Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Quote for the Day


Teddy Sheean


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News Report:

Australian  hero Teddy Sheean will be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross following an expert panel's review. His nephew Gary Ivory has spent decades fighting for the World War II sailor to receive the highest military honour. Prime Minister Scott Morrison established an independent panel earlier this year after Sheean was denied the prestigious award.  The panel found the Tasmanian was wronged and deserved the recognition.  According to the PM:  “Sheean was done a substantial injustice in consideration of his actions in the original decision-making period in 1942 to 1943.”  He is confident that the recommendation to Her Maj will be accepted and that the Victoria Cross will be awarded. 

htps://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8611999/War-hero-Teddy-Sheean-saved-49-lives-ship-sank-awarded-Victoria-Cross-78-years-later.html

More about Teddy Sheean a little later.

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By way of background:


The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for valour "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces and may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service. 

The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War.

Australia was the first Commonwealth realm to create its own VC, on 15 January 1991. Although it is a separate award, its appearance is identical to its British counterpart.

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It was gratifying to read that Teddy Sheean will more than likely receive the Victoria Cross that he so richly deserves.

I had posted an item about him on 26 April, 2011, the day after Anzac Day. Back then the blog allowed reader comments to be posted, now it can only be done by email responses from subscribers.  I received some heartwarming responses to the post, both the items and the responses are reposted below.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teddy Sheean


The following item would have been appropriate for an Anzac Day posting but came to my attention only after that day had passed. Nonetheless, I will post it because it has a significance that goes beyond Anzac Day.

Some time ago, I read about a young sailor, Edward Sheean, who had been killed in action in 1942.

I came across his name again yesterday when I saw an item in the previous week's Sunday newspaper that I was throwing out. The news item that caught my eye was that eleven sailors and two soldiers are being considered for posthumous Victoria Cross awards for acts of bravery and gallantry. Not one sailor has ever been awarded the Victoria Cross. Included in the list of persons being considered are Edward Sheean and Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, who is today remembered for collecting the wounded from the Gallipoli battlefields with his famous donkey.

Edward Sheean with his family, c1941.
Back row: Edward (Teddy); Frederick.
Front row: James (father); Mary (mother); William.

Edward “Teddy” Sheean was born on 28 December 1923 in Barrington, Tasmania. In 1941 he enlisted in the Royal Australian navy as an Ordinary Seaman. Upon completion of his training he was posted to the corvette HMAS Armidale.

On 1st December 1942 the Armidale was attacked by Japanese aircraft – 9 bombers and 4 fighters - whilst enroute to Timor. Despite taking evasive action, the vessel was struck by two air-launched torpedoes. As the vessel began to sink, the order was given to abandon ship but crew members who leapt into the sea were strafed by the attacking aircraft. After assisting to free a life raft, Sheean was struck by bullets in the chest and back. He managed to scramble across the listing deck, strapped himself into the aft Oerlikon 20mm cannon and began shooting at the fighters to protect the sailors already in the sea. He managed to keep the Japanese aircraft away, shooting down one of the Japanese planes and damaging two others, all the while as the water kept rising up his body.
  


According to Ordinary Seaman Russell Caro, Sheean was “still firing as he disappeared beneath the waves”.

Sheean's crewmates later testified to witnessing tracers rising from beneath the water's surface as Sheean was dragged under.

Of the 149 men aboard the Armidale, 49 survived. Many of the survivors attributed their lives to Sheean’s actions.

For his "bravery and devotion when HMAS Armidale was lost", Sheean was recognised with a posthumous Mention in Despatches, although many hold that he was worthy of a Victoria Cross.

At the time of his death, Ordinary Seaman Edward "Teddy" Sheean was 18 years old.

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Reader comments:


Duna April 26, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Lest we forget...Thanks for the post on young Sheean.

