I am Illusion (a poem)

June 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm (Uncategorized)

“Mollusc Nebula” – an abstract painting

I am illusion.
Creation my vocation.
Imag’ry imaginary
Plays havoc with perception:
Pictorial pretence.

I am confusion.
Refraction of reality.
Abstraction to duality.
Distraction at high degree:
None of it makes sense.

I am delusion.
Seeing’s not believing;
Drawing is deceiving;
And painting is a thieving –
At mundanity’s expense.

And in conclusion,
I am all of this and more
Surface truth and deep-set flaw
Interpretation from the core
Insist on ex-istence

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High Place – a poem not about art

February 15, 2015 at 11:34 pm (Uncategorized)

O, come walk with me, she said,
And I’ll show you a place I know.
A high place, near the sky place.
A special place you need to see, she said.

Down paths that only she knew,
I followed her, I walked with her;
Starting unsure, the way obscure,
But with ev’ry single step my trust grew.

Up a steep steep hill we strode.
Out of breath we reached the top:
Flat top, plateau, so high up,
Grassy sides either side of an old road.

Together atop that hill, we
Found beauty, peace, and respite
From ev’ryday cares and spite;
Feeling stronger and better ready.

If there be magic then true
Magic resides in places like that.
Call it soul – call it spirit;
The name matters not. ‘Tis it’s own value.


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(No) Fear of the Blank Page – a poem

January 20, 2015 at 9:36 pm (Uncategorized)

wooden pen

The blank page it awaits
Like freshly fallen snow
Which crisply recieves
Footprints on the go

The blank page’s mystery
Is empty and null.
It has but one purpose:
It needs to be full.

Launch yourself into the blankness
Accept the challenge of the new
Make a mark upon the canvas
Write your name on a page or two…

The blank page it has gone
You’ve made a good start
Now sully another one
In pursuit of your art.

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Pricing Artwork by area

May 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I came across a blog post on a structured method of pricing original art. Now, my prices are a bit random (which is why I’m posting this here instead of over there on my art blog), so I thought I’d do some sums and see what fell out of them.

I thought I’d start with my woefully underpriced LEGO 7 x 7 cm canvases.


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Gender Switches

November 20, 2012 at 10:46 pm (Uncategorized)

“She Moves Through the Fair” is usually sung from the male perspective. However, it is frequently sung by a female vocalists. Many of these vocalists are happy to keep the original perspective and sing of a female young love; others have felt the need to change the genders of the protagonists. Sometimes this is reflected in a similar change to the title, but not always.

The following is a list of the versions that I am aware of where the lyrics have been altered to “He moved through the fair”:

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She Moves Through the Fair: Cara Dillon

May 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm (Uncategorized)


It seems that Ms. Dillon was singing this song live some time before it appeared on her 2009 album, Hill of Thieves, because I kept reading about her version and couldn’t find a studio recording – until the album came out, that is. The simple treatment – with piano and flute backing – really sets off Cara’s beautiful voice.

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Like Riding a Bicycle…

May 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

I’ve recently started a new technical writing job; it’s the sort of job where there’s a bit of hanging around to start with because some things aren’t ready and because I’ll be part of a new team that hasn’t all arrived yet. I was chatting to one of the other guys in the nascent team, talking about software tools – Word, Framemaker, Ventura, InDesign etc. Framemaker is, more or less, the industry standard for technical writers. My experience with it is a few versions ago, but that shouldn’t matter.

“It’s not difficult,” said my colleague.

“No,” I agreed, “It’s like riding a bicycle.”

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She Moves Through The Fair: Versions

January 31, 2011 at 4:20 pm (Music, She Moves Through the Fair, Uncategorized)

This is a list of notable versions of the song, “She Moves Through The Fair”. As a legacy of the song’s history, there are variations in the title, and in the lyrics. I have tried to indicate some of these variations as follows:

(M) uses the Modern lyrics, based on Colum’s poem. There are several variations within this group.
(A) uses the Alternate lyrics, also known as “Our Wedding Day”. Again, there are variations on these lyrics.
(I) is an Instrumental.
(R) is a Related song.
(P) is a Parody.

I will add links to posts with more details on each version when I’ve written them…

John McCormack, “She Moved Thro’ The Fair” (1941). (M)

Sydney MacEwan, “She Moved Thro’ The Fair” (1940-1950?). (M)

Margaret Barry, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1958?).  (M)

Davy Graham, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1962). (I)

Anne Briggs, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1963). (M)

Odetta, “She Moved Though the Fair” (1963). (M)

Terry Callier, “It Will Not Be Long, Love, ‘Til Our Wedding Day” (1964). (M)

Marianne Faithfull, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1966). (M)

John Martyn, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1967). (M)

Davy Graham, “She Moved Thru the Bizarre / Blue Raga”(1967). (I)

The Yardbirds, “White Summer” (1968). (I)

Fairport Convention, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1969). (M)

Trees, “She Moves Through The Fair” (1970). (M)

Alan Stivell, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1973). (M)

Nana Mouskouri, “He Moved Through the Fair” (1976). (M)

Art Garfunkel, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1977). (M)

Mary Black, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1984). (M/A hybrid)

Loreena McKennit, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1985). (M)

Pentangle, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1986). (M)

Eyeless in Gaza, “She Moves Thru the Fair” (1986). (M)

All About Eve, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1988). (M)

Van Morrison, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1988). (M)

Simple Minds, “Belfast Child” (1989). (R)

Marianne Faithfull “She Moved Through the Fair” (1990). (M)

Richard Thompson, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1990, live performance). (M)

Feargal Sharkey, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1991). (M)

Máire Brennan, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1992). (M)

Áine Ui Cheallaigh, “Out of the Window” (1992). (R)

Jam Nation, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1992). (A/M hybrid)

The Mrs Ackroyd Band, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1994). (P)

Hazel O’Connor, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1994). (M)

Rory Gallagher, “She Moved Thro’ the Fair/Ann Cran Ull” (released 1994). (I)

Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1994). (M)

Jim Kerr and Alan Stivell, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1995, live performance). (M)

The Chieftans featuring Sinead O’Connor, “He Moved Through the Fair” (1995). (M)

Sinead O’Connor, “He Moved Through the Fair” (Michael Collins soundtrack) (1996). (M)

Boyzone, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1996). (M)

The Black Velvet Band, “She Moved Through the Faire” (1996). (M)

Bert Jansch, “She Moved Through the Fair” (1998). (M)

Shane McGowan and the Popes, “She Moves Through the Fair” (1998). (M) – B-side to single, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Paddy”

E2k, “He Moved Through the Fair/Out the Other Side” (2003). (M)

Green Man, “She Moved Through the Fair” (2004). (A)

Emer Kenny, “She Moved Through the Fair” (2004). (M)

Joe Brown, “She Moves Through the Fair” (2004). (M)

Celtic Woman, “She Moved Thru’ the Fair” (2004). (M)

Hayley Westenra, “She Moves Through the Fair” (2006). (M)

Anuna, “Our Wedding Day” (2007). (A)

Rebsie Fairholm, “She Moves Through the Fair” (2007). (M)

Cara Dillon, “She Moved Through the Fair” (2009). (M)

Other versions I am aware of include:

  • Sharon Corr’s instrumental take, entitled “Our Wedding Day”, on her album Dream of You.
  • James Galway, flautist.
  • Parody: “She Fell Through the Flair [Floor]”. A Scottish dialect parody that I have not been able to track down.
  • Kipper Family, “One Drunken Maiden” (1988). Another parody version, based on Colum’s lyrics. I’ve not heard this yet.
  • Shirley Collins has recorded the song; it appeared on an EP, Shirley Sings Irish and was later available on her anthology box set Within Sound, but that appears to have been deleted and is now frighteningly expensive, so I haven’t heard Shirley’s version.

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She Moves Through the Fair: A relationship with a song

September 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm (Music, She Moves Through the Fair, Uncategorized)

I have a mild obsession with this song. I intend to put down everything I have discovered about it, but first I’m going to write about why I’m so interested in it.

It all started around 1988. I was 17. I had money to spend on an LP record (yes, a big black thing with a hole in the middle), and I spent it on All About Eve’s eponymous debut album. The single “Martha’s Harbour” had been a big hit, and I liked the song; I think I was also aware of previous singles, possibly via the Channel Four Chart Show.

I would say that I played that album to death, but it wouldn’t be true, because I still have that slab of vinyl and it still plays. But it rapidly became my favourite album (admittedly, this wasn’t difficult, as I didn’t own very many records back then). It still ranks in my top three.

I loved every song on the album. One of them is “She Moves Through The Fair”. It’s the only song that wasn’t written by the band. It is listed as a “traditional” song, although the truth is more complicated – as I will explain later.

At some point, I realised that this song represented “folk music” (as opposed to pop or rock or classical), and that I liked it. So I went to the local library, which had a fair selection of records to borrow, and flipped through the folk section. Most of them didn’t appeal – their sleeves all seemed to show pictures of old men. But one looked interesting: I took home Clannad’s Macalla. This is the album which includes a couple of collaborations with Bono from U2, notably the song “In A Lifetime”.

Slowly, I began to investigate other folk – pop – rock crossovers. There wasn’t an Internet back then, so the information was a bit tricky to find, and I wasn’t searching very hard. I was living in a world of pop and rock music – as, in fact, I still am.

I read that Julianne Regan – the singer with All About Eve – was influenced by Sandy Denny. Sandy was best known as the lead singer of Fairport Convention in the 1960s, but I was a bit hazy on those sort of details. I must have been about 20 or so when I bought a copy of The Best of Sandy Denny. “She Moves Through the Fair” isn’t on that album. It is, however, on Fairport Convention’s What We Did On Our Holidays.

After I got hold of What We Did On Our Holidays, I started to seek out other versions and to look into the history of the song.

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What is the Knife and Fork Factory?

September 14, 2010 at 9:53 am (Art, Uncategorized)

Basically, the Knife and Fork Factory is anything I want it to be.

When I was just a little girl, I used to come home from playschool with lovely, colourful, splashy paintings that weren’t pictures of anything. My mother would ask me what it was a picture of. My standard answer was “Colours” (which was basically accurate), but that didn’t seem to satisfy her. One day – I think that she had asked me to set the table for a meal – I made up a subject on the spot: “It’s a knife and fork factory”.

The title has stuck in my mind and has become synonymous with making things up as I go along.

It has occurred to me that it would make a good name for the Art Gallery that I have no intention of opening. So, instead, I am using it as a name for a blog containing musings on assorted subjects close to my heart. Which will, I am sure, include art.

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