T o u c h s t o n e


~ a   b l o g   of   sorts


 sometimes a comment...

Wed Nov 12, 2014
This year I wanted to do something different on November 11, so instead of going to the Cenotaph at the Grand Parade, I sat quietly on a bench in the Public Gardens, beside a pond with ducks and a model Titanic moored in the middle.

At 11am the first cannon fired on the Citadel, and then others at regular intervals. The noise was muffled somewhat by the trees that were still adorned with Autumn splendour. I cried a bit and quietly spoke to myself, giving thanks to those who gave their lives so I could be free.

On my jacket I wore a red poppy for Remembrance. Next to it I also wore a white poppy, because I thought about Peace too.

Mankind cause wars, not womankind. If we are to seek out a peaceful destiny, men's egos, weapons and territorial aggression will need to be tempered and replaced by a greater nurturing philosophy for the greater good of all.

We must cease war, not only against other humans, but against other creatures of the land, sea and sky. We must live by a code of respect for the natural world, that IS the land, the sea and the sky. All that is existing was not made for our survival, yet we abuse and poison everything we come into contact with, as though it exists to be disposed of or used at our convenience.

If we do not change our ways of thinking, this ability to dominate and subjugate everything will cause our downfall.

We can survive as a species only if we respect all things. Not just in promises or prayers but by action. Then we can rise above being a domineering animal, to become a species of love, wisdom, intelligence and compassion.
(Thanks to the inspiring and challenging Ed McCurdy)

On Touchstone last Saturday (Nov 8), I somehow did not include Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, etc. Their songs about War and Peace are very worthy. But I did play these...

• Martin Simpson - Plains of Waterloo (instrumental)
• Vedran Smailovic & Tommy Sands - Memento Mori/Albinoni Adagio
• Eric Bogle - Romeo & Juliet in Sarajevo
• Artisan - Love & War (poem)
• John Roberts & Tony Barrand - Great War Trilogy
• Mary Story - My Bonny Lighthorseman
• Andy Irvine & Paul Brady - Mary & The Soldier
• Judy Small - Home Front
• Margaret Christl - Mothers, Daughters, Wives
• Laura Smith - Armistice Day
• Rose Vaughan - Sally's Song
• Robbie Smith - An Anthem Of Peace
• Eliza Gilkyson - Peace Call
• Clearing By Moon - It's Time To Study Peace
• Jim Hanlon - Remembrance Day
• Ed McCurdy - When Soldiers Die (poem)
• Ed McCurdy - Strangest Dream
• Alan Stivell & Youssou N'Dour - A United Earth 1

Sun Nov 10, 2013
It's been two years since my last entry!

Tomorrow I will either watch Remembrance on CBC TV's website, or listen on the radio, or go out in the chill and stand with others quietly at 11 am. There will be a bugle sounding, speeches, bagpipes, hymns, and the noise of cannons interrupting my thoughts.

No one in my family died in the great wars, but I will remember those who have died in all wars. I will also think of the millions of civilians and children, killed or injured in body or mind. That is why I will wear a red poppy, and a white poppy too.

On Touchstone yesterday, I played the following (below). The CD/album/cassette title follows the name of each song or spoken piece. Sadly, there was no time for more poetry readings, music, or Peace songs, which would have included me reading the lyrics to 'Anthem for Peace' by Robbie Smith. I'm hoping to include these in next week's show.

