If you have have not read Schrödinger, read this first. As this is a disturbing and not an easy read, perhaps the BBC would be a little easier to grasp.

Schrödinger, The Elusive Intellectual Cat – An Oration
If you prefer to listen than read, you may do so here.


This post contains material which may be difficult for those of a sensitive disposition to read and view. If you are likely to take offence at the site or sight of an iron maiden, then you are advised not to proceed but to press the back button on this webpage, to clear your cache, and remove any links to this page from your web-history. Please do not remove any links to the home page but retain them for future delectation and degustation.

If however you are you have understood Schrödinger, then you will understand that no felines have been hurt in the production of the image, which for the most part has been produced by artificial intelligence as instructed by the mind of Coco, which has a modicum of real, though still imaginary, intelligence, and if you have ever visited the Far Side you will also understand that the image is not an attempt to produce a pastiche of the works that you may find there. The skill, albeit aided by computer generated imagery, used in this production cannot match the skill of the artists on the far side, nor their ability to represent and interpret unlikely, but not impossible, social circumstances in a novel, and often bewildering, manner, so as to catch the readers and viewers off guard in their understanding of the words written and the images presented.

Finally, did you hear the radio presenter talking about Coltrain recently? He, in the generic sense, though a musician spoke of always listening to music as a listener and not as a musician. Coco thought that rather odd, because the only way you can listen to music is as a listener. You cannot listen to music as a spectator for the organs of spectacle are not susceptible to providing interpretable responses from the brain (except perhaps for those of allodynia), you must use the organs of hearing to understand the perturbations of pressure in the atmosphere which envelops you. Whether, if you are a musician, you are capable of laying aside your musicianship when listening to another musician is a moot point, but not relevant for there is no disagreement between being a listener who is not a musician and a listener who is, except perhaps when it comes to an interpretation or criticism of the performance to which the listening had been applied. Both the listening musician and the listening non-musician heard, and listened to, the same sounds.

Penultimately, yes, that should precede finally, but Coco now considers that Coco has written enough, though you may disagree and consider that Coco has written far more than necessary (Coco would not wish to disagree with you over your concluded opinion for then we would both waste much hot air, or finger energy should the discussion, debate, argument or conversation proceed in a written form over that which is of less than ephemeral interest to any of the readers of this page) and that this page may now be long enough to have prevented the image below from being viewed before you had read the warning above. If you have not read the warning, please return to the top of the page to read it. If you consider that it is safe to do so, you may proceed.

Please note that if you do proceed, you confirm that you have read the warning, have taken heed to it, and shall hold harmless Coco, his representatives, this website and anyone and everyone else should you suffer any feeling of offence after proceeding other than yourself. Furthermore, if you feel any sense of let down after proceeding, you also hold yourself responsible for following your fingers rather than your nose and your conscience and thus provoking the response within yourself.

You have been warned!

Kitty considered the position carefully and, despite her feline disposition, realised that whatever Schrödinger may have said, there was only one way she would come out of the box.

The Prepared Piano

Had we not known what was coming the backstage sounds may have indicated that the music that was to follow would be of, shall we say, an interesting nature. If you have ever listened to the Lord Denning of the now defunct Third programme in its modern guise, Tom Service, you will understand that we can all be composers, it is simply a matter of rearranging the notes, as we were to hear in the first two pieces for prepared pianoforte, into a new order to produce a new work.

The orchestra handled the spiky passages quite well in the opinion of this auditor though his opinion is little really to go by, and even managed to pull off some eighth tone shifts without batting an eyelid. The pianist made valiant efforts – when the orchestra seemed to be taking it too easily she came in with great gusto, increasing the velocity only for the orchestra to calm things down again no sooner had she left, so to speak, the stage. This behaviour was quite consistent and seemed not at all out of place despite it perhaps being felt to be not appropriate for a fully written out score as we had for these two pieces. The skill of the orchestra, in the hands of the conductor, not to forget that of the pianist, was amply demonstrated by these rapid and frequent changes.

