Saturday, February 10, 2007

Robert Burns update

The Robert Burns festival continued last night with magnificent fervor!

Linda prepared an amazing feast of a sausage-carrot-cabbage collage, strawberries with chocolate and hot toddies with GlenFiddich: "the malt that wounds." But the food was secondary to the words of the master--especially his songs.

Burns was the Neil Young of his day and age, penning verses that could either be read or sung. And sung they were--and sung they are--you can find numerous versions of his poem/songs on I-tunes, including a hardcore Pouges-like rendition of "Red, Red Rose" by Bob Hay and the Jolly Beggars, to many great versions of "The Banks of' Bonie Doon" (spelled 14 different ways!). The latter we sung at our meeting--before, during and after the meal. It's such a sad, beautiful song:

Ye banks and braes o' bonie Doon,
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae weary fu' o' care!
Thou'll break my heart, thou warbling bird,
That wantons thro' the flowering thorn:
Thou minds me o' departed joys,
Departed never to return.

Aft hae I rov'd by Bonie Doon,
To see the rose and woodbine twine:
And ilka bird sang o' its Luve,
And fondly sae did I o' mine;
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree!
And may fause Luver staw my rose,
But ah! he left the thorn wi' me.

Kind of makes you wonder, though, if Burns wrote this version of it (there are 3) for a woman to sing, or if this hard-drinking womanizer had a secret life that didn't require child support payments (see last line of second stanza).

Afterwards, still singing, we wandered a few blocks to the art opening at the Salmagundi Club, to take on a BIG art opening featuing 48 painters. You get 48 painters together, you got a crowd. You get their friends too and you have a HUGE crowd! It was packed and full of good vibes. Highlights for me included a giant (16' x 6') brand new painting by Charles Yoder of a forest glen, which invites the eye to wander through it's parts and whole for hours. Also interesting work by John Bowman and Anne Shostrom, plus a really amazing ink and watercolor piece by Pier Consagra feature mad satyrs galavanting about (possibly in a forest glen). The show is open daily from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at 47 5th Avenue.

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