Remember me!

When forgetfulness hurts or otherwise

Having made reference to one musical, Coco thought a reference to another would not go amiss. It has some catchy tunes, though be careful; if you listen too often to them you may start liking them. They are like roasted peanuts or salted caramel, sweet to the mouth, but heavy on the hips. The theology expressed in the words is a little bit off the mark as well. Coco would recommend you listen to it in Latin rather than a tongue that you understand. The poor and heretical theology will then bypass the mind and not cause offence.

If you have been at a reunion of school friends in recent days those words ‘Remember me?’ may not be unfamiliar to you. In the lunch queue for seconds one of my peers asked who Coco is, and Coco returned the question. We did not know each other. We were in the same year, but had never, at least in any meaningful way whether for good or ill, weal or woe, met in all of our seven, or perhaps it was only four years as there were some great, significant and perhaps to a few devastating changes whilst we made our progress through those years, together. The answer for both of us was: No, I do not remember you.

On the other hand there were many there who did remember each other. Some were not there whom we had hoped would be, but others came who had not been to any before. What a joy it was to be to meet again.

But it was not with a question mark that Coco had these two words in mind. They can be used in different ways, in an indicative sense as in the answer to the question whether Yes or No. Although the positive response is of course the one we want to hear: You remember me. After all these years, you still remember me. But it is not in that sense either Coco have in mind. It is in the imperative: Remember me! Do not forget me!

Are there times when your mind has lashed you when something happened that made you think, I forgot. It was years ago that you forgot, but it still comes back to you. I forgot. What did you forget? A birthday? An engagement? To make a ‘phone call? To pass a message on? But now it is too late, just as it was soon after the thing had slipped out of your mind.

There was a man, who appears in Jospeh (sic! To prevent FB recognising it) and his technicolour dream coat who did not remember, not that we are told that in the play. Coco told you it was inaccurate. Joseph had been committed to prison for a crime he did not commit. It is interesting that he, a slave, was only committed to prison for the alleged crime. It rather suggests that either his master was not entirely sure of truth of the allegation or that the accuser knew that it was a lie. Into the prison are thrown two others one of whom was Pharoah’s wine taster. After interpreting the dreams of these two men, Joseph said to the butler: Remember me. The baker lost his head; the butler went back to work.

The butler forgot, but there was a purpose in his forgetfulness which was not intended by him.

Two years later the butler’s master had a dream. He was silent at first, but when he saw that Pharaoh’s magicians and wise men could not interpret the dream, he spoke up. Coco rather thinks that as well as a pang of conscience over Joseph striking him it was the thought if Pharaoh found out about Joseph in any other way he would be in even more trouble than the first time he was thrown into the gaol house. So, the first thing he did was to admit his fault – if Pharaoh is going to be angry with him for being silent he should at least try to make it look as if this is a voluntary disclosure on his part: I remember my faults today. And proceeded to give the full account of what Pharaoh did and how Joseph had interpreted the dreams of the two men. Coco presumes that in the interval between this disclosure and Joseph’s arrival before Pharaoh Pharaoh would have learned much more about Joseph’s history that the butler related. The response to Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream and the subsequent preferment suggest that Pharaoh knew something of the service that he had given to his previous masters.

Remember me! The butler forgot; but had the butler not forgotten the consequences would have been quite different. Joseph would likely not have been around to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Remember me! was remembered at the right time. But you know there is one who does not forget – hold on. There are four who called on the Lord: Remember me; and one who asked: Remember not!

Job, suffering under great affliction, economic, emotional and medical, cried out, in a way like Joseph but from a position of wanting to be imprisoned not in prison until God’s wrath had passed: Remember me! Hannah, a barren woman, asked the Lord to remember her and give her a child. Nehemiah, who rebuilt Jerusalem, asked the Lord simply to remember him for the good he had done.And then Samson, who would have done well rather to cry the other cry of the one who said: Remember not! Remember not the sins of my youth! But he actually cried out Remember me!

The Lord heard all of these, and we can read of how he answered four of them. Job’s patience was tested as he waited unwillingly for a reply, just as Joseph’s as he waited in the dungeon. Ours may also if we cry out to him: Remember me! But if we do cry out, he will not forget.

There was one who, like Samson, had not long to wait when he cried out: Remember me! Lord, Remember me when you come into your kingdom, he asked as he hung dying on a cross next to the Saviour. Today, the Lord said, you will be with me in Paradise.

We have come a long way from the technicolour dream coat, but the theology at this end is better than at the beginning. Read it in your mother tongue not in Latin.

