Saturday, July 7, 2012


Words by Thomas Moore
Musical arrangement by Sir John Stevenson
Although published here as a "Scotch Air", this is an Irish song


Oft, in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light 
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood's years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimm'd and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chain hath bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

When I remember all
The friends, so link'd together,
I've seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather;
I feel like one,
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chain hath bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Recorded in 1944.  So many boys must have remembered this song from their nursery days now that they had gone for soldiers everyone.  A knot in one's throat, a tear furtively swept, collective memories even for those of us who were no yet born.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012


"Just inside the door was an enormous upright mechanical organ, product of the Fatherland in its milder days.  Into this you inserted a large metal disc covered with perforations, and then turned a handle.  A huge metal roller, studded with spikes like some engine of the Inquisition, could then be observed in motion through the glass front of the upper part, and crashing melody poured forth."

Friday, June 29, 2012


"The nursery, which had been the home of Lady Emily's four children, was a large, sunny room made from several half-attic rooms thrown into one, with sloping ceilings in odd corners.  It was filled with the accumulation of many years of children.  A large dappled rocking horse with fiery nostrils stood in one corner."

Thursday, June 28, 2012


"To sound the gong was, though he would have died than confess it, one of the great joys of Gudgeon's life.  The soul of the artist, the poet, the soldier, the explorer, the mystic, which slumbered somewhere inside his tall and dignified presence, was released four times a day to empyrean heights unknown and unsuspected by his employers, [---] and his underlings."