The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Friday


The Steggie
Traditional, Adapted By Jennifer Cutting


Oh there was an old wifey at the top of yon hill
And the green leaves so green-o
She keeps her housey where you get your fill
And you know very well what I mean-o

She keeps her house o’ the Broadwood ale
Green leaves so green-o
And her bonny servant lassie for to carry it all
And you know very well what I mean-o

A bonny soldier laddie on the very next night
And the green leaves so green-o
She’s called for a beaker of the broadwood ale
And you know very well what I mean-o

He’s called for a beaker and called for another
Green leaves so green-o
And the soldier and the lassie they got bedded down together
And you know very well what I mean-o

She’s put her hand all on his leg
(instrumental response)
Saying fat as that like a hardwood peg
And you know very well what I mean-o

It is my steggie that I ride on
(instrumental response)
And my wallet is for keepin’ all my confidences in
And you know very well what I mean-o

And he’s put his hand all on her thigh
(instrumental response)
Saying fat as that like the tits on a swine
And you know very well what I mean-o

It is my wellie that I draw frae
(instrumental response)
You can water your steggie in it if you may
And you know very well what I mean-o

And what if my steggie it should fall in
And the green leaves so green-o
You can aye grab a hand on the breadth of the brim
And you know very well what I mean-o

He’s put in his steggie so plump and fat
Green leaves so green-o
And he’s pulled it out again like a half-drowned rat
And you know very well what I mean-o

--------

Sorry about the bawdy lyrics. *g* Am just back from Jennifer Cutting's Ocean Orchestra which was minus Grace Griffith, who was at her sister's wedding, but which had a special treat -- Bob Hitchcock! Which means that, with Jennifer, Lisa Moscatiello and Rico Petruccelli already on the stage, we saw 4/5 of the original New St. George! (The tragicomic history of that very highly acclaimed US-British folk-rock group is here.) They did "The Steggie", "Our Captain Cried 'All Hands'", "The Mermaid"...a Breton version of "The Water Is Wide"...most of the songs on Ocean including "Forgiveness" which I have only heard Maddy Prior sing before, "The Sands of Time" which may still be the most beautiful song I have ever heard (I like Lisa's version better than Grace's, forgive me), "My Grief on the Sea", "Song for the Night Sea Journey" (the one based on "Jupiter" from Holst's The Planets)..."Venus"...several reels and hornpipes, bagpipe solos, some excellent guitar and bass solos...all in all a really lovely evening. (There is an interview with Cutting in last week's Washington Post if anyone else is geeking out as much as I am!)


Instruments onstage before the concert at Blackrock Center for the Arts. Four people played three guitars, two bass guitars, two different mandolins, button accordion, bouzouki, keyboard, whistles...and that's not counting the the percussionist, fiddler (he brought two instruments) or three varieties of bagpipes played by the piper.


Otherwise I spent my day trying to get organized so I could go out tonight -- parents babysat the kids, we ate in Germantown (soup and sandwiches, really good) so we could get good seats in the general admission theater. I was originally supposed to have lunch with gblvr but by the time we were both out of the shower, it was going to be late and hectic so we postponed. I wrote articles on Manny Coto and Chase Masterson yakking about how they want Star Trek fans to continue to spend money on their new projects remain faithful to the cause, and how Shatner will sing and show off on the debut of Living In TV Land.

apaulled sent me an e-mail asking me to record Valmont on some very high-number cable channel. I have not watched that film in years, at least since I wrote an article on Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Dangerous Liaisons, Valmont and Cruel Intentions for GMR, and I couldn't remember how long it was, so I turned it on after about an hour to see how much was left. And I ended up totally riveted. This has never been my favorite adaptation of that source material, though really, I love the novel so much that not even Christopher Hampton's play really lived up to it for me (and sorry, Mr. Rickman, I didn't see it in London), and I have issues with all the variant endings.

In the book it's impossible to know exactly what happens, because the entire novel is told in letters and the least-trustworthy narrator (the one who is always absolutely clueless) has the last word. Hampton's play assumed that the Marquise ended up fine but the shadow of the guillotine fell across the stage. His screenplay for Dangerous Liaisons assumed the Marquise was healthy but miserable and the other women suffered terrible fates. Cruel Intentions let the Tourvel character off the hook and Cecile to some extent, but not Merteuil. But Valmont lets all the women off the hook! Despite the fact that the movie bears the male protagonist's name, it's probably the most feminist version. There's no implication that he should have been saved by the love of a good woman or that he was brought down by a bad one. He makes his own bed. I don't think anyone can top Glenn Close's performance in Dangerous Liaisons but there's really a lot to love in Valmont.

And Scott Hamilton, you have an Olympic gold medal for one reason only: because Brian Orser couldn't skate figures for crap. So despite being the first man to land a triple axel in Olympic competition, beating you soundly in the short and long program, he couldn't overcome his deficit from the earliest stages that Olympic skaters are no longer required to perform. So shut up already. Although if Dick Button is the alternative, never mind...I'd rather listen to you than him. Where is Brian Orser anyway? Can we have him as a commentator?
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