While doing some research about Fife I spotted a song written about Dalgety Bay, The composer, amazingly is Glen Foster a Canadian singer / songwriter. He has a band called the Glen Foster Group.
I thought it would be a good to write an article about the song. But then there was a spark of an idea. That is it might be a fantastic opportunity to learn about making video clips.
So this I did, and it did take a little longer than I expected!
Do watch and enjoy the video clip about the Glen Foster Group’s ( glenfoster.ca ) below or alternatively read the text version of the story.
Here I interview Glen and Bernie Mac my sound man introduces the song.
Below is the story in text…
Glen… Please tell us about how the song “Dalgety Bay” came about ?
“I live in Canada, and my friend (Cathy) who lives nearby, tracked down a cousin (Andy) in Dalgety Bay who had been out of touch for over 40 years.”
“To make a long story short, I met Andy when he came to Canada to visit a few years ago. Then my wife and I went for a vacation to UK in September 2016 and stayed with Andy and his wife for several days. (We also have relatives in Edinburgh and Cambridge.)”
“Dalgety Bay was our base as we toured around. We had a wonderful time in Dalgety and enjoyed the scenery there, walking round and exploring the area. We travelled Scotland for a couple of weeks.”
So what is your background?
“I have been a professional musician for over 40 years, compose songs, perform and own my own small record label and publishing company. “
So how did you go a about writing the song?
“I started writing the song Dalgety Bay when I was there in 2016, touring around Scotland provided the inspiration for the imagery in the song. I didn’t have an instrument with me at the time but I jotted down lyrics and ideas and then composed music on the guitar when I returned home to Canada.”
“Our friends in Dalgety are well travelled, hence the lyrics in verse 4”
Our travels they have taken is us, o’er mountains far abroad, to Canada across the sea, through foreign lands we’ve trod,
But there’s the place we’ll e’er return, that’s where we make our home, I’ll know I’ll never stray far from Dalgety Bay.
When did you start on this journey?
“We started recording the song at Mountainview Studio in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada in 2019. I played guitars, base and sang the lead vocal, accompanied by my wife Marg Foster and Carrie Ingrisano on harmony vocals, with Thomas Neville on violin. We all live in Canada.”
“Dalgety Bay appears on a new album by my band Glen Foster Group called ‘Not Far Away’ which was just released internationally on April 24, 2020. “
Where can you buy?
“It is available for purchase, download and streaming on most major distribution sites including Amazon, Spotify, Apple iTunes, Google, Napster, Deezer, Tidal and at this location
The Corona virus Covid-19 is giving me a mandatory rest. Church services throughout the nation are now suspended!
Please let me explain, normally on a Sunday I attend church but because of the Coronavirus church meetings have been suspended for an indefinite period. Therefore, in a similar way to thousands if not millions of others I cannot be there. For this reason, as a small compensation, I have put together this mini service based on some of the resources from the Church of Scotland. That is for today – I am sharing It here. The musical bits in this case is a link to an online resource
As a result, I am not going to physically attend but share part of a virtual service written by the Church of Scotland on the resources section of their website and I hope you enjoy.
This is basically 5 minutes of gems for Sunday 22nd March 2020 by Rev Jock Stein. He is a retired Church of Scotland Minister, formerly of Tulliallan and Kincardine Church.
This bit may be obvious to most people but to be clear the Bible has two main sections the Old Testament (OT) written about the times before the birth of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the second section, that is the New Testament (NT) refers to the time from that is immediately prior to the birth of Christ, his life and many events afterwards. Each section has many books that make up the Word of God (The Holy Bible). Therefore you will see mention of Psalm and 2 Chronicles in the text below. These are two books in the old testament. The numbers after the book name refer to the chapter and then (if present) the verse or verses to read.
The Old Testament (OT) has no separate word for ‘soul’ as we do in English so that verse 3 “he restores my soul” is well translated as “he restores my life”. But by the same token, the Hebrew ‘life’ means inner life and outer life together, just as the greeting ‘Shalom’ wishes a person peace in family, community, work and in spirit.
So “the darkest valley” in verse 4 includes death but is not only about that, and the “rod and staff” (think of Moses and Aaron) are both literal supports and symbols of help.
Until the 19th century, it was assumed that David wrote the psalms attributed to him. We now know that the headings were added later on when the psalms were combined into what we would call a ‘hymn-book’, and in any case, the Hebrew heading can mean “for David” or “thinking of David” as well as “by David” – which is why some modern versions just put “David’s”. But whether or not he actually wrote the Psalm, it makes very good sense to think of David – he was a shepherd boy, he had enemies, he was often in danger of death, and he loved to be close to the Lord his God. The headings were added for a reason, so we should not hesitate to make connections.
