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2020 Posts of the Year

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chokeout with yet another piece of fried gold:  

It won't make sense by year's end but right now, this is excellent by @Lorne Malvo

Frankie is one of the great storytellers. The events described are vile but they are so very entertaining to read. 

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What’s happened there then?  I just see a link to that thread hence my confusion.  And I got a notification as well.

Edited by Loki
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This one especially got me;

1 hour ago, Chris B said:

I sometimes think this forum is an interesting, smart place, and then I realise we're literally spending years toilet-training one member. 


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I fucking love this. HG is a good man, a great man.

11 hours ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

You can skip the below post if you don’t want the full long history of Chevy Chase. But if you do, read on...

Chevy Chase isn’t a place as such - ‘Chevy’ refers to the Cheviot hills, which are a gorgeous piece of Northumberland countryside and cross over the border a bit (or at least they used to) - and the ‘chase’ is the hunt.

The ballad, which probably goes back to the 15th century, is a fictionalised version of the Battle Of Otterburn between Lord Percy (Warden of the Eastern March - whose job it was to secure that part of the border) and Lord Douglas (chief Scottish rivals of the Percys).

In the ballad, Percy goes out for a nice hunt in the Cheviots - a Chevy Chase in fact - but crosses into Douglas territory. Douglas finds out, gathers an army, Percy won’t leave, so they have a big old battle and both the lords get killed. Their respective communities mourn all the dead of the battle, and the song ends with the moral of “if noblemen stopped fighting about stupid things like hunting a lot more of us folk would still be alive”.

(In the real battle, Douglas had invaded England, conquered Newcastle and defeated Harry ‘Hotspur’ Percy - the Tottenham football team is named after him - in single combat. He fled west, Hotspur in pursuit, they fought under a full moon, Douglas was killed but the Scots won the battle.)


The ballad became very popular for a long time on the borders, and dipped in and out of cultural favour more widely. Elizabethan/Jacobean writers Spenser and Jonson were both fans. It also has the line “under the greenwood tree” which Shakespeare uses in (I think) As You Like It, I can’t prove it but I wonder if Shakespeare knew the ballad.

It’s endured mainly because it was published in Thomas ‘no relation but I did work for them’ Percy’s “Reliques of Ancient English Poetry” in the 1700s which in turn influenced the likes of Wordsworth and Coleridge. It’s been played as a standard on the Northumbrian pipes ever since.

The comedian comes into it because his grandma supposedly claimed descent from the Douglases. She knew the ballad, she used to sing it when he was little, and when he needed a stage name... there it was.

I didn’t know about the town in Maryland, but I wonder whether it had Scottish settlers who knew the song, or people from the Borders who thought the surrounding landscape looked a bit Cheviot-y.

The end.


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3 hours ago, King Coconut said:

This could've gone in many threads but this it where it lives.


'Kinell.  Ginger Welsh on fine form.

Edited by Keith Houchen
Wot Chest Sed
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