Blue Grass

 

Bluegrass music is a uniquely American sound, growing out of the folk music of Scottish immigrants, it has become a genre of music all on its own.

 

 

 

Cold Iron by Kipling

 

Every society that has fought wars for their own defense, or fought wars to gain an advantage over another nation has come to realize that courage and resolve are needed to make such a conflict last. Warfare as been a dominate theme throughout human history. Metaphors for war and combat are all through our folklore, languages, myths, and our religions.

The Anglic societies are no different, even though many of the Anglic nations have experienced great prosperity in the past 2 centuries, with major wars being conducted by them beyond their borders. Only the Second World War’s threat to Britain, the American Civil War, and the War of 1812 has brought sustained major wars to the soil of the existing Anglic countries.

Kipling often tried to capture harsh truths in his poems. such as the one below.:

Cold Iron

GOLD is for the mistress – silver for the maid” –
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade! ”
” Good! ” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
But Iron – Cold Iron – is master of them all.”
So he made rebellion ‘gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
” Nay! ” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
” But Iron – Cold Iron – shall be master of you all! ”

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
When the cruel cannon-balls laid ’em all along;
He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
And Iron – Cold Iron – was master of it all.

Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
” What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword? ”
” Nay! ” said the Baron, ” mock not at my fall,
For Iron – Cold Iron – is master of men all.”

” Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”
” As my loss is grievous, So my hope is small,
For Iron – Cold Iron – must be master of men all! ”

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
” Here is Bread and here is Wine – sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary’s Name, the whiles I do recall
How Iron – Cold Iron – can be master of men all.”

He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread
With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
” See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
Show Iron – Cold Iron – to be master of men all. ”

” Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason – I redeem thy fall
For Iron Cold Iron – must be master of men all! ”

‘Crowns are for the valiant – sceptres for the bold!
Thrones and Powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!’
” Nay! ” said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
” But Iron – Cold Iron – is master of men all!
Iron out of Calvary is master of men all! ”

Kipling’s Gentlmen-Rankers

Kipling was one of the most powerful English poets of his generation. He capture the voice of the British Empire. That voice spoke not only with the power of the imperial dream, but also spoke with the hesitation of doubts about the morality of that dream. And it even spoke sometimes with sorrow over the price the British placed upon themselves and the people they conquered for the Empire.
 
Many see his poetry and writings from just a few points in his life. But if you look upon the entirety of his career, you can see a growing awareness that for every boon brought by the Empire there was a bane, sometimes in very heavy price.

 #UK #Kipling #Britain #BritishEmpire #AnglicCiv

Rudyard Kipling

Gentlmen-Rankers

To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned,
 To my brethren in their sorrow overseas,
Sings a gentleman of England cleanly bred, machinely crammed,
 And a trooper of the Empress, if you please.
Yea, a trooper of the forces who has run his own six horses,
 And faith he went the pace and went it blind,
And the world was more than kin while he held the ready tin,
 But to-day the Sergeant's something less than kind.
    We're poor little lambs who've lost our way,
       Baa!  Baa!  Baa!
    We're little black sheep who've gone astray,
       Baa--aa--aa!
    Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree,
    Damned from here to Eternity,
    God ha' mercy on such as we,
       Baa!  Yah!  Bah!
 
Oh, it's sweet to sweat through stables, sweet to empty kitchen slops,
 And it's sweet to hear the tales the troopers tell,
To dance with blowzy housemaids at the regimental hops
 And thrash the cad who says you waltz too well.
Yes, it makes you cock-a-hoop to be "Rider" to your troop,
 And branded with a blasted worsted spur,
When you envy, O how keenly, one poor Tommy living cleanly
 Who blacks your boots and sometimes calls you "Sir".
 
If the home we never write to, and the oaths we never keep,
 And all we know most distant and most dear,
Across the snoring barrack-room return to break our sleep,
 Can you blame us if we soak ourselves in beer?
When the drunken comrade mutters and the great guard-lantern gutters
 And the horror of our fall is written plain,
Every secret, self-revealing on the aching white-washed ceiling,
 Do you wonder that we drug ourselves from pain?
 
We have done with Hope and Honour, we are lost to Love and Truth,
 We are dropping down the ladder rung by rung,
And the measure of our torment is the measure of our youth.
 God help us, for we knew the worst too young!
Our shame is clean repentance for the crime that brought the sentence,
 Our pride it is to know no spur of pride,
And the Curse of Reuben holds us till an alien turf enfolds us
 And we die, and none can tell Them where we died.
    We're poor little lambs who've lost our way,
       Baa!  Baa!  Baa!
    We're little black sheep who've gone astray,
       Baa--aa--aa!
    Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree,
    Damned from here to Eternity,
    God ha' mercy on such as we,
       Baa!  Yah!  Bah!