Archive for ‘Videos’

Dec 19, 2012

Better Together? Think Again

And to those of you in the Labour Party who grumble we’re ‘better together’ let me remind you it is your Party which has run Glasgow for over 80 years and has made it the most impoverished city in the UK and one of the poorest in the whole of Europe and it is your Party which schemed and eventually succeeded in removing 6000 miles of Scotland’s territorial waters and re-designating them English – with all that implies for Scotland’s economic prosperity.

The McCrone Report – You Sleeping Beauty

Dave Cameron’s Better Together

Nov 8, 2012

Autumn Walk through Paradise

Paradise Woods at Monymusk has been owned by the Grant family since the early 18th century.

Paradise Woods lie close to the village of Monymusk and Bennachie visible peeking out from behind the hill in the picture left.

Paradise Woods were planted  by the agricultural reformer Sir Archibald Grant.

The lade used to power a sawmill.

Sir Archibald Grant has gone down in Scottish history as one of the foremost improvers of the Agricultural revolution.

As well as introducing new methods of husbandry to the land such as enclosing fields with stone dykes in place of the old run rig system of growing, Grant encouraged his tenants to grow innovative crops of peas, useful for converting nitrogen in the soil, and turnips which provided winter feeding for farm animals, enabling many to survive winters where previously much of the stock had to be slaughtered as there was little to keep them alive during the cold months of the year.

But Grant also planted this woodland.

It’s a sign of the times but there are lots of dead trees in Paradise Woods today.

It is home to all sorts of varieties of tree: fir, oak, ash, elm, beech, plane, alder, hazel, birch, spruce, larch.

A hollowed out tree  and what it looks like up inside the trunk.

Many have very large girths, evidently very old, perhaps from the original planting.

The River Don flows alongside Paradise Wood, separating it from the Lord’s Throat.

Driving along the Lord’s Throat on the opposite side to Paradise Woods

Oct 7, 2012

Bob Dylan’s Tempest is Superb Storytelling

Dylan sings Tempest – his poignant story of the sinking of Titanic on 15 April 1912

Bob Dylan has a voice for every decade he’s been recording. Now at 71 he sounds a bit like Danny la Rue as he rasps through his repertoire. It’s worth it.

As a DVD Tempest is pretty good starting with head swaying Duquesne Whistle and we imagine the old rascal has come up with a light and breezy line-up of cheerful (relative term after all we are talking Dylan here) but naturally the lightness doesn’t last. Of course it doesn’t.

Long and Wasted Years’ hypnotic melody belies the tragic sentiments of an old man’s regrets.

Roll on John is a fine tribute to John Lennon – ‘I heard the news today, oh boy…they hauled your ship upon the shore…shine your light…you burn so bright…in that forest of the night…cover him up and let him sleep…roll on John.’

But of all the tracks Tempest itself is a masterpiece. Dylan is back to his narrative best. Think of The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll or Hurricane. Here Dylan packs a terrific storyline against a waltz tempo reminiscent of some of Jimmy Shand’s very best. I can just imagine Jimmy tapping his toes to this one.  But it’s no jolly romp. For me Tempest succeeds in capturing the hopeless and terrifying tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic which nothing else has come close to. It’s that mixture of Dylan feeding us lines which spark our imagination.

At a few seconds under 14 minutes long, Tempest’s brilliant lyrics would occupy too much space to quote in full. Anyway they might need his scratchy, hoarse delivery to provide the song’s full impact. Here are a few and notice the similarity to the start of Coleridge’s, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. .

The pale moon rose in its glory
Out on the Western town
She told a sad, sad story
Of the great ship that went down

The chandeliers were swaying
From the balustrades above
The orchestra was playing
Songs of faded love

He staggered to the quarterdeck
No time now to sleep
Water on the quarterdeck
Already three foot deep

The ship was going under
The universe had opened wide
The roll was called up yonder
The angels turned aside

Lights down in the hallway
Flickering dim and dull
Dead bodies already floating
In the double bottom hull

The engines then exploded
Propellers they failed to start

The boilers overloaded

The ship’s bow split apart

Passengers were flying
Backward, forward, far and fast
They mumbled, fumbled, and tumbled
Each one more weary than the last

The watchman lay there dreaming
At forty-five degrees
He dreamed that the Titanic was sinking
Dropping to her knees

Mothers and their daughters
Descending down the stairs
Jumped into the icy waters
Love and pity sent their prayers

Brother rose up ‘gainst brother
In every circumstance
They fought and slaughtered each other
In a deadly dance

They lowered down the lifeboats
From the sinking wreck
There were traitors, there were turncoats
Broken backs and broken necks

Jim Dandy smiled
He never learned to swim
Saw the little crippled child
And he gave his seat to him

Petals fell from flowers
‘til all of them were gone
In the long and dreadful hours
The wizard’s curse played on

The watchman, he lay dreaming
The damage had been done
He dreamed the Titanic was sinking
And he tried to tell someone

The captain, barely breathing
Kneeling at the wheel
Above him and beneath him
Fifty thousand tons of steel

He looked over at his compass
And he gazed into its face
Needle pointing downward
He knew he lost the race

In the dark illumination
He remembered bygone years
He read the Book of Revelation
And he filled his cup with tears

When the Reaper’s task had ended
Sixteen hundred had gone to rest
The good, the bad, the rich, the poor
The loveliest and the best

The watchman he lay dreaming
Of all the things that can be
He dreamed the Titanic was sinking
Into the deep blue sea

Sep 24, 2012

Plebs and Scum and the Taxman

What the rich get up to – and think of you – yes you.

From Bright Green

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Sep 23, 2012

Country Joe and the Fish – the Vietnam Song and Don’t Bogart That Joint

There’s been no-one quite like Country Joe

And featuring Don’t Bogart That Joint!

Sep 23, 2012

Rita MacNeil sings Working Man

Several years ago I came across friends of Rita MacNeil in Nova Scotia and I’d never heard of her at the time. A few years on and I heard this track on Robbie Shepherd’s programme and recently found the piece of paper I’d noted it down on.

So here it is and I hope you like the song too.

This is also a tribute to the British miners and their families who suffered so much at the hands of Margaret Thatcher.

Sep 6, 2012

Aberdeen 1988: Night Workers

This film was made in 1988 by three Aberdeen College of Commerce students of Aberdeen in the evening and through the night.

It includes scenes of Grampian Transport in the days before First Bus, the fish market when there was still fishing out of Aberdeen, Norco milkmen loading their vehicles in the days when the co-op was a big employer in the city, newspapers arriving on British Rail at the Joint Station for distribution to newsagents in the days when people read newspapers (and they were worth reading) and bakers from Kennedy Bakery producing rowies etc in the days when there were still several family craft bakers servicing the people of Aberdeen.

Storage of the video over more than two decades has left its mark in quality dropout. The original soundtrack and narrative have been replaced for reasons of copyright.

Aug 13, 2012

Fiddle and Banjo from Colorado

They’re good. Really good.

Aug 13, 2012

Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo`Ole

Beautiful song. Thank you.

Mar 7, 2012

Cutting to the chase with the Tea Party

I doubt this man has ever sat on a fence.

How to talk to the Tea Party and their hangers-on.


President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins in the US.