Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fair Nottamun Town / Passion / Paradox

“Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson


In fair Nottamun town, not a soul would look up
Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down
Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down
To show me the way to fair Nottamun town

I rode a grey horse, a mule roany mare
Grey mane and grey tail, a green stripe down her back
Grey mane and grey tail, a green stripe down her back
There wa'nt a hair on her be-what was coal black

She stood so still, she threw me to the dirt
She tore -a my hide and she bruised my shirt
From saddle to stirrup I mounted again
And on my ten toes I rode over the plain

Met the King and the Queen and a company more
A-riding behind and a-marching before
Came a stark naked drummer a-beating a drum
With his heels in his bosom come marching along

They laughed and they smiled, not a soul did look gay
They talked all the while, not a word they did say
I bought me a quart to drive gladness away
And to stifle the dust, for it rained the whole day

Sat down on a hard, hot cold frozen stone
Ten thousand stood round me and yet I's alone
Took my hat in my hand for to keep my head warm
Ten thousand got drownded that never was born

(Medieval English Folk Song)


The Solitary Walker said...

Aah ... yes. This reverberates, doesn't it?

A cynically dispassionate and misdirected riotous assembly of youths on the streets of Nottingham these last nights, and London, and Leicester, and Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and London.

A hard rain falling here in England.

How to rekindle a proper and true passion? The Emerson quote gives one some small hope.

Taradharma said...

thank goodness for the young...I have to really work to stay 'young at heart' and young in my thinking...this old world's got me down currently.

am said...

Solitary Walker -- When I posted that, I was aware of the rioting in London but did not know of the trouble in the streets of Nottingham. My heart goes out to the people of England.

What I was thinking of was the upcoming concert in Nottingham in October and remembered the first time I heard Jean Ritchie singing "Fair Nottamun Town" and realized it was Bob Dylan's source for "Masters of War." Didn't know the background on the song until today. An odd bit of synchronicity.

am said...

Taradharma -- Here's something you might like: