A history bee, with music

ballads, battles

history beeMore of that musical History bee from Genius.com, with links that don’t rely on Spotify, though they do count on YouTube. Not to be confused with the history of the musical.

Backwater Blues – Leadbelly — “About the Tennessee flood of 1926”
The Ballad Of Casey Jones – I couldn’t find the version by Wallace Saunders, so I settled on Johnny Cash, though LOTS of folks have covered this.– “About a 1900 train wreck in Mississippi and the engineer’s heroic death.”
The Ballad Of John And Yoko – The Beatles — “About John and Yoko’s marriage”
The Ballad Of John Axon – Ewan MacColl — “Called the British Casey Jones, Axon’s actions saved many lives in the 1957 train wreck”
Ballad Of The Alamo – Marty Robbins — “Folk story of the siege of the Alamo in 1836”
Ballad Of Sacco And Vanzetti – Joan Baez and Ennio Morricone. This is a three-part song stitched together. — “About a duo sent to the electric chair” on August 23, 1925
Ballad Of Spring Hill – Peter, Paul, and Mary — “about the Spring Hill mining disaster.” There were actually three disasters, in 1891, 1956, and 1958, in different mines near the town of Springhill in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. The song refers to the latter.
Ballad Of Tim Evans (Go Down Ye Murderers) – Ewan MacColl — “About the 1949 Timothy Evans murder trial.” He was executed in March 1950

Not Conan

Barbarian – The Darkness — “About 9th-century Viking invasion”
The Battle Of Hampton Roads – Titus Andronicus — “From a naval technology view, this was the most important naval battle of the U.S. Civil War, between the Monitor and the CSS Virginia.” March 8, 1862
The Battle Of New Orleans – Johnny Horton — “About the Battle of New Orleans.” January 8, 1815, at the end of the War of 1812
Belfast Child – Simple Minds — “About the Enniskillen bombing.” 8 November 1987 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. An IRA bomb exploded near the town’s war memorial. Eleven people (10 civilians and a police officer) were killed, many of them elderly, and 63 were injured.
Belsen Was A Gas – The Sex Pistols — “About the Nazis.” I assume this is about the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany. It became a refugee camp after it was liberated by the Allies in 1945.
The Big Three Killed My Baby – The White Stripes — “The struggle (and failure) of Preston Tucker to launch a new automobile company” c. 1948.
MY Addition: Biko – Peter Gabriel. About the black South African who protested against apartheid who died in police custody in 1977. Lyrics.
Birdland– Manhattan Transfer — “About the New York jazz club, Birdland, that operated from 1949 – 1965. Charlie (“Yardbird”) Parker reportedly named it.”


Blackbeard’s Ghost – Chase Rice — “About a North Carolina ghost story stating you can see Blackbeard’s Ghost, the song also references Blackbeard’s death and journey in the state.” Edward Teach (or Edward Thatch) died on 22 November 1718.
Black Day In July – Gordon Lightfoot — “About 1967 Detroit Riot”
Black Friday – Steely Dan — “About the original Black Friday, 24 September 1869,” the collapse of the U.S. gold market
Blue Sky Mine – Midnight Oil –“About Workers at Wittenoom asbestos mines.” A tragedy in Western Australia.
Boston Tea Party – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band — “About the Boston Tea Party” December 16, 1773
The Boy In The Bubble – Paul Simon — “About the change that began in the 1980s from conventional wars to terrorism.”
Braes O’Killiecrankie – The Corries — “About the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689” – a Scottish Jacobite victory
Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies — “About Brian Wilson’s struggles with mental health” – the Beach Boy
Brighter Than A Thousand Suns – Iron Maiden — “About The Manhattan Project,” the research and development undertaking during WWII that produced the first nuclear weapons
The British Are Coming – Weezer — “Using the American Colonies relationship with the King of England as a metaphor for the relationship between a father and son”
Burial Of Wild Bill – Captain Jack Crawford — “Bill Hickok was killed 2 August 1876 by a shot to the back of the head by Jack McCall while playing poker in a Deadwood, South Dakota saloon” Read by Francisco Castro Videla
Burke and Hare – The Scaffold — “About the Burke and Hare murders,” sixteen killings committed over a period of about ten months in 1828 in Edinburgh, Scotland
Burn On – Randy Newman — About the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland, Ohio
Bye Bye Badman – The Stone Roses — About the 1968 Paris riots

Metathesiophobia – c-c-c-changes

“But never leave the stream of warm impermanence”

Some folks have decided that others, who don’t like change, are experiencing metathesiophobia. That is the phobia that causes people to avoid changing their circumstances due to being extremely afraid of the unknown.

I’ve concluded that there are perfectly good reasons to be wary of change. One is that it actually may get worse. I’m been pondering this in part because of two pieces of mail I received on the same day.

The first pice notified us that our lawyer is changing law firms. Do we want to stay with the lawyer in the new firm or stay with the old firm and get another of their lawyers? Since we went with the firm BECAUSE of the lawyer, I assumed we’ll stay with the lawyer, but my wife wanted to know more details before ultimately coming to the same conclusion.

The other mail was from the company that processes my reimbursements for payments I make for health insurance. They are being taken over by another entity. Will it be the same level of service, as promised? Time will tell.

Here’s an old work story. We used to access a product on CD-ROM that was vital to our audience. The company announced they were going to migrate online, which seemed fine. Unfortunately, and I’m trying not to be too librariany here, they did not index the online product very well. This meant one could look up a given company but not find their competitors by SIC (a business code).

After we, and doubtless, MANY of their customers, expressed their distress, the company made changes, but it took about a year before it was as robust as the CD-ROM version.


As it turns out, Chuck Miller and I must have had the same ophthalmologist. As he noted, they moved from downtown to a location less convenient to me. Moreover, they also stopped carrying eyewear, so you have to go somewhere else. NOT an improvement.

My dentist actually was in the same building as my eye doctor. They moved out off of Albany-Shaker Road. I can get there first thing in the morning by taking two buses but would have to wait four hours to get home. Fortunately, they have a second location, in Albany, that will take 15 minutes to get to. Unfortunately, my dental hygenist of about a decade and a half is at the remote location, but the new (to me) person works well.

Doesn’t matter

My time with Time Warner Cable was not great. Now that it’s Spectrum, it’s arguably worse. My credit card had expired, but I got a new one with the same number, just a new expiration date, and CVV. I gave Spectrum the info, which they applied but failed to put on file. The short story is that I have received past due notices for the past two months by phone, cellphone, text, and snail-mail. I’ve called each time. Will it FINALLY be rectified?

Also, I know two people who worked for a fine regional bank. It was taken over by a national bank; if you’ve seen The Music Man, you know which one. The processes of the larger organization were, er, less than robust, as news stories in recent years have indicated.


As I noted, getting the iPhone 8 has worked out. Frankly, it’s better for other people. One friend was distressed that they had to actually email me photos – the horror, the horror – can now text them. In fact, this photo was texted to me recently. It’s one neither my sisters nor I had ever seen before. That’s my grandfather McKinley Green holding me, probably at Ross Park in Binghamton. I haven’t changed at all.

A Bowie song; I won the Hunky Dory LP from my college radio station.

Lydster: Calling me by my name

Some of her friends are not happy

roger-rabbitMy daughter and I were at church in December. Someone, a person around her age, I think, heard her calling me by my name. They said to me, “Did she just call you Roger?” And I acknowledged that she had. Moreover, she’s been doing it for so long, I can’t remember exactly when she started.

I can tell you HOW it began, though. She had gone into the attic. The doorknob came off in her hand, and she could not get out. She reportedly pounded on the door and called me several times, “Dad” or “Daddy”. Finally, she yelled, “ROGER!” That I heard. And she’s been calling me that ever since, probably close to four years. I don’t prefer it, but it’s become just what she does.

A few months later, she started calling her mother by HER first name. My wife is far less than happy about this than I am, and my daughter knows it. Every once in a while, the daughter will appease her mother by calling her “mom.” In fact, on the Christmas packages my daughter gave to my wife this past year, she indicated the recipient as Mom or Mommy.

My daughter has actually taken grief from her friends for addressing her mother and me in this fashion. One chum said that if they called THEIR mothers or fathers by their first names, the parents would kill them. Having met the parents, this may, or may not, be literally true.

She’s got my number

Not that she NEVER calls me by a title, but it’s usually tinged with a bit of sarcasm. “I’m going out now… FATHER!” Did I mention she’s a teenager who we get along with? Well, usually.

I guess I’m just glad that she calls me at all. When she’s out, and occasionally when she’s in her bedroom, she usually Instant Messages me on Facebook, rather than texting me. This is undoubtedly a remnant of the time when texting or calling me would have been foolish because my phone would usually be turned off. This was back last year before I finally got a decent cellphone.

So it’s NOT allergies?


This spring has been terrible for my nose and throat. I assumed the cause. But it’s NOT allergies?

I would have coughing jags. One at church on May 8 was so severe that I had to leave the choir loft, lest I hack through the sermon. I seemed OK enough the following Wednesday to ride my bike a few days later to a memorial service for a choir member, then onto my Dad’s group at church. But by the time I rode home, I couldn’t get enough air. This wasn’t the not-fit-enough response, but the my-lungs-feel-awful scenario.

The next morning, I had another coughing event WHILE I was taking my blood pressure. That 168 systolic reading WAS an aberration. Later, I went to my allergist. To test whether the allergy shots I took for about five years, but hadn’t taken in for just as long, I had to stop taking Zyrtec for three days. So I was pretty miserable when I once again became a human pincushion.

It’s all in my nose

But surprise! I have rhinitis, which “is moderate to severe and not well controlled.” But I have “no evidence of remaining sensitivity to tree or grass pollens based upon negative skin tests to these allergens.” I AM still allergic to ragweed, but that’s a late summer thing. “A second course of immunotherapy is not recommended.” So I’m still using nasal sprays in the morning and evening.

Then am I ill? I went to the local urgent care place as a walk-in the following Saturday. The hour-long wait turned out to be 210 minutes. Did I want a COVID test? Sure, why not? And just as the rapid tests have shown, I still don’t have it.

It’s a strange thing having symptoms that COULD be COVID. Almost any bodily reaction COULD be COVID. And with the recent spread into the Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest, I suppose I need to continue mask indoors. So far, so good.


Oh, and it’s not monkeypox, people. Some people I know IRL are fretting, “First COVID, now this.” Not yet.  Another person I know IRL believes that it’s a WHO plot to inject us again.

Doctrine of Discovery: papal bull

European Christian governments could lay title to non-European territory

From https://www.redletterchristians.org/called-to-respond-dismantling-the-doctrine-of-discovery/

The Anti-Racism Task Force at my church has been holding a series of online discussions. One involved the Doctrine of Discovery. I was vaguely aware of it. From the material:

The Doctrine “originally came from Papal bulls issued in the 1100s by popes, providing permission for Christian explorers to take land from non-believers and do with those people whatever they wanted. (e.g.Crusades, slavery, etc.)”

Daniel N. Paul created a First Nations history, worth reading in its entirety. He starts with a quote from Thomas Aquinas’ rationalization. “On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer… after [a couple of tries] that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death.”

The Gilder Lehrman website describes in detail “The Papal Bull ‘Inter Caetera,’ issued by Pope Alexander VI on May 4, 1493… [It] played a central role in the Spanish conquest of the New World.” This follows a similar series of bulls by Pope Nicolas V a few decades earlier justifying the Portuguese slave trade.

The American version

The Wikipedia entry, also useful, notes: The doctrine… is a “concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, most notably Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Chief Justice John Marshall explained and applied the way that colonial powers laid claim to lands belonging to foreign sovereign nations during the Age of Discovery. Under it, European Christian governments could lay title to non-European territory on the basis that the colonisers travelled and ‘discovered’ said territory.”

Look at the whole thing, which helps to explain the Monroe Doctrine and most especially Manifest Destiny. A legal debate found the Native Americans “to be in violation of international law through their resistance to Spanish exploration and missionary activities. By resisting Spanish incursions, Indians were, according to Vitoria, provoking war with the Spanish invaders, thus justifying Spanish conquest of Indian lands.”

I also highly recommend the links at the Upstander Project.

In a quick search, you’ll find a number of churches, governments, and other organizations repudiating the idea of the Doctrine of Discovery. These bodies recognize that the philosophy is not well known, and difficult to understand. But they recognize they’ve been advantaged, and that it still has an impact on modern-day dealings.

The Unitarians lowlight one of their own, Joseph Story. He was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court at the time of the Johnson v. M’Intosh decision. The United Church of Christ addresses “Why it still Matters Today.” A group of Anabaptists noted: “Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery can seem overwhelming for a lot of people. Here you can find a few foundational components to help break it down.”

This is a big topic, far beyond what I can fairly address here. But I believe it is worth your while to investigate.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial