The words are in (beginner) Portuguese:
Eu gosto de falar
no meus ancestrais
de as ilhas Atlânticas
Madeiras e Açores
It’s dedicated to my great-great-grandfather Manuel Bernard.
Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe, with its back to it geographically and culturally. It was the edge of the known world for Europeans until the Age of Discovery. The Azores islands are even further west.
As a teenager Manuel Bernard stowed away on a passing American whaling ship.Read the rest of this entry »
Around this time (September 2020) I’d planned to travel to Scotland, on my first visit. There was to be a family gathering for my sister’s wedding in Edinburgh.
The trip’s now postponed indefinitely, for obvious reasons
The idea was to visit Boyndie, Banffshire, where my great-great-grandfather John Collie grew up.
In 1856, in his early 20s he published a book : Poems and Lyrics (in the English and Scotch Dialects).
I‘ve started setting some of it to music.
Written in 1856, but timely perhaps?
This poem is the first of 44 pieces in the book Poems & Lyric by John Collie.
It was written by my great-great-grandfather in Scotland. 164 years later, living in 21st century coronavirus lockdown NZ, we’ve all had to bring back solitude. Creating music’s become a solitary pursuit again (or else a virtual one). Adapting this poem gave the chance for a 12-minute acoustic epic whose time had come (again).
OH give me near some swelling stream to stray, 0r tread the windings of some pathless wood, For I am wearied of the bustling day, And long to meet thee, gloomy Solitude: That I with thee may climb those shelfy steeps, Which frown majestic o’er the boiling deeps. Read the rest of this entry »
THE sweet breath of summer blows fresh o’er each plain,
The woods have resumed their lost grandeur again;
By fountain and streamlet the wild ﬂowers are springing.
And the breath of the heather bell sweetens the breeze,
And the old stormy ocean lies slumbering in peace;
And the wild bees are humming around the wild ﬂowers,
Afar above earth the lark proudly soars;
The bleat of the lamb on the moss-cover’d hill,
The sound of the shepherd’s pipe jocund and shrill,
All tell in a language most striking and plain,
T hat summer, fair summer, is reigning again,
The old face of nature her smiles has put on,
And the blustery appearance of winter has ﬂown.
Poem by John Collie (1834-1893),
from his book Poems and Lyrics in the English and Scotch Dialects, published in Banffshire, Scotland in 1856
John Collie emigrated to New Zealand in 1858. This poem seems to anticipate his leaving Scotland forever, to start a new life in a new country on the opposite side of the world.
A song written by my great-great-grandfather John Collie, in Banffshire, Scotland, in 1856.
It also appeared on
Where it marked a return to my solo acoustic approach of early years.