• Martin Simpson - Plains of Waterloo - Cool and Unusual
• Vedran Smailovic & Tommy Sands - Memento Mori/Albinoni Adagio - Sarajevo/Belfast
• Eric Bogle - Romeo & Juliet in Sarajevo - Small Miracles
• Artisan - Love and War - Random Play
• James Keelaghan - Fires of Calais - History
• Judy Small - Home Front - Home Front
• Pete Seeger - Pete Speaks about World War II - Pete Seeger at 89
• Laura Smith - Armistice Day - It's a Personal Thing
• David Francey - Flowers of Saskatchewan - Far End of Summer
• Pete Seeger - 50/50 Chance - Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol 3
• Dick Gaughan - Your Daughters and Your Sons* - Live in Edinburgh
• Dan McKinnon - Fields of Dreams and Glory - Fields of Dreams and Glory
• Tanglefoot - Vimy - The Music in the Wood
• Ed McCurdy - When Soldiers Die - A Sampler
• Ed McCurdy - Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream - A Sampler

*(This was not the Dick Gaughan song I intended playing)
Fri Nov 11, 2011
Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune (the movie) at Carbon Arc Independent Cinema.

Great crowd last night. Looked like it was sold out. Phil Ochs' music and the recalling of 1960s politics really moved the audience.

Very few young people came though, which is a pity, because I was hoping his intelligence, insight, parody, humour and biting criticism would encourage young songwriters to be as bold in their actions and song content.

I say this because too many young songwriters in the folk field just write about love. It's so damn boring.

Phil's sister Sonny had agreed to send me an audio of her giving an intro to the movie. She sent it on CD and mailed it from New York State 3 weeks ago and it still hasn't arrived!

Naturally, I thought that Uncle Sam and his son CIA had it holed up and locked down somewhere in the land of stars and stripes.

But she sent an e-mail intro which I read to the audience.

Because of a rush to clear the theatre for the next movie, I was really sorry that I had no time to talk to all who came. Some I knew but many I didn't. By the time I had packed my stuff, most had dissolved into the night.

If you were there, please let me know. Send an e-mail to touchstone(at)bevlamb.ca

Today is Remembrance Day. Torrential rain. Fewer people at the cenotaph to Remember. Phil's words from the night before and over 40 years ago, still resonated.

Dave Van Ronk's 'He Was A Friend Of Mine' rang in my ears too. It played over the credits, and was sung at Phil's Memorial concert in New York. His profound gaze dripped with loss.

11-11-11 today. At the 11th second at the 11th minute, I was still there. 11-11-11-11-11. The rain now pelted with loss.

With teary eyes closed, I thanked those who marched so that I wouldn't have to, and was thankful that the peace that came, allowed me to march in protest 30 years later, against what they had to march into.


Sat Oct 29, 2011
CFA Show

Every now and then, CKDU is surveyed by the SOCAN folks, so to get broadcasting royalties into the hands of songwriters/composers (however little it is), during these periods we play music by them.

Today's show was during a four-day stretch of monitoring by SOCAN. An idea came to me for the first time. "Why not choose Canadian artists and a song they've written too, but I'll make it music from CFA's -- performers who have come (moved) to Nova Scotia from away."

Most of these CFA's came from other provinces. Some were born in the U.S., both Irelands or England. One American became a Canadian while living here and he died here too, and one is an instrumentalist, not a singer.

CFA playlist ~ All these performers moved to Nova Scotia

Andrew White - Woodsprites Desires
Dennis Ryan - Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore
Evans & Doherty - The Highwaymaid
Razzmatazz (Sandy Greenberg & Thomas Cormier) - Sleeping Over
Old Man Luedecke - Just Like a River
Don Osburn - Where The Westerlies Blow Onshore
Rose Vaughan Trio (Rose) - Man/Maid Moon
Stephen Fearing - The Bells Of Morning
Mary Story - Ploughman Laddies
David Greenberg/Chris Norman (David) - Lord Elcho...
Lennie Gallant - Northern Lights
Laura Smith - I'm a Beauty
Don Ross - Obrigado (Egberto)
Brooke Miller - Trouble Where You Seek It
Thom Swift - My Dog
Bonnie Ste-Croix - Canadian Girl
Off With Their Heads (Bill Plaskett) - Tickle Cove Pond
Bob Ardern - Leaving For Lunenburg
James Hill - Down Rideau Canal
This is not all. More of the performers I played, will be added soon...

 SPECIAL EVENT! (in 2011)

Phil Ochs movie