with John Barleycorn.

Hint: the clue's in the name!


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 11:31 AM

Barley is a type of 'Corn' as is wheat. The corn harvest (albeit wheat in the fields nearest to my home) is going on out in the fields of East-Anglia (a prime agricultural area of the UK, due to it's flatness) right now. The harvest of 'first fruits', or rather the festival pertaining to the first harvest of the season is today (or indeed two weeks hence 'Old Lammas' if you follow the old calender).
But as a reward for your pedantry, here's a little treat from sunny Somerset especially for you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pLkAIz4wv8


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 11:38 AM

Barley in "our" field in North Norfolk this year.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:03 PM

or indeed two weeks hence 'Old Lammas' if you follow the old calender

Being extra pedantic, and crossing the Summer Solstice / Autumn equinox on the Lunar axis as Lammas Does, then by right (& rite) it should be properly observed on the 13th of August this year, which is the night of The Sturgeon Moon when this large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water like Lake Champlain is most readily caught. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because when the moon rises it looks reddish through sultry haze, or the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon. Hence this old Lammas-feasting chant:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZA7OT3Ib5I


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:05 PM

PS - The biggest Sturgeon I ever saw is preserved in the museum of folk-life in Hereford library, as caught in the Wye way back, it's about 9 foot long.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:08 PM

Corn Rigs


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:16 PM

You've got some big skies out there eh, Jon.

As an aside, I noticed the combines on those YouTubes are called "New Holland" - which ironically (or not) well describes the lands reclaimed by early Dutch settlers, which came to comprise a good deal of East Anglia's flat farming country.

Apparently American harvest favourite 'Pumpkin Pie', was an old Norfolk recipe known as "Million Pie", which would have originally been made from Marrow back in the old world. Seeing quite a few marrows sitting outside village doorsteps right now too, often next to little bags of plums and boxes of eggs, and honesty boxes.

http://www.food.com/recipe/The-Pilgrim-Fathers-Original-Pumpkin-Pie-Norfolk-Million-Pie-254268


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:58 PM

Thanks for that Corn Riggs, Jon - used to see Ossian a lot in the 80s & the late Tony Cuffe remains one of favourite voices of all time... The moon plays a big part in that one, which I doubt it will tonight, being very new indeed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 01:46 PM

For somebody who needs an obit annually it must get rather tedious.
Luckily there are plenty of ballads we can resurrect along with his resurrection.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Mo the caller
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 02:01 PM

We walked home from Sunday lunch, across a field od Barley stubble and indulged in the ancient custom of Gleaning (for the hen's benefit)


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 02:16 PM

In the sequence of the usual song they actually pronounce him dead after they've buried him rather than at the point of the harvest which is only the beginning of his passion. At this time of year I generally sing Raymond Greenoaken's setting of the George Mackay Brown poem which kills him right off thus:

One day they brought a cruel knife
Oh I am weary and forlorn,
And they struck him at his golden prayer
And killed my priest John Barleycorn


The rest is just gratuitous corpse-bothering by way of threshing, brewing, baking which all serves for the ultimate end of getting the girl. So is the harvest the end or simply a means to an end? It's all things to all people, Pagans and Poets alike, and us lesser souls for who can't through that lovely old Gnostic hymn We Plough the Fields and Scatter for blubbing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,zeptepi
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:50 PM

My band did a contemporary retelling of the John Barleycorn story, called "The Ballad of John Green".
Check out the vid here if yer interested!
http://youtu.be/Nb6l8oEWtcc


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: BTNG
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:35 PM

and off we go!!

The Watersons-Country Life


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 06:44 AM

Ta BTING, I meant to post Country Life for VirginiaTam who lamented it's absence above!


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Lox
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 07:20 AM

John Barleycorn deserves it!

... Marching all over our fields like he owns the place ...


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 07:33 AM

I don't know. It was harvested in the field behind us yesterday but I quite like seeing it growing, especially when it moves in the wind.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley (well the second tune is)


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 08:17 AM

And where there are crops, let there be circles!

Crop Circles 2011. Hmmmm - are there any sites that don't have the New Age / Spiritual / Sacred focus? I certainly couldn't find any!


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 08:32 AM

This one doesn't:

The Circle Makers

It's run by some of the people who actually make the circles!


