Sister Mary and the Bird

Translations from Welsh and Yiddish revealing ornithomancy amongst the 19th century north Welsh and Jewish Lithuanians.

Fortune-telling budgies with organ-grinders in an unidentified location: Odessa? No idea how I came by the photo either.

My top 10 boxing songs

All-star bill featuring Dan Mendoza aka the fighting Jew, manly Victorians, Joe Louis and the Dixieaires at the Battle of Jericho, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, Rocky Graziano aka the Maharishi Yoghurt, Bob Dylan and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Muhammad Ali and over-reliance on computer technology, Rich Hall and the George Foreman Grill, Wesley Willis and Batman, and Ivor Cutler.

Richard Humphries' second blocks a crucial blow from Daniel Mendoza in the 1788 bout.

Your street organ repertoire proposals

Collected via the form. I’ve done basic arrangements of around 50 for the configuration that will be available to me and I’ll brush them up when I get hold of the instrument and can try things out. I’ll probably also post a few samples here in the interim. I’m not on Facebook any longer (yep,…