A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Thursday, 5 June 2008

May Day

I know everybody's busy lighting Beltane bonfires; attending Labour Day rallies; decorating whitethorn bushes with garlands and painted eggshells; shepherding livestock to higher, summer pastures (it's that word transhumance again!); worshipping Saint Walpurga; worshipping Satan; skipping round the maypole; crowning the May Queen; morris dancing; remembering (yes I'm carefully using a neutral verb here) the Act of Union which brought England and Scotland together as Great Britain exactly 301 years ago; getting drunk at the 'Obby 'Oss festival in Padstow, Cornwall; running naked into the sea at St Andrews, Scotland; filling May Baskets with flowers and leaving them on doorsteps; and presenting friends and strangers with a single lily-of-the-valley as a symbol of springtime...

I know everyone's doing all of these things. But when you get a moment do take a look at June Tabor performing at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2004. Here are also videos of Jim Moray, Danu, Martin Simpson, The Waifs, the lovely Kate Rusby (I nearly spilt a cup of coffee accidentally over her once but that's another story) and Joan Baez singing the Ryan Adams song In My Time Of Need.

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