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A new poem on the Scottish referendum

Steve Parkes 19 Sep 14 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Rahere 19 Sep 14 - 05:07 PM
Felipa 19 Sep 14 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Rahere 19 Sep 14 - 07:12 PM
GUEST 19 Sep 14 - 07:24 PM
Musket 20 Sep 14 - 02:51 AM
The Sandman 20 Sep 14 - 07:16 AM
Steve Parkes 20 Sep 14 - 10:20 AM
gnu 20 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,ABCD 20 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 20 Sep 14 - 11:03 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Sep 14 - 11:22 AM
Steve Parkes 20 Sep 14 - 02:00 PM
Musket 20 Sep 14 - 03:19 PM
The Sandman 21 Sep 14 - 03:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 21 Sep 14 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Desi C 21 Sep 14 - 08:00 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Sep 14 - 08:39 AM
Steve Parkes 21 Sep 14 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Triplane 21 Sep 14 - 11:22 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 21 Sep 14 - 01:39 PM
Tattie Bogle 21 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM
Musket 21 Sep 14 - 02:29 PM
Steve Parkes 21 Sep 14 - 03:51 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Sep 14 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Rahere 22 Sep 14 - 04:43 AM
MGM·Lion 22 Sep 14 - 06:13 AM
Mr Red 22 Sep 14 - 06:31 AM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM
MGM·Lion 22 Sep 14 - 06:54 AM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,Paddy 22 Sep 14 - 08:57 AM
Musket 22 Sep 14 - 09:38 AM
Steve Parkes 22 Sep 14 - 09:42 AM
akenaton 22 Sep 14 - 02:08 PM
The Sandman 22 Sep 14 - 02:15 PM
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Subject: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 04:22 PM

... by the other Scottish poet

The Great Referendum of 2014

On the eighteenth day of September, Two Thousand and Fourteen,
The People of Scotland, including Children of sixteen and seventeen,
Arose as one man, with many sighs,
And made their way to their polling stations to exercise their Franchise
By voting upon the Question, Should Scotland be an Independent Nation?
Which caused many people to scratch their heads in Consternation.

In the year of Sixteen Hundred and Five,
When Good Queen Bess was no longer alive,
She named her royal Cousin James VI of Scotland
As Successor to the Throne of England;
But it was not until the Act of Union of Seventeen Hundred and Seven
That we had a United Kingdom, which some say was not a match made in Heaven;

So that many rebellious Scots would be cruelly crushed
By General Wade, who like a Torrent rushed
To hush Jacobite sedition,
Which in Scotland is a somewhat long-standing tradition.
And now the Scottish people have been asked to choose
Whether to say, "Roll over, Flora MacDonald, and tell Britannia the news."

And the Caledonians have concluded their Plebiscite,
Be they Canny Scot or Blatherskite;
And the People of the United Kingdom know that the country North of the Border
Has said "Nay" to changing the Established Order,
In the year Two Thousand and Fourteen on September the eighteenth day,
Which will be remembered for a very long time, as many people do say.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 05:07 PM

The only way to memorialize it, innit?


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Felipa
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 06:39 PM

Nay, Rahere - Scotland has better poets than McGonagall


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 07:12 PM

Burns? Nairn? OMG...

Well, the entire thing is a bit stereotyped, and therefore putatively racist if you can consider the Scots a distinct minority? The sudden attack of Valleyspeak should be taken as indicative of my opinion on the thing.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 07:24 PM

Steve Parkes,

Have you always been a complete wanker? Or did it take time to learn?


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Musket
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 02:51 AM

Excellent. McGonnagol has always been my idea of taking the piss where Scottish culture is concerned. Spike Milligan was spot on in introducing the idea of laughing at him.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 07:16 AM

very good


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 10:20 AM

Felipa, I wouldn't dream of trying to imitate a great poet; I like to think my impression of WTMcG is gentle fun: I wouldn't make malicious fun of him. The latest thinking, I'm told, is that he had Asperger's syndrome, so he took himself very seriously and couldn't understand why no-one else did. And he did have a gift, you know: if he lacked skill in his technique, he certainly had a good turn of phrase, and there's no doubting his creative drive.
And I'm only poking gentle fun at the Scots. Those I've known have a well-developed and robust sense of humour, and would give as good as they get. If anyone wants to reply in kind -- in fun or seriously -- I'll be delighted to read what they say.
And if anyone is unhappy about this, don't be shy -- no need to hide behind 'GUEST'!


