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Tony Grist

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The End Of Summertime, Stephen Foster, Echinacea [Oct. 28th, 2009|10:04 am]
Tony Grist

Putting the clocks back means that winter arrives not gradually but with a bump. One day it's early autumn, the next you're eating your tea in the dark.

I woke this morning with Stephen Foster on the brain- and walked down to breakfast singing. What a great tunesmith he was, but- o dear me- those lyrics! I've been considering whether there's any way to rejig Old Uncle Ned for a modern audience- short of throwing away the original lyric and writing a new one- but I don't think there is. You can replace the racially offensive words with neutral ones but the tone of the thing is still patronising. Foster was an abolitionist in real life, but his songs- written to be performed by white folks in blackface-  sentimentalise slavery.  At least some of them do. The rest are parlour ballads that sentimentalise women. 

I felt myself starting with a cold about a week ago and immediately fought back with echinacea tablets. For a while it was touch and go, but I think I've beaten it- and as from today I'm cutting my daily intake from three tablets to one. I didn't think anything could stop a cold, but apparently echinacea can. It's a good thing to know. 


[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2009-10-28 12:02 pm (UTC)
If it's any consolation, "Camptown Races" was pretty much thought to have been inspired by actual races in Camptown PA (northern Pennsylvania), a site not too terribly far from Athens PA where Foster attended the Athens Academy as a pubescent sprout and was miserably unhappy by most accounts. We drove through/around Camptown this past summer and discovered that it had some wonderfully flat expanses where races might indeed have been held nicely in that hilly country.

Edited at 2009-10-28 12:03 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-10-28 12:29 pm (UTC)
I'd never paused to wonder whether Camptown was a real place or where it might be. Thanks for the info.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2009-10-28 01:04 pm (UTC)
At the beginning of the Kentucky Derby, the crowd always sings the first verse of "My Old Kentucky Home"

Oh the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky Home
It is summer, the people are gay...

here are the original lyrics.

(when I was a kid, and didn't understand about political correctness nor, apparently, words, I used to think it was "It is summer, the darkies are grey...")
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-10-28 02:04 pm (UTC)
Ah, the innocence of youth!

My first wife was a Kentuckian. I've been to Bardstown- and round the house which claims to be the original Old Kentucky Home.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2009-10-28 01:54 pm (UTC)
I have been a believer in Echinacea for the last few years. In a small clinical study, four of us spent two days in a meeting with a man with a very bad cold. Within three further days, two of us got the cold and two didn't. Those who didn't took Echinacea. You probably need larger numbers for a statistically significant result but I was impressed.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-10-28 02:05 pm (UTC)
I hope they paid you well!

I took the tablets to humour Ailz- but I reckon I'm a believer now.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-10-28 02:41 pm (UTC)
well uncle ned seems to have found a good
place so that's all to the good I guess...
thanks for the reminder on the clock I had
been thinking this morning up as I unwontedly
was at the crack of dawn to return a rental
car that it was dark.
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[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2009-10-28 02:42 pm (UTC)
why the deuce does this say from anonymous
when I am signed in?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-10-28 03:50 pm (UTC)
It would be a sweet song, if only....

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From: (Anonymous)
2009-10-28 08:34 pm (UTC)
Did you see the photos I sent? Sent them to Ailz and Alice too...Glad I haven't passed on a cold...
We are recovering from the driving on Monday - it was an agressive drivers day apparently and we felt a bit psyched out by them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-10-28 09:26 pm (UTC)
I have, yes. Thanks. They're excellent.

You've done a lot of travelling these past few days :)

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