John Goldingay (Editorial note: Born 20 June 1942 in Birmingham, United Kingdom, is a British Old Testament scholar and translator and Anglican clergyman) translates verse 6 as “Good and commitment will certainly chase me all the days of my life” – worth pondering when we are urging (pestering?) people to be good and be committed.
“I shall dwell in the house of the Lord” is much more than a desire to ‘go to church’, just as Psalm 27:4 is not just about being in church and asking the minister questions. For one thing, the ‘house’ or ‘temple of the Lord’ is also in the heavens (Psalm 78:69 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=451574732). When Solomon built the temple (2 Chronicles 3:5 http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=451574652 ), the word translated as ‘nave’ is literally ‘the big room,’ which was the expression ancient peoples used for ‘God’s heavenly palace’. So it’s about living in God’s presence, which is everywhere in the universe.
I have written the text below until the prayers at the end. The first prayer is by Rev Jock Stein.
At some point I need to rearrange this tune, and when I do I will post the arrangement here.
As you can see the words in the Bible have been put in verse and set to music. Below for the record are the words to the hymn (song) ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’.
1 The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want;
he makes me down to lie
in pastures green; he leadeth me
the quiet waters by.
2 My soul he doth restore again,
and me to walk doth make
within the paths of righteousness,
e’en for his own name’s sake.
3 Yea, though I walk through death’s dark vale,
yet will I fear none ill,
for thou art with me; and thy rod
and staff me comfort still.
4 My table thou hast furnished
in presence of my foes;
my head thou dost with oil anoint,
and my cup overflows.
5 Goodness and mercy all my life
shall surely follow me;
and in God’s house forevermore
my dwelling place shall be.
Prayer – by Rev Jock Stein. – I have suggested a change in brackets in the second line as we are not gathered, that is because of the Coronavirus Covid 19 guidelines. Therefore please feel free to use here instead of gathered.
You can either read this quietly or aloud – either way God will hear it.
Dear God, Saviour and Shepherd of Your people,
we are gathered (here) to praise You,
to encourage one another,
and to seek Your will for our lives,
for our church, and for our world.
Open our eyes to the traffic between heaven and earth,
and to the wonder of Your call to live in the light,
through Him who is the light of the world,
even Jesus Christ,
Standard closing prayer for the end of any service…
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all,
It was a long time ago, 1982 if my memory serves me well, my minister at a Liverpool Church contacted me in a panic. “I can’t find a hymn for it!” was the cry. And honestly, he had a challenge. He could not find a hymn for the passage Genesis 1 (The very start of the Holy Bible). The story would be quite different now!
Thanks to modern technology I would just type in those very first few words of the old testament into Google on the Internet and hey presto you will find those immortal words in at least one modern hymn or song.
So I hunted through my hymn books and I could not find one hymn, one chorus, one song, nor one bit of humble poetry. My library was not extensive as I have now but it took a lot of time to find nothing!
Therefore, there was only one thing to do, but write something new. That is the words and music for a new song ‘In the beginning, God made heaven and earth’. Below for brevity is the first verse and chorus, It is slightly modified and now the chorus stays the same throughout the whole of the song.
In the beginning, God made heaven and earth. And the earth was without form, Twas void and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved all around.
And God said, Let there be light: and God said Let there be night
and God said Let there be day
And it was so
It was only recently, that I discovered that there is at least one other hymn written well before this and of course it is in a very well known hymn book. You all should know it. The Scottish Psalter and Church Hymnary (revised). You will all know that I like playing all hymns. Those that are ancient/more recent and those that are modern/popular. As one minister in South West Scotland in his sermons said, the great majority of hymn tunes were named after the village or town where the hymn was written and those hymns were sung and some danced to as pop songs locally.
Below is the text of the Bible that was set to music from the Psalter for Genisis 1 and this text represents verses 1 &2 (there are 8 others) and can be sung to Amazing Grace
Paraphrase: Let heav’n arise, Let earth appear
Let heav’n arise, Let earth appear, said the Almighty Lord: The heav’n arose, the earth appear’d, at his creating word.
Thick darkness brooded o’er the deep: God said, ‘Let there be light:’ The light shone forth with smiling ray, and scattered ancient night.
Note: You may have noticed in my composition I used the word ‘Twas’, – that is ‘it was’ the only word that fitted to the melody in my music!
Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes (CH4 277) Tune = The Rowan Tree Written by Philip Doddridge (1702-1751)
Luke 4:18-19King James Version (KJV)
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
1 Hark the glad sound! the Saviour comes,
the Saviour promised long: let every heart exult with joy, and every voice with song! He comes the broken heart to bind, the bleeding souls to cure;
and with the treasures of his grace to enrich the humble poor.
2 The sacred year has now revolved, accepted of the Lord,
when heaven’s high promise is fulfilled,
and Israel is restored.
Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace, thy welcome shall proclaim;
and heaven’s exalted arches ring with thy most honoured name.
In the Cross of Christ I Glory (Colossians 1:11-20 (KJV))
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Sir John Bowring (17 October 1792 – 23 November 1872) wrote amongst many other hymns ‘In the Cross of Christ I Glory’. He was an English political economist, MP for Kilmarnock Burghs (Ayr, Kilmarnock, Dumbarton, Renfrew and Port Glasgow), traveller, writer, literary translator, polyglot, and the fourth Governor of Hong Kong.
Bowring married twice. Firstly by his wife, Maria (1793/4–1858), whom he married in 1818 after moving to London, He had five sons and four daughters (Maria, John, Frederick, Lewin, Edgar, Charles, Edith, Emily, and Gertrude). Maria died in September 1858, a victim of the arsenic poisoning of the bread supply. That is in Hong Kongduring the Second Opium War. An Opium War that was sparked by Sir John her husband.
Secondly to Deborah Castle (1816–1902), in 1860. Sadly, they had no children. Deborah, became Lady Bowring and died in Exeter in July 1902
John Bowring wrote the words of this great hymn and at least 82 others. He was a hard worker and a brilliant man who had a special gift for languages. He is reputed to have learned a hundred different languages during his lifetime. Because of his brilliance with languages, the British government appointed him to a number of jobs. His career required that he travelled throughout Europe as well as to Syria and even Siam (That is modern Thailand). He learned Chinese and served as the British governor of Hong Kong in the middle of the 19th Century.
Some people say that Bowring was inspired to write “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” when he visited Macao. Its is a Portuguese colony near Hong Kong (in 1999 Portugal relinquished their control and gave the colony back to China)and he had a vision of a great bronze cross that towered over the ruins. That is the ruins of a cathedral. One that had been destroyed by a typhoon. Whatever the inspiration this hymn celebrates the cross of Jesus. Along with many others, it is a hymn that has been popular since it was first published in 1825. That is nearly two centuries ago.
In the Cross of Christ, I Glory (Colossians 1:11-20) set to tune = Love Divine Ch4 519 24th November 2019 by Charles Litster
1 In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time; all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.
When the woes of life o’ertake me, hopes deceive, and fears annoy, never shall the cross forsake me.
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
2 When the sun of bliss is beaming light and love upon my way, from the cross the radiance streaming
adds more luster to the day.
Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, by the cross are sanctified;
peace is there that knows no measure,
joys that through all time abide.
3 When the sun of bliss is beaming light and love upon my way, from the cross the radiance streaming adds more luster to the day.
In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time;
all the light of sacred story
gathers round its head sublime
Psalm 67: A paraphrase – Lord Bless and pity us (Church Hymnary 4 – CH4 45) Set to tune = CH4 594 Diademata (Crown him with many crowns) by Charles Litster
Lord, bless and pity us, shine on us with your face: that your way may be known on earth, all nations know your grace. Let people praise you, Lord; let all the people praise. Oh, let the nations all be glad, in songs their voices raise:
You’ll justly people judge, on earth rule nations all. Let people praise you, Lord; let them praise you, both great and small. The earth her fruit shall yield, our God shall blessing send. God shall us bless; all shall him fear unto earth’s utmost end.
I found this the other day, the source is the Trinity Psalter Hymnal – Hymn 553
I have set it to a different tune, that is ‘All things bright and beautiful’. It is a fantastic tune and the words are perfect. For that reason, at the end of this version, I return to the refrain of that great hymn.
1 Sing to the Lord of harvest,
sing songs of love and praise;
with joyful hearts and voices
your alleluias raise!
By him the rolling seasons
in fruitful order move;
sing to the Lord of harvest
a song of happy love.
2 By him the clouds drop fatness,
the deserts bloom and spring,
the hills leap up in gladness,
the valleys laugh and sing.
He filleth with his fullness
all things with large increase;
he crowns the year with goodness,
with plenty, and with peace.
3 Heap on his sacred altar
the gifts his goodness gave,
The golden sheaves of harvest,
the souls Christ died to save.
Your hearts lay down before him
when at his feet you fall,
and with your lives adore him
who gave his life for all.
4 To God the gracious Father,
who made us “very good,”
to Christ, who, when we wandered,
restored us with his blood,
and to the Holy Spirit,
who doth upon us pour
his blessed dews and sunshine,
be praise forevermore.
5 All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful,
the Lord God made them all.
The image above of Mary Robinson is via courtesy of the Edinburgh International Book Festival
“A feminist solution definitely includes men and I’m glad to say, increasingly includes men, because the feminist solution is based on equality.”
The image on the left of Mary Robinson is via courtesy of MONUSCO Photos [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival today, to discuss her book, Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, in an event chaired by Scottish Journalist Ruth Wishart.
