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Tax on Love

How could a woman who claims to be a feminist and a “U.N. Women advocate and an ambassador for World Vision” accept her future life as Princess Harry instead of her own perfectly good name, Princess Meghan?

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Is is because she has no ‘Royal Blood’? – Whatever that is?

Is it because she is a woman? – Whatever that is?

Or is it because she is black? – Whatever that is?

Firstly, according to Wikipedia (Which means it is 100% true) she DOES have ‘ROYAL BLOOD’ as she is a descendant of King John, who was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death in 1216. So, it’s not that. And, anyway, we are all royal.

King John

I come from The Diarmait MacMurchada line of Murphys – The Vikings who invaded Ireland, killed a lot of people, and then declared themselves Kings and Queens. So, I am basically The Pirate Queen of Leinster. No need to bow. But I do want my castle back. More on that story in my show, Dark One – now touring! See ‘Welcome’ page kearamurphy.com

Dermait Mac Murchadha

Secondly, is it because she is black? Well, no, because Kate Middleton claimed she was not black (even though we all come from Africa) and she is also not allowed to have her own name and has to put up with her official title as Princess William!

Finally, is it just because she is a woman? Not really. A male partner of a ‘royal’ woman would be addressed as the same.

Princess Diana was so called but this was not her official title. Her family stated that their umpteenth grandad, or something like that, had once been royalty, or whatever but this was never proved so Diana, Princess of Wales, was not considered of ‘Royal Blood’ and was not officially Princess Diana, but everybody called her that.

What this stuffy nonsense IS, is that The Royal Family is an outdated institution that largely benefits men – despite Her Maj being a women and the longest reigning monarch of all time. This, along with the fact that all Royal marriages (and indeed all marriages) are about power, property and control and basically a TAX on LOVE.

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They appear to be in love, these two, “Whatever love means” as Prince Charles once famously said, and that is nice. Love is nice. But it is just such a shame that the love these two human beings have for each other now means that Meghan needs to reshape her life in such a drastic and stifling way. “Giving up acting to focus on humanitarian causes” hmmm? That is what Grace Kelly did and spent her life half depressed because of it.

Marriage should not mean that you give up part of yourself. It should mean that you love and celebrate each other for who each of you already are and respect and support each other’s choices.

Nice ring. I wonder how much we paid for it?

Meghan's Ring

That said, I wish them both all the best of LUCK. They will certainly need it.

Arise, Princess Meghan.

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Valentine is like Santa… He doesn’t exist!

Updated. Still good.

KEARA MURPHY

It’s a sweet tradition and a nice bit of history and folklore that has been hijacked by commerce.

The myth of Saint Valentine is hard to trace, he was like Santa in as much as he was drawn from folklore and legend and there were loads of him. Quite how he became linked to romantic love is not reasonably clear. There were a few guys called Valentine knocking about in Ancient Rome, there are eleven Saint Valentine’s in the Christian callendar, most of them martyrs with no love in their lives apart from a range of deities and possibly the odd donkey. Yes, some of them made sacrifices, but not for love, maybe for pies. Nobody knows.Pope Gelasius I declared a Feast Day for Saint Valentine in 496 AD, without really knowing who the guy was, just that he had done “something good known only to God”. However, it…

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Auld Lang Syne

For Auld Lang Syne (English translation: For The Olden Times)

kickin-out-150x150Artist: Janet McCrorie

On New Year’s Eve, as the clock strikes midnight and we turn from one year to the next, everyone across the Globe gathers to sing “Auld Lang Syne.”

But what does it all mean? Who wrote it? And what is it we are supposed to be doing with our hands?

So, here goes…

“Auld Lang Syne” is much older than any other popular song we sing during the festive season. It actually dates back to 1788, when it was published by Scottish poet, Robert Burns, who lived in Scotland from 1759 to 1796. Over 220 years later, we’re still using the familiar poem to say goodbye to the past year.

Here’s a look at the meaning of “Auld Lang Syne.”

The phrase “Auld Lang Syne” appears in other poems that predate Burns’ more famous work. Allan Ramsey, for example, (1686-1758) wrote a similar poem and James Watson published similar poems in 1711. In fact, the first verse in the poem Watson published begins almost the same way as Burns.

“Auld Lang Syne” itself can be translated to “old long since” so it’s similar to the “Once upon a time” phrase used to open fairy tales. Since Burns wrote “for auld lang syne” the way the phrase is used in the poem is translated to “for (the sake of) old times.”

Here’s the first verse of the Watson 1711 poem:

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne.

Here’s Burns’ first verse:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

tartan-embrace-150x150Artist: Janet McCrorie

Burns sent “Auld Lang Syne” to two publishers. The first, James Johnson, published it in 1796 with a Scottish melody Burns was not a fan of. Three years after Burns died, George Thompson published it and set it to the turn of “Sir Alexander Don’s Strathspey” (a type of dance.) This is the same melody used to this day.

The song became so popular in Scotland that Scottish immigrants sang it wherever they went, spreading the song around the world. For example, during the famous 1914 Christmas truce during World War I, both British and German soldiers sang “Auld Lang Syne.” In 1925, Charlie Chaplin had characters sing “Auld Lang Syne” in The Gold Rush, even though it was a silent film.

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The song also became popular in Southeast Asia and Japanese department stores use it to let customers know they are closing for the day. In Japan, the tune of “Auld Lang Syne” is set to the folk song “Hotaru no Hikari.”

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The Japanese lyrics are about students using a firefly’s light to keep studying in the dark. However, it is soon time to leave studying behind. The song is also often performed at graduations.

Long before Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest helped millions of Americans ring in the New Year, there was bandleader, Guy Lombardo. In 1928, Lombardo and his band, the Royal Canadians, played their first New Year’s Eve broadcast. The following year, they performed the first ever nationwide broadcast from the Roosevelt Hotel and performed live from the hotel every year until 1954. They switched to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and continued performing ever year until 1976. Lombardo, who died in November 1977, became known as “Mr. New Year’s Eve.” After his death, his band rang in the New Year with broadcasts for two more years.

guy-lombardo

In 1929, Lombardo and his orchestra played “Auld Lang Syne” just as the clock was striking midnight. Lombardo was inspired to play the song after hearing it from Scottish immigrants in Ontario. (Lombardo was born in London, Ontario.) He performed the song as a segue between one broadcast and the next.

Sadly, Lombardo’s role in helping millions of Americans celebrate a new year with “Auld Lang Syne” is mostly forgotten today.

In Scotland, the Song is Sung as Part of Hogmanay Celebrations.

584727-7Artist Gail Wendorf; Painting, Old New Year Ceilidh

In Scotland, where Burns is the National Poet, singing “Auld Lang Syne” is party of Hogmanay celebrations. Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the year. The celebration in Edinburgh has become world famous and features a Concert in the Garden that is sold out this year.

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It’s tradition in Scotland to sing “Auld Lang Syne” while in a circle, holding hands. When the crowd reaches the last verse, which begins with “And there’s a hand my trusty friend,” everyone crosses their arms so the right hand reaches out to their neighbor’s left hand. At the end of the song, you rush into the center and turn, so that when everyone leaves the center they are now facing outwards – looking towards the new year.

Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally…, which was written by Nora Ephron, reaches a climax on New Year’s Eve. As “Auld Lang Syne” plays at the party, Billy Crystal’s Harry wonders what the song is all about.

“What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means,” Harry asks Sally. “I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happen to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot them?”

“Well, maybe it just means that we should remember that we forgot them or something. Anyway, it’s about old friends,” Sally (Meg Ryan) tells Harry. She was right.

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Burns didn’t really mean that we should forget old acquaintances. The song is really meant to be about “preserving old friendships and looking back over the events of the year.” So, if you do forget about old acquaintances, you can look back on the year and remember them.

Here are the complete “Auld Lang Syne” lyrics by Robert Burns:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowan fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

The third part of my Robert Burns documentary trilogy, The Secret Rock ‘n’ Roll Life of Robert Burns, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on Burns Day 2017.

Meantime, Happy New Year to you all – for Auld Lang Syne.

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Love Poems by Pablo Neruda

Still my two most favourite love poems. Happy Valentine’s Day.

KEARA MURPHY

Love Sonnet: XVII
I Don’t Love You As If You Were A Rose

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
Or arrow of carnations that propagate the fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
The light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
And thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
From the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems, or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way
to love,
Except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
So close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
So close that your eyes close with my…

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The Kissing Trees

These are the beautiful Kissing Trees on the back road from Kinghorn, Fife. I chose them as my pick-of-the-day to share on The Late Show last night. They were photographed beautifully by Elaine Orourke – who grew up near them and her family tradition is to always kiss whomever you are with when passing under them.

The Kissing Trees in a Blue Sky

Elaine kindly sent me these images yesterday and gave me permission to share them with the people of Scotland, however it was not able to be featured on the show for production reasons. How beautiful they are, though, so I wanted to share them with you today anyway.

The Kissing Trees on The Road

I want to know who planted them: was it an old couple who planted them so as they could be connected forever in nature? Are there remains of them scattered – or buried – there? Was this a young couple in love? – or the partner of a lost love? Or is this just a happy accident of nature?

The Kissing Trees Purple Haze

Nonetheless, they are intriguing and beautiful. There are no trees around them. And each tree stands alone in a separate field divided by a road – but through the years their branches have become slowly entwined. Two loving trees – possibly representing human love – united forever on the land and immortalised in film through some amazing photography.

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For all the lovers,
Keara XX

Ferdinand

Source: Ferdinand

Archie

Source: Archie

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