The first time I heard this song, I thought it was Irish in origin, as it has the same appeal. But it was written by William Shakespeare Hayes (1837-1907), a prolific American lyricist who is often compared to Stephen Foster. The more I hear it, the more I love it. You can sing along with … Continue reading MOLLIE DARLIN’, Traditional American Folksong
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Irish Catholic children attended school to learn English and arithmetic. In densely populated areas, school might be held in an abandoned barn or building, but in the country, the children literally sat in front of the hedgerows that separated one small croft from another. There were few, if any, … Continue reading The Hedgerow Schools of Ireland
by Percy French (1854-1920) Every once in awhile, authors latch onto a word and it becomes so popular, you virtually can’t get away from it. Lately, one of those words is “petrichor”, meaning the earthy scent of rain that’s fallen on dry soil. Each time I see or hear it, though, it brings this song … Continue reading EILEEN OG: An Irish Song
History tells us that at least 15%, and possibly up to 33%, of cowboys in The Old West were African-American. Among them was William Pickett, who invented the trick we now call bull-dogging—catching and throwing a steer—though Bill’s habit of biting the cow’s lip to control it is no longer practiced. (Not too surprising, IMHO.) … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: African-Americans in the Old West
American folk songs often present both positive and negative facets of life. This traditional lullaby is no exception, as it exemplifies the chasm that exists between the “haves” and “have nots”. The baby fortunate to be born to the manor will have cake for breakfast, while the poor child lies crying, and probably dying, in … Continue reading ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES: An American Folk Song
“I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy …” These words from Streets of Laredo are not as transparent as they may seem to be. Our modern interpretation of “outfit” refers basically to the clothes we wear, and can be stretched to include belt, shoes, hat, and handbag. But would clothes distinguish a … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: A Cowboy and his Outfit
Wonderful stories! Reblogged on giffordmacshane.com
In today’s post I will be sharing some letters from women homesteaders in the United States at the beginning of the 1900s. The Homestead Act allowed adults to work land out west in order to own it after a period of time. Their stories are inspiring and enlightening.
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Ireland is often referred to as The Land of Saints and Scholars. During the Dark Ages in Europe, much of the continent was overrun by barbarian tribes. Irish priests and scholars were responsible for keeping many ancient texts intact, and for creating new art and literature. Of primary note is the Book of Kells, an … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: The Land of Saints and Scholars
Since the 2020 election season has started, I've got a trivia question for you: Who was President of the United States when all Native Americans were given the right to vote? A.) Dwight D. Eisenhower B.) Theodore Roosevelt C.) Richard M. Nixon D.) Calvin Coolidge No peeking now—just give it your best shot! C’mon, you … Continue reading Tuesday Trivia: Native Americans & the Right to Vote
Thanks to the movies and mid-20th century TV, when we think of men’s underwear in the Old West, we usually picture the union suit, a garment that looked like a cross between a onesie and today’s longjohns, with buttons up the front and a flap in the back to accommodate nature’s needs. But union suits weren’t always a single piece — it was possible to buy shirts and pants separately. They also came in an above-the-knee length (for the especially hardy).
Less well-known were garments called “linens”, from the material they were made out of. Linens could be long, though they were usually knee-length or shorter. They had buttons or grommets with laces, and some had wide waistbands. Even more obscure was a cotton garment with buttons and ribbed legs that’s quite similar to the recently-popularized “boxer-briefs”. From my research, I believe…
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