DR STRANGELY STRANGE have been recording three new tracks at Shotgun Studio as a contribution to the 2007 release of a new/old album by HUX Records, UK. This will comprise tracks from 1969/70/71 that were never released and in some cases never completed. They were recorded at Sound Techniques, Chelsea with Joe Boyd in the producers chair and John Wood at the Console.
The new recordings are made in the same manner, i.e mainly acoustic , and will hopefully represent a slightly more polished version of previous years whilst retaining the good humour. We laughed for two weekends.
Order it HERE
 
 

Welcome to visitors new and old. This side of the site has not been updated since 2001. Since then Shotgun Studio has been built and some small projects completed.

Tim's second homebased, recorded and mixed album, an 'EP', was completed in 2004. It is named BIG RED / OLD YALLA and is a tribute in ambient mode to two abstract paintings by Maurice Henderson, a West Cork artist. It may be ordered for 15 euro (including post and packing) from winterpoodle@eircom.net

AN TURAS (the journey), a 13 minute instrumental featuring Ivan Pawle, Joe Thoma and Tim was completed in 2005 and released in a limited edition book by Liam Blake. The book is a photo essay of the Dingle Peninsula and includes the poem 'The Peninsula' by Seamus Heaney. All 75 copies were signed by Liam Blake and Seamus Heaney and are now sold out. It is dedicated to the late Helen Strong and the profits have been donated to The Samaratans.

'Le Le Rockin Sound'; notes towards an interpretation.


Le Le Rockin Sound


Early in the morning, in the garden,
It's told
They rolled the stone.
Can that condone the years of hate,
Or compensate for famine and fear.
O those truant words, words on a city door
Well I'm now so sure

CHORUS:

It's just that same old rockin sound,
Runnin through my be be brain
Peter Pan wants Wendy to do that thing, to do that thing again, to do that thing, to do that thing again

Lee in his waistcoat on le crater's edge,
He saw the winner take all.
Like a loser's friend like a godsend
To Ringsend culture and crime
Oh those truant words, words on a city door
Well I'm now so sure

CHORUS

Rock in his Stetson, down on the Udson,
See how he mangles his lines.
Like a fat boy winning at see-saw
He stars but seldom shines
O that dog, he won't walk, walk where the cat has been
Bathes in the kerosene, howls at Halloween

CHORUS


VERSE 1
Early in the morning, in the garden,
It's told
They rolled the stone.

This refers to Biddy Early (1798-1874) a clairvoyant, herbalist and healer who has been erroneously associated with the invention of the Bidet, hence the alternative usage 'Bidet Early'. In fact the first known draft of this song purportedly commenced "Early on the Bidet…" It has been handed down by many reliable sources that she was an early riser (she survived four husbands) and was often seen at first light in the garden where she gathered medicinal herbs. It remains obscure as to who the 'they' were who 'rolled the stone'. It could be a biblical reference to The Garden of Gethsemane where the tomb of Christ was found empty but more likely there is an esoteric meaning here. 'Rolled the stone' has been used as a colloquialism in Flanders since medieval times for sexual union and could allude to extra marital horseplay although that seems unlikely to this commentator bearing in mind Mrs. Early's religious personality. Besides who is the other party involved if this be true?


Can that condone the years of hate,
Or compensate for famine and fear.
O those truant words, words on a city door
Well I'm now so sure.

The first sentence may well allude to the consequences of religious fundamentalism and intolerance; to wit The Crusades, The Inquisition and the hundreds of religious and racial wars fought in the name of 'Truth'. This can be backed up by the following stanza (Century IX verse 7) of the seer Nostradamus:

"He who will open the tomb found,
And will come to close it promptly,
Evil will come to him, and one will be unable to prove,
If it would be better to be a Breton or Norman King".