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: gnu
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM

I thought the handle 'GUEST' was not allowed in Mudcat. For example, the nasty post above.

I liked it.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST,ABCD
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM

While I'm not particularly concerned about such a minor versifier &c., I wonder whether anyone could quite so casually write of "poking gentle fun at..." any other "distinct minority", to employ words from two contributors, or indeed any other recognisable group within Britain. Most "Irish jokes" would now be frowned upon, at least in public. However, my principal purpose in writing is to correct two factual errors. Milligan - noted as he is for the qualities of his writing - was not the first to introduce the idea of laughing at McGonagall. That contemptible distinction belongs to a couple of students at the University of Glasgow, who wrote to him in apparent admiration but, as any well educated young lady or gentleman of the time would have recognised, with the clear intention of having another laugh among their like when McGonagall innocently replied to their letter and some ironically phrased questions on poetry and literature in general. Fortunately, not only do we have the text of their ever-so-witty juvenilia to this day, since the Actor and Tragedian included this in the Preface to one volume of his work, we also have confirmation from another such inclusion that his publications were greatly admired among Scottish soldiers fighting in South Africa. That is, among ordinary people from the kind of background he himself came from, not privileged young pups from fee-paying schools practising their patrician poses.   Perhaps they had even formed a kind of dilettante society among themselves where some distinctive item of clothing, say, immediately marked them out as someone who could spend thousands on, say, a waistcoat. Now that our society is more pluralistic &c &c &c, I wonder how McGonagall would have done as, say, a Rapper?

The second factual point may be more widely known. Jamie Saxt was never James VI of Scotland; he, like every other legitimate Scottish monarch, was King "of Scots". An easy way to remember this important distinction is simply to think of his unfortunate mother, who was of course "Mary, Queen of Scots". The sound is quite familiar, isn't it? I believe there have been a few films made, and many books published. So it should be easy to remember, and in turn recognise the importance of the distinction between the kind of sovereignty exemplified by the Norman Conquest, that the King seizes all the land and distributes it among his group of lesser brigands, and that expressed in the Declaration of Arbroath, where the Monarch holds position by acclamation of the people (admittedly, in 1320, by a group of nobles in a day when some actually were noble of nature). A concept of Popular Sovereignty became increasingly significant throughout Europe from the eighteenth century. I suppose that's part of what Enlightenment is. How remarkable that so many people throughout Britain are ignorant of the distinction between a Scottish and an English concept of a monarch's position. Education is sometimes a good thing.

Wrote this before signing in. I'll confirm my Mudcat identity in a moment. ABCD


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 11:03 AM

Confirming identity. Keeping a promise, and far more a "VOW", used to be an important consideration for anyone wishing to be regarded as a gentleman.

ABCD.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 11:22 AM

McGonagall was a standing joke in his own lifetime -- see the introductory po-faced pretend-fan-letter from the Glasgow students in his own collected edition, of which he entirely missed the point. The self-indulgently unfunny pseud Spike Milligan was way behind the fair, as always, in pretending to be the first to discover him to be funny.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 02:00 PM

gnu: er ... was it the poem or the GUEST post you liked?


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Musket
Date: 20 Sep 14 - 03:19 PM

Interesting description of a tortured genius Michael.

Were all your reviews so on the ball?

✏️📇


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 03:47 AM

steve, that is a masterpiece


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 07:04 AM

Steve I liked it. I'm sorry you upset our Scottish friend. I'm afraid it goes with the terriitory. Put your head above the parapet, end you will upset someone.

God knows I've upset enuff people in my time with my rapier wit.

just goes to show...realy we don't get the Scots, or the Scottish - or whatever they call theselves. They should be running their own affairs. We can't even get the name right after three hundred years.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 08:00 AM

Well, forgive me but I think honest is always best, that was absolute rubbish!


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 08:39 AM

I take it you mean Milligan rather than McGonagall, Ian? Nasty bit of work, I always thought. Behaved with disgusting unmannerliness towards the Prince of Wales who had done him no harm but merely tried to enhance his career; in interests of which he hid behind his supposed bipolar stuff, boosting self by writing rubbish & leeching on to coat-tails of some really talented like Sellers & Seccombe. An exploitative careerist who must have spent much energy crying all the way to the bank.