The Dreamcoat

        1. But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. Genesis 40:14
        2. Then Samson called to the Lord, saying, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God, that I may with one blow take vengeance on the Philistines for my two eyes!” Judges 16:28
        3. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me, and not forget your maidservant, but will give your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11
        4. Remember me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people. Nehemiah 5:19
        5. Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! Job 14:13
        6. Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord! Psalm 25:7
        7. Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Luke 23:42

        Cancelled too

        The Lady of Heaven cancelled after protests.

        Well that was not exactly the title of the article, but it will do. Do you remember the Jesus Christ Superstar, Life of Brian and other such protests? Paul said: If any one preaches a gospel other than we have preached let him be anathema. Just for the avoidance of doubt anathema is a Greek word which roughly translated means accursed. It is very clear that blasphemy is a great evil. But, unlike truth of which there can be only one (there are not contradictory truths), your blasphemy may not be my blasphemy. Coco may speak against the Queen of Heaven because Coco identifies her as a different person than you would. Another may deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, but, unless he openly claims to be an Arian, he is not speaking of the same Jesus of whom Coco would speak.

        Secondly, Paul said ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the [the ways of this world]. For the weapons of our warfare are not [of this world – swords, spears and as we would add guns] but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God’ Jesus himself said ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were my followers would take up the sword.’ From this we learn that however much another may offend us by what they say we are not to lift up the sword or issue threats of harm against them. If we did then we should expect the censure of the civil authorities to fall upon us.

        Of course it is open to us to refuse to participate in the games, or to watch or allow to be shown in our own houses those things which we consider to be blasphemous, just as EMI pulled the funding of Life of Brian when they realised what it really was. George Harrison, so Coco understands, stepped in to pay for it.

        So why was the Lady of Heaven cancelled? ‘To ensure the safety of our staff and customers.’ is given as the reason. That can only mean that threats, which should be referred to the civil authority for investigation, were issued. It was not cancelled because it was blasphemous, whatever that may mean in this case, nor because the owners of the venues thought it was inappropriate material. How sad this is. It was said by another (Baroness Claire Fox): the ‘same ‘I Find that Offensive’ cancel culture arguments [are] now being used far beyond campus activism. [It is] disastrous for the arts, dangerous for free speech, [and] a lesson to those who argue identity politics are no threat to democracy,’ Just because you find it offensive, does not make it offensive. When the little child watches 23 men on a green field and declares: ‘It’s boring’, it is not that it is not boring; he is bored. If you are offended and 99,999 are not, just get on with life, and they will get on with theirs, and say to themselves: ‘One day, kid, you won’t be bored.’

        Just to be clear, Coco is not suggesting that the safety of staff and customers is not important. It is, but the threat to their safety did not arise from anything that the theatre was doing, it came from outside and outwith their control and was in itself unlawful.

        So to conclude, if the lady concerned is as virtuous as claimed her character in itself will give the lie to all attempts to besmirch her reputation if that is what this film is. Since the beginning Satan has foul mouthed the Word of God. ‘Has God said?’ is the first thing we hear from his mouth. Does it surprise you that he continues to this very day to do so? But he cannot be fought with sword or gun, and threats do not move him. We must contend against him in the power of God, casting down his arguments, contradictory truths, and lies to expose the pride with which he exalts himself against the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ.

        Harrison was right here: ‘back in 1966, Harrison was unruffled. “Why is there all this stuff about blasphemy?” he asked in the Evening Standard. “If Christianity is as good as they say it is, it should stand up to a bit of discussion.” Evidently, he still held that opinion when Idle asked for a little help from his friend.’

        The corollary is also true: if a religion is not as good as they say, it will not stand up to any discussion. It is perhaps no wonder they wish to silence those with whom they disagree.


        The Lady of Heaven cancelled after protests.

        What did she say? It has been all but impossible to discover; all but everyone appear to be afraid to quote her. Not the Scripture however; there are many places where the Lord has permitted to be recorded for us that which is insulting to him. Just a few instances will suffice: ‘There is no god’‘Who is the Lord that I should obey him and let you go?’; The words of the king of Assyria to reproach the Lord: ‘The Lord told me to destroy this city. Have the gods of the nations delivered them? Where are the gods of Samaria, have they delivered them. [Will] the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’‘He trusted in God; let him deliver him.‘‘If you are the Christ, save yourself as well as us.’

        Why is this? ‘I am gentle and humble in heart’ he says, but he is also our creator and judge. It is however his gentleness which allows him to let others speak in the way they do, though at the right time they must answer to him for their speech, which is to say, you must understand, that we must not require them to answer to us for it. He does not, as we would say, get ‘hot under the collar’ about these things. You only have to look at the courts to see how men react to defamation and libel against themselves. We may want to defend ourselves against such things, but whether we do or not is our own decision. Others may defend us also, but they cannot demand penalties or compensation, they are not the ones who have been wronged. Some may say upon hearing of allegations of defamation: They don’t know the half of it! A man may also choose not to defend himself: ‘Do you not hear what they say against you? Have you nothing to say [in your own defence]?’ Pilate asked Jesus.

