Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stabat Mater

I see by the old clock on the wall that it is time for a post that includes some beautiful music. I am indebted to Snowdrift Snowfall Snowflake a man in Oregon for this one.

Snowplough Snowcone The man in Oregon is a self-avowed (what a strange term!) atheist who knew Madalyn Murray O’Hair personally, but being an atheist doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate beauty if it’s couched in religious language. That’s not wishful thinking on my part; he said so himself. We have become blogging friends even though we disagree on some very basic stuff.

Recently Snowshoe my Oregon friend included a musical link in his comments section that I am now going to share with you. I realize that it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but you ought to watch and listen at least once:

“Stabat Mater” by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, performed by soprano Veronique Gens and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky.

For once, I happen to agree wholeheartedly with Snowball my Oregon friend. The voices and instruments are beautiful.

To learn more about Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736), the composer, click here.

To learn more about Veronique Gens, the soprano, click here.

To learn more about Philippe Jaroussky, the countertenor, click here.

If countertenor is a new term to you, it means a male singer who sounds like a woman when he sings (with the exception of the late Bea Arthur, a baritone). Countertenors sing in the contralto, mezzo-soprano, and even soprano ranges. To learn more about counter- tenors, click here.

According to Wikipedia, Stabat Mater is a thirteenth-century poem written in Latin about the suffering of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, during his crucifixion. Its title is an abbreviation of the first line, Stabat mater dolorosa (“The sorrowful mother stood”). The poem has been set to music by many composers, with the most famous settings being those by Palestrina, Pergolesi, Haydn, Rossini, and Dvořák. Wikipedia includes the full Latin text and also an adaptation (not a literal translation) in English. It should be said that halfway through, this poem about Mary turns into a prayer to Mary.

Neither my friend Snowscape Snowtire in Oregon nor I can appreciate the Stabat Mater text in the same way a Roman Catholic believer might, he being atheist and I being Jewish-Metho-Bapti-costal, but we both can and do appreciate the beauty of the musical composition and the performance. An odd thing about this particular performance was that it occurred on Christmas Day -- because the text refers to something that happened on Good Friday. Another odd thing is that I am sharing it with you near the end of July. Or perhaps it is not odd at all, but an indication of the timelessness of its subject.

Here is another depiction of the same subject, this time a visual one. It was painted in 1482 by Italian artist Pietro Perugino.

SNOWBRUSH! To learn more about Snowbrush, click here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tying up a few loose ends and creating a few others

Life isn’t always peaches and cream. The rest of the story I started telling you about in my last post is:

The Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered, and he was captured and taken to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him. They slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles, and took him to Babylon, where he died.

Thomas Wolfe (the one born in Asheville, North Carolina, who wrote Look Homeward Angel, not the one born in Richmond, Virginia, who wrote The Right Stuff) was right. Sometimes you can’t go home again.

I don’t know why anyone would think life is always peaches and cream anyhow, unless you are one of those Hollywood celebrities who earns millions of dollars and lives in big mansions in places like Malibu and Maui and Aspen and the Hamptons and wears expensive clothes and drives expensive cars and has fans drooling for your autograph every time you turn around and you can’t even go out for a simple lobster with your squeeze du jour without being hounded by paparazzi exploding flashbulbs in your face. You know what? I suspect that even peaches and cream ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

In other news, Mr. David H. Barlow of Tooele/Ephraim/Manti, Utah, reports that he is “of joseph who was sold into egypt and his son ephraim, branches over the wAll to america and down to tony mike dan braydon, owie josh and andrew, LEAVING OUT ALL THE GIRLS JUST ACCOUNTING FOR MALE POSTERITY” [capitalization and punctuation his]. All righty, then. As accounting for male posteriors is not what this blog is all about, let us hurry along to other subjects.

Speaking of the right stuff, can you name the original seven Mercury astronauts without cheating? Here are a couple of public-domain NASA photos of them to help jog your memory:

As long as we’re naming people, can you name these two?

Finally, before you toddle off to read someone else’s blog, which of the following captions describes the last photo best?

(a) Bubble and Squeak
(b) Peaches and Cream
(c) Two Fat Ladies
(d) Ye Gods and Little Fishes
(e) All of the above

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This is my 587th post it isn’t an important milestone or anything like that, but it reminded me that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away into Babylonian captivity by Nebuchadnezzar’s army in 587 B.C.

As some of my posts were written by Billy Ray Barnwell, and a couple of recent ones were written by Editor Bob, the true number written by me and me alone remains iffy. (My new motto: Egos Altered While-U-Wait.) There is also the irritating fact that 587 B.C. actually began the second phase of Judah’s exile because the first captives were carried away around 597 B.C. and there’s also the other irritating fact that the entire northern kingdom, called Israel, consisting of ten of the twelve tribes, was carried away more than a century earlier by the Assyrians and its inhabitants were never heard from again. The southern kingdom was called Judah even though it consisted of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, which is also confusing. Originally there was a single kingdom consisting of all twelve tribes under the rule of King Saul and then King David and then King David’s son, King Solomon, but after Solomon died things were never the same again and it was split into two kingdoms with, surprise, two kings. Then there’s also the fact that Judah was supposed to remain in exile for seventy years according to Jeremiah or Ezekiel or somebody, but they began returning in 538 B.C. or thereabouts, so who knows what to believe, really?

I don’t know about you but I find this fascinating, and knowing such stuff is how I was able to qualify to be on Jeopardy in 2003, only I was never actually “on” Jeopardy because after they took my picture with a Polaroid camera and told me I would remain in their files for fourteen months I was never contacted again by Alex Trebek’s gang.

It occurs to me that Billy Ray Barnwell may be writing this post as well.

The twelve tribes of Israel were named after the twelve sons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel after a wrestling match at Bethel. In a book called Genesis, the twelve sons of Jacob are listed as Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. For some reason, Joseph’s descendants became known as the half-tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, undoubtedly because his two sons were named, surprise again, Manasseh and Ephraim, but why this phenomenon didn’t occur with the other ten sons’ descendants, I can’t really say, except that trying to keep track of them all would prolly have become very unwieldy very quickly.

You can tell right away, just by reading your Bible and paying attention, that things were very different back in those days, because Jacob had children by four women, Leah, Leah’s handmaiden, Rachael’s handmaiden, and Rachael. Leah and Rachael were sisters. It’s a long story. Jacob worked for their father for seven years to get Rachael and wound up with Leah instead, so he worked for their father for another seven years to get Rachael. He must have been what we would call today an illegal immigrant because according to what I hear illegal immigrants are the only ones who will do certain kinds of hard work and I can’t think of many red-blooded, flag-waving American men who would work for fourteen years to get anybody. Most of them would prolly just try to carry their woman off like a caveman or possibly like one of Nebuchadnezzar’s soldiers.

If this post seems rambling and disjointed to you, it seems that way to me also, and the only way I know to get out of Billy Ray Barnwell mode is to sign off, but before I do I would like to dedicate this post to Mr. David Barlow of Ephraim, Utah, which may or may not be related to a certain half-tribe mentioned earlier.

For the benefit of jinksy and Snowbrush, this has been another tongue-in-cheek post from rhymeswithplague.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Editor Bob’s mailbox

At the end of the preceding post (“Me and him went to town”), I invited people to submit sentences for Editor Bob’s consideration and several readers did so. Some just groused about certain words or grammatical topics. For the benefit of the subset of readers who never bother to read blog comments, I have reproduced the comments below along with responses from Editor Bob:

#1 - This is the sentence I would like Bob to consider: Blogger authorities have sentenced Bob to five years hard labour for pedantry. (from Yorkshire Pudding of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 11:13 AM, July 19, 2010)

YP, the first rule of editing is “Never pay attention to anyone who uses the word pedantry.” (The second rule is “I before E except after C, or when sounded like A as in neighbor and weigh,” but that’s neither here nor there.) Blogger authorities have authorized me to inform you that your wish is not their command.

#2 - Me and him aint got no quarrel with you’re analysis. (from Ruth Hull Chatlien in Illinois, 11:42 AM, July 19, 2010)

Ruth, I’m not sure whether this is a comment or the sentence you are submitting. In either event, him and you have qualified for a free copy of Marriage Ain’t A Word, It’s A Sentence for illustrating that the floating apostrophe phenomenon (FAPh) can introduce a silent ‘e’ where you least expect it. Awesome! Just send $25.00 to Editor Bob to help cover shipping and handling costs and you’re prize will be on it’s way. Your welcome, I’m sure. And if him and you aint married, I recommend that him and you get married posthaste, as it is getting more difficult every day to find people with whom you can agree.

#3 - you are doing this grqmmer thing cause you miss the ole putz (from Putz in Utah, 12:26 PM, July 19, 2010)

Putz, I don’t know how to tell the old putz from the new putz, but grqmmer is my life, and a sentence should always start with a capital letter, unless you are E. E. Cummings, which (and even whom) you are not.

#4 - And when did ‘those’ become redundant in favour of ‘them’? I can be pedantic, too... Other pet hates...‘for free’, ‘could of’ and ‘your’ for ‘you’re’, or vice versa...and let’s not get into ‘its’ and ‘it's’! (from jinksy in Havant, United Kingdom, 12:42 PM, July 19, 2010)

jinksy, I could of sworn that ‘those’ has never become redundant in favor of ‘them’ but I may not have the latest information at my fingertips because I let my subscription to Editor’s Monthly lapse several years back and they won’t give it to me for free. It’s [note] all in knowing when to use which one. See my answer below to Carolina in #6. Editor Bob tries to be tongue-in-cheek, but Editor Bob is learning that tongue-in-cheek is in the eye of the beholder.