Your mileage obviously varies. Carry On Admiring...

If you had read many [or even any] of my reviews, you would know they were overwhelmingly [numerically speaking] favourable. I always tried to find something positive to say. If I couldn't I would often not write at all if it could be avoided -- tho that wasn't always possible. But I detest critics who can only do smartarse destructive putdowns, like my erstwhile Guardian stablemate de Jongh.

But anything to say in favour of Milligan I fear I just cannot find.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 10:50 AM

Desi, of course you're forgiven. I don't expect everyone to find my humour funny, and I appreciate your honesty. I'll just go off and sulk for a bit ...

BTW, you do know it's a pastiche (and a rather exaggerated one) of William McGonagall's style?


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST,Triplane
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 11:22 AM

A gem Steve,

I think you should send it to "The Scotsman" or the "Sunday Post"

and perhaps change the title to the Effinrendum :<)?


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 01:39 PM

D'ye ken thon cheeky chiel, Steve Parkes?
He'll miss as aft's he'll hit his marks.
Whiles clear his sense; mair aften dark's
       A Winter's night.
Like mony anither pup, his bark's
       Waur nor his bite.


ABCD.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM

Can't give the link on iPad but look up YouTube for Matt McGiin's Honesty is out of the Fashion!


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Musket
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 02:29 PM

I used to read your reviews. You never got to comment on anything of mine (Colin Irwin raved over a band I was in and liked a couple of my songs) but we never rose to the giddy heights of MGM scrutiny.

If your condemnation of sheer genius is based on an off the cuff poke at royalty, what price your dream about them killing Di?

Milligan, whether you got his humour and humanity or not, was an important piece in the jigsaw of entertainment. I just thought you lowered yourself by your frivolous comment, that's all.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 03:51 PM

ABCD: Spot on! In fact, I don't bite -- but I might give a nasty suck. And Mr Burns (I daren't call him Rab) is safe from my modest efforts.

Triplane: I might just try it.

TB: Been so long since Iheard it I've forgotten it; I'll be sure to look it up. Always loved Matt McGinn.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 02:13 AM

Sorry your work never came my way for review, Ian. I specialised pretty much in traditional, which is where my real interest lies -- and the true & only meaning of which term (not altogether unfamiliar as a theme of one or two threads on this very forum from time to time!), was a topic to which, as you may recall, I adverted more than once or twice (or 20 times!) in my monthly Folk Review column &c. — which would perhaps explain why your work didn't feature prominently in my critical œuvre. Colin Irwin & I never really hit it off, thematically -- I hardly knew him socially, think we met once at the first Edinburgh Folk Fest & that was it: I do remember he once actually dedicated an entire MM feature-length column to vehemently denouncing one of those FR ones of mine dealing with the 'what is folk?' bit, which I found intensely flattering at the time, which who wouldn't! [no such thing, as has been occasionally remarked, as bad publicity].

As to Milligan: our mileages clearly differ, as they say. I always got the impression of a fair bit of underlying misanthropic spite in all the goonish banter; but perhaps that was just me, failing to identify the torturedness or the genius...

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 04:43 AM

To be fair to Milligna, one of the creative tensions in comedy is contrast. Often it's between the banale real world and where the comic is at, and he was at a sometimes painful extreme. Sellars and Secombe on their own showed distinctively different faces, rarely ever reaching the rarified heights of the Goons, which shows how they moderated his angle into the different charactrisations. Without Spike's extreme starting point, we'd have lacked the language of comedy which TW3, Monty Python and ISIRTA came from. If anything, we need more now, we've got a bit tame.
What should also be mentioned is the contribution made by Michael Bentine in finding this balance in the first place: that touch is entirely his, although he did not stay with it. For example, it was Bentine who introduced Ruxton Hayward to the rest, giving them the materials which so magically transmuted into Sellars Bluebottle. Yes, Bluebottle was based on a real scoutmaster!