D. W. Hodge
LCDR, U.S. Navy

 

Tiana Kelly June 2, 2011 at 12:23 PM

teddy is my great great uncle and it's great to see people like yourself reading about him so much, it's great to come across someone's article about him and got all the facts about his death correct, =) my great uncle garry ivory actually got together with a lady named marlene and wrote a song about uncle teddy, it's called "teddy sheean you're a hero to me". my uncle garry ivory has just got back from a trip to the canberra war memorial and the hobart TAS memorial, he is fighting for uncle teddy to be awarded the VC... he was in tuesday's paper (the advocate) once again =)

 

LynneMarch 4, 2012 at 7:17 PM


You can also see more links and photos from the Facebook Group I've just created: 





Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Thought for the Day


I read the news today, oh boy . . .



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I am indebted to my father in law, Noel, for bringing the following story to my attention: 

Canada brewery apologises for beer named 'pubic hair' in Maori 

A Canadian brewery has apologised for unwittingly naming one of its beers after a Maori word that is commonly used to mean pubic hair. Hell's Basement Brewery in Alberta said it released its Huruhuru pale ale two years ago, thinking it meant "feather". But Maori TV personality Te Hamua Nikora pointed out the common interpretation of the word in a Facebook video. 

The brewery's founder said the product would now be rebranded. "We acknowledge that we did not consider the commonplace use of the term huruhuru as a reference to pubic hair, and that consultation with a Maori representative would have been a better reference than online dictionaries," Mike Patriquin told Canadian network CBC. "We wish to make especially clear that it was not our intent to infringe upon, appropriate, or offend the Maori culture or people in any way; to those who feel disrespected, we apologise." 

Mr Nikora also criticised a leather store in New Zealand for using the name Huruhuru and said he had contacted both the store and brewery over their use of the word. "Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation," he said. "It's that entitlement disease they've got. Stop it. Use your own language." 

Source: 
BBC News 

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The above reminds me of the Mitsubishi Pajero, a famous car and name sold around the world. The name means nothing in English but in Spanish, pronounced pa-hair-oh, it means “wanker”. In most Spanish speaking countries, the Mitsubishi Pajero is rebadged as the ‘Montiero’ (which is roughly translated as ‘Mountain Warrior’). 


Whilst on the topic of unfortunate car names by Mazda, let’s add the Mazda LaPuta to the pile. It comes from Jonathon Swift’s 1726 book Gulliver’s Travels, where it is the name of a flying island. Unfortunately is also Spanish for “The Whore”. Some Spanish editions of "Gulliver's Travels" use "Lapuntu", "Laput", "Lapuda" and "Lupata" as alternative names but the joke is Swift’s. Given Swift's education and satirical style, and that Gulliver claimed Spanish among the many languages in which he was fluent, it likely that Swift knew the Spanish meaning of the word. 

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Jack And The Beanstalk is all about male sexual awakening according to leading academic 

Yep, you read that right. I read the article and kept anticipating that it would say that it was tongue in cheek, a bit of satire, but not so. So I guess that it’s the real thing. More of that in a moment. 

The basis of the Jack and the Beanstalk story is believed to hark back to between 4500-2500 BC. The modern version was first published in 1734 as The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean". 

Fast forward to the present day. 

According to creative writing lecturer and author Claire Corbett, an academic at the University of Technology, Sydney: 

- Child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim first pointed out that the beanstalk was symbolic of a phallus in the 1970s. 

- In trying to prove Bettelheim wrong, she came to the realization that he was actually right. 

- “If the beanstalk is maturing male sexuality then Jack And The Beanstalk is a story about male individuation and growing up.” 

- Jack lives with his mother. The fact that the cow no longer gives milk and is to be sold is symbolic of his mother going through menopause. 

- Instead of selling the cow he trades it for some magic beans, This represents defiance of his mother and his standing on his own feet. 

- The beanstalk growing and rising to the heavens . . . . well, use your imagination. 

- So what does the cutting down of the beanstalk at the end symbolise? According to Corbett: “But if the beanstalk is the phallus, why does he cut it down?” The answer is simple; he doesn’t really cut it down. I don’t think that powerful beanstalk is destroyed. “It’s fulfilled its function of propelling him … into manhood and now it’s part of him, part of himself, not external anymore. Perhaps a bit more under his control.” 

Source: 
News.com 

Has that made it clearer for you, readers? 


