Monthly Archives: June 2007

She Moved Through The Fair

Many of you will know that the title of this post is also the title of a traditional Irish ballad. Just about every singer who you suspect might consider singing this song has done so plus some you never would have expected. I discovered Iowned so many versions among my tapes and CDs, without even trying to collect them, that I once made a tape for myself of seven different versions in a row.

As you may have gathered, I like this ballad very much. And when I played a recording of it for my fiancee about ten years ago,my eyes started to well up, and she decided it should be made a part of our wedding. Mycoworker D.L. Shroder, who is an actor (see him at www.imdb.com), graciously agreed to recite the lyrics of the ballad at one point during the ceremony.As he read it, he himself choked up.

Well, years later, when listening to yet another version on yet another album, I noticed a verse I had not heard or seen before. In this verse, it seemed that the singer’s lover is actually a ghost, and the wedding anticipated in the song never takes place at all. The song, which was a song of innocence and utter romantic ecstacy and anticipation, suddenly became a tragic, malevolent-universe type of song, the opposite of what I wanted recited at my wedding.

I decided that since that verse was never recited, my wedding was not actually tarnished.

However, I am happy to report that the version with the ghost ispossibly inaccurate. Last Sunday I saw a concert by British folk guitarist Bert Jansch at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. He performed this ballad. But in his introduction, he revealed that when his old band Pentangle had recorded the song, they had made an error in the transcription of the lyrics. One word had been misrepresented. Instead of “My dear love came to me” they had sung “My dead love came to me”. He said his old band mate Jacqui McShee thinks it’s about a ghost to this day.

What a relief to learn the true lyrics are as I had hoped. I suppose I could have searched the Francis Child Ballads or other sources to find out for myself, but certainly Bert Jansch is as good a source as one can have.

However, now I read at Wikipedia that the ballad is in fact tragic and has two versions, one with “dead” and one with “dear”. Who can you trust?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belfast_Child

Here is the version I had recited at my wedding:

“She Moved Through the Fair”

My young love said to me,

“My mother won’t mind

And my father won’t slight you

For your lack of kind.”

And shestepped away fromme

and this she did say,

“It will not be long now

‘Til our wedding day,”

As shestepped away from me,

And she moved through the fair,

And fondly I watched her

Move here and move there.

And then sheturned homeward,

Withone star awake,

Like the swan in the evening Moves over the lake.

Last night she came to me,

My dear love came in

So softly she came that

Her feet made no din

And she laid her hand on me

And this she did say,

“It will not be long, love,

’til our wedding day.”

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Tony Awards and My Disney Podcast

The important post to read is my previous one on Free Speech Restrained in California. This post is just for a couple of lighter topics.

The Tony Awards are handed out on Sunday June 10. I only saw one Broadway show last year, Mary Poppins, and on that basis I am rooting for Gavin Lee to win a Tony. He played Bert believably and brightly,and he connected with the audience, drawing you in. He also danced in very difficult circumstances (such as inverted).

Jane Carr, the actress who played the cook Mrs. Brill,was also amazing, in being such a vividly real personality.

Ashley Brown, however, the actress playing Mary Poppins, did not act so much as vogue her role. Where Julie Andrews in the movie kept you guessing, “What is her angle? Where is she coming from? What is she really thinking?”, Ashley Brownwas purely superficial, except for a few better moments toward the end. However, she was competent, adequateand professional enoughfor me to say, as Walt Disney is famous for saying to his staff whennot displeased, “That’ll do.”

For more of my opinions on the show Mary Poppins, see myMarch 2007post called “I’m Still Here.”

Speaking of Walt Disney, I just recorded the first episode of my new internet radio show, “Inside Walt’s World.”I discussmy memories from 1989 when I worked as a telephone operator at Walt Disney World.It is now on rotation at the Disney-themed Extinct Attractions Radio station at http://www.live365.com/stations/extinctattractionsor simply at www.extinctattractionsradio.com and it is currently played daily at 1:00 pm. I believe that is Pacific Time, USA.

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Free Speech Restrained in California

The California Supreme Court has recently ruled that certain prior restraints on free speech are permissible.

The case involves a woman who lives near a restaurant. She would publiclyrant against it,shouting falsehoods to potential customers, such as that the restaurant is involved with prostitution, drug dealing and the Mafia,and not only that, but it serves tainted food, too. She wasfound to have committedslander. However, there was an added injunction against her.

The majority opinion in the case captioned Balboa Island Village v. Lemenstated:

“Defendant [Lemen]…objects to …an injunction prohibiting her from repeating [in the future] statements the trial court determined were slanderous, asserting the injunction constitutes an impermissible prior restraint. We disagree.”

According to Howard Bashman in his blog “How Appealing”:

“Two justices dissented, and they reasoned that the injunction constituted an impermissible prior restraint on speech and that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that damages were insufficient to compensate the plaintiff for any harm that resulted from further repetition of the defamation.”

http://howappealing.law.com/042607.html#024669

I am alarmed at this decision and precedent. Ms. Lemen, the defendant, argued that “a statement that was once false may become true later in time.” I agree, and I believe one cannot morally or constitutionally prohibit speech before the fact. The Court rejected that argument concluding that further legal motions could be made by either party if things change. I disagree, and believe if she is punished for slander, that is motivation enough for her to cease. If she slanders again, then anothersuit or motioncould be made for that new event, and eventually she will cease. But taking prohibition of speech as the status quo and then requiring motions to modify or dissolve the injunction if things change strikes me as backwards-thinking, a presumption of future guilt,and a violation of rights. I’m not an expert and I would welcome any informed opinions.

An easy-to-read and thoughtful commentary on this case by Vikram David Amar is at this site: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/amar/20070511.html

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