Jack Orion

Through Horned Clouds -Robin Williamson

I see your faces

blown through the horned clouds

in the silent cities

they call me so loud

come through the fire

come through the foam

come at the world’s night

call the herds home

dearest child dearest child

Most High

please don’t let our fancy die

till all the grapes are gathered from the vine

when you come

will you sound the harp

give to the blind

cat’s eyes in the dark

o will we know you for what you are

you who have come so far

sweetest fair sweetest fair

Most High

don’t let them cut that ladder before its time

for all the grapes to be gathered from the vine

He comes again

She comes again

through the mist of time

through the mist of rain

no more words my heart brims over

in the sea of circumstance

rows for the rocky shore

we who have sworn

by the dead and the unborn

wheels within wheels

O Most High.


The hodgepodge attempt at cohesion… Started out with something short, and grew, and grew…

Sunday night, knackered and all. Beautiful Autumn days here in Portland. Out to Sauvie Island during the afternoon.

Went through the wringer with a headache yesterday (Saturday) As close to a migraine as I have had in quite awhile (and it has been awhile, almost 19 years!) Pressure changes and all that.

Anyway, this edition I think stands well, from Horned Clouds to the ending pic of Edinburgh Castle, in all its beauty. The hill it is on has been lived on by people for the last 10 thousand years. It gives ones pause. The caves underneath have quite a history….

On the Menu:

The Links

We’re nearly all Celts under the skin

Bert Jansch – Jack Orion

Bert Jansch Bio




The Links:

Scientists discover most likely host star for advanced life

Physicists: Despite Fears, Black-Hole Factory Will Not Destroy Earth

Study: Ancient bird used four wings to fly


We’re nearly all Celts under the skin

Ian Johnston, Science Correspondent

A MAJOR genetic study of the population of Britain appears to have put an end to the idea of the “Celtic fringe” of Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Instead, a research team at Oxford University has found the majority of Britons are Celts descended from Spanish tribes who began arriving about 7,000 years ago.

Even in England, about 64 per cent of people are descended from these Celts, outnumbering the descendants of Anglo- Saxons by about three to one.

The proportion of Celts is only slightly higher in Scotland, at 73 per cent. Wales is the most Celtic part of mainland Britain, with 83 per cent.

Previously it was thought that ancient Britons were Celts who came from central Europe, but the genetic connection to populations in Spain provides a scientific basis for part of the ancient Scots’ origin myth.

The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, following the War of Independence against England, tells how the Scots arrived in Scotland after they had “dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes”.

Professor Bryan Sykes, a human geneticist at Oxford, said the myth may have been a “residue” in people’s memories of the real journey, but added that the majority of people in England were the descendants of the same people who sailed across the Bay of Biscay.

Prof Sykes divided the population into several groups or clans: Oisin for the Celts; Wodan for Anglo-Saxons and Danish Vikings; Sigurd for Norse Vikings; Eshu for people who share genetic links with people such as the Berbers of North Africa; and Re for a farming people who spread to Europe from the Middle East.

The study linked the male Y-chromosome to the birthplace of paternal grandfathers to try to establish a historic distribution pattern. Prof Sykes, a member of the Oisin clan, said the Celts had remained predominant in Britain despite waves of further migration.

“The overlay of Vikings, Saxons and so on is 20 per cent at most. That’s even in those parts of England that are nearest to the Continent,” he said.

“The only exception is Orkney and Shetland, where roughly 40 per cent are of Viking ancestry.”

In Scotland, the majority of people are not actually Scots, but Picts. Even in Argyll, the stronghold of the Irish Scots, two-thirds of members of the Oisin clan are Pictish Celts.

However, according to the study, the Picts, like the Scots, originally came from Spain.

“If one thinks that the English are genetically different from the Scots, Irish and Welsh, that’s entirely wrong,” he said.

“In the 19th century, the idea of Anglo-Saxon superiority was very widespread. At the moment, there is a resurgence of Celtic identity, which had been trampled on. It’s very vibrant and obvious at the moment.

“Basically the cornerstone of Celtic identity is that they are not English. However, to try to base that, as some do, on an idea that is not far beneath the surface that Celtic countries are somehow descended from a race of Celts, which the English are not, is not right. We are all descended from the same people.

“It should dispel any idea of trying to base what is a cultural identity on a genetic difference, because there really isn’t one.”


Bert Jansch – Jack Orion

I often think on the secret and not so secret routes of Transmission that flow through society. During the middle ages, a movement began in Occitania that still reverberates and flourishes up in to the modern day.

The movement which helped to shift consciousness and helped bring about the modern age was the Troubadours.(more on this later)

This of course translates to our modern day. There has always been an element of the Troubadour running through various forms of music. Bob Dylan comes to mind as well as the Buckleys’ in the US. Leonard Cohen springs forth when one thinks of Canada, but we are looking at this character: Bert Jansch.

Bert Jansch is from Edinburgh, his father Austrian, his mother Scots. Perhaps the most influencial guitarist in the UK for the last 40 years. You may be scratching your head on this. He was compared to Jimi Hendrix in his influence. Jimmy Page still to this day pays homage to the man. Donovan acknowledges him, time and again over the years. His influence is truly a phenomenon. From his earliest works, through the time he spent in Pentangle, to his current work

Bert was influenced by American music, but his heart was in the ancient ballads, again many of them can be traced back to the Troubadours from Cathar country…

So to cut to the quick, give this song a listen. It is from his 3rd album. I truly think that it is a classic…



Listen to Jack Orion – The Song


Jack Orion Lyrics…

Jack Orion was as good fiddler

As ever fiddled on a string

And he could drive young women mad

By the tune his wires would sing

But he would fiddle the fish out of salt water

Water from bare marble stone

Or the milk from out of a maiden’s breast

Though baby she had none

And there he played in the castle hall

And there he played them fast asleep

Except it was for the young countess

And for love she stayed awake

And first he played them a slow slow air

And then he played it brisk and gay

And it’s O dear love behind her hand

And the lady she did say

And the day has dawned and the cocks have crown

And flapped their wings so wide it’s you

Must come up to my chamber there

And lie down by my side

So he lapped his fiddle in a cloth of green

And he stole out on his tiptoe

And he’s off back to his young boy

Tom As fast as he could go

Ere the day has dawned and the cocks have crowed

And flapped their wings so wide

I’m bid to go up to that lady’s door

And stretch out by her side

Lie down lie down my good master

And here’s a blanket to your hand

I’ll waken you in as good a time

As any cock in the land

Oh Tom took the fiddle into his hand

And he fiddled and he sang for half an hour

Until he played him fast asleep

And he’s off to the lady’s bower

And when he come to the countess’ door

He twirled so softly at the pin

And the lady true to her promise

Rose up and let him in

He did not take that lady gay

To bolster nor to bed but down

Upon the hard cold bedroom floor

Right soon he had her laid

And neither did he kiss her when he came

Nor when from her he did go

But in at the lady’s bedroom window

The moon like a coal did glow

Oh ragged are your stockings love

And stubbly is your cheek and chin

And tousled is that yellow hair

That I saw late yestre’en

Me stockings belong to my boy Tom

But they were the first came to my hand

And the wind did tousle my yellow hair

As I road over the land

Tom took the fiddle into his hand

And he fiddled and he played so saucily

And he’s off back to his master’s house

As fast as go could he

Then up when up my good master

Why snore you there so loud

For there Is not a cock in all this land

But has flapped his wings and crowed

Jack Orion took the fiddle into his hand

And he fiddled and he played so merrily

And he’s off away to the lady’s house

As fast as a go could he

And when he come to the lady’s door

He twirled so softly at the ring

O my dear it’s your true love

Rise up and let me in

She said surely you didn’t leave behind

A golden brooch nor a velvet glove

Or are you returned back again

To taste more of my love

Jack Orion he swore a bloody oath

By oak by ash by bitter thorn

Lady I never was in this room

Since the day that I was born

Oh then it was your own boy Tom

That cruelly has beguiled me

And woe that the blood of that ruffian boy

Should spring in my body

Jack Orion took off to his own house

Saying Tom my boy come here to me

And he hanged that boy from his own gatepost

As high as the willow tree


Bert Jansch

b. 3 November 1943, Glasgow, Scotland. This highly gifted acoustic guitarist and influential performer learned his craft in Edinburgh’s folk circle before being absorbed into London’s burgeoning circuit, where he established a formidable reputation as an inventive guitar player. His debut, Bert Jansch, is a landmark in British folk music and includes “Do You Hear Me Now”, a Jansch original later covered by Donovan, the harrowing “Needle Of Death”, and an impressive version of Davey Graham’s “Angie”. The artist befriended number of artists starting out in the 60s folk boom, including Robin Williamson and John Renbourn, who played supplementary guitar on Jansch’s second selection, It Don’t Bother Me. The two musicians then recorded the exemplary Bert And John, which was released alongside Jack Orion, Jansch’s third solo album. This adventurous collection featured a nine-minute title track and a haunting version of “Nottamun Town”, the blueprint for a subsequent reading by Fairport Convention. Jansch continued to make exceptional records, but his own career was overshadowed by his participation in the Pentangle alongside Renbourn, Jacqui McShee (vocals), Danny Thompson (bass) and Terry Cox (drums). Between 1968 and 1973 this accomplished, if occasionally sterile, quintet was one of folk music’s leading attractions, although the individual members continued to pursue their own direction during this time.

The Danny Thompson-produced Moonshine marked the beginning of his creative renaissance with delightful sleeve notes from the artist: “I hope that whoever listens to this record gets as much enjoyment as I did from helping me to make it”. L.A. Turnaround, released following the Pentangle’s dissolution, was a promising collection and featured assistance from several American musicians including a former member of the Monkees, Michael Nesmith. The album suffered from over production. Avocet was first issued in Denmark in 1978. It was the result of some extraordinary instrumental sessions with Danny Thompson and Martin Jenkins (flute/violin/mandolin). Although Jansch rightly remains a respected figure, his work during the 80s lacks the invention of those early releases. It came to light that much of this lethargy was due to alcoholism, and by his own admission, it took six years to regain a stable condition. In the late 80s he took time out from solo folk club dates to join Jacqui McShee in a regenerated Pentangle line-up, with whom he continues to tour. In the mid-90s he was performing regularly once again with confidence and fresh application. This remarkable reversal after a number of years of indifference was welcomed by his loyal core of fans.

When The Circus Comes To Town was an album that easily matched his early pivotal work. Not only does Jansch sing and play well but he brilliantly evokes the atmosphere and spirit of the decade in which he first came to prominence. Live At The 12 Bar was an excellent example of his sound in the mid-90s, following a successful residency at London’s 12 Bar Club. Although the recording quality is poor, another important release came in 1999 when unearthed recordings of some live performances from 1962-64 were transferred to CD and issued by Ace Records’ worthy subsidiary, Big Beat. Castle Communications also undertook a fine reissue programme in 2000, and with the publication of Colin Harper’s excellent biography, at last Jansch’s work has the profile it has warranted for many years. He is a master of British folk/blues with a highly distinctive voice that has improved with age, and is an often breathtakingly fluid and original acoustic guitarist.