Sea Shanties are in for 2021!!

I am pretty excited about that.  If you are of the tik-tok generation, this is ancient news, really, really OLD stuff, but I prefer not to see time passing by as though we had the lifespan of fruitflies.

In December a young Scottish man named Nathan Evans posted a video of himself singing a sea shanty called The Wellerman.  Apparently it’s a Tik-Tok thing to do this and invite others to do their own version, or to record themselves doing a duet and share that, and I say more power to the tik tok generation that do this kind of thing.  It is totally delightful and awesome and more, please.  People did join, it was a huge hit, somebody elses did some remixes splicing a bunch of them together, and this is my favourite:

I cannot stop singing it, and I hope you can’t, either.

Well, next thing, Nathan Evans went to bed on Friday as a postman and on Monday he had a recording contract and another cut of The Wellerman was released and number 1 on the charts for two weeks.

Also, that rosy cheeked young lad with the plaid shirt and hoodie or baseball cap and the voice that makes all the bones in your body vibrate with it’s depth- he’s 19 year old ‘Luke the Voice’ and a student at Liberty University. He’s got another video out there of his roommate singing Amazing Grace with him and it’s so worth hearing. And he’s also done a couple Johnny Cash songs that I don’t have anything but cliches to describe it because my brain is old and brittle. His voice is young and deeper than deep.

Nobody is telling me who the Black man with the hair and the intriguing bookcase full of books behind him. Nobody else had a bookcase. I must know his name.

I like this remake better, because it adds history and deletes the cat. I don’t care for the cat.

I’m also singing this one at random moments- it’s new to me, and I kind of feel like it might not be an authentic old song, but one written for that viking show. But it’s cool.

Here’s a fanmade version you don’t want to watch with wee kiddies. Lots of footage of hewing and the capital parts of the hewed.

These will all throw some pep intoyour day and they make great housecleaning music.

P.S. Here is his latest official release, with gorgeous scenery from the Scottish coast:

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K-drama, C-Drama

I kind of dropped Turkish dramas just because they are way too long.  I still like the ones I watched- light, rom-commy stuff.  I dabbled in a couple more serious ones, and disliked them immensely.

BTW, there is going to be no order at all in this post.  We will take things as they come to my butterfly brain.

I watched all of Ming-Lan, a Chinese drama, and I loved it so much.  It was fabulous.  I am now watching The Sword and Brocade because it was supposed to be similar. I am totally enjoying it, and it is a bit similar, but one key difference is that while both the leads are essentially good, decent, and quite smart people, they just are nowhere near as smart as Ming-Lan and Lord Gu.  So people expecting MingLan are going to be disappointed, since the brains in that power couple set the bar so high.  So if you want to enjoy Sword and Brocade, remember it is *not* precisely another Ming Lan.

It is a Chinese  period drama with a couple who come to love each other *after* an arranged marriage.  They are really smart, but they don’t have the rock solid trusting foundation Ming and Gu have, and they are not the Machiavellian geniuses we have in Ming Lan and her spouse. They do gradually fall in love with each other after their marriage, which is my drama catnip. But it takes a long time, and the Mrs (Shiyi) takes longer than she should to trust her husband.  The ending felt a little bit rushed, but I still enjoyed this one very much.

 

I finished Rebel Princess (or Monarch Industry) and it broke my heart into tiny pieces more than once, but overal I found it immensely satisfactory and happy making, and the costumes are stunning.  Because I loved the male lead here so much, I also watched Longest Day in Ching-Lan, another c-drama, and enjoyed it, although it’s totally different- all war and fighting and adrenaline, few costumes, not a love story, just spiraled layers upon layers to uncover, very twisty.  And Cool.

I watched the K-Drama L.U.C.A. and I loved it until the last four episodes.  I thought I was watching a Frankenstein story with a happy ending, but I was watching a Frankenstein story with an apocalyptic ending. You don’t see the apocalypse, but you do see its birth and there’s no doubt it’s coming.  That is a dark and dramatic story and they did it well. It’s just that I ordered an ice cream sundae with whipped cream and what I got was death with a side of apocalyptic destruction and some insanity sprinkles. But the music was cool.

I am watching Song Joon Ki, I mean, Vincenzo.  I have watched enough K-dramas now that it’s pretty much a certainty he’s going to die in the end – I thought it was going to be violence, but now I think it will be cancer.  I am sad but resigned. I have no idea how this baby-faced, slender and elegant actor manages to channel such lethal energy using only his eyes and a well tailored suit,  but he does. Also, Taek is just so much fun to watch here.  The first drama I saw him in, I did not think he was a good actor, but he has improved in every drama.  This may be the best yet.  He’s fantastic.

I am slowly watching the C-Drama The General and I because Wallace Chung,  fun martial arts stuff, smart female lead and mainly Wallace Chung.  Stalled out at the moment but I will probably finish it.

I am watching (slowly), River Where the Moon Rises, mainly out of curiosity to see how well it works with the new actor since the scandal where they had to ditch Jin Soo and he’s going to join the army and maybe will never act again. Korea seems to be giving it lots of viewing love, and probably more than a few kindly sympathy watches and a lot of nosy parker and idle curiosity watches are also contributing to the rates.

I dropped My Heroic Husband (Cdrama) because it got repetitive and boring.

I was watching Sisyphus the Myth (K-drama) even though it’s a train wreck because I like sci-fi and time travel.  I just cannot at all buy the female lead as elite fighter, but I just roll my eyes and keep going. I do like her pink gun and smiley faced smoke bombs.

I am watching LadyLord (Kdrama), or rather, have watched the one episode, because Lee Minki.  Now I am watching for the next episode for more of Lee Minki, Nana, and that house, plus the cohabitation trope happening in that house. And I generally like dramas about dramas, esoecially when the writer-nim is a key player and also Lee Min-Ki.

 

I am about halfway through The Psychopath’s Diary (Kdrama).  Yeah, it finished airing a while ago.  I wanted to watch it because I really like the lead actor, but I didn’t because of the Psychopathic killer as a joke part just didn’t appeal to me.  I tried it, and in a weird way, with some stoutly suspended disbelief, it was funnier than I expected, but now I am putting off finishing it because it’s getting serious. Like a psychopathic killer isn’t inherently serious.  I dunno. I really like several of the characters.  I like the drama far more than I expected to.

I am watching a currently airing drama called You are My Hero.  It’s highly satisfying.   I didn’t know anything the show or about any of the actors.  Somebody called just a copy of Descendants of the Sun so I was curious, because that was awesome.  I am glad I am watching this one.  It’s fabulous.  It isn’t a copy, but it’s definitely in the same family.  He is a cop and a member of SWAT.  She is a doctor.  They meet the first time when she is at a bank during an attack, and he’s the SWAT guy who swoops in and saves her in dramatic fashion.  But she never sees his face because he’s in the SWAT mask. Three years later her medical team has to go for some special training with the police.  The idea is that sometimes medical and police teams have to work together so if they do some special training together it will help the medical people build endurance and help with communications between the two groups.  He’s the instructor and hes hard-core and by the book and deadly serious about his job and protecting the public and making sure the medical team measures up so they don’t cost citizen lives because they are, for example, too afraid of heights to help somebody on a cliff or or high rooftop and also in medical need.  Anyway, of course they clash, and she thinks he hates her, but he really likes her.  And there we go.  I like the screen writing, I like the actors. I like the characters. If you liked Descendants of the Sun, you will like this, too.  There is definitely that thrill of a man in uniform doing his job and doing it well.  There’s the caring, compassionate, doctor who cares about her patients.  There are the fun sidekicks.  There is also a bit of Chinese nationalist propaganda.

 

I like the couple’s relationship, and how they work together and talk things out and aren’t too stupid about things.  There isn’t really a serious villain- there are a few episodes of a story where a girl wants to be a serious villain but the couple just keep spiking her guns and everything she tries only gives good characters the opportunity to step up and be supportive and spike her guns, and that’s always satisfying.

 

I don’t know if I am just not finding them, but it feels like Korean dramas are missing the mark a lot lately.  I never thought I’d end up watching more C-dramas than K-dramas, but right now, that’s what’s going on.

I am not watching any English language shows, although I did enjoy Endeavor for a while, aside from the bed-hopping.  I have watched a few episodes of the Hawaii 5-0 remake with one of my girls, and I like it when I am watching it with her, but it doesn’t come to  mind when I am at home and thinking about what to watch.

 

What are you watching these days?

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More Black Poetry

Louise Curran on black poets: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ovogLcVNBWYTvF8pcYygrhuWAQtBsUYZ/view

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Carter G. Woodson, Father of Black History

For children about six to 10 (or older, I thoroughly enjoyed it), you simply must read the McKissack’s engaging biography, Carter G. Woodson, The Father of Black History

Pero daglo Dagbovie has a 280 something page book or resource online here, Willing to SAcrifice.  I am struggling with reading long text online, so I am not sure how engaging it is for the average reader.  The author wrote Carter G. Woodson in Washington, D.C., which is on Kindle. They may be essentially the same work.  If you have unlimited, it’s one of the books you can read with your subscription.  I am enjoying 90% of it, with some frustration over long breaks for long lists of names with no context (probably I should know them, but I don’t), or for details that are just data (the size of a signboard he put up to advertise the publishing arm of his organization).  It is partially a biography of the man, and partially a biography of his house and the movement housed in his home. You could read the first half for just the biography of the man.

Carter Woodson, Web Dubois, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and Kelly Miller are all important black scholars, writers, and/or teachers to read about.  THey were to some degree contemporary with each other, in that their time periods overlapped, although Booker T. Washington was almost a generation ahead of the others, and died before any of them.  It’s important to read them for several reasons, but one that interests me is how much they disagreed with each other at different times.  They mostly had the same goals, but very different ideas about how to read them.

One of my favourite stories of Woodson is one I can find the least about.  He went to the Philippines to teach for a few years, and it was there he really began to solidify his ideas about the importance of learning the history of your country and culture. He was apparently very popular and quite successful with his Filipino students because he adjusted the curriculum to meet their needs and he returned to the U.s. because of illness. I’d love to know more about his time in the Philippines.

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Poetry a Necessity Against Materialism

Poetry & Children by Mrs. Alston

IF fairies and flowers are necessary to the growth of a child’s spirit, poetry is not a luxury and it is more than a recreation for leisure hours. It is a necessity, like fresh air and sunshin,e and it is the necessity of poetry and of the cultivation of the poetic spirit that requires recognition if we are to save our children from the asphyxia of materialism.  Some think the war will do this ,because the war, it is  alleged, has altered our outlook and given us higher ideals. But the war will not alter the fact that this is the mechanical age, with schools larger and larger, life becoming more complicated and hurried, and people tending more and more to herd together in crowds. If the war has altered our outlook  and given us higher ideals,  all the more reason that we must teach our children to keep their ideals burning by the fire of poetry. Let children dream their dreams and let us fill their lives with poetry so that their dreams may come, for true poetry teaches them to build mansions not made with hands for the soul to dwell in the stress and turmoil of later years.

Poetry teaches them give things their true values, for the poetic spirit has learned to ‘consider the lilies of the field.’

Poetry and Children, by Madeline Alston. From an Article appearing in The Living Age, volume 299, 1918

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