V for veracity in the Blogging from A to Z challenge.
I am thinking about veracity and my father. Veracity is truth, faithfulness, accuracy, correctness.
I was frustrated about how someone was reacting to something and asked my father about it.
My father said, “Most people don’t want reality.”
“What do you mean?” I said.
“Most people work hard to avoid reality. They have a set of ideas and a world view and they get upset if something does not fit in it or if it is questioned.”
I have been thinking about a song that I learned as a kid. It falls into one of the “Dead Girl” songs, as my sister called them. I think of them as teaching songs. I am taking guitar lessons and my teacher says that he won’t sing those songs.
I will. I like the dark songs. And I am very ambivalent about this song:
There was a wee cooper wha lived in Fife,
Nickety, nackety, noo, noo, noo;
And he had married a gentle wife,
Hey, willy, wallacky, ho John Dougle
Alane, quo rushity roo, roo, roo.
She would na bake nor would she brew,
For spilin’ o’ her comely hue.
she would na caird nor would she spin,
For shamin’ o’ her gentle kin.
The cooper has gone to his wool pack,
And he’s laid a sheep’s skin on his wife’s back.
“I’ll no be shamin’ your gentle kin,
But I will skelp my ain sheepskin.”
“O I will bake and I will brew,
And think nae mair o’ my comely hue.”
“O I will wash and I will spin,
And think nae mair o’ my gentle kin.”
A’ ye what hae gotten a gentle wife,
Send ye for the wee cooper o’ Fife.
This is Child Ballad number 277 and has been recorded by Burl Ives and others.
Ambivalence. It’s a song about wife beating, I don’t approve. But it’s also a song about surviving. A cooper builds barrels. The job division was that the wife would bake and brew, card wool and spin. However, this wife is “gentle” as in gentleman, of “good birth” and rejects the work as beneath her. Does she expect to be served? In the stories of happily ever after, we are happy when the poor underdog poor person wins the love and admiration of the other person, but we don’t see what happens when they go home. In Disney movies, the girls are poor and win a prince. Or Aladdin becomes a prince.
Skelp is defined as “hit, beat, slap”. The song doesn’t say whether the cooper does beat the sheepskin tied to his wife’s back or only threatens to do so.
I love word play so I like the “alane, quo rushity roo, roo, roo.” Nonsense words delight me aside from the topic of the song and I like the tune.
I think that our culture has years of men dominating women and expecting women to obey. I dislike that intensely. At the same time, I don’t like it when people won’t contribute and when they avoid work, so I also have some sympathy for the wee cooper. And our culture spends too much time thinking “happily ever after”, trying to find just the right person. We do not enough time actually asking each other what “happily ever after” would look like. And anyhow, it doesn’t exist. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and health: that is the veracity. We all will have challenges and everyone will have illness and hopefully good times too.
I am thinking of the many people lost in the recent earthquake. Lost: killed suddenly. Enjoy each day and be kind to yourself and others. We never know when grief will strike.