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March 5th, 2008

water song

the source
It poured and poured with rain, so the stream at the border of the undiscovered country became a river--not only unjumpable, but unfordable as well, very deep and very very fast, and very wide! Marvelous.

I walked along it for a while, to see if there might be a crossing point elsewhere, but no. Instead there was this--a pool of water on the ice, shining in the sun:

a puddle on the ice

and the icy snowmobile path, too had become a river...

icy path, now a stream

There, far away from people, I started to sing... and then heard something jingling and clinking together--it was dog tags, on the collars of two dogs, running by on the hill up above. I got hideously self conscious, because these dogs were surely with a human, and that human might have heard me. But there was no sign of a person. Then I got to thinking that only one of the dogs was really a dog through and through. The other might have been the human whom the dog lives with, but in dog form. What a better way to go walking with your dog--become a dog yourself!

I made a 39-second video of the rapturous, flood-state stream; you can see it here. Added bonus is a view of Molly-the-dog's hindquarters, at the very end.

a ballad with a happy ending

(Well, at least, the first version I read)

Child Ballad No. 209: Geordie. He is blamed for someone's death and set to be put to death himself; his wife rides out and ransoms him, and it ends with him saying, "The fairest flower o woman-kind/Is my sweet bonie lady."

(shamelessly lifted from the marvelous Child ballad site, here)

the complete lyrics to that versionCollapse )

In that version, among the types of money she collects from well wishers to pay the ransom are dollars. Makes me wonder if "dollar" was a word used for money before the United States used it. They had to get the word from someplace, right? I wonder where ... And here's where the Internet is handy, for a web page titled "The Word 'Dollar' and the Dollar Sign $: Origins, History and Geography of Dollar Currencies" tells me the following:

"The word dollar is much older than the American unit of currency. It is an Anglicised form of 'thaler,' (pronounced taler, with a long 'a'), the name given to coins first minted in 1519 from locally mined silver in Joachimsthal in Bohemia."

Meanwhile, Here is a pretty tune for "Geordie"--though the version attached to this tune is much shorter and ends badly.

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