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 08:51 AM

Nice, but I'm looking for a 2011 gallery that isn't full of the usual mystical tripe which sours the beauty rather.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 09:05 AM

I enjoy the romanticism of such bodies of contemporary mythos personally. Even when I think it's a load of trip (that typo is worth keeping methinks..) it still makes me smile for the inevitability and humanity of the thing! I'd have thought as someone who enjoys folklore in all it's forms, you could enjoy it on similar terms? After all, the circle makers didn't publicly reveal themselves for a long time, and a body of popular 'circle lore' had already constellated around the mystery by then.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 09:14 AM

Anyway, of course crop circle season is pretty much over and done with, what with the commencement of the harvest and the fact they are being mowed down now.

But as land art cum mystery, it's that very impermanence, along with the hodge-podge neo-pagan mysticism of circle devotees, which is I think all part and parcel of the essential beauty of the thing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 11:41 AM

Inevitabily and humanity aren't always such a good thing really - and I've had more run-ins with Righteous Hippy-Pagan Fundamentalists in my time to be wary of the Alt. Scheme in general. The last one was a few years back - an American Witch who accused me (in no uncertain terms) of raping the Sheela-na-Gig on Kilpeck Church with my camcorder - of using it for pornographic gratification! She joins a long list of the dangerously deranged. Like the carvings at Kilpeck, or Stonehenge, or the Large Hardron Collider, or Spaghetti Juction, The Pyramids, or Blyth Power Station, Crop Circles were always marked by their human ingenuity. Like any religious impulse, the resultant mystery and folklore is, I fear, rather less than ingenious...


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 12:21 PM

"The last one was a few years back - an American Witch who accused me (in no uncertain terms) of raping the Sheela-na-Gig on Kilpeck Church with my camcorder - of using it for pornographic gratification!"

Haha! Seems your Starhawk fundamentalist rather missed the point of Sheila's lewd exhibitionism! Next time just tell them that it's fine say you're grandad was an old Crafter and you've communed with the Anima Loci and she's accepted your offering, then excuse yourself, and launch into a deeply ceremonial rendition of the filthiest ballad you know, addressed earnestly to our grinning little lady's cnut.

Still "a few years back"? Does sound like you've developed a bit of an allergy there..


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:06 PM

No allergy as such - just these days I'm apt to smile politely & curb my enthusiasms when eager New Agers insist on telling me what these carvings mean. They like to tell - they hate to be told! We were at Kilpeck back in June and didn't see a living soul, as is invariably the case at Kilpeck. Also back in June I was lying on my back in the amblutory of Tewkesbury Abbey taking photos of the various Green Men bosses having left my tripod at home. I met a couple of New Age Goth Steamfolk types who didn't realise there were any Green Men in there (!) - fascinated by my recumbence they asked me what I was taking pictures of & were amazed when I pointed above their heads. I took my usual delight in giving them a spontaneous GM tour (as I've done in Manchester, Worcester and Chester Cathedrals before) but refused to be drawn on what they meant for fear of the usual dogma and reprisals.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Felipa
Date: 07 Aug 16 - 07:16 AM

Leigh Anne Hussey's interpretation (poetic and dramatic)

http://lah.nithaus.org/Pages/rituals/barley.txt

THE PLAY OF JOHN BARLEYCORN
                                copyright ©1995, Leigh Ann Hussey

Sower (P)        Reaper (Ps)        Carter (P)        Thresher (P)
Miller (P)        Malter (Ps)        Alewife (Ps)        Narrator

And, in the part of The Estimable J. Barleycorn, Esq., Everybody Else.

Props: boffer flail, scythe, pitchfork, flagstone, cauldron of water, a
"nut-brown bowl", an urn-shaped "lota bowl" (from a magic store), enough
bread and beer for everybody, something to make heat (a solar reflector?),
enough stalks of grain for everybody.
Before starting, the lota bowl should be filled with beer.
-------------------------------

NARRATOR        Awake and hear, my gentle guests,
                How three men came out of the west,
                That they would never wait nor rest
                        Their oath was sworn
                Until they all had sore oppressed
                        John Barleycorn.

SOWER                Now here come I, a sower strong,
                Upon my body, it is wrong
                That Barleycorn should live so long
                        And so reknowned.
                I'll harrow him where he belongs,
                        Beneath the ground.

[Sower, Carter and Thresher position everyone in rows, then sit them
down (and throw a big sheet or parachute or something over them?).]

NARRATOR        And so in Earth Sir John did lie
                Unseen by any under sky
                Until the Waters from on high
                        Did wet him there
                And so he rose, death to defy
                        In living Air.

[(The sheet is removed.) Reaper, Malter and Alewife mist everyone
with water from spray bottles and hand each person a stalk of grain.]

