Farmer’s Toast

Before most of us sit down to gluttonously gorge on our Thanksgiving Day feasts, we should take a moment to thankfully reflect on all hard workers who plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve and sell our food.

Farmer’s Toast (Godspeed The Plow)

Come all jolly fellows that love to be mellow,
Attend unto me, and sit easy;
A pint when it’s quiet, come lads let us try it,
For thinking can drive a man crazy.

By plowing and sowing and reaping and mowing,
King Nature affords me a plenty;
I’ve a cellar well-stored, and a plentiful board,
And my garden provides every dainty.

I have lawns, I have bowers, I have fields, I have flowers,
And the lark is my morning alarmer.
So you jolly boys, now, here’s a health to the plow,
Long life and success to the Farmer.

Let the wealthy and great roll in splendour and state,
I envy them not, I declare it.
For I eat my own hams, my own chickens and lambs,
And I shear my own sheep and I wear it.

Were it not for my seeding you’d get but poor feeding,
I’m sure you would all starve without me.
I’m always content when I’ve paid my rent,
And I’m happy when friends are about me.

Draw near to my table, my lads if you’re able,
Let me hear not one word of complaining.
For the jingling of glasses all music surpasses,
And I love to see bottles a-draining.

For here I am king, I can laugh, drink, or sing,
And let no man appear as a stranger.
But show me the ass who refuses a glass,
And I’ll treat him to hay in the manger.

This song was originally published as a broadside in the early 19th century, the verses can be found on plates and mugs produced at the time. Nobody knows who wrote it, but he was probably not a farmer.

Faithful Friends Who Were Dear To Us, Will Be Near To Us No More

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is probably my favorite Christmas song simply because of its emotional ambivalence. It resonates closely with so many of the feelings I have around the Christmas season. The lyrics open up that uneasy longing for that unattainable ideal of Christmas that so many of us want. The holidays can be hard.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York
No good times like the olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

My emotions during the holidays weigh heavily. Christmastime brings a contemplative melancholia that I actually revel in, and there is a wistful type of comfort in accepting this. In knowing that the season is steeped in nostalgia and want for a better time and place. In accepting that my memories will grow a little dimmer with the passing of the year. In acknowledging that our world can be unraveled, changed, and built back up with little of our own control. In understanding that friends, family, or loved ones are gone from our lives – for good. I feel akin with the folks who recognize that Christmas can be complicated, emotionally irresolute, and inherently blue.
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I Love The Gävle Goat

The Gävle Goat Survives (For Now)

I Love The Gävle Goat

The 2012 Gävle Goat was almost knocked down before it even got up. According to Swedish newspaper The Local, private security guards are keeping an eye on this years Gävle Goat after arsonists nearly burnt it down on Saturday, before it was even inaugurated. The goat’s leg was ignited briefly before being extinguished by a heroic passer-by. “The front hoof smells of petrol,” event organiser Eje Berglund told the crowd that assembled on Sunday for the official inauguration. Last years blaze was a sight to behold.

Four University students have taken it upon themselves to try to stem the tide of arson by creating an “I Love the Goat” campaign. There is a live webcam of the Gävle Goat if you’d like to keep tabs on whether it will continue with its fiery history.

The Gävlebocken (Gävle Goat) Has Once Again Gone Up In Flames

If you’re looking for the 2012 video of the burning Gävlebocken (Gävle Goat) go here.

This season’s Gävlebocken or Gävle Goat has already burnt to the ground.

The Gävle Goat is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw. It is erected each year over a period of two days by a local association called the Southern Merchants in time for the start of advent. The goats have become the subject of a ‘tradition’ of regularly being torched by vandals.

The 13-meter (42+ feet) tall, straw, Christmas goat was set ablaze by arsonists at 2:54 a.m. this morning in Gävle, Sweden. Despite emergency services arriving on the scene within a few minutes nothing remains of the goat but its scorched frame. Currently the Gävlebocken only has a 39% survival rate.

Below is time-lapse video taken from a webcam of this years goat. The webcam is still live if you are interested in having a look at it’s charred remains.