The 'truant words on a city door' are possibly those found scrawled on a bakery door under a gas light on the night streets of Paris where Edith Piaf ( spuriously spelt 'Pilaf' in some translations) was born in 1915. Her father was a M. Gassion, an acrobat, and her mother was generally accepted to be 'a street singer with no care for her new born child'. However some diligent research has advanced an alternative hypothesis which would support the lyrics here. This would place Queen Marie of Romania (29 October 1875 - 18 July 1938)), daughter of Prince Alfred the Duke of Edinburgh, as Edith's mother. She had been proposed to by Prince George, her first cousin, and soon to become King George V of England, Emperor of India etc , but had spurned him due to family pressures. He went on to marry Princess Mary of Teck (Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes; (26 May 1867 _ 24 March 1953) and live a contented life as a king, stamp collector and in his own words 'a very ordinary sort of fellow'. His last words were to the nurse in attendance "God damn you".

Marie, who incidentally became the first crowned head of Europe to espouse the Bahai faith, hastily married Ferdinand !st of Romania. The marriage commenced happily enough but we have it on the authority of her longtime secret confidante, the American dancer Loie Fuller, that Marie spoke of "the distaste, that grew to revulsion" she held for her husband. We can conjecture that Marie clandestinely visited Paris in, lets say, 1914 and met the acrobat Gassion who was reputedly 'performing the streets of Paris'. Could she resist? We know for certain that she took other lovers in later life namely Barbu Stirby and Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia. She may have returned to Paris in 1915 or have at least entrusted the abandonment of the lovechild to a lady-in-waiting along with a fat bribe to the putative mother Edith Giovanna Gassion. Did she commision those "truant words" on the city walls? Uniquely, we can reveal those words with a rough translation into English ;

"Une chiquenaude arrière avec la reine écossaise,
Petit moineau de A atteint des tailles invisibles

"One back flip with the Scottish Queen,
A little sparrow reaches heights unseen."

We hasten to add that Marie of Edinburgh would have been completely fluent in French, the court language. This most romantic of languages is yet another clue as to her possible infatuation with the acrobat.
N.B. the sparrow is the name Edith acquired due to her height of less than five feet and weight of 90 lbs. It is possible that Queen Marie was endowed with some of Biddy Early's prescient powers.

CHORUS :
It's just that same old rockin sound,
Runnin through my be be brain

This refrain, although in modern parlance, may be of much earlier origin. The middle English spelling 'rokken' means 'to move back and forth or from side to side, especially gently or rhythmically' and coupled with 'sound' which archaically means 'a report or rumour; news; tidings' may well describe the persistent rumours as to Biddy Early's alleged dawn excesses or Edith Piaf's origins. The second option gains credence as it is conjectured that Edith Piaf may have had a stammer when under the influence of drugs. Hence "be be brain"

Peter Pan wants Wendy to do that thing, to do that thing again, to do that thing, to do that thing again

The intriguing Scottish connection recurs as we cannot help notice that Marie of Edinburgh and Romania and J.M. Barrie (1860-1937) Scottish novelist and playwright were almost exact contemporaries. He, is of course, the author of the book Peter Pan, originally Peter Pan and Wendy, which was an adaptation of his stage play.

Edith Piaf would have been 9 years old when Paramount Pictures released the first film version of Peter Pan in 1924, a silent movie starring Betty Bronson as Peter and Ernest Torrence as Hook. The amateur psychologist could have a field day examining the turbulent emotions that Peter Pan instigated in the prepubescent Edith.

In both book and film Peter wishes to stay forever young whilst Wendy (Wendy Moira Angela Darling to give her her full name) yearns for a homemaking roll. We are told that Peter can only experience one emotion…..gladness. But the lyric suggests that there might be others that have been tactfully ignored.

VERSE 2:
Lee in his waistcoat on le crater's edge,

This could well be Edith speaking as she slips the 'le' in rather than 'the'. The Lee mentioned has been variously identified as;

1. Edgar Lee Masters (August 23, 1868 - March 5, 1950) whose epitaph includes his poem 'Tomorrow is my birthday';

Good friends, let's to the fields…
After a little walk and by your pardon,
I think I'll sleep, there is no sweeter thing.
Nor fate more blessed than to sleep.
I am a dream out of a blessed sleep
Let's walk, and hear the lark.


A singularily uninspiring oeuvre in our opinion.

2. Lee, Walter Henry (Dick) (1889-1968) footballer. Most people never realized that Richard was not his true name. After completing his primary schooling at Gold Street State School he became a boot-clicker with a local boot manufacturer, Pitman & Son, and followed his father into football.


