Saturday 3 November 2012

And shall Trelawny Live, or shall Trelawny die...

By Tre, Pol and Pen, ye shall know the Cornish men....but this one slunk in under the radar rejoicing in the name of McGuigan.

Our friend, the ticket of leave man, brought him over this evening, in the company of a bottle of Teachers, to escape their current lady friends discussing clothes, furniture and the urgency of Ticket of Leave Man and McGuigan purchasing more of the same for them.

It started politely enough....we all enjoy military history and whisky... and I have fond memories of Teachers as forming the essential other half to cider in the post match 'must have' chaser of the LSE Rugby Club...Dublin Dynamite.
You didn't need to be counselled to take it in saw to that for itself.

Still, no cider being in the offing, things remained civilised.
The American presidential election; Dumbo A versus Dumbo B with Goldman Sachs pulling the controversy.
The European Union; intent on a new Versailles Treaty to make the Clubmed pay for the daftness of German and French bank investment decisions...and Goldman Sachs pulling the strings.
Costa Rica...where the ruling elite could teach Goldman Sachs a thing or two....

We moved to the Highland Park.....and to discussion of more contentious matters.
Nationality. Patriotism.

Ticket of Leave Man reckoned he had no alliegance to governments so dozy as to get  involved in Korea and Vietnam...let alone Iraq and Afghanistan.

We reckoned that Locke's contract had long been broken on the side of the U.K. government.

McGuigan burst into song.

A good sword and a trusty hand
A merry heart and true,
King James's men shall understand
What Cornish lads can do.
And have they fixed the where and when
And shall Trelawny die
Here's twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why.

And shall Trelawny live
And shall Trelawny die
There's twenty thousand Cornish men
Will know the reason why.

We loooked at him askance. Where was the philosophy nurtured by the spring of Highland water?

McGuigan explained. His philosophy was simple.

His mother's family were descended from Cornish miners who, unable to make a good enough living to keep their families, followed the gold rush to California and settled there...sending money home until things were stable enough for their families to follow them.
If, he reckoned, Cornwall had been independent, the money made from the mines would have stayed in Cornwall...and he wouldn't  have been born in the U.S.A.
As it was, his mother had married into a family descended from Irish he was doubly rebellious.
A quick chorus of

The bold Robert Emmet the darling of Erin

gave foundation to his claim and the night became hideous with song.

Clearing away the glasses later I reflected on the eclecticism of our musical heritage...and in particular on the songs we were taught at school when young.

Running from
Summer is icumen in

The Agincourt Carol

Who is Sylvia

Hearts of Oak

I wonder how many have survived multiculturalism and political correctness.



  1. My maternal forbears were West Country folk.
    As to those old songs surviving certain houses, yes. Schools? Not so likely.
    Stamps off, singing "Here's 20.000 Cornishmen..."

    1. That'll soon have the security service tapping your 'phone....

  2. I dont tjink they sing songs like that in school any more

    1. A retired Welsh music teacher told me years ago she suspected that renditions of 'The Ash Tree' and 'The Lark in the Still Air' had been replaced by study of the nose flute.....

  3. Truly wish I'd been there Fly!
    Interesting question you pose.

    The most recent battle in education here sees the Scottish Government decide - based on anecdote! - that Scottish Literature is not taught with sufficient vigour in English classes so the curriculum must change. Last time it was Scottish history in History.

    I'm not one for Nationalism. But this wee country is in a bugger of a lather about it and a Referendum that Salmond will lose.

    Mind you - seperatism for Scotland is the only way this more collectively minded Scots will ever escape the Hegemony of the right..

  4. Ps Boris Johnson for PM of the UK? Oh dear me No! But I bet Alex Salmond is praying the UK go down that road because that would be the biggest boost ever to the Independance Parties.

    The US Presidential Elections have long made me fear for the human race (if Iraq and Afghanistan and etc had not already tipped me over the edge). But Obama isn't the worst and I'm hoping he's the man.

    Spot on with the rest of your analysis. Highland Park does Aid clarity of vision...

    1. Next time those two come calling I'm going to set up an intravenous was like two small boys on a seesaw all evening..if one was sitting and drinking the other was up and pouring...

      However, it was an interesting evening and the conclusion I drew is that groups want independence when they feel hard done terms of the lack of control of their own source of wealth be it ore or gas.....and that they tend to identify themselves with that source of wealth to form the group, which then acquires and uses local traditions and history to clothe itself in respectability...'it's not just the money'....
      Of course, in line with the Iron Law of Oligarchy the group will end up being led by people whose aim is also to control the source of wealth at the expense of other members of the group....

      In the interests of the rest of the world I had wanted Ron Paul for President.
      American troops back on home soil,an end to finangling the world economy by means of the petrodollar - and no more Fed.
      So clearly he never stood a chance....

  5. Good craic solves all until dawn. The world does no change, but, as your father said, hope springs eternal.

    1. Without that hope we'd all put our head back under the blankets...

  6. Not sure what they sing in schools nowadays, Fly. I must remember to ask the grandsons at Christmas. I have to confess that if whisky were to flow with any abundance in my direction, I wouldn't be discussing anything, let alone having any recollection of the eveing the following day. :-)

    1. Whisky I can cope with....but sherry hits my knees at glass one...

  7. I asked Dyl if they sing songs like that anymore - and he just looked blankly. He knows what whiskey is though - that 'stuff' that dad is just for him!

    1. I had a feeling they had disappeared....and no surprise Dylan knows what is forbidden territory!
      I hope he enjoye his birthday!Whiskyless.

  8. I have to be honest in saying that I have never heard this....but I love it! Funny, I really think I was born in the wrong decade (50's)s, because my taste in music is most from the early 1900's to 1940's. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Aha! The Cornish can't have hit Montreal, then!
      I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  9. My nieces don't sing anything like that I'm sure, but my brother is a re-enacter during the American Civil War (on the losing side) and sings all the songs of the time, so they get to hear some fruity stuff. It's very good for them, I'm sure.

    1. My father likewise rounded out the repertoire of songs learned at school......a great singer in the bath...thus such gems as 'The lum hat wanting the croon'.