July tweets from London’s Singing Organ-Grinder

(2018/08/04)

In the footsteps of Spartacus

A self-guided walk from Ciampino Airport to Rome along the Appian Way. (2018/07/25)

Wilful mondegreens from the popular repertoire

Lionel Richie opens a butchery in Bradford, while Frank Sinatra with the Count Basie Orchestra refuse to sell a raspberry ripple to the Archbishop of Canterbury in Jerusalem. With a generational categorisation of Millennials. (2018/07/22)

A remarkable gravestone in Waltham Forest Muslim cemetery

If tears could build a stairway / And memories a lane, / We’d walk right up to heaven / And bring you home again. (2018/07/19)

The true origins of an 18th century tomb inscription at Zennor, Penwith, Cornwall

"'Tis glorious misery to be born a man," generally taken to refer to a hen-pecked husband, is in fact a misquotation of verse by the 17th century Romford and London poet, Francis Quarles, dealing with human mortality. (2018/07/15)

Top 10 Russian football songs: No. 6: Manchester United FC by Whiteman the Blacksoul (2013)

Russophone Kazakh rapper tramples the identitarian jungle in praise of his idols. With William Blake, and Guf and his granny. (2018/07/06)

Top 10 Russian football songs: No. 7: the unofficial anthem of FC Zenit St Petersburg (1981)

It takes its tune and several lines from a 1960s song evoking the Siege of Leningrad and a verse and style from Liverpool fans' 1979 performance against Dinamo Tbilisi of You'll Never Walk Alone. (2018/07/05)

Top 10 Russian football songs: No. 8: the 1938 Futbol’nyy Marsh (“Football March”) by Matvey Blanter, composer of Stalin-era patriotic ditties

With a recording of a barrel alarm clock, a Shostakovich anecdote, a copyright tussle between the Russian Premier League and the Russian Authors' Society, and more Blatner material. (2018/07/04)

Etymology of Trippier

Does Kieran have a goatherd or a tripe merchant in his paternal line? (2018/07/04)

Musical objects found in the Damrak and Rokin Amstel-bed excavations

A treasure trove from the tunnel bores for Amsterdam's controversial North-South metro line. (2018/07/02)