#5 - Here’s one for you, RWP: “Let’s you and me go to town and get them cheese and them license.” I declare under oath (which I take very seriously) that I have heard “them cheese” and “them license” spoken in my presence. (from Pat in Arkansas, 11:26 PM, July 19, 2010)

Pat,thanks for your contribution. Texans would never say “them license.” Texans say “those license.” In Minnesota, however, “them cheese” is an abbreviation used when referring to one’s neighbors in Wisconsin, the longer version being “them cheeseheads.” Saying “Let’s you and me go to town and get them cheeseheads,” however, borders on being bellicose. Perhaps one day when Editor Bob is in more of a subjunctive mood he will blog about alliteration.

#6 - I dare not comment, since I don’t know my whos from my whoms or who’s from my whom’s. But at least I have a good excuse. And just to be sure: he and I went to town? (from Carolina in the Netherlands, 9:30 AM, July 20, 2010)

Carolina, you are 100% correct: The subject of a sentence should be in the nominative case. Objective case is for direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of prepositions. This seems simple enough, but many, many Americans don’t seem to know (or care) which is which. Some people don’t know their who’s from their whose, either, but to whom much is given, of him (or her) much will be required.

#7 - Suppose you know the sentence which got author Lynne Truss up on her high horse about the correct use of commas (and made her a fortune with best-selling book on punctuation); apparently a zoo sign regarding pandas should have read “Eats shoots and leaves”, but actually read “Eats, shoots and leaves” ... a gun-toting panda! (from Brian in Catalonia [think Spain but not Spanish], 10:27 AM, July 20, 2010)

Brian, I suppose there are few things worse than a gun-toting panda, but one might be a gun-toting panda with opposable thumbs. Speaking of commas and punctuation, Americans put commas and periods inside quotation marks; Brits put commas and periods outside quotation marks. Both put semi-colons outside quotation marks. I prefer not to think of commas at all until after breakfast. I have done away with the cereal comma.

(End of comments and responses)

Editor Bob is gratified that his sphere of influence continues to expand, Yorkshire Pudding’s opinion notwithstanding. So keep them comments coming, folks, perhaps to this very post, and Editor Bob may let you lovers of language peek into his mailbox again real, er, really, er, very soon.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Me and him went to town.

There is so much wrong with that sentence. For one thing, me and him hardly know each other, and I can assure you that me and him have never went to town together. We may have went to town separately, but the plain fact is we have never went to town together as implied in the sentence. When you are in doubt about how a sentence may be received, it is always better to recast it to say what you actually mean. A better rendering of this particular sentence would be: Me and him have went to town on occasion, but never together, always separately, in case you were wondering, as me and him hardly know each other, but her and him have went to town frequently, in more ways than one.

Thanks go out to Mr. Aloysius P. Snowbrush of Lowell, Mass., for inspiring this brief but very informative post when, among other things in a recent comment, he said: “We all make mistakes--except for Bob who does us the service of pointing them out--but some are so atrocious as to mark one as ignorant in a generalized way.”

If you have a sentence you would like Editor Bob to comment on, forget them cards and letters as they are very old school, but keep them comments coming.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

O Canada!

If you live in the United States, here is a map of our great neighbor to the north. If you don’t live in the United States, here is a map of a great big country on some continent somewhere (and if you click on the map, it will get even bigger.)

I don’t know what you noticed about the map, but I immediately noticed three things. Really, they just jumped off the page at me:

1. What was in my youth called the Northwest Territories has been split into two parts. The smaller, western part is still called the Northwest Territories, but the larger, eastern part is now called Nunavut (which, according to Wikipedia, means “our land” in the Inuktitut language). You can learn a lot more about Nunavut, Inuktitut, and even Inuinnaqtun by clicking here.

2. Greenland, which is close to but not a part of Canada, belongs to Denmark. Greenland is now just its parenthetical name. Its non-parenthetical name is Kalaallit Nunaat. For those in my age bracket, the same sort of thing happened with Myanmar (Burma), Zaire (Belgian Congo), and Indonesia (the Dutch East Indies). Proving that time marches on, Pluto isn’t even a planet any more.

3. The heck with that three-mile-limit thing or even that twelve-mile international waters thing. Canada has declared for itself something called the Exclusive 200-nautical-mile Economic Zone (EEZ). Fishermen from other countries, take note. I’m just sayin’.

People in my age bracket may also remember when Canada’s national anthem was a song entitled “The Maple Leaf Forever” which English-speaking Canadians sang with gusto. They especially liked the line, “The thistle, shamrock, rose entwine the maple leaf forever,” because the thistle was a symbol of Scotland, the shamrock was a symbol of Ireland, and the rose was a symbol of England. French-speaking Canadians, however, most of whom lived in Quebec, were having thoughts instead about the fleur-de-lis. After an impasse of sorts occurred, “O Canada” became the country’s new national anthem. Also, a new flag replaced the former design in which the British Union Jack had featured prominently. The new flag proudly displays the most widely recognized symbol of Canada, Wayne Gretzky Celine Dion the maple leaf.

Here for your listening pleasure is the Canadian national anthem “O Canada.” Both the English and the French lyrics are superimposed over the new flag.