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 06:13 AM

Pedantically -- SellErs. As to his post-goon career: he set off in different direction & became one of most distinguished of actors. Not only comedy like Clouseau or the 3 distinct characterisations in Stangelove; but parts like Quilty in that iffy version of Lolita -- they chickened out of playing her as a 12-y-o, but made her a busty late-teen, which robbed the perverse fable of its main point; but Sellers was great even so; made excellent foil to the also v good James Mason. I'd say he reached even more rarefied heights then than in Goons, which I always found a slightly OTT self-indulgent trying-too-hard laugh-fest, at which I never actually laughed v much. Always much preferred Take It From Here at the time. But that clearly a matter of taste.

≈M≈

It is my pleasure and privilege to inform you that Bluebottle did not get deaded this post...!


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 06:31 AM

the poem was in the tradition
the McGonagal trad that is.
But no mention of failed colonies and national bankruptcy and a bail-out.
Bail-out of fiscal mismanagement? Ah! "Plus ça Change"

It is an issue, it is what friends are for. Buddies come to the rescue and 200 years later the favour is returned in black gold. And reverse-returned in monies that only exist on paper (er make that in cyber-space).

How can you know where you are going if you forget where you have been?


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Musket
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 06:34 AM

Round and around went the girl on the roundabout
Lost in a world that nobody's found about

Sheer genius..

You can appreciate without liking, I find. I interviewed Ewan MacColl a few times and each time decided it was true that you should never meet your heroes. I even strongly rejected his fanciful take on what he condescendingly called the working people, but I still think he was an absolute genius and I constantly refer to him as the c20 Bard.

I doubt I would have liked Milligan as a person judging by the biographies, and his book Gershwin meets McGonagol just indicated his lithium needed reviewing, but it cannot alter his contribution to where we are today in entertainment.

I'd take my criticism as a compliment Michael if you would. I expected you to distinguish between personal taste and talent. I never quite got Wagner, but I agree with the compliments his music receives.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 06:54 AM

Ah, well, Wagner always a blind spot of mine also. I admit it. Who was it who said "Wagner's music is better than it sounds?" Rossini, was it?

My point is, that I avoid reviewing those 'talents' which are not to my 'personal tastes'. Unfair. I have only ever reviewed in fields in which I consider myself, in all modesty, as qualified and sufficiently knowledgeable. I don't think anyone can keep all personal feelings out of it; but one tries to set up reasonable norms & criteria as a base for starting. Which is why I wouldn't feel qualified to review your work, Ian, [tho thanks you for your statement as to how you would 'take it'], as it is just not within the genre with which I should feel qualified to deal.

And where, precisely, are we today in entertainment? And, wherever it is, what [serious question] do you perceive so essential to it in Milligan's contribution?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Musket
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 07:26 AM

The snag is, you don't know my work.. That said, standing on the shoulders of giants was always my way. I wrote songs and was the bloke with the silly stage name thrashing away on guitar in the background.. Come to think of it, it was never my sole income by any standard, so it was availability of my time rather than professional endeavour..

Out of interest, as this is a serious discussion, bear in mind that yes, this Musket is Ian, although as you may be aware, the term three musketeers is a clue.. Ironically, "Ian" from a folk angle is just a bloke with a guitar and voice who supports local folk clubs and has a few hundred traditional songs stuck in my head and a few unique (though not necessarily noteworthy) arrangements. After a few pints though, liable to get up and sing Paxton songs with the worst of them.

No. Entertainment is entertainment and the bloke who started this thread with a McGonagol take on the vote deserves a pint.

Entertainment? Some get it by sitting through The Ring Cycle, some by pulling legs off spiders, others by pulling themselves.... It's about as easy a question as "what is folk" and you saw where that got us...


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: GUEST,Paddy
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 08:57 AM

William McGonagall was Irish but brought up in Dundee.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Musket
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 09:38 AM

I never knew that. You might be in trouble for letting it out.

The land of Joyce, Yeats and Wilde must have spent a lot of money on PR consultants hushing that one up.

Austria managed something similar, convincing us its most infamous son was German.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 09:42 AM

Correct, Guest Paddy ... you'd better give Paddy my pint.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: akenaton
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 02:08 PM

!I also thought your poem was excellent Steve.

Caught the essence of Mr McGonagall without going over the top.
Whimsical humour, but not too "clever".....perfect, well done.


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Subject: RE: A new poem on the Scottish referendum
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 02:15 PM

Round and around went the pedant on the roundabout
Lost in a world that nobody's found about


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