3. Tsung-Dao Lee Nobel Lauriate in physics 1957. He was born on November 24, 1926, in Shanghai, China, as the third of six children of Tsing Kong Lee, a business man, and Ming Chang Chang.


4. 'Lee' the wall scribe of Dublin. Flourished in the early 1960s in Dublin. A selection of some of his most celebrated observations are listed below.

Greek may tax the North Pole, Jews the hemisphere.
I fight Irish Airplanes.
Prince Charles are nuts in the head.
Forty Morris (ibid) nurses murdered each week fighting in the USSR.
Lee has returned and is willing to communicate.
Who burns wonderful man to death.

Any one of these gentlemen with the exception of Tsung-Dao Lee could be described as having been on 'le' crater's edge' at some stage of their lives. Similarily they might all have been waistcoated or vested as the Americans say.


He saw the winner take all
.

Even in this precarious situation Lee was able to identify the winner 'taking all'. The plum pickings were no doubt the royalties for the invention of the bidet, so archly claimed by followers of 'Bidet Early'.

Like a loser's friend like a godsend
To Ringsend culture and crime


Here we have contemporary argot which basically describes how useful the acquaintances and loved ones of a person who is down on their uppers can be to the social fabric, positive and negative, of Ringsend. Surprisingly this is not the Ringsend of Dublin 4, Ireland. We have learnt that it alludes to Ringsend, Montana, USA. By a remarkable coincidence this one-horse town has a chapter of the Biddy Early Society enthusiastically chaired by the Lady Mayoress, Mrs. Boudain Thomorowitz III.


VERSE 3
Rock in his Stetson, down on the Udson,
See how he mangles his lines.

This clearly refers to Rock Hudson (real name Roy Harold Scherer Jr, November 17th 1925-October 2nd 1985) the American actor who famously took no less than 38 takes to successfully complete one line in his first picture, Fighter Squadron (1948). The 'H' in Hudson remains silent and the 'U' is long in deference to James, the North Country butler to Sir Basil, one of the author's father.

Like a fat boy winning at see-saw
He stars but seldom shines

Despite an Oscar nomination for 'Giant' in 1956 Rock was noted for his wooden performances. He starred but seldom shined!

O that dog, he won't walk, walk where the cat has been

The significance of the dog, which symbolizes watchfulness, and the cat which denotes magic is the key to this part of the verse. Although we are not altogether clear as to the purport of this observation at such a late point in the song. In fact to many scholars it remains obscure. One hypothesis which has gained recent attention is the following English translation from the French diary kept by Edith Piaf which was discovered in the late 1960s by Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) an early aficionado of the great songstress :

"the dog which continues, it will not disappear, to go where the cat was"
(le chien qui le continue ne disparaîtra pas, pour aller où le chat était)


Bathes in the kerosene, howls at Halloween

The mythical (and watchful) dog did not bathe in the colourless flammable hydrocarbon liquid known as paraffin oil but in the River Sheen in Kerry, Ireland. 'Kerosene' should read 'Kerry Sheen'. The dog protects it's loved one on the night of Halloween, a fifth century B.C. Celtic holiday. On this day the disembodied souls of the dead return to earth to try and inhabit the bodies of the living. This uncomfortable practice is discouraged by man's best friend.

Addendum

Edith Piaf's memorable words "Non, je ne regrette rien" (No, I regret nothing) are the key to this lyric. From the blameless, in our opinion, Biddy Early to the 'human linnet' Edith Piaf to Marie of Scotland and Romania to J.M. Barrie and most recently the lamented Rock (H)udson we can draw one shared sentiment; they had no regrets. As to how the Breton or Norman king mentioned by that enigmatic old bird Nostradamus comes into it is anybody's guess and could well be the subject of a further paper.


Dr Stephen Strange, M.M.A. Ecuador

Capt T Thomorowitz, Emeritus Professor of Philology (Linet), Ecole de Biddy Early, Paris.. Academician of The Society of the Little Widgeons of Jesus Adolescent.

Copyright 2006

 
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