To recap, here are the official English lyrics:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

and here are the official French lyrics:

Ô Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Here is an English translation of the French lyrics:

O Canada!
Land of our forefathers,
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers!
As is thy arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the cross.
Thy history is an epic
Of the most brilliant exploits.
And thy valour, steeped in faith,
Will protect our homes and our rights,
Will protect our homes and our rights.

Did you notice that the two versions have nothing to do with one another?

The same sort of effect can be achieved by playing a certain familiar tune while half the audience sing “My Country, ’Tis Of Thee” and the other half sing “God Save The Queen.”

Finally, you can simultaneously while away the hours and increase your knowledge of Canada’s provinces and provincial capitals by playing with these three puzzles.

In case you already know all of Canada’s provinces and provincial capitals, here is “O Canada” in Inuktitut:

Uu Kanata!
Nangmini nunavut!
Piqujatii nalattiaqpavut.
Nangiqpugu, Uu Kanata,
Uu Kanata! nunatsia!
Nangiqpugu mianiripluti,
Uu Kanata, salagijauquna!

One can only speculate about the national crises that might arise if we ever discover what the Inuktitut words mean.

Here ends my little experiment in creating posts about various national anthems. It’s not that I’m tiring of the subject, necessarily, but I sense that some of you may be. And I freely admit that my Jewish heritage on my mother’s side makes me reluctant to create a post about “Deutschland, Deutschland Über Alles,” Joseph Haydn’s music notwithstanding.

Concentrating on Canada, though, even for only one post, turned out to be a good way to try to stay cool during these dog days. At this time of year, readers in Australia and New Zealand aren’t worried about staying cool. Apropos of absolutely nothing, this rendition of the Swedish national anthem, “Du Gamla Du Fria,” is either very cool or very hot, unless it’s both very cool and very hot.

After everything is said and done, we can all while away the hours watching this. Any resemblance to your correspondent is purely coincidental.

P.S. - If you managed to make it all the way to the end of this post, here is a musical bonus just for you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lest my friends in the British Isles feel slighted

...I herewith publish the words to the standard version of their national anthem:

God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store,
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign:
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.

I invite you to click here to join in a public “sing-along” at which several members of the royal family were present. The second verse with the lines “Confound their politics / Frustrate their knavish tricks” was omitted on this occasion, possibly in deference to the members of the House of Commons. You may stand if you like, although standing in the privacy of one’s own home is always optional.

Inexplicably, Her Majesty wore clothes that caused her to blend into the crowd like one of her common subjects. More often, she tends to dress like this:

Day Vear:

Evening Vear:

Svim Vear:

Here is the queen appearing before legions of her adoring public on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Let it be noted that in America such adulation is seen only at concerts by the Jonas Brothers or sightings of Angelina Jolie. To quote again from that omitted second verse, God save us all.

I apologize to those of you who were hoping for a post about St. Swithin’s Day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Het Wilhelmus

Don’t blame me for this post. Blame it on Carolina, who left a comment on my post yesterday about La Marseillaise.

Click here and you will hear Het Wilhelmus, the national anthem of the Netherlands.

Although there are fifteen stanzas in all, only the first and sixth stanzas are sung in the clip above, which also includes a very nice view of the Dutch flag, some windmills, some orange tulips, and a KLM airliner. According to Wikipedia, it would take about 15 minutes to sing the entire song.

Wikipedia has outdone itself this time, listing four different versions of all 15 stanzas. I won’t make you go there; I will replicate that portion of Wikipedia here in my very own post. Okay, I admit it, it has been a slow week.

Be that as it may (as old-time wrestling announcer Gordon Solie used to say on Championship Wrestling From Florida to the Freebirds, Rick Flair, Ted DiBiase, and various members of the Von Erich family, along with the ever-popular “That remains to be seen”), in the rest of this post the original Dutch lyrics of 1568 are shown as (a), the contemporary Dutch lyrics are shown as (b), some English lyrics written in 1934 that fit the melody and the rhyme are shown as (c), and a non-melodious, more literal English translation of the original Dutch version is shown as (d). And as if that weren’t enough, the first letters in the first word of each (a), (b), and (c) stanza form acrostics that I will reveal at the end of the post. The first letters in the first word of each (d) stanza form nothing but a bunch of gibberish, unless it is a secret imprecation against the Belgians.

So instead of spending the dog days wondering what to do to stay cool, let us just agree to stay indoors in the air conditioning and examine Het Wilhelmus instead:

First stanza

(a) Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
Ben ick van Duytschen bloet,
Den Vaderlant getrouwe
Blyf ick tot in den doot:
Een Prince van Oraengien
Ben ick vrij onverveert,
Den Coninck van Hispaengien
Heb ick altijt gheeert.

(b) Wilhelmus van Nassouwe
ben ik, van Duitsen bloed,
den vaderland getrouwe
blijf ik tot in den dood.
Een Prinse van Oranje
ben ik, vrij, onverveerd,
den Koning van Hispanje
heb ik altijd geëerd.

(c) William of Nassau, scion
Of a German and ancient line,
I dedicate undying
Faith to this land of mine.
A prince am I undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I’ve granted
A lifelong loyalty.

(d) William of Nassau
am I, of Dutch blood.
Loyal to the fatherland
I will remain until I die.
A prince of Orange
am I, free and fearless.
The king of Spain
I have always honoured.

Second stanza

(a) In Godes vrees te leven
Heb ick altyt betracht,
Daerom ben ick verdreven
Om Landt om Luyd ghebracht:
Maer God sal mij regeren
Als een goet Instrument,
Dat ick zal wederkeeren
In mijnen Regiment.

(b) In Godes vrees te leven
heb ik altijd betracht,
daarom ben ik verdreven,
om land, om luid gebracht.
Maar God zal mij regeren
als een goed instrument,
dat ik zal wederkeren
in mijnen regiment.

(c) I've ever tried to live in
The fear of God’s command
And therefore I’ve been driven,
From people, home, and land,
But God, I trust, will rate me
His willing instrument
And one day reinstate me
Into my government.

(d) To live in fear of God
I have always attempted.
Because of this I was ousted
bereft of my land and my people.
But God will direct me
like a good instrument.
So that I may return
to my domain.

Third stanza

(a) Lydt u myn Ondersaten
Die oprecht zyn van aert,
Godt sal u niet verlaten
Al zijt ghy nu beswaert:
Die vroom begheert te leven
Bidt Godt nacht ende dach,
Dat hy my cracht wil gheven
Dat ick u helpen mach.

(b) Lijdt u, mijn onderzaten
die oprecht zijt van aard,
God zal u niet verlaten,
al zijt gij nu bezwaard.
Die vroom begeert te leven,
bidt God nacht ende dag,
dat Hij mij kracht zal geven,
dat ik u helpen mag.

(c) Let no despair betray you,
My subjects true and good.
The Lord will surely stay you
Though now you are pursued.
He who would live devoutly
Must pray God day and night
To throw His power about me
As champion of your right.

(d) Hold on my subjects,
who are honest by nature.
God will not abandon you
even though you now are in despair.
He who tries to live piously,
must pray to God day and night,
that He will give me strength
that I may help you.

Fourth stanza

(a) Lyf en goet al te samen
Heb ick u niet verschoont,
Mijn broeders hooch van Namen
Hebbent u oock vertoont:
Graef Adolff is ghebleven
In Vriesland in den slaech,
Syn Siel int ewich Leven
Verwacht den Jongsten dach.

(b) Lijf en goed al te samen
heb ik u niet verschoond,
mijn broeders hoog van namen
hebben ’t u ook vertoond:
Graaf Adolf is gebleven
in Friesland in de slag,
zijn ziel in ’t eeuwig leven
verwacht de jongste dag.

(c) Life and my all for others
I sacrificed, for you!
And my illustrious brothers
Proved their devotion too.
Count Adolf, more’s the pity,
Fell in the Frisian fray,
And in the eternal city
Awaits the judgement day.

(d) My life and fortune altogether
I have not spared you.
My brothers high in rank
have shown you this as well:
Count Adolf died
in battle in Frisia
His soul in eternal life
awaits the final judgement.

Fifth stanza

(a) Edel en Hooch gheboren
Van Keyserlicken Stam:
Een Vorst des Rijcks vercoren
Als een vroom Christen man,
Voor Godes Woort ghepreesen
Heb ick vrij onversaecht,
Als een Helt sonder vreesen
Mijn edel bloet ghewaecht.

(b) Edel en hooggeboren,
van keizerlijke stam,
een vorst des rijks verkoren,
als een vroom christenman,
voor Godes woord geprezen,
heb ik, vrij onversaagd,
als een held zonder vreze
mijn edel bloed gewaagd.

(c) I, nobly born, descended
From an imperial stock.
An empire’s prince, defended
(Braving the battle’s shock
Heroically and fearless
As pious Christian ought)
With my life’s blood the peerless
Gospel of God our Lord.

(d) Noble and high-born,
of imperial descent,
Chosen a prince of the empire,
Like a pious Christian,
for the honoured word of God,
I have without hesitation
like a fearless hero,
ventured my own noble blood.

Sixth stanza

(a) Mijn Schilt ende betrouwen
Sijt ghy, o Godt mijn Heer,
Op u soo wil ick bouwen
Verlaet mij nimmermeer:
Dat ick doch vroom mach blijven
V dienaer taller stondt,
Die Tyranny verdrijven,
Die my mijn hert doorwondt.

(b) Mijn schild ende betrouwen
zijt Gij, o God mijn Heer,
op U zo wil ik bouwen,
Verlaat mij nimmermeer.
Dat ik doch vroom mag blijven,
uw dienaar t’aller stond,
de tirannie verdrijven
die mij mijn hart doorwondt.

(c) A shield and my reliance,
O God, Thou ever wert.
I’ll trust unto Thy guidance.
O leave me not ungirt.
That I may stay a pious
Servant of Thine for aye
And drive the plagues that try us
And tyranny away.

(d) My shield and reliance
are you, o God my Lord.
It is you on whom I want to rely,
never leave me again.
Grant that I may remain brave,
your servant for always,
and may defeat the tyranny,
which pierces my heart.

Seventh stanza

(a) Van al die my beswaren,
End mijn Vervolghers zijn,
Mijn Godt wilt doch bewaren
Den trouwen dienaer dijn:
Dat sy my niet verrasschen
In haren boosen moet,
Haer handen niet en wasschen
In mijn onschuldich bloet.

(b) Van al die mij bezwaren
en mijn vervolgers zijn,
mijn God, wil doch bewaren
de trouwe dienaar dijn,
dat zij mij niet verrassen
in hunne boze moed,
hun handen niet en wassen
in mijn onschuldig bloed.

(c) My God, I pray thee, save me
From all who do pursue
And threaten to enslave me,
Thy trusted servant true.
O Father, do not sanction
Their wicked, foul design,
Don’t let them wash their hands in
This guiltless blood of mine.

(d) From all those that burden me
and are my pursuers,
my God, do save
your loyal servant.
That they may not surprise me
with their wicked plans
nor wash their hands
in my innocent blood.

Eighth stanza

(a) Als David moeste vluchten
Voor Saul den Tyran:
Soo heb ick moeten suchten
Met menich Edelman:
Maer Godt heeft hem verheven
Verlost uit alder noot,
Een Coninckrijk ghegheven
In Israel seer groot.

(b) Als David moeste vluchten
voor Sauel de tiran,
zo heb ik moeten zuchten
als menig edelman.
Maar God heeft hem verheven,
verlost uit alle nood,
een koninkrijk gegeven
in Israël zeer groot.

(c) O David, thou soughtest shelter
From King Saul’s tyranny.
Even so I fled this welter
And many a lord with me.
But God the Lord did save him
From exile and its hell
And, in His mercy, gave him
A realm in Israel.

(d) Like David, who was forced to flee
from Saul, the tyrant.
I had to sigh,
as did many other nobles.
But God raised him,
relieving him of despair,
and gave him a kingdom
very great in Israel.

Ninth stanza

(a) Na tsuer sal ick ontfanghen
Van Godt mijn Heer dat soet,
Daer na so doet verlanghen
Mijn Vorstelick ghemoet:
Dat is dat ick mach sterven
Met eeren in dat Velt,
Een eewich Rijck verwerven
Als een ghetrouwe Helt.

(b) Na ’t zuur zal ik ontvangen
van God mijn Heer het zoet,
daarnaar zo doet verlangen
mijn vorstelijk gemoed:
dat is, dat ik mag sterven
met ere in dat veld,
een eeuwig rijk verwerven
als een getrouwe held.

(c) Fear not ’t will rain sans ceasing
The clouds are bound to part.
I bide that sight so pleasing
Unto my princely heart,
Which is that I with honor
Encounter death in war,
And meet in heaven my Donor,
His faithful warrior.

(d) After this sourness I will receive
from God my Lord the sweetness
For that longs so much
my noble mind
which is that I may die
with honour in the fields,
and gain an eternal realm
as a faithful hero.

Tenth stanza

(a) Niet doet my meer erbarmen
In mijnen wederspoet,
Dan dat men siet verarmen
Des Conincks Landen goet,
Dat van de Spaengiaerts crencken
O Edel Neerlandt soet,
Als ick daer aen ghedencke
Mijn Edel hert dat bloet.

(b) Niets doet mij meer erbarmen
in mijne wederspoed
dan dat men ziet verarmen
des Konings landen goed.
Dat u de Spanjaards krenken,
o edel Neerland zoet,
als ik daaraan gedenke,
mijn edel hart dat bloedt.

(c) Nothing so moves my pity
As seeing through these lands,
Field, village, town and city
Pillaged by roving hands.
O that the Spaniards rape thee,
My Netherlands so sweet,
The thought of that does grip me
Causing my heart to bleed.

(d) Nothing makes me pity so much
in my adversity,
then that are seen to be impoverishing
the good lands of the King
That you are molested by the Spaniards,
O Noble Netherlands sweet,
when I think of that,
my noble heart bleeds.

Eleventh stanza

(a) Als een Prins op gheseten
Met mijner Heyres cracht,
Van den Tyran vermeten
Heb ick den Slach verwacht,
Die by Maestricht begraven
Bevreesden mijn ghewelt,
Mijn ruyters sach men draven.
Seer moedich door dat Velt.

(b) Als een prins opgezeten
met mijner heireskracht,
van de tiran vermeten
heb ik de slag verwacht,
die, bij Maastricht begraven,
bevreesden mijn geweld;
mijn ruiters zag men draven
zeer moedig door dat veld.

(c) Astride on steed of mettle
I’ve waited with my host
The tyrant's call to battle,
Who durst not do his boast.
For, near Maastricht ensconced,
He feared the force I wield.
My horsemen saw one bounce it
Bravely across the field.

(d) Seated on horseback like a prince,
with my armed forces,
Defied by the tyrant,
I awaited the battle.
Those dug in at Maastricht
were afraid of my might
People saw my horsemen ride
bravely through the fields.

Twelfth stanza

(a) Soo het den wille des Heeren
Op die tyt had gheweest,
Had ick gheern willen keeren
Van v dit swear tempeest:
Maer de Heer van hier boven
Die alle dinck regeert.
Diemen altijd moet loven
En heeftet niet begheert.

(b) Zo het de wil des Heren
op die tijd was geweest,
had ik geern willen keren
van u dit zwaar tempeest.
Maar de Heer van hierboven,
die alle ding regeert,
die men altijd moet loven,
Hij heeft het niet begeerd.

(c) Surely, if God had willed it,
When that fierce tempest blew,
My power would have stilled it,
Or turned its blast from you
But He who dwells in heaven,
Whence all our blessings flow,
For which aye praise be given,
Did not desire it so.

(d) If it had been the Lord’s will,
at the time,
I would have gladly relieved
you of this heavy tempest.
But the Lord above,
who rules all,
He who we should always praise,
did not desire so.

Thirteenth stanza

(a) Seer Prinslick was ghedreven
Mijn Princelick ghemoet,
Stantvastich is ghebleven
Mijn hert in teghenspoet,
Den Heer heb ick ghebeden
Van mijnes herten gront,
Dat hy mijn saeck wil reden,
Mijn onschult doen bekant.

(b) Zeer christlijk was gedreven
mijn prinselijk gemoed,
standvastig is gebleven
mijn hart in tegenspoed.
De Heer heb ik gebeden
uit mijnes harten grond,
dat Hij mijn zaak wil redden,
mijn onschuld maken kond.

(c) Steadfast my heart remaineth
In my adversity
My princely courage straineth
All nerves to live and be.
I’ve prayed the Lord my Master
With fervid heart and tense
To save me from disaster
And prove my innocence.

(d) By a Christian mood was driven
My princely heart
Steadfast remained
my heart in adversity
To the Lord I prayed,
from the bottom of my heart,
that He may save my cause,
and proclaim my innocence.

Fourteenth stanza

(a) Oorlof mijn arme Schapen
Die zijt in grooten noot,
V Herder sal niet slapen
Al zijt ghy nu verstroyt:
Tot Godt wilt v begheven,
Syn heylsaem Woort neemt aen,
Als vrome Christen leven,
Tsal hier haest zijn ghedaen.

(b) Oorlof, mijn arme schapen
die zijt in grote nood,
uw herder zal niet slapen,
al zijt gij nu verstrooid.
Tot God wilt u begeven,
zijn heilzaam woord neemt aan,
als vrome christen leven,-
’t zal hier haast zijn gedaan.

(c) Alas! my flock. To sever
Is hard on us. Farewell.
Your Shepherd wakes, wherever
Dispersed you may dwell,
Pray God that He may ease you.
His Gospel be your cure.
Walk in the steps of Jesus
This life will not endure.

(d) Farewell, my poor sheep,
who are in deep despair.
Your shepherd will not sleep,
even though you are now dispersed.
Turn to God,
accept his curing word.
Live as a good Christian;
soon, it will be finished here.

Fifteenth stanza

(a) Voor Godt wil ick belijden
End zijner grooter Macht,
Dat ick tot gheenen tijden
Den Coninck heb veracht:
Dan dat ick Godt den Heere
Der hoochster Maiesteyt,
Heb moeten obedieren,
Inder gherechticheyt.

(b) Voor God wil ik belijden
en zijne grote macht,
dat ik tot gene tijden
de Koning heb veracht,
dan dat ik God de Here,
de hoogste Majesteit,
heb moeten obediëren
in de gerechtigheid.

(c) Unto the Lord His power
I do confession make
That ne’er at any hour
Ill of the King I spake.
But unto God, the greatest
Of Majesties I owe
Obedience first and latest,
For Justice wills it so.

(d) I want to confess to God,
and to his great power
that I have never
despised the King.
except that to God the Lord,
the highest Majesty
I’ve been obedient
in justice.

The first letters of the first word of each (a) stanza form the acrostic WILLEM VAN NASSOV.

The first letters of the first word of each (b) stanza form the acrostic WILLEM VAN NAZZOV.

The first letters of the first word of each (c) stanza form the acrostic WILLIAM OF NASSAU.

The first letters of the first word of each (d) stanza form the acrostic WTHMNMFLANSIBFI.

The Belgians are never even going to know what hit them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A shout-out to Brigitte Bardot, Nicolas Sarkozy, et al

Happy Bastille Day!!!

To make amends for my bourgeois use of three exclamation points in that link, I give you, in both French and English, La Marseillaise, which (a) I spelled correctly without even having to look it up first and (b) was composed by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle in 1792 and declared the French national anthem in 1795:

Here it is, sung in French.