The serenade for strings (Elgar), which followed, was in quite a different mood to the prepared piano pieces. The strings were much more comfortable here. There were no inadvertent eighth tones; the smooth lyricism and close romantic harmonies contrasted almost beyond measure with some of the classical jumps and leaps that Mozart had required of them.

The preparation of the pianoforte by the way had been beautifully done. It was a rich black in colour with at least a thirty centimetre polish, tuned to perfection in equal temperament. The only puzzle I had was as the concerti were in C minor and Eb major, why had they not prepared the piano with Mozart’s tuning?

As for Tom Session’s contention, the two concerti do indeed demonstrate that it is simply a matter of rearranging the notes, but it requires a Mozart to successfully achieve it, the rest of us are much more like the man on the Pirschheide tramline who though he knows the train time tables forwards, backwards and crabwise, cannot plan a journey for you from Zwiesel to Aachen. Mozart on the other hand can take Twinkle, twinkle, and with it show you the Milky Way.

The Fall of Florence

Saturday had an interesting evening, Beethoven, Ireland and Honegger. Daniele Gatti played Beethoven’s 4th concerto in a pleasant way that drew you in to the conflict that he portrayed. After a generous interval and Ireland’s Concertino pastorale for strings we were treated to what I had thought, and those of you who know anything about Honegger also would also think, would be quite a challenging piece, Liturgique, symphony nr.3.

Somewhat astonishingly however It proved however to be as lyrical as Ireland’s pastorale.


Coco was thinking about Cio-cio-san the other day and noticed a striking similarity between Madama Butterfly and the young Shulamitess in the stage play by Solomon. Madama Butterfly will be no stranger to you, and perhaps the story familiar. Some would say that Puccini spent forty years trying to write this opera and the last twenty years of his life trying to write it again, it containing the epitome of operatic drama outside Bayreuth however could not be reproduced.

If you compare photographs of the two gentlemen you may see a striking similarity between the differences between their music and that which is between their temples.

Leaving that aside, as it is not a discussion into which we would wish to enter today, both the stage play (the Song) and the stage opera (Butterfly) contain all of the necessary elements for the success of what is known today as a soap. It is a strange use of the word, derived from the long form usage in soap opera which acknowledges the frivolous largesse of the manufacturers of epidermal cleansing products. The infatuation of a young lady with the promise of elevation in social status occasioned by the presence of an older eligible man, intrigue, infidelity, adultery, bigamy and dare I mention child abuse are all to be found by those who look even only on the surface. Puccini’s music goes some way towards sanitising the outstandingly flawed characters of the individuals employed in the action of the legend of Butterfly, but one cannot escape that the captain is no better, perhaps even worse, than that which is reputed to be true of every mariner. The sanitisation perhaps even earns the opera the grand accolade of soap opera extraordinaire even though it does not contain the multiple story lines and cliff-hanger ending of the later soaps. It remains nothing more than a tragedy, but nevertheless when you listen to it, in a language you do not understand, you can understand why it took Puccini forty years of practice before he wrote it and spent the rest of his life trying to imitate it.

You know the story, in brief it is of a young geiko, or perhaps even only a maiko, who catches the eye of a sailor and in it sees a way out of her poverty. A weak superior to the sailor permits him to marry her, knowing full well that he intends to abandon her, which he does when he returns to his homeland, where he bigamously marries a local lass. Returning to Japan a few years later he discovers that she has waited for him and that he has a son. He cannot face the consequences of his actions. She commits suicide. The only redeeming feature in the story being that the lass whom he deceived and married is willing to bring up the young child as her own.

In the story of the Shulamite, we have a young country girl, who though she is not exactly living in poverty as we discover towards the end of the play for her father is quite a wealthy man, also sees an opportunity for elevation in her social status when the king is caught by her eye on a royal visitation to the area in which she lived. It is not stated so clearly, but it would not be out of place to think that it was her father who hosted the king during that visitation. The prospective rise in status from country lady to queen somewhat outstrips that of a poor maiko to foreign ship’s captain’s wife. Her age however is similar to that of the maiko. The encounter leads to marriage, but not quite in the same way as the maiko’s, for the king makes her entrance into the royal household a very public matter as she is taken up to Jerusalem in a royal palanquin, a carriage festooned with all of the comforts that befit a future queen, in a grand parade that would shame even those military parades of our contemporary world’s most despotic of leaders. All seems to be idyllic.