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Nursing Home Residents Recreate Iconic Album Covers During Lockdown 

Seniors quarantined at Sydmar Lodge Care Home in Middlesex, IUK, are using lockdown to recreate an array of iconic album covers . . . 







Source 
Smithsonian Magazine 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Quote for the Day


5 X 5: Songs about being unwell


5 facts about 5 songs about being unwell, a playlist for today’s world . . . 

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Fever: 


Artist: 
Peggy Lee 

Year: 
1958


Video: 


Lyrics: 

Never know how much I love you 
Never know how much I care 
When you put your arms around me 
I get a fever that's so hard to bear 
You give me fever (you give me fever) when you kiss me 
Fever when you hold me tight (you give me fever) 
Fever in the mornin' 
Fever all through the night 

Sun lights up the day time 
Moon lights up the night 
I light up when you call my name 
'Cause I know you're gonna treat me right 
You give me fever (You give me fever) when you kiss me 
Fever when you hold me tight (You give me fever) 
Fever in the mornin' 
Fever all through the night (Wow!) 

Everybody's got the fever 
That is somethin' you all know 
Fever isn't such a new thing 
Fever started long time ago 

Baby, turn on your love light (Yeah, yeah) 
Let it shine on me (Yeah, yeah) 
Well, baby, turn on your love light (Yeah, yeah) 
And let it shine on me (Yeah, yeah) 
Well, just a little bit higher (Yeah, yeah) 
And just a little bit brighter, baby (Yeah, yeah) 

Ow! 

You give me fever (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) 
You give me fever (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) 
You give me fever (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah) 
You give me fever 

Romeo loved Juliet 
Juliet she felt the same 
When he put his arms around her 
He said, "Julie baby you're my flame" 
Thou givest fever when we kisseth 
Fever with thy flaming youth 
Fever I'm on fire 
Fever yea I burn forsooth 

Captain Smith and Pocahontas 
Had a very mad affair 
When her daddy tried to kill him 
She said "Daddy oh don't you dare" 
"He gives me fever with his kisses" 
"Fever when he holds me tight" 
"Fever, I'm his missus" 
"Daddy won't you treat him right?" 

Now you've listened to my story 
Here's the point that I have made 
Chicks were born to give you fever 
Be it Fahrenheit or centigrade 
We give you fever when we kiss you 
Fever if you live and learn 
Fever till you sizzle 
What a lovely way to burn 
What a lovely way to burn 
What a lovely way to burn 
What a lovely way to burn 

Song notes: 

1. 
Written by Otis Blackwell who also wrote "Don't Be Cruel," "Great Balls of Fire," and "All Shook Up." 

2. 
Originally recorded by Little Willie John (one of the first R&B singers and so named because he was only 1.6m / 5 feet 4 inches tall) in 1956 for his debut album, Fever, and released as a single in April of the same year. The song topped the Billboard R&B Best Sellers in the US. After stabbing a man to death, he was jailed for manslaughter and died in prison aged 30. Hear Little Willie John’s version at: 
Little Willie John didn't want to record this at first because he didn't like the finger snapping. 

3. 
Peggy Lee’s version is the most famous. Her record producers thought she was crazy to have only a bassist and fingersnaps to accompany her, but she stuck to her guns, and the result was this classic recording. 

4. 
Lee turned it from R&B / rock n roll to a jazz number / torch song, saying in an interview "I thought, well, I think I'd like to use it with just the bass and drums." As she moulded the song she dropped the drums as well. Lee also skipped about two choruses which she considered unsuitable to her approach and inserted several new choruses, over 30 new lines. 

5. 
Hear Elvis’s version, very similar to Peggy Lee’s, at: 
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Come and See Her 


Artist: 
The Easybeats 

Year: 
1966 

Video: 

Lyrics: 

Doctor, doctor, my baby’s sick, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
Doctor, doctor, you better come quick, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
I brought her home from a dance last night, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
When she started---clinging--- to me real tight, 

Doctor, doctor, my baby’s so kind, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
But doctor, doctor, she’s going out of her mind, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
She started screaming and looking above, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
Tell me doctor----can it be love, 

Bridge. 

