Monthly Archives: January 2013

Almanac – January 31

1606 – Guy Fawkes, Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood and Robert Keyes  executed for plotting against Parliament and King James. Fawkes was the last to stand on the scaffold, his fellow plotters were already hanged and quartered.  He asked for forgiveness of the King and state, while keeping up his “crosses and idle ceremonies“, and aided by the hangman began to climb the ladder to the noose.

Although weakened by torture, Fawkes managed to jump from the gallows, breaking his neck in the fall and thus avoiding the agony of the latter part of his execution. His lifeless body was nevertheless quartered and, as was the custom, his body parts were then distributed to “the four corners of the kingdom”, to be displayed as a warning to other would-be traitors.

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1942 – Derek Jarman born. English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author. Films include Sebastiane (1976), Jubilee (1977), The Tempest (1979) and The Last of England (1988).

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1956 – John Lydon born. Also known by the former stage name Johnny Rotten,  a singer-songwriter and television presenter, best known as the lead singer of punk rock band the Sex Pistols and Public image Ltd.

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1960 – Grant Morrison born. Scottish comic book writer, playwright and occultist. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and countercultural leanings in his runs on titles including DC Comics’ Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Batman, and Marvel Comics’ New X-Men and Fantastic Four

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Almanac – January 30

1649 – Charles I executed. The execution took place at Whitehall, London,  on a scaffold in front of the Banqueting House. Charles was separated from the people by large ranks of soldiers, and his last speech reached only those with him on the scaffold. He declared that he had desired the liberty and freedom of the people as much as any, “but I must tell you that their liberty and freedom consists in having government…. It is not their having a share in the government; that is nothing appertaining unto them. A subject and a sovereign are clean different things.” 

Kind of :  I know best because I’m king, and I’m king because I know best, so suck on that, scum. The same attutude (replacing king with rich) is prevalent in our current Consevative government.

Closer to the fact was the statement from The Ordinance For The King’s Trial

“Charles Stuart, the now king of England… hath had a wicked design totally to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and liberties of this nation, and in their place to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government.”

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1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England was ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch, Charles I,  he himself deposed.

 

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1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert was broken up by the police.

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1971 – Carole King‘s album Tapestry  released – it would become the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sell 24 million copies worldwide.

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1980 – Professor Longhair died.  New Orleans blues singer and pianist. Professor Longhair is noteworthy for having been active in two distinct periods, both in the heyday of early rhythm and blues, and in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray, stated “The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey “Piano” Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John.”

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Almanac – January 29

1737 – Thomas Paine born. English political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the American Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called “a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination.”

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1936 – James Jamerson born. American bass player. He was the uncredited bassist on most of Motown Records’ hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and he is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history. He performed on 30  number-one hits, more than any person or group in music history, and on more than 70 number-one R&B hits, also the most ever.

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1946 – Bettye Lavette born.  American soul singer-songwriter who made her first record at sixteen, but achieved only intermittent fame until 2005, with her album, I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music.

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1958 – Linda Smith born. British stand-up comic and comedy writer. She appeared regularly on BBC Radio 4 panel games, and was voted “Wittiest Living Person” by listeners in 2002.

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2011 – Milton Babbitt died. American composer, music theorist, and teacher. He was particularly noted for his serial and electronic music.

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Gwrach y Rhibyn, or Hag of the Mist.

Another Welsh supernatural being associated with water was the Gwrach y Rhibyn.  She was supposed to reside in the dripping fog, but was seldom, if ever seen.  It was believed that her shriek foretold misfortune, if not death, to the hearer, and some even thought that, in a shrill tenor, and lengthened voice, she called the person shortly to die by name.

Yr Hen Chrwchwd, or The Old Humpbacked, a fiend in the shape of an old woman, is thought to be identical with this Gwrach y Rhibyn.

In Carmarthenshire the spirit of the mist is represented, not as a shrivelled up old woman, but as a hoary headed old man, who seats himself on the hill sides, just where the clouds appear to touch them, and he is called Y Brenhin Llwyd, or The Grey King.  I know not what functions this venerable personage, or king of the mist, performed, unless it were, that he directed the mist’s journey through the air.