We then find that she is not the first. There are already sixty other queens and to add trouble to trouble there are eighty concubines as well. She was number sixty-one or one hundred and forty-one however you may wish to count it. We know, but not from the play, that another eight hundred and fifty-nine would follow her. This king seems to be lower even than the captain of Puccini’s Butterfly, and it is true: his wives did turn away the heart of the king. There is a tragedy here, but it is not the tragedy about which Puccini sang.

The Song of Songs which Solomon wrote is a story of a love far greater than the love of a captain for a maiko, though it is written in such terms. The presence of the other queens and concubines in the play is not to demean or shame the new queen, but rather to exalt her, and in exalting her to exalt the others also. It is impossible for us to devote ourselves in marriage to more than one individual in the way that marriage requires, but this little play points us to the one who does so love each one of his people in such a way that each one of them can hear him say: ‘O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners! Turn your eyes away from me, for they have overcome me. My dove, my perfect one, Is the only one, the only one of her mother, the favourite of the one who bore her. The daughters saw her and called her blessed; the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. ‘

John records for us that ‘before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come that he should depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end’. John was speaking about the death of the Lord on the Roman cross, where he by paying, in a very public event, the price for our sins, so clearly shown in both Puccini and the Song as they reflect the world in which we live, became able to welcome us into the royal household.

Before he left his disciples he promised that he would not leave them: ‘I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you’. Later that evening he told them ‘I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the helper, the Holy Spirit, will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you. Now we are granted entrance into the royal household of King Jesus, where we may hear, together with the multitude of other believers, far more in number than Solomon collected, his voice speaking to each one of us individually as Solomon in his play spoke to his queen – though perhaps not with quite the same words.

Despite the tragedy of Solomon’s life, the play speaks, as it speaks of a love far greater than we could ever know, of the love of Jesus for his people. Do you know his love for you? He does not keep it hidden. Speak to him: Remember me Lord, when you come into your kingdom.

Eurovision too

Backing track, back tracking or tracking back?

Vesna ‘are not your dolls’: Eurovision Q&A

Six piece girl band Vesna have already made the final, with a song that urges support for Ukraine.

When I saw the headline I thought this might be a political comment, for if typically you tried to make a political statement at a sporting event you would quickly find that sport is apolitical. Whilst the joining together of the indefinite article and the adjectival noun is intended to express that politics is not permitted to enter sport, that is patently untrue. It is a mere pretence to cover up some other motive. Politics does have a part to play. So, the strap line of the BBC article which gave the impression that a particular performer was not only permitted to make a political statement but that that statement was an integral part of the performance aroused some interest. Even where apolitical is abused in sport, to go that far is hardly permitted.

A careful reading of the article however suggests that superficially at least there is no political statement at all in what is said or done. It is a matter of interpretation in a particular context. In a different ages and places different interpretations may be placed upon the words expressed in a particular language, as it is for the words ‘Lead kindly light’. However, there was something of greater interest and concern, but as one who has used similar techniques I have to be careful how I criticise.

Imagine what it would be like if you turn up at the cup final and on the field you do not see twenty three men, but one man and twenty-two androids. Would you not feel somewhat cheated? ‘Oh no, the reply would come. Don’t worry each android would behave exactly as you would expect the individual upon whom it has been modelled to behave. It will be just like watching the real thing. Each android has been programmed with AI to imitate its model. It will do even better. It will avoid all of the mistakes that the star performer would make or could make. The game will be far better’. Is the placement of artificial turf a preparation for such a change? Imagine being able to watch Pele, Hurst and Beckenbauer again even if only in avatar.

Or, if having spent months writing the dissertation for your finals, you find that everyone else wrote theirs just the day before using ChatGPT; and that the examiners were quite happy about that. Or again, you hear that Menuhin shall perform the Beethoven in the RAH, but when you arrive there is an empty dais and the compiled sounds of a Deutsche Grammophon recording* booming out of the speakers.

It was the words ‘The technical complexity of Eurovision means that all songs are sung to a backing track’ that caught my attention. I had always thought that the performances were live, though of course very well rehearsed and flawlessly performed, just as in every other music competition throughout the country. What would you think if the Black Dyke Band turned up and simply mimed to their own playing, which was a compilation of several different ‘performances’ from which all of the faults had been ironed out. In Leeds the whole orchestra turns out to play live for the pianists. So why, in the light of so called technical complexity, is a band not permitted to play its own music in front of the audience. Do they think that in some way a wholly live performance will devalue the ‘competition’? Do they fear that the quality of the acts may not be as good as the organisers want you to think they are. It becomes a sham of a competition when you are permitted to iron out the defects in the backing track. Might as well project holographs of the group as mime.

In any event, what is this reference to a backing track? Has someone lost sight of what the music is. Is not the backing track an intrinsic part of the musical presentation? Erlkönig would not be as fearful as it is without its ‘backing track’. Or do they actually not care about the music at all, it is really simply about physical gyration? Nothing else matters.

How disappointing! But then that is what this world loves. It loves the appearance, but not the reality. The splendid buildings which rise up contrary to the building regulations, but collapse at a shifting of the ground beneath them. The war games fascinate and captivate many in their games’ rooms and virtual reality worlds, but place the same in the reality of Bakhmut, Dresden or Saigon; what then?

It is the same with godliness, men love the appearance of it, but ask them to change their way of life to live godly lives and they turn away. They are very happy with a religion which says: ‘Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ all of which concern things which do not endure. These are but the commandments and doctrines of men. They are regulations. ‘If we keep them we shall live’ is what they think. Well, these things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in a self-imposed religion, but it is a false humility and are of no value against the indulgence of the body. (Colossians 2:20-23) Ask them however to become lovers of God rather than pleasure, and they turn away. They want the benefits of religion, but do not want its power to change the way in which they live. We love ourselves, we love money, we love pleasure. This will all pass away, and then what? ‘What good will it do for a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?’ the Lord Jesus Christ asked us.

Let them have their backing tracks if they will, but let us, without hypocrisy, love the Lord our God, who gave himself to save our souls, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

2 Timothy 3

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
* Coco is not aware of any such recording

How to distract your auditor’s comprehension

When the message is weak, what do you do?

The answer of the preacher is often: Shout! but there is a better way

The ubiquitous presence of punctuated, percussive sound waves emanating from the large black boxes carefully positioned around the auditorium at 64hz or thereabouts in the modern age, but not only so but also in many ancient cultures, is an essential element of the many shared experiences of groups of individuals in our divers communities. It dulls the senses and raises the ire so that any criticism which may attend the auditor is directed solely at the manner of the presentation and not at the content thereof.

How different is the approach of those who wish to provide not only entertainment in a shared experience which is felt in the body, but also an enlightenment of the mind where such manipulation of that which so easily distracts us from what is important, that is the content of the presentation.

There are many who would dull our minds in order to persuade us to accept the message presented to us. So, scam telephone calls, email and text messages represent some of the worst excesses of this, and what will they be like when AI starts to generate them? How long do we have to wait before the scammers voice sound just like that of your friend who is being impersonated? Hot on the heels of such as these are those who would sell you their quack solutions to health, housing, communication and transport problems. It will only cost £xx/month but you do not hear increasing at 4% + inflation each year for the next ten years during which you are locked in, having to pay the full amount if you wish to get out early.

Then we have religious quacks: Do this and live!. It may be true, but you still have to answer for what you have done and in any event you are actually unable to do this Moses said: Their foot shall slip in due time. Be aware of the siren voices that would silence the only message that matters. There is only one name given among men by which we must be saved.

Coupled with the distractive sonic vibrations an attempt was made to provide a cathedral like oracular experience by means of beams of light in the otherwise darkened room, as if streaming through stained glass windows on a bright summer’s day. What a contrast all of this is with the buildings of the Reformers who thought that the lecture theatre was much more commodious to the reception and understanding of the message. In the light of such a place we are able to read the text for ourselves, to review it and take notes of what has been said. Such a context for the delivery of the message is much more fitting and provides a much greater probability that the message will be received and understood for the benefit of both the orator, the auditor and the clients of the auditors.

All of this was designed to create the right ambience for what was then to be presented to us from the dais. We were treated to an inspirational [an adjective that the marketing world would ascribe but not Coco] talk about how to live with stress and other issues in the world. Paul takes this up when writing to Timothy, where he says: For bodily exercise profits a little, (1Tim 4:8) but then points him to what really matters: godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. (1Tim 4:8) It was interesting, perhaps entertaining, but for all the efforts to provide techniques, promote a proper understanding of self worth, Coco considers missed the mark ignoring what really matters as set out by the apostle.

Godliness with contentment is great gain.

An auspicious date

Nothing happened

The day has arrived*; the dragons are unleashed. How excited are you? Two bank holidays and a weekend, and still it is May the twenty second for some. It is time to reveal the finale, having come across Lambton Worm, a tale about a young squire who went fishing on a Sunday morn when he should not have done with terrible consequences for the people who lived on both sides of the Wear, Coco thought Coco would paraphrase some of it with another dragon tale about a different young squire (young ‘un) in a not so proper dialect sung in an awful Geordie accent.

I would find it hard to think that anyone would take offence at the content of the video (you have been warned), but should you find that the link has been broken, there is a back up copy here:

Apologies to those who understand neither spoken nor written Geordie. There is a partial transcription here, but if this works properly you shall see that embedded below in an iframe. Some words do still defeat Coco. Apologies to those who do speak and read Geordie also for orthographic, linguistic, dialectical, grammatical, innocent and deliberate errors. You’ll also find a link to the original Lambton Worm in the same place. Please pay careful attention to the refrain, as it asks you to do.

In nineteen hundred an eighty nine
On May the twenty second
A young ‘un walked into a skwah
For a most auspicious date.
It wuz the day when nuthin’ ‘appened
But George the third wuz born.
It wuz the day they aall escaped
From Dunkirk where they’d aall gan.

Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An aa’ll tell ye’s aall an aaful story.
Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An’ aa’ll tell ye’s ‘boot the skwah.

It wuz the day they aall be’aivd
An brought to end the war,
An the Treaty of Trianon was signed
Which left sum very sore.
It wuz the day when Tonga’s king
Gave up his protection.
They joined the Commonwealth, ye ken,
In nineteen seventy nun.

Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An Aa’ll tell ye’s aall an aaful story.
Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An’ Aa’ll tell ye’s ‘boot the skwah.
It wuz the day when nuthin’ ‘appened
An ‘ad they aall be’aivd,
They’d aall escaped, an ower young man
Wud ’av lost out on his date.
If nuthin’ ‘appened on that day,
If they ‘ad aall be’aivd,
Then why not yak aboot the skwah
An tyen men who were there?

Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An Aa’ll tell ye’s aall an aaful story.
Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An’ Aa’ll tell ye’s ‘boot the skwah.

Noo if ye canna unnerstand
The werds that Aa’ve just said
Then speak to Jules aboot his werk
An to Greg’ry in ‘is stead.
For it is safe so much to say
But nuthin’ more, ye ken,
For if they mind of ower tale
They’ll hoy us in yon den

Noo lads, Aa’ll haad me gob,
That’s aall Aa knaa aboot the story
Ov ower skwah’s clivvor job
On’ that aaful Sun’y morn.

* At least it has if you are on CET, observing daylight saving, or on a more easterly time zone. For GMT users there are about 90 minutes to go 🙂

With apologies in advance for errors of syntax, orthography and grammar which may be found embedded in this document whether arising from oversight, incorrect application of language packs or generally any other misadventure; and in general for any offence given inadvertently or inappropriately or both taken or not taken by those whose sensibilities, whether grammatical, orthographical, moral or simply personable, have been offended whether, not or if you have not incorrectly misunderstood the content, intent, meaning and purpose of this article, and to those whose copyrights may have been inadvertently or wantonly infringed, but never as to cause damage the copy holder’s rights, and, if you have managed to read this far, for any errors or omissions whether wilful, unintended, innocent or deliberate in the content of this polemic, and with thanks to you who have made it thus far for your patience.

Lambton Worm

Coco came across the Lambton Worm recently, in proper dialect sung in a wonnerful Geordie accent. It is a tale about a young squire who went fishing on a Sunday morning when he should not have done with terrible consequences for the people who lived on both sides of the Wear.

Apologies to those who understand neither spoken nor written Geordie. There is a partial transcription here, but if this works properly you shall see that embedded below in an iframe. Some words do still defeat Coco. Apologies to those who do speak and read Geordie also for orthographic, linguistic, dialectical, grammatical, innocent and deliberate errors. Please pay careful attention to the refrain, as it asks you to do.

Original Lambton wormTranscription
One Sunday morn young Lambton went
Afishing’ in the Wear;
An’ catched a fish upon he’s heuk,
He thowt leuk’t varry queer.
But whatt’n a kind of fish it was
Young Lambton cuddent tell.
He waddn’t fash te carry’d hyem,
So he hoyed it doon a well.

Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An Aa’ll tell ye’s aall an aaful story
Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,
An’ Aa’ll tell ye ‘boot the wohrm.

Noo Lambton felt inclined te gan
An’ fight i’ foreign wars.
he joined a troop o’ Knights that cared
For nowther woonds nor scars,
An’ off he went te Palestine
Where queer things him befel,
An’ varry seun forgat aboot
The queer wohrm i’ the well. Ref…

But the wohrm got fat an’ growed and’ growed
An’ growed an aaful size;
He’d greet big teeth, a greet big gob,
An’ greet big google eyes.
An’ when at neets he craaled aboot
Te pick up bits o’ news,
If he felt dry upon the road,
He milked a dozen coos. Ref…

This feorful wohrm wad often feed
On caalves an’ lambs an’ sheep,
An’ swally little bairns alive
When they laid doon te sleep.
An’ when he’d eaten aall he cud
An’ he had had he’s fill,
He craaled away an’ lapped he’s tail
Seven times roond Pensher Hill. Ref…

The news of this myest aaful wohrm
An’ his queer gannins on
Seun crossed the seas, gat te the ears
Ov brave and’ bowld Sor John.
So hyem he cam an’ catched the beast
An’ cut ‘im in twe haalves,
An’ that seun stopped he’s eatin’ bairns,
An’ sheep an’ lambs and caalves. Ref…

So noo ye knaa hoo aall the foaks
On byeth sides ov the Wear
Lost lots o’ sheep an’ lots o’ sleep
An’ leeved i’ mortal feor.
So let’s hev one te brave Sor John
That kept the bairns frae harm,
Saved coos an’ caalves by myekin’ haalves
O’ the famis Lambton Wohrm.

Noo lads, Aa’ll haad me gob,
That’s aall Aa knaa aboot the story
Ov Sor John’s clivvor job
Wi’ the aaful Lambton Wohrm.
One Sunday morn young Lambton went
Fishing in the Wear;
And caught a fish upon his hook,
He thought looked very queer.
But what kind of fish it was
Young Lambton could not tell.
He was not keen to carry it home,
So he hoyed it down a well.

Shush! Lads, hold your tongues,
And I’ll tell you all an awful story
Shush! Lads, hold your tongues,
And I’ll tell you about the worm.

Now Lambton felt inclined to go
And fight in foreign wars.
He joined a troop of Knights that cared
For neither wounds nor scars,
And off he went to Palestine
Where queer things him befell,
And very soon forgot about
The queer worm in the well. Ref.

But the worm grew fat and grew and grew
And grew to an awful size;
He’d great big teeth, a greet big mouth,
And great big googly eyes.
And when at night he crawled about
To pick up bits of news,
If he felt dry upon the road,
He milked a dozen cows. Ref.

This fearful worm would often feed
On calves and lambs and sheep,
And swallow little bairns alive
When they laid down to sleep.
And when he’d eaten all he could
And he had had his fill,
He crawled away and wrapped his tail
Seven times round Penshaw Hill. Ref.

The news of this most awful worm
And his queer goings on
Soon crossed the seas and to the ears
Of brave and bold Sir John.
So home he came and caught the beast
And cut him in two halves,
And that soon stopped him eating bairns,
And sheep and lambs and calves. Ref.

So now you know how all the folks
On both sides of the Wear
Lost lots of sheep and lots of sleep
And lived in mortal fear.
So let’s have a drink to brave Sir John
That kept the bairns from harm,
Saved cows and calves by making halves
Of the famous Lambton Worm.

Now lads, I’ll hold my tongue,
That’s all I know about the story
Of Sir John’s clever/cleaver* job
On the awful Lambton Worm.

Words: C M Leumane – Lambton Worm Music: C M Leumane
The copyright of this arrangement of the music for the Lambton Worm is held by The Mitford Family (© c.1984).
The Lambton Worm is a traditional song. This version was produced in the 19th century by Leumane. The transcription into standard English is mine. The singer in the Lambton Worm is, I think, Julie Mitford. You will find a reference to the song here, where she says Eventually you’ll be able to access all of the recordings for each album. The Worm is not yet on her blog, but I take it that she means it will become available as an mp3, in a similar manner to the other songs which she recorded with her father, and are already available.


To honour a lady

Âðm I – ciphered

Pásh deeth awm pléatward bong
Máng moth awm láygum bong
Pásh deeth wa bong
Dénsh vore thob soónd add
Vikko inch plúno add
Máng saw kneel aýthan udd
Pásh deeth awm bong

Coco hopes you have been able to celebrate May 20th 2022 JC well. 69 years since the coronation of our Queen who is now in the seventy first year of her reign. Coco thought (oh no, you say, please do not think just write/right) to offer a little something also. It was about fifty one years ago that Coco was introduced to a J Longdon, a philosopher so he understood, by one of his school friends, Ray Tester, with whom he had spent many happy hours drinking jasmine tea, listening to Beethoven string quartets and discussing everything from Plato to Teilhard de Chardin passing through forbidden German territory on the way. Ray thought it was time Coco met a real philosopher. Among other things the said JL was working on an equation of the universe, a representation of which was noted in his diary, but the untidy scrawl renders it now illegible, and phonetic substitution as a ciphering technique.

Coco has long since lost touch with the two gentlemen, and has no idea who holds, if anyone, copyright on the words, rather phonemes written above, but as it is likely that if there is copyright it is on the far larger tome (have you ever known a philosopher who writes smaller tomes?) of which it is a part, and therefore this small extract is fair use, and serves to advertise the larger work, if only Coco knew what that was.

It is left to you dear reader to decipher the phonetic substitution, but if you need help it may be found here.


A suitably English dragon

Dragons as you will well know are not just part of Chinese culture, but very much here in the British Isles. There is of course the Welsh dragon, the dragon that lives in the Ness, St George and the dragon, and another English dragon to which I shall come shortly; if you know of other Scottish and Irish dragons, please do make a report here. There are dragons of course, which cannot be seen. They are the dragons of which we truly are afraid. We do not wish to hear of them, nor to speak of them. They may be part of our history which we wish to forget, but others wish to remember.

The other English dragon is of course the Lambton Worm. It may be called a worm, but that as you will see from its description is a typically English way of understating its stature. In this version it is sung by a young Julia Mitford, of whom you may have heard if you are over a certain youngish age, in a wonnerful Geordie accent, but you can read the words as it is sung. A translation is available for those who can neither speak nor read Geordie, just ask me for it. It is unlisted on YouTube here. I don’t yet have permission to use the singing, which is the best I have heard, yet, but have no reason to think that it will not be given. The song by the way does rather overstate the stature of the Whorm in the way that folk-lore often does.

This video is quite safe and as you shall understand later, presented here in order to provide a context for that which will be released in a few days time, written in the old style on this day the 18th May 2022.