        Coco wonders then whether the ‘hotness under the collar’ of the zealots arises not because of the offence against the god but rather because of their own insecurity that the god of their own making is impotent to defend himself. Well if the god is incapable of speaking for himself then of course his makers must do the work for him.

        Listen to Jeremiah: Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good.

        And Isaiah: Those who make an image, all of them are useless, and their precious things shall not profit; they are their own witnesses; they neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who would form a god or mould an image that profits him nothing? Surely all his companions would be ashamed; and the workmen, they are mere men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, they shall be ashamed together. The blacksmith with the tongs works one in the coals, fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms. Even so, he is hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The craftsman stretches out his rule, he marks one out with chalk; he fashions it with a plane, he marks it out with the compass, and makes it like the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house. He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak; he secures it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a pine, and the rain nourishes it. Then it shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself; yes, he kindles it and bakes bread; indeed he makes a god and worships it; he makes it a carved image, and falls down to it. He burns half of it in the fire; with this half he eats meat; he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” They do not know nor understand; for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. And no one considers in his heart, nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire, yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; and shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside; and he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

        Do they not understand? No, they do not understand. But the living God is quite different. ‘Vengeance is mine,’ says the Lord, ‘I shall repay’. The living God has no need of men to defend his honour, though of course we should always seek his honour in the way that we conduct ourselves. ‘Defend the Word of God!?’ said the preacher, ‘I would as soon defend a lion.‘ But the gods of wood or stone or of the imagination of the heart of man cannot defend themselves.

        What did she say? Coco does not know, but it has been reported that whatever was said was in response to the discovery of a stone object in the ground. There appears to be some dispute as to what the object represents; Coco has not seen it, nor even if Coco had could Coco be able to identify it, but there appears to be no dispute about its stony qualities. If the wood from the trees of the forest must lie silent, then stone taken from the ground must be doubly silent whether it is carved and gilded or not.

        Coco supposes that if men, who were created by the living God, are to be allowed to be creators of their own gods; then they must also be allowed to defend their own gods, but let it be without attacking others who also have their own gods. As the king of Assyria said to Hezekiah: “Have any of the gods of the nations at all delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand?” If they do attack, then they are no better than the Assyrians, and a little knowledge of their history may confirm to you that you would not want to be thought to be as bad as they were.

        Coco had thought at first to make comments on the ingenuity exposed by a response to criticism following publication of the words which cannot be known: [the] “absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone. The world has been witness to the systemic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas by Pakistan.” which may be found here IndianExpress Comment is unnecessary, it speaks for itself, whether it is true or not.

        Those who serve gods of this world, whether of gold, silver, stone or merely the imagination of their own hearts, created in their own image must defend those gods in this world for it is only in this world that those gods have any existence. The living God, whose kingdom is not of this world needs no defence, neither our testimony (though we gladly give it), nor our strength, he is quite capable of speaking for himself, as he has and shall do. The sky above us, space that surrounds us, this vast universe and all that is in it, declare his glory clearly. Do you not see it? By his Spirit he shall act, and shall build his kingdom which is an everlasting kingdom and shall in due time reveal that kingdom for the whole of creation to see and then all men shall acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.

        Conspiracy or no conspiracy

        What matters? He shall scorn them

        You may be aware of what some call conspiracy theories, such as the prospect of the WHO imposing restrictions on and within sovereign states in the event of another [so-called] pandemic, and the plans of the ‘liberal elite’, the few individuals who have more wealth than many sovereign states, to form a world government. Coco is not suggesting that Coco agrees with those who promote these theories, nor with those who might promote these alternate ideologies, but it does present an interesting prospect. We have seen how the restrictions imposed over the recent three years have provided significant economic opportunities for some but have left others impoverished due to an inability to work. For those who are able to gain in such times a return to them, in a more controlled way through the new institutions which may be established if these theories are correct, would not be something to be shunned, but rather embraced with open arms. But where does that leave those who are not able to benefit? The combination of these two ideas tends towards a dystopia of unparalleled dimensions; or is that really so?

        After the death of Solomon, the new king promised his people one thing about which perhaps he would have been wiser to remain silent, but wisdom was not something for which he, unlike his father, was noted. He rejected the advice of his counsellors and made it known that his own ‘little finger shall be thicker than [his] father’s waist’. What did he mean? He intended by it to say that, paraphrasing into contemporary culture: Though taxes under my father were not light, under me they shall be much heavier. Naturally, the people decided that they did not want that king to reign over them. Remarkably it did not lead to an outpouring of blood, though preparations for that had been made, but the consequences of the rebellion were to be felt for many hundreds of years afterwards.

        Now what does this mean? Let Coco remind you of a three things, briefly, before putting them together. Solomon means peace. In his day Israel enjoyed peace after the days of David, a man of war. However Solomon was a flawed man and did as the Lord had warned the people kings would do. The yoke on the people was heavy. Secondly, Jesus Christ is the true king of peace, whose yoke is easy. He is not a flawed man. And thirdly, the David of whom we have spoken, wrote a psalm: ‘Why do the nations rage, and the people’s plot in vain? The kings and rulers take counsel together against the Lord and his Christ saying: Let us break their bonds in pieces.

        What are the people saying? They want to throw off the bonds of the one who says, my yoke is easy. With what shall that yoke be replaced, if not another yoke? We throw off the bonds of God, which are easy, only to take on the bonds of man, which are hard. We hardly blame the people for rejecting Solomon’s heir when his intention was not to ease the burden that his father had placed on the people, but rather to increase it. There was an injustice about it because it came from a flawed king. Would we not say that they were right when they said of the new king: let us break his bonds in pieces? Men always want to break the bonds that appear to shackle them; did we not mention a few days ago every one wants to be king, everyone does what is right in his own eyes?

        But note in David’s words that it was the kings and rulers who led this cry. Who are they in today’s terms if not the sovereign nations and the liberal elite of wealthy individuals aforementioned? They wish to throw off the bonds established by God and replace them with their own rule. If these conspiracy theories have any truth in them then the WHO, the liberal elite, if they rule, what bonds, burdens, will be placed upon ordinary men in order to maintain their positions of new authority? We have only to look at the consequences of the recent lockdowns to gain a glimpse of what may be. Coco commented on the new normal quite a while ago, but will it ever come back? The economic crisis, caused by lack of opportunity to work and a printing of money, may mean that the parties and travel cannot return as they used to be, the new normal becomes an impoverished version of the old normal.

        What is the solution? Well, the Lord pronounces his solution in that same psalm: he shall laugh them to scorn. Just as he pronounced his judgement on an earlier attempt to establish a world government and authority in opposition to his when he said: Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. And at Babel man’s attempt to throw off the yoke of God was thwarted, but we now laboured under a new yoke, but that is not today’s topic.

        The real solution then is, as we mentioned a few days ago also, not to seek to throw off the yoke of God, but to submit to it. Come to me, the Lord says, my yoke is easy. I am gently and lowly in heart. I shall give you rest. As for the conspiracy theories, and the prospects of world government, or indeed any government, the Lord has set the boundaries of the nations, the extents of their empires and the length of their existence. They cannot overstep the boundaries that he has laid out for them. They rise up, but in their pride they shall fall. He shall laugh them to scorn. Governments come and go, perhaps not on the scale of the lifetime of many individuals (though the Alexandrian and Soviet empires may be exceptions), and shall do so until the everlasting kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed.

        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.

        Copy write?

        Censorship to avoid censorship

        According to my limited understanding of a judgement handed down in the US Supreme Court on Tuesday last, FaceBook, in the person of NetChoice, has argued that it is a publisher of the views that all of us express in that forum. That therefore seems to suggest that the views we are permitted to express are at the very least approved by, if not the official position of, FaceBook, on any matter on which we speak. Given the diversity of views expressed here one can only suggest that a house divided against itself cannot stand [for very long], for many views here expressed will contradict other views. Ah well, if you see any of my posts disappear, you will now understand why.

        Of course, the argument is a double edged sword on which these companies may themselves fall, for if they are the publisher, not merely the soap box in the corner of the Park from which we may express our views, then they have additional responsibilities over what we say. If we violate copyright and they publish the material, then who is responsible? Is not the publisher the responsible person? I then for one can rest quietly over a potential copyright violation in recent days; though I hasten to add that I have sought all the necessary permissions.

        Actually what they argued was expressed in this way: ‘it would be a violation of their right to free speech, which includes the freedom of private companies to decide what content to publish on their platforms, to require them not to censor any content.’ So they get to choose whether they will let us say what we want to say.

        One problem with the judgement is that it lacks a reasoned explanation of the grounds on which it was made, so we do not know which of the arguments presented, if any at all, led the judges to reach their decision. The main document of No. 21A720 is fascinating but dense. There was no link to the judgement at the time I wrote this.

        I should now stop digging and allow one of my Irish friends to correct me on every point that I have made in the most delightful and inimitable manner for which he/she is so well known.

        Indented this 19th day of May 2022 (JC), but our ISP had a problem on that day so we are late. Two days have now to go unto the finale.