Tag Archives: Frogs

St. Patrick’s Well, Dublin, Under Threat ?

The construction of the cross- city Luas line will destroy a holy well associated with St Patrick, Jonathan Swift and the introduction of frogs to Ireland, a historian has claimed.

Gary Branigan, author of Ancient & Holy Wells of Dublin, said the line would pass over St Patrick’s Well as it makes its way past Trinity College. The underground well would be destroyed in the process, he said.

The Railway Procurement Agency said it was aware of the well, which is a recorded monument, but said it would not be affected by the Luas works.

“Few pedestrians walking along modern-day Nassau Street will be aware that beneath their feet lies a hidden and ancient site of pilgrimage associated with none other than St Patrick himself,” Mr Branigan said.

“Nassau Street itself was called Patrick’s Well Lane until it was renamed in the 18th century after the accession to the throne of William III, ruler of the house of Orange-Nassau.”

Mr Branigan has called on Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to review the route in order to preserve the well.

However the aagency said the well’s location had been incorrectly mapped and was actually under the north side of Nassau Street at the junction with Dawson Street and would not be under the new line.

“Appropriate constraints to protect the well during construction have also been included in the works contracts,” a spokeswoman said, “such as the requirement for continuous monitoring of vibration levels from construction activities in the area and the setting of appropriate vibration limits to ensure that no damage will occur to the well”.

In 1729 the well ran dry, inspiring Jonathan Swift to write a satirical poem.

Legend has it that frogs were introduced to Ireland by a Protestant who, “to show his zeal against popery”, brought frog spawn from Liverpool and deposited it in the well.

Source – Irish Times, 25 July 2013

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Almanac – March 14

1471 – Sir Thomas Malory died.  English writer, the author or compiler of Le Morte d’Arthur.

Since the late nineteenth century he has generally been identified as Sir Thomas Malory of Newbold Revel in Warwickshire, a knight, land-owner and Member of Parliament.

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1869 – Algernon Blackwood born.  English short story writer and novelist, one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre. He was also a journalist and a broadcasting narrator.

S. T. Joshi has stated that “his work is more consistently meritorious than any weird writer’s except Dunsany’s” and that his short story collection Incredible Adventures (1914) “may be the premier weird collection of this or any other century”.

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1922 – Les Baxter born. American musician and composer. He composed and conducted scores for Roger Corman‘s Edgar Allan Poe films and other horror stories and teenage musicals, including The Pit and the Pendulum, The Comedy of Terrors, Muscle Beach Party, The Dunwich Horror, and Frogs.

Baxter, alongside Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, is celebrated as one of the progenitors of exotica music.

In his 1996 appreciation for Wired magazine, writer David Toop wrote that Baxter “offered package tours in sound, selling tickets to sedentary tourists who wanted to stroll around some taboo emotions before lunch, view a pagan ceremony, go wild in the sun or conjure a demon, all without leaving home hi-fi comforts in the white suburbs.”

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Almanac – January 15

1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: Also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts .

A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and some residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.

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1923 – Ivor Cutler born. Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist. He became known for his regular performances on BBC radio, and in particular his numerous sessions recorded for John Peel’s influential radio programme.

The hallmarks of Cutler’s work are surreal, bizarre juxtapositions and close attention to small details of existence, all described in seemingly naive language. In performance his delivery was frail, halting and minimally inflected. His writing sometimes edged into whimsy or the macabre. Many of his poems and songs are in the form of conversations delivered as a monologue.

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1941 – Captain Beefheart born. American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet . His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 13 studio albums.

Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, he also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition.

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1996 – Les Baxter died. American musician and composer, he worked on movie soundtracks for B-movie studio American International Pictures where he composed and conducted scores for Roger Corman‘s Edgar Allan Poe films and other horror stories and teenage musicals, including The Pit and the Pendulum, The Comedy of Terrors, Muscle Beach Party, The Dunwich Horror, and Frogs.

Howard W. Koch recalled that Baxter composed, orchestrated and recorded the entire score of The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) in a total of three hours for $5,000.

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