Britannia’s Huns with Their Long Range Guns

Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war ‘Twas better to die ‘neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud El Bar And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through While Britannia’s Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew — […]

Deadwood, South Dakota

Some flat-shoed fool from the East comes a-runnin’ With some news that he’d heard in some St. Joseph paper; And it was “drinks all around” ’cause the news he was tellin’ Was the one they’d called Crazy Had been caught and been dealt with. And the Easterner he read the news from the paper; And […]

My Faithful Fair One

Mo rùn geal dìleas Sèist Mo rùn geal dìleas, dìleas, dìleas Mo rùn geal dìleas nach till thu nall Cha till mi fhèin riut, a ghaoi chan fhaod mi ‘S ann tha mi ghaoil ‘na mo laighe tinn Is truagh nach robh mi an riochd na faoilinn A shnàmhadh aotrom air bhàrr nan tonn Is […]

Ad Incursu Anglicorum et Insultu Emulorum

Pater Columba decus morum suscipe vota famulorum te laudantem serva chorum ad incursu anglicorum et insultu emulorum. Father Columba, glory of our national tradition receive the prayers of your servants save this choir that is praising you from attack by the English and assualt by rivals. — Antiphon from the Office for the Feast of St. Columba […]

To Hell or Connaught

Have you ever walked the lonesome hills And heard the curlews cry Or seen the raven black as night Upon a windswept sky To walk the purple heather And hear the westwind cry To know that’s where the rapparee must die Since Cromwell pushed us westward To live our lowly lives There’s some of us […]

A More Potent Instrument Than Any Other

Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul; on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful; and also because he who has […]

Tyrannic Man’s Dominion

This is one of my favourite Burns’ songs.  The best recording of it I have encountered is by Dick Gaughan, the Scottish folk singer/activist.  I think the third verse is masterful. * * * Now Westlin Winds Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns Bring autumn’s pleasant weather The moorcock springs on whirring wings Among the […]

The Standard on the Braes o’ Mar

While the flag above is from the ’45, the song is about the raising of the Jacobite standard at Braemar in 1715. The standard on the Braes o’ Mar is up and streaming rarely The gathering pipe on Lochnagar is sounding loud and sairly The Hieland men, frae hill and glen Wi’ belted plaids and […]


My rough translation from French to English: Your great-great-grandmother, she had fourteen children; Your great-grandmother had almost as many; For your grandmother three were enough; And your mother didn’t want any: you were an accident. As for you, my girl, you change partners all the time. When you do something stupid, you get out of […]