And here is a translation into English by someone named Laura Lawless:

Let’s go, children of the fatherland,
The day of glory has arrived!
Against us tyranny’s
Bloody flag is raised! (repeat)
In the countryside, do you hear
The roaring of these fierce soldiers?
They come right to our arms
To slit the throats of our sons, our friends!

Grab your weapons, citizens!
Form your batallions!
Let us march! Let us march!
May impure blood
Water our fields!

This horde of slaves, traitors, plotting kings,
What do they want?
For whom these vile shackles,
These long-prepared irons? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, oh! what an insult!
What emotions that must excite!
It is us that they dare to consider
Returning to ancient slavery!

What! These foreign troops
Would make laws in our home!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would bring down our proud warriors! (repeat)
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brows would bend beneath the yoke!
Vile despots would become
The masters of our fate!

Tremble, tyrants! and you, traitors,
The disgrace of all groups,
Tremble! Your patricidal plans
Will finally pay the price! (repeat)
Everyone is a soldier to fight you,
If they fall, our young heroes,
France will make more,
Ready to battle you!

Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors,
Bear or hold back your blows!
Spare these sad victims,
Regretfully arming against us. (repeat)
But not these bloodthirsty despots,
But not these accomplices of Bouillé,
All of these animals who, without pity,
Tear their mother’s breast to pieces!

Sacred love of France,
Lead, support our avenging arms!
Liberty, beloved Liberty,
Fight with your defenders! (repeat)
Under our flags, let victory
Hasten to your manly tones!
May your dying enemies
See your triumph and our glory!


We will enter the pit
When our elders are no longer there;
There, we will find their dust
And the traces of their virtues. (repeat)
Much less eager to outlive them
Than to share their casket,
We will have the sublime pride
Of avenging them or following them!


Whew! And people say The Star-Spangled Banner glorifies war. After Ms. Lawless’s translation into English of France’s utterly peaceful national song, there is very little to add, except that while we may sing of “the rockets’ red glare” and “the bombs bursting in air,” our anthem makes no mention of mercenary phalanxes, bloodthirsty despots, slit throats, impure blood, or mother’s breasts.

In keeping with the demure spirit of this post, therefore, I will let you search for a photo of Brigitte Bardot all by yourself, but only if you really want to.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My daughter's family went to the St. Louis Zoo and all I got was this incredible photo:

For those of you who are wondering, my grandson’s eyes are closed in this photo. The painter decorated his eyelids!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Grey hairs? Zits? Notches on the bedpost?

Jinksy has 158.
Snowbrush out in Oregon has 149.
Grumpy Old Ken has 98.
Carolina in Nederland has 72.
Jeannelle of Iowa has 60.
Pat, an Arkansas stamper, has 51.
Vonda on her little egg farm has 46.
Katherine in New Zealand has 44.

Daphne and Lord Pudding and Silverback in England, Putz in Utah, Reamus in southern California, Ruth Hull Chatlien in northern Illinois, and Tracie down in Florida don’t keep track.

Dr. John didn’t when he was alive. I’m not saying that he does now that he is dead. I don’t know what I’m saying exactly.

I have 35.

I’m talking about followers.

On his television program the other night David Letterman reported that Ashton Kucher has 14,000,000 of them on Twitter.

Talk about your wretched excess.

I would now like to give a shout out to readers of blogs everywhere (this means you), even if you are not an official “follower” of anybody. Without you, where would bloggers be? I’ll tell you where we would be: sitting in front of our computer screens with egg on our faces, that’s where.

So to all of you readers, lurkers, and blog junkies of the world, click here to hear a song that will inspire you to even greater heights.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blimey, luv, it’s...

...the Queen! Almost 300 times! In Canada! And she’s a vision of loveliness in pale yellow, and pale blue, and aquamarine, and lavender, and bright red, and green, and white! And Prince Philip is in some of the pictures! And there are nearly 100 photographs of Prince Harry! He came to New York! And fell off his horse! And went to a baseball game! And there are a couple of photos of Princess Beatrice of York, Prince Andrew’s daughter, in there too! Oh, and even some of Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla.

So click here to find Waldo Carmen San Diego your favorite royal.

And keep clicking, and clicking, and clicking...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It’s a free country and I can post whatever I like, whenever I like, or not

Today I liked this:

A wise old owl sat in an oak.
The more he saw, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

I’m sure you know what an owl looks like, so I am not going to insult your intelligence by publishing a picture of one. If, however, you really, really would like to see many, many pictures of lots and lots of different kinds of owls, click here.

Knock yourself out.

And then, after you don’t care if you ever see another owl, read this.

Friday, July 2, 2010

We interrupt our silence a second time to bring you...

one last look at Do Dah Day 2010 in Birmingham, Alabama.

So a tortoise, a goat, and a dog wearing a tutu walk into a bar, and...

<b> Mundane is also a word</b>

My blogger friend Rachel Phillips is currently in the midst of a series of posts (three so far) about a trip she took with her friends Liz...