She started screaming and pulling my hair, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
Oh doctor, doctor, you should have been there 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
Oh, doctor, doctor, my baby’s---bad, 
Come and see her, come and see her, 
Doctor, doctor, i think she’s been had, 
Oh, yeah, come and see her (repeat 4 times) 

Song notes: 

1. 
Recorded by Oz group The Easybeats in 1966, went to No 3 in the Australian charts. 

2. 
Written b Stevie Wright and George Young, members of the Beats. 

3. 
It was the group's debut single in the United Kingdom. 

4. 
The first Australian rock act to score an international hit with the 1966 single "Friday on My Mind", as well as one of the few in Australia to exclusively write and record original material. 

5. 
The Beats broke up in 1969. Singer Stevie Wright died in 2015 and rhythm guitarist George Young (brother of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC) died in 2017. 
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Streets of Philadelphia 


Artist: 
Bruce Sprongsteen 

Year: 
1993

Video: 

Lyrics: 

I was bruised and battered 
I couldn't tell what I felt 
I was unrecognizable to myself 
Saw my reflection in a window 
And didn't know my own face 
Oh brother are you gonna leave me wastin' away 
On the streets of Philadelphia? 

I walked the avenue, 'til my legs felt like stone 
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone 
At night I could hear the blood in my veins 
Just as black and whispering as the rain 
On the streets of Philadelphia 

Ain't no angel gonna greet me 
It's just you and I my friend 
And my clothes don't fit me no more 
A thousand miles just to slip this skin 

The night has fallen, I'm lyin' awake 
I can feel myself fading away 
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss 
Or will we leave each other alone like this 
On the streets of Philadelphia? 

Song notes: 

1. 
Written and performed by American rock musician Bruce Springsteen for the film Philadelphia (1993), an early mainstream film dealing with HIV/AIDS. The film stars Tom Hanks as a lawyer dying of AIDS. 

2. 
The song went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song and four Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. 

3. 
Director Jonathan Demme wanted people not familiar with AIDS issues to see his film. He felt Springsteen and Neil Young would bring an audience that would not ordinarily see a movie about a gay man dying of AIDS. The movie and the song did a great deal to increase AIDS awareness and take some of the stigma off the disease. 

4. 
Neil Young wrote Philadelphia for the same film. Hear it at: 

The melancholic nature of Young's contribution led to Demme switching it to the ending, rather than opening, song. This left him with the problem of an opening song, hence his request to Springsteen to write an opening song. 

5. 
Demme asked Springsteen for a rock song to open the movie. Springsteen started writing it based on lyrics he had previously written about the death of one of his friends, but it did not work over a rock beat. Springsteen sent what he came up with to Demme, considering it an unfinished demo. Demme loved it and felt it was perfect for his movie just as it was. 
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Honey 


Artist: 
Bobby Goldsboro 

Year: 
1968 

Video: 

Lyrics: 

See the tree how big it's grown 
But friend it hasn't been too long, it wasn't big 
I laughed at her and she got mad 
The first day that she planted, it was just a twig 

And then the first snow came 
And she ran out to brush the snow away so it wouldn't die 
Came running in all excited 
Slipped and almost hurt herself, I laughed till I cried 

She was always young at heart 
Kinda dumb and kinda smart and I loved her so 
And I surprised her with a puppy 
Kept me up all Christmas Eve two years ago 

And it would sure embarrass her 
When I came home from working late 'cause I would know 
That she'd been there a crying 
Over some sad and silly late, late show 

And honey, I miss you 
And I'm being good 
And I'd love to be with you 
If only I could 

She wrecked the car and she was sad 
So afraid that I'd be mad but what the heck 
Though I pretended hard to be 
Guess you could say she saw through me and hugged my neck 

I came home unexpectedly 
Found her crying needlessly in the middle of the day 
And it was in the early spring 
When flowers bloom and Robins sing, she went away 

And honey, I miss you 
And I'm being good 
And I'd love to be with you 
If only I could 

Yes, one day while I was not at home 
While she was there and all alone the angels came 
Now all I have is memories 
Of honey and I wake up nights and call her name 

And now my life's an empty stage 
Where honey lived and honey played and love grew up 
A small cloud passes overhead 
And cries down on the flower bed that honey loved 