WOMEN                Rise up, rise up, Barleycorn,
                All that dies shall be reborn.
[or something like that]

NARRATOR        The Fiery Sun so burned him gold
                And in due time Sir John grew old
                Indeed, his strength it grew tenfold,
                        He flourished so.
                And all resolved, when they were told,
                        To work him woe.

REAPER                My brother failed the task he planned,
                So here come I, with scythe in hand,
                A reaper fit to clear the land
                        Of all that grows,
                And Barleycorn shall never stand
                        Against my blows!

[Reaper "cuts" everyone down with the scythe.]

CARTER                Now here come I to play my part --
                My fork is keen to pierce his heart,
                And then I'll bind him to my cart
                        And bear him hence,
                Where crabtree sticks shall make him smart
                        For his offense!

[Carter pokes everyone gently with the pitchfork.]

THRESHER        Indeed you shall not work alone,
                For here come I, a thresher known;
                My flail shall flay him skin from bone
                        With goodly speed,
                And then beneath the miller's stone
                        He'll die indeed!

[Thresher walks about and gives everybody a smack with the boffer flail.]

MALTER                But first I'll make him suffer sore;
                Upon my drafty malting floor
                I'll make him lie, and furthermore
                        For our delight,
                I'll throw him through my oven door
                        And roast him right!

[Malter carries the heating source around and gives everyone a dose.]

MILLER                I am the miller, as they said,
                Who Barleycorn may rightly dread.
                I'll lay the millstone on his head
                        And crush him well,
                And then he surely will be dead
                        As all can tell.

[Miller carries the flagstone about and lays it once on everyone's head.]

ALEWIFE                Now I, the alewife, join the plot:
                I'll catch his blood into my pot,
                And bones and blood and skin the lot,
                        I'll boil them fair,
                So certainly his death is wrought,
                        That I do swear.

[She walks about with the cauldron and the lota bowl. We'll need a shill
or two to start everybody, but the idea is that everyone dips their
stalk in the cauldron and sprinkles water into the lota bowl.]

[At this point, Alewife sets the cauldron aside, the nut-brown bowl is
brought out and the contents of the lota bowl poured into it -- there's
little enough water that, with a dark enough beer, it shouldn't be
particularly noticable, and the effect of the emptying and magically
refilling vessel is really impressive.]

[The bowl and the (covered) bread are brought to the center and the
players make a circle around them.]

[Elton & Leigh Ann perform "Corn that Springeth Green".]

NARRATOR:        Behold what mystery is there,
                For twice do Earth and Water fair,
                And twice do Fire and sweet Air,
                        Transmute Sir John.
                Now taste and know as I declare
                        That he lives on!

[Beer and bread are passed around. Leigh Ann sings "Regulus":]

                REGULUS

Long the Plough in nightly circle
carved its furrow in the sky;
now the Sun will grip the sickle
curved around the Lion's eye.
Mill of heaven, every hour
grinding seasons out as flour
high above the harvest plain,
turns in beauty, never slowing
as the rigs of corn are growing
tawny as a lion's mane.

        And life shall triumph as the barley is cut down,
        and the night dissolve inside the cup we pass around.
        Ale is flowing and bestowing
        wonder and delight on us.
        Leo rises and advises
        Sol now rules through Regulus.

        Ah...

Slashed and broken, burned and boiled,
Barley dies four times in all.
Yet is death's dominion foiled
when it's drowned in alcohol.
Barley's blood is joy in measure,
first-fruits are the Lion's treasure,
drunkenness the Lion's price.
Who accepts the Lion's ration
knows full well the pain and passion
in the barley's sacrifice.

        And life shall triumph...
        
Furze is blooming in the meadow
luring bees to their desire;
gold becrowns both sun and furrow,
splendid with the Lion's fire.
We will dance to pipe and tambour,
deep we'll drink in gold and amber,
drench our limbs in Eros' brine.
Warm hearts in the Lion's favor
shall the dregs of summer savor
heady-sweet as honey wine.

        And life shall triumph...

NARRATOR:        Let barley bless both great and small
                That all so rise that erst did fall.
                Good fortune be to some and all
                        And everyone;
                Now heed the groaning table's call:
                        This play is done!


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 16 - 02:47 PM

GM crops?


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Barleycorn
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Aug 16 - 11:59 AM

Guest: "GM Crops?"
is that
(Agri) Genetically modified
(Scol) Grant maintained
(Rural) Green man

Or, if the crops are part sponsored by the government (or Europe) and are being harvested locally, and are a new crop which has been artificially cultivated, it could be all three!


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