Full forum thread –  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=125

 

 

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Almanac – January 28

1941 – King Tubby born.  Jamaican electronics and sound engineer, known primarily for his influence on the development of dub in the 1960s and 1970s. Born Osbourne Ruddock, Tubby’s innovative studio work, which saw him elevate the role of the mixing engineer to a creative fame previously only reserved for composers and musicians, would prove to be influential across many genres of popular music. He is often cited as the inventor of the concept of the remix, and so may be seen as a direct antecedent of much dance and electronic music production.

Mikey Dread stated “King Tubby truly understood sound in a scientific sense. He knew how the circuits worked and what the electrons did. That’s why he could do what he did”.

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1945 – Robert Wyatt born. English musician, and founding member of the influential Canterbury scene band Soft Machine, with a long and distinguished solo career. In 1973, at a party, while  inebriated he fell from a fourth floor window. He was paralysed from the waist down and consequently uses a wheelchair.

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Almanac – January 27

1832 – Lewis Carroll born.  English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer, real name  Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems “The Hunting of the Snark” and “Jabberwocky“, all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.

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1875 – Mione Elizabeth George Israel born (probably).  Born in Dominica, her birthdate of January 27, 1875, was attested by an entry in a baptismal register , and by a birth certificate procured for her in 2000 based on the baptismal register. Assuming its correct (some doubt it) she would have been 128 years old at the time of her death in 2003.

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1910 – Thomas Crapper died.  Plumber who founded Thomas Crapper & Co in London. Contrary to widespread misconceptions, Crapper did not invent the flush toilet. He did, however, do much to increase the popularity of the toilet, and developed some important related inventions, such as the ballcock.

It has often been claimed in popular culture that the slang term for human bodily waste, “crap”, originated with Thomas Crapper because of his association with lavatories. The most common version of this story is that American servicemen stationed in England during World War I saw his name on cisterns and used it as army slang, i.e. “I’m going to the crapper”.

The word crap is actually of Middle English origin; and hence predates its application to bodily waste. Its first application to bodily waste, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, appeared in 1846 under a reference to a crapping ken, or a privy, where ken means a house.

Its most likely etymological origin is a combination of two older words, the Dutch krappen: to pluck off, cut off, or separate; and the Old French crappe: siftings, waste or rejected matter (from the medieval Latin crappa, chaff).

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1972 – Mahalia Jackson died. American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she  became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist,  described by  Harry Belafonte as “the single most powerful black woman in the United States“. She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen million-sellers.

“I sing God’s music because it makes me feel free,” Jackson once said about her choice of gospel, adding, “It gives me hope. With the blues, when you finish, you still have the blues.”

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St. Edmund’s Golden Spurs

St Edmund, or rather plain King Edmund of East Anglia as he then was, had had a bad day – his forces getting beaten by the Danish Great Heathen Army at the battle of Hoxne (Suffolk).

Fleeing the battlefield, he is said to have hidden under Goldbrook Bridge, near Hoxne. However, a newly married couple crossing the bridge saw the glint of his golden spurs reflected in the water of the River Dove, and betrayed him to the Danish  troops who were out searching for him.

As he was dragged away to be executed, Edmund shouted out an angry curse on all bridal couples who should ever cross the bridge, and its said that until well into the 19th century wedding parties went out of the way to avoid doing so.

And they say that the gleam of his spurs can be seen from the bridge on moonlit nights….

For a while, Edmund  got the top local job as Patron Saint of England… until  Edward III in the 14th century  replaced him by associating Saint George with the Order ofthe Garter. Edward III believed that England should have a fearless champion as its patron saint and not a king who was defeated in battle, or maybe executed after it.

It always amuses me somewhat that extreme  right-wingers who proudly fly the St George’s cross flag and fulminate about ‘foreigners coming here and taking our jobs‘ fail totally to realise that St George was a foreigner who came over here and took an English saint’s job…

 

Full Article –  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=62

 

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