Yes, see the tree how big it's grown 
But friend it hasn't been too long, it wasn't big 
I laughed at her and she got mad 
The first day that she planted, it was just a twig 

And honey, I miss you 
And I'm being good 
And I'd love to be with you 
If only I could 

Song notes: 

1. 
Written by Bobby Russell who produced it with former Kingston Trio member Bob Shane, who released his version a week before that of Bobby Goldsboro, 

2. 
Although it has been classed by many as the worst song of all time, it: 
- sold a million copies in its first three weeks 
- was the fastest-selling record in the history of United Artists 
- was the best-selling record worldwide for 1968, more popular even than "Hey Jude" 
- was a crossover hit, topping both the pop and country singles charts, one of only three songs to do so in the 1960s 
- was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1968: Record of the Year and Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Male. 
- was awarded Song of the Year in 1968 by the Country Music Association. 

3. 
The song's singer mourns his deceased wife, beginning with him looking at a tree in their garden, remembering how "it was just a twig" on the day she planted it. The song’s writer, Bobby Russell, got the idea for the song when he noticed how much a tree in his front yard had grown in four years. 

4. 
In 1968 Goldsboro said: "I think 'Honey' is a very emotional song, but it's not like what I call a sick song, a death song. Actually what it is, very simply, is just a guy remembering little things that happened while his wife was alive and to me that's not sick at all." 

5. 
A cautionary note: have a bucket near you if you listen to it. 

By the way, what happened to the puppy? He should have given it to John Wick. 
_______________

St James Infirmary Blues 


Artist: 
Various 

Year: 
Various 

Video: 
The Louis Armstrong 1928 recording: 

Lyrics: 

Those used in the Louis Armstrong version: 

It was down in Old Joe’s barroom, 
On the corner by the square, 
Drinks were being served as usual, 
And a goodly crowd was there. 

When up stepped old Joe McGuinny 
His eyes were bloodshot red; 
As he poured himself more whiskey, 
This is what he said: 

I went down to the St. James Infirmary 
I saw my baby there, 
Stretched out on a cold white table, 
So cold, so sweet, so fair. 

Let her go, let her go, God bless her; 
Wherever she may be 
She may search this wide world over 
But she’ll never find a sweet man like me. 

When I die, want you to dress me in straight laced shoes 
A box back coat and a Stetson hat; 
Put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain 
So the boys know I died standin’ pat. 

There are sixteen cold black horses, 
Hitched to her rubber tired hack; 
There are seven women goin’ to that graveyard, 
And only six of ’em are coming back. 

Now that you’ve heard my story, 
Pour me one more shot of booze; 
And if anyone comes askin’ about me, 
Tell ’em I got, Saint James Infirmary blues. 

Song notes: 

1. 
St. James Infirmary Blues" is an American blues song of uncertain origin. Louis Armstrong made the song famous in his 1928 recording. 

2. 
The song's title is derived from St. James Hospital in London, a religious foundation for the treatment of leprosy. It was closed in 1532 when Henry VIII acquired the land to build St. James Palace. The lyrics tell the tale of a man explaining to the singer/narrator, at a bar, how he went down to St. James Infirmary and tragically found his girl (the so-called "baby") dead. 

3. 
Louis Armstrong made the song famous in his influential 1928 recording and another notable recording was by Van Morrison on the 2003 Grammy-nominated album, What's Wrong With This Picture?. Other performers of the tune include Cab Calloway, King Oliver, Artie Shaw, Big Mama Thornton, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, The Doors, Paul Butterfield, The Animals, and The White Stripes. 

4. 
In the Louis Armstrong version, the narrator goes down to his neighborhood bar and speaks to a man who has recently witnessed his “baby’s” death, and thus has begun to think a little bit about his own death. 

Love the verse: 
There are sixteen cold black horses, 
Hitched to her rubber tired hack; 
There are seven women goin’ to that graveyard, 
and only six of ’em are coming back. 

5. 
Hugh (Dr House) Laurie is a great jazz muso and does this number on his album Let Them Talk, A Celebration of New Orleans Blues. Here is a clip: