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A great picture of a magnificent rare wild beast. And it’s nice to see the deer in there too.

Here’s where this photo comes from:

I heard Kevin Gore several times in Edinburgh in August, and I’m keeping in touch. I was “with him” at Hampden to see Hibs go down to Celtic in the Cup Final. And last night Kevin saw Niel Young perform in Glasgow. Here’s rare footage of Niel Young as a youngster busking at the Gordon Street entrance to Glasgow Central Station. Tight bastards, those Scots.

Immersing oneself in folk songs is a grand way to learn about cultures, to become linguistically and musically adept, as well as politically aware, and ultimately a source through which one can carve out one’s own identity and develop one’s own talent. I am stirred especially by the folk songs of Scotland and Ireland, but also by those of other cultures, and these are thriving traditions with many interesting cross-fertilisations in recent times. One always hears about folk revivals, but the truth is folk never died. Here, for example, is a recent “short video documentary about two Scottish folk musicians, what they think and feel about their genre. A heart-warming and genuine discussion about the value of folk music as seen through the eyes of those who perform it.”

I’ve recently discovered Heidi Talbot’s music through an acquaintance with the music of John McCusker, who is now her partner. Her 2008 breakthrough album, In Love + Light, is wonderful. Here she’s talking about her latest album, Angels without Wings:

A few years ago Don Share, who has recently been appointed the new editor of Poetry, meditated on Auden’s contention, “Poetry makes nothing happen”: Poetry makes nothing happen… or does it? As he points out, contrary to popular misunderstanding, Auden is hardly saying that poetry does not change anything. The converse is more true, viz. that nothing changes poetry. Political poetry is often folk poetry or folk song and has a relevance far beyond the era that produced it. I’ll leave The Proclaimers with the final WORD: