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Lyr Req: Breast of Glass

Jenny S 07 Sep 01 - 05:02 PM
Sorcha 07 Sep 01 - 06:14 PM
Sorcha 07 Sep 01 - 06:20 PM
Sorcha 07 Sep 01 - 06:53 PM
Jenny S 09 Sep 01 - 03:46 PM
Jenny S 09 Sep 01 - 05:11 PM
Sorcha 09 Sep 01 - 05:49 PM
Jenny S 10 Sep 01 - 07:54 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 10 Sep 01 - 05:21 PM
Jeri 10 Sep 01 - 05:29 PM
Snuffy 10 Sep 01 - 07:37 PM
Jenny S 23 Sep 01 - 04:51 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Jan 02 - 11:58 AM
Deckman 20 Jan 02 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,kytrad 20 Jan 02 - 06:04 PM
Jeri 20 Jan 02 - 06:48 PM
Snuffy 20 Jan 02 - 06:52 PM
Art Thieme 20 Jan 02 - 08:28 PM
Malcolm Douglas 20 Jan 02 - 08:46 PM
Snuffy 21 Jan 02 - 09:59 AM
Art Thieme 21 Jan 02 - 10:43 AM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 21 Jan 02 - 02:43 PM
Sandy Paton 22 Jan 02 - 01:37 AM
Deckman 22 Jan 02 - 01:45 AM
Jeri 22 Jan 02 - 07:55 AM
Sandy Paton 22 Jan 02 - 02:24 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 22 Jan 02 - 05:40 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 06 - 02:05 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 06 - 02:16 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 06 - 02:20 PM
Desert Dancer 09 Sep 06 - 02:55 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Sep 06 - 06:06 PM
Guy Wolff 19 Jul 10 - 09:47 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM
Guy Wolff 19 Jul 10 - 05:35 PM
TheSnail 19 Jul 10 - 06:08 PM
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Subject: Breast of Glass
From: Jenny S
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 05:02 PM

Does anyone know if there is a song called the Breast of Glass? We have the tune on an old recording of Joe & Antoinette McKenna (harp & pipes).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:14 PM

I found a bunch of recordings , but nothing else on Google. Let me try some tune sites///////


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:20 PM

No luck at JC's, Walshaw's web wide index, or Al Warnocks site. Anybody else?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 06:53 PM

Oh,yea, full title is I'll Give My Love a Breast of Glass.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jenny S
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 03:46 PM

Hello, Sorcha

Well, you did better on Google than I did - I entered "Breast of Glass", and Google (helpful to the last) removed the "of" "since it is a common word" and then brought up (no pun intended) loads of stuff about chickens and noodles!

On second thoughts, about that pun...

"I'll give my love a breast of glass" got the same mix of results as "Breast of Glass" McKenna... All McKenna, no-one else - I'm beginning to wonder if Joe & Antoinette wrote it.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jenny S
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 05:11 PM

Hello, Sorcha

Well, you did better on Google than I did - I entered "Breast of Glass", and Google (helpful to the last) removed the "of" "since it is a common word" and then brought up (no pun intended) loads of stuff about chickens and noodles!

On second thoughts, about that pun...

"I'll give my love a breast of glass" got the same mix of results as "Breast of Glass" McKenna... All McKenna, no-one else - I'm beginning to wonder if Joe & Antoinette wrote it.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 05:49 PM

Hey, among other things, I got Breast of Pheasant Under Glass.........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jenny S
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 07:54 AM

Eh? Something else that Google brought up??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 05:21 PM

In my family, we sang: Unto me the time draws near
When you and I must part
No one knows the inner grieves
Of my poor aching heart.

I wish my breast was made of glass
And let you there behold
Your name engraved upon my heart,
The letters sealed in gold.

And so on...it was referred to as, "Unto me," or sometimes, "Inner Grieves." Could this be the song you're looking for? Maybe with these extra words, you can find it in DT.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 05:29 PM

Here's Bird In A Cage

I wish your breast was made of glass
That all in it might behold
I'd write our secret on your heart
In letters made of gold


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Snuffy
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 07:37 PM

Jeri, that's very similar to a verse of 'My Dearest Dear' - I think it must be a common motif.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jenny S
Date: 23 Sep 01 - 04:51 PM

Many thanks for the leads. Jeri's words could fit the tune, but not Kytrad's (unless some refrain-bits are added here ahd there)...


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CHARMING BEAUTY BRIGHT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:58 AM

From The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection. (This page also gives links to several variants.) This seems to be the song Kytrad was referring to, but the wording is somewhat different.

THE CHARMING BEAUTY BRIGHT
(As sung by Mrs. Laura McDonald in Springdale, Arkansas on July 23, 1958)

It's wrought of me, the time draws near
When you and I must part
It's little did you think or know
The grief of my poor heart

Why do I suffer for your sake
'Tis you I love so dear
I wish that you was going with me
Or else I could stay here

Your cheeks are of the rosy red
Your lips like ruby pearls
There is no fault, within my love
That model, I conceal

Your company my dearest dear
So charming sweet to me
It makes me think when you're away
That every day makes three

That every day makes three, my dear
That every hour makes ten
It makes me weep when I should sleep
An' say, I've lost a friend

I wish my breast was made of glass
Wherein, you might behold
Your name is written on my heart
With letters lined in gold

When I'm for miles and miles away
On some poor distant shore
Among the rocks and mountains, where
Wild beasts may howl 'n roar

The eagle and the blackbird whirl
And little sparrow too
What would I give to this old world
If I was but married to you


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Deckman
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 03:29 PM

I'm sure that this doesn't fit your song, but I find it interesting. In 1952, Burl Ives sang a Coronation Concert for the new Queen in London. One song he did, and the title escapes me, had the following verse:

In my heart pray, place a mirror, and therin you'll see
My love and my devotion
Lie only, in thee

CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: GUEST,kytrad
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 06:04 PM

Mrs. McDonald's song involves three of our family ones! The main body of her song we know as, "Unto Me the Time Draws Near;" the last two verses are similar to verses in my Dad's proposal song to Mom, "I've Been a Foreign Lander" (he was from the next county), and the title we had to a different song also, "The Fair Beauty Bright." Each of these three is a complete song in its own right. I'll give lyrics if there's interest.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 06:48 PM

I'd certainly love to see the lyrics, if you please. Your Dad's proposal song must be wonderful. (Well, it seems to have worked!) I love those last two verses in the song above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 06:52 PM

"My Dearest Dear" recorded by Sweeney's Men ca. 1970 is very similar. I'll post it soon, once I've got my sound card working again.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 08:28 PM

Strange, the "Colorado of BUST" thread was the very next one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 08:46 PM

Snuffy: you posted that one a while back, at  The Blackest Crow: meaning?.  The text is very close to the traditional set noted by Cecil Sharp from Mary Sands at Allanstand, North Carolina, in 1916, though the tune you gave didn't resemble hers on the face of it.  I can't tell whether it's an entirely different melody, or whether Terry Woods just interfered with a traditional one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 09:59 AM

I thought I might have posted it, but couldn't remember where. The CD sleeve just says (Woods, Copyright Control) so it could well be his adaptation of something else.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 10:43 AM

Jean, Hi. I'll always remember your sister, Edna, singing "Foreignlander" at a University of Chicago Folk Festival. Her LP for Sandy was a beauty.

Art


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOREIGN LANDER
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 02:43 PM

I've been a foreign lander for seven long years and more;
Amongst the bold commanders where the thundering cannons roar,
I've conquered all my enemies both all on land and sea-
But it's you my dearest jewel, your beauty has conquered me.

If I could build a ship my love, without the wood of tree,
That ship would break asunder if I prove false to thee;
If I prove false to thee my love, the elements will turn,
The fires will freeze to ice my love, and the raging seas will burn.

Don't you remember Queen Ellen, all in her flowery reign
As she walked out of her paradise to cleanse the golden chain?d
Her beauty and behavior none with her could compare,
But you my dearest darling art more divinely fair!

I wisht I were a turtledove, just a-fluttering from my nest,
I would sing so clear in the morning with the dew all on my breast;
So sweet-lye would be the music, so doleful and sad the tune-
I would sing so clear in the morning in the beautiful month of June.

I wisht I were ten thousand miles, all on some lonesome shore,
Or amongst the rocky mountains, where the wild beasts howl and roar,
The lark, the little owl and the eagle, and the little swallow too,
I would give them all, my dearest dear, if I was married to you!

Mom said he spoke the last three words, kind of loud, and leant forward in his chair..."You could see the question mark!" she said. "Do you mean that?" she asked him. "Yep," he said, and they were engaged.

And that's how the song came down to us. Jean (This is in, SINGING FAMILY, I just noticed)!


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARY ANN
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 01:37 AM

Song titled (I think) "Mary Ann." From Maud Karpeles (?) Nova Scotia collection. Recorded years ago by Ian & Sylvia. I first heard it from Happy Traum at a party at Dave Van Ronk's place in New York back in the mid 50s. Words I can recall are:

Fare you well, my own true love,
Fare you well for awhile.
My ship is a-waiting and the wind blows high (free?)
And I am bound away to the sea, Mary Ann.
And I am bound away to the sea, Mary Ann.

Your company, your company,
Your company unto me,
It makes me feel, when we're apart,
That every day is three, my dear Mary Ann.
That every day is three, my dear Mary Ann.

I wish my breast was made of glass,
Wherein you might behold
The secret of my own true love
In letters writ in gold, my dear Mary Ann.
In letters writ in gold, my dear Mary Ann.


And there were probably other verses, including one about the lobster boiling in the pot, which I never sang. Any of you remember this? It has a lovely tune! I'm just too freakin' lazy to climb the stairs to check the source. Been a long and hard day!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 01:45 AM


A lobster boiling in the pot
A blue fish on the hook
Their sufferings long, but it's nothing like
The ache I bear for you, my dear, Mary Ann

CHEERS to you Sandy, Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 07:55 AM

Jean, thanks for posting the proposal song. Lovely!

I'm a bit confused by the phrase about "the golden," but maybe it was a phrase your parents would have both understood. Maybe it's "the golden, chain'd," and Queen Ellen was out saving the souls of people "chained" to their riches?

Is the tune in Singing Family? I've got to buy that when I get my paycheck!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 02:24 PM

That "Mary Ann" text may be from Creighton, rather than Karpeles, but Deckman offered the verse I couldn't recall, so... Thanks, old buddy.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 05:40 PM

Jeri, the little d after 'chain' is my silly typo. It should read, 'to cleanse the golden chain,'- whatever that might mean...Malcolm??? But it's a lovely image- 'As she walked out of her paradise to cleanse the golden chain...' surely it's something most uplifting, too!


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Subject: Lyr Add: BREAST O' GLASS
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:01 PM

BREAST O' GLASS
Sung by: Neal Morris, Recorded in Mountain View, AR 9/2/61
The Wolf Folklore Collection (there's a sound recording on that site)

Oh, unto me the time draws near
When you and I must part.
No one can know the grief and woes
Of my poor aching heart,
Nor what I've suffered for your sake;
Believe me when I say,
You are the girl that I'll love best
Until my dying day.

I wish my breast was made of glass,
Wherein you might behold
Your name engraved upon my heart,
With letters lined with gold.
Your name is sacred to my heart,
'Tis you I love so dear.
I wish that you could go with me,
Or I could tarry here.

I wish I was ten thousand miles
Upon some lonesome shore,
Away to the rocks and the mountains high
Where the wild beasts howl and . . .
And when I'm far and distant away,
Think of your absent friend,
And if an opportunity suits,
A letter to me send.

When the wind blows fair to you, my love,
Send me a sigh or two.
You need not doubt but I?ll repay
When the wind blows fair to you.
When the warm wind blows fair to you, my love,
When the wind blows fair to you,
You need not doubt that I'll repay
When the wind blows fair to you.

The crow that is so black, my love,
Will surely turn to white,
If I ever prove false to you, my love,
Bright day will turn to night.
Bright day will turn to night, my love,
The elements will turn,
The fire will freeze and be no more,
And the raging seas will burn.


~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:05 PM

THE BLACKEST CROW (MY DEAREST DEAR)
[notes and transcription] by Lyle Lofgren, (Originally published: Inside Bluegrass, March 2005.)
" The numerous modern recordings are due to Tommy Jarrell (1901-1985) of Mt. Airy, NC. He inspired a whole generation of musicians who flocked to learn old-time music, including this song, from him. ...this one, by Bruce Molsky and Carla Gover on Molsky's CD Lost Boy (Rounder 0361)."
[Tune is written out on that site.]

1. As time draws near, my dearest dear,
When you and I must part,
What little you know of the grace and awe
Of my poor aching heart.
Each night I suffer for your sake,
You're the one I love so dear;
I wish that I was going with you,
Or you were staying here.

2. I wish my breast was made of glass
Wherein you might behold
Oh there your name I's wrote, my dear,
In letters made of gold.
Oh there your name I's wrote, my dear,
Believe me what I say,
You are the one I love the best
Until my dying day.

3. The crow that is so black, my love,
will surely turn to white
If ever I prove false to you,
Bright day return to night.
Bright day return to night, my love
The elements will mourn,
If ever I prove false to you
The seas will rage and burn.

4. And when you're on some distant shore,
Think of your absent friend,
And when the wind blows high and clear,
A line to me, pray send.
And when the wind blows high and clear,
Pray send a note to me,
That I might know by your handwrite
How time has gone with thee.

NOTE: Songs with glass breast / blackest crow imagery are to be found in:
Belden Ballads & Songs, MO Folklore Society, p. 484 (Banishment)
Brown North Carolina Folklore, vol. III, p. 262 (The Slighted Girl)
Randolph Ozark Folksongs, vol. IV, #760, (I Love You Well)
Sharp English Folksongs from S. Appalachians, Vol. II, #77 (p. 13) (My Dearest Dear)

~ Becky in Tucson
(Sorry about the untranslatable single quotes in the previous post. I didn't look at my preview closely enough.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:16 PM

From Margaret MacArthur, "The Old Songs" (a 2006 Rounder Records re-release of Margaret's third album CDPHIL1001). PDF notes here.

11.My Dearest Dear 4:55
(traditional)
Dulcimer (D-G-D tuning)

This song comes from Cecil Sharp's Eighty English Folksongs from the Southern Appalachians, with two additional verses (3 and 4) from Vance Randolph's Ozark Folksongs. In Mrs. Flander's files I have found a New England version dating from the late 18th century. [NOTE: she says this is not the Flanders version!]

My dearest dear the time has come when I and you must part
And no one knows the inner grief of my poor aching heart
Or what I suffer for your sake, for the one I love so dear
I wish that I could go with you or you could tarry here

I wish my breast was made of glass for in it you might behold
Your name in secret I would write in letters of bright gold
In letters of bright gold true love, pray believe me when I say
You are the one that I love best until my dying day

The crow that's black, my dearest dear, shall turn its color white
If ever I prove false to thee the brightest days turn night
The brightest days turn night true love, the elements shall mourn
If ever I prove false to thee the raging seas shall burn

Your company, my dearest dear, your company to me
It makes me think when you're away that every day is three
That every day is three, true love, and every hour is ten
It makes me weep when I should sleep and say I've lost a friend

So when you're on some distant shore think on your absent friend
And when the wind blows high and clear a line or two pray send
And when the wind blows high and clear pray send it love to me
That I may know by your hand write how time has gone with thee

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE TRUELOVER'S FAREWELL
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:20 PM

From the notes for Far in the Mountains: Volumes 1 & 2 of Mike Yates' 1979-83 Appalachian Collection

35. The Truelover's Farewell (Roud 422)
(Sung by Evelyn Ramsey at her home in Sodom Laurel, Madison County, NC. 30.8.80)

So far away from friends and home,
There's one that's dear to me.
There's one forever in my mind,
And that fair one is she.

Come back, come back, my own true-love,
And stay awhile with me.
For if ever I have a friend on earth,
You've been a friend to me.

Hush up, hush up, my own true-love,
For I hate to hear you cry.
For the best of friends on earth must part,
So why must you and I?

Ten thousand miles away, my love,
You know that never can be.
For the parting from my old true-love,
Shall be the death of me.

I wish my breast was made of glass,
Wherein you might behold.
It's on my breast the secret's wrote,
With letters made in gold.

Oh, take this ring I will to thee,
And wear it on your right hand.
And think of my poor aching heart,
When you're in some foreign land.

So fare you well, my old true-love,
So fare you well for awhile.
I'm going away but I'm coming back,
If I go ten thousand miles.

A version titled The Unkind Lovers, or, The Languishing Lament of Two Loyal Lovers, is to be found in the Osterley Park Ballads, taken from a broadside printed by C Bates (1630 - 1712). Robert Burns clearly knew the song, which he used as the basis for his well-known poem My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose. Cecil Sharp collected six versions in England, as well as a further nine sets from Appalachian singers. One of these versions came from a Mrs Sylvaney Ramsey of Hot Springs, who may have been related to Evelyn Ramsey.

Evelyn's verse 5 (which begins, 'I wish my breast was made of glass') also appears in Doug Wallin's song The Time Draws Near, and in several versions of The Willow Tree/Brisk Young Lover/Died for Love over much of the Anglophone world, while other verses appear in the Hayes Shepherd recording Hard For to Love mentioned previously.


~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 02:55 PM

Blackest Crow: Meaning (also mentioned above, here) has a lot of nonsensical speculation on meaning & mondegreens, but also some other full texts.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Sep 06 - 06:06 PM

The Far in the Mountains reference is wrong; the broadside was called 'The Unkind Parents, or, The Languishing Lamentation of two Loyal Lovers'. The Bodleian dates Bates' operation to 'between 1685 and 1714'.

The broadside has 16 verses. That's more than I feel like typing out just now; fortunately, though, there is also a copy in the Samuel Pepys Collection (5.322):

The Unkind Parents.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:47 AM

soryy I put this up so I could put it to my file .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM

Guy, "Add to Tracer" is the way to keep track of a thread. Just click it.

I wonder if this image has any connection to the culture-bound psychiatric condition of early modern Europe where people believe parts of their bodies have turned to glass?

The most celebrated case was Tchaikovsky, who at some periods believed his bum was made of glass.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 02:06 PM

That mean he was a pane in the ass?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 05:35 PM

Thanks jack I never noticed that thing right above where we write !!! AH well .. Old dog old tricks and still new to me .. All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Breast of Glass
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:08 PM

Disturbing metaphor.

Glass is hard and brittle.

Breasts are soft and squidgy.


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