Robinson has been a cornerstone of Irish politics for decades. Following the end of her Presidency, she threw herself into global humanitarian work and becoming an Elder, a group founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, that works together to seek peace and to maintain human rights. Robinson is the first to admit that she didn’t discuss, or think much about, climate change when in her Presidency, and that becoming a grandmother nearly sixteen years ago opened her eyes to the need for change.
“When I held him in my arms, I was so conscious of the dates of 2050, you know, being a significant date for climate… all kinds of predictions that we need to be carbon neutral by 2050 and I thought to myself, ‘what age will he be?’. He’ll be forty-seven in 2050… I kind of had this physical reaction to thinking a hundred years ahead because I was his granny.
“That’s why I’m so grateful to Greta Thunberg and Holly (Gillibrand) here in Scotland and all of those children who have done much more for climate justice than I was doing at the time, because they’ve shown that it’s not a matter of small island states and indigenous peoples, which is what I was talking about mainly, it’s everybody. It’s the human race and our children and grandchildren.”
The discussion turned to the ongoing fires burning through the Amazon, to which Robinson stated that it’s devastating especially as “these are the lungs of the world,” before going on to say that it might actually highlight how consumer culture is impacting the natural world.
“I’m glad in a way that the terrible fires, that are taking place in the Amazon, are taking place when the G7 is meeting in Biarritz. It can’t be avoided, and I think President Macron is aware that this helps him to put climate change very much on the agenda.”
She went on to commend Scotland for its active approach to climate change, acknowledging that her home country of Ireland was lagging behind on its recognition and attempts to counteract their contribution to climate change. “I came here to launch the first climate justice fund in the world, here in Edinburgh a few years ago, and I’ve been aware that Scotland’s climate policy is much much better and you’re very conscious. It’s partly because it wasn’t one of the things that Britain could rule for you.”
Robinson added that she was relieved as a former president to hear the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar admit that “Ireland was somewhat of a laggard on climate change, and we have to change.”
As well as the fear of the repercussions of climate change hanging overhead, Robinson says that it’s important that the world also remains aware of the ongoing tension around nuclear power, saying “the nuclear threat has become much worse than it was at any time since the cold war.
“I am asked to be with Ban-Ki Moon next January for the timing of the doomsday clock…they’ve asked us as Elders to be there to highlight the importance of it. We’re going to be closer than we’ve ever been to midnight.
“That is really serious because, Russia and the United States have pulled out of a recent treaty. They’re arming again, in a very dangerous way. North Korea is far from resolved. The United States has pulled out of the Iran treaty, that was holding Iran in place on nuclear issues and most worrying of all, you’ve got Kashmir with two nuclear powers. India said the other day that they’re moving away from what they said in the beginning when they went nuclear ‘no first strike’. They’re now saying, ‘well, maybe, maybe we won’t hold to that.
“I don’t want to scare people unduly, but that is another existential threat.”
Despite this, Robinson says that she is hopeful about the future, given the strength of leadership and the example that young people are providing around the topic of climate change. When asked what we should do to make active battling of climate change accessible by all, regardless of political leaning, she answered succinctly, “One short answer would be, listen to the children. Listen to our children.”
The image above of Mary Robinson is via courtesy of MONUSCO Photos [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]
A Selection of Highlights for Tomorrow: Sunday 25 August 2019
Mary Robinson 11.45am
While the realities of climate change are not always visible, the realisation that our grandchildren will live in troubled times can catalyse action. After becoming a grandmother, former Irish president and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson travelled the world to learn about the fightback. In Climate Justice, she describes the people working to overcome the threat.
This event is part of the WWF Series
Kerry Hudson & Sarah Smarsh 1.30pm
Two writers revisit their experiences of working-class life in Britain and the US. In Lowborn, prize-winning Scottish writer Kerry Hudson returns to the poverty-stricken towns of her youth to discover what being poor means today, while Heartland by Sarah Smarsh is a touching memoir on the destitution of Kansas farming life and ‘being broke in the richest country on Earth’. Hear two honest takes on wealth inequality.
Mike Berners-Lee 2.00pm
Warnings of looming environmental catastrophe rain down on us with increasing frequency and only the most ardent climate change sceptics deny we live at a crucial point for the Earth’s future. Join sustainability expert Mike Berners-Lee in conversation with WWF’s Tanya Steele, as he cuts through the noise with practical advice on how we can avoid calamity, drawn from his book There is No Planet B, a ‘Handbook for the Make or Break Years’.
This event is part of the WWF Series
Thomas Keneally 5.00pm
The Booker Prize-winning Australian author of Schindler’s Ark, Thomas Keneally comes to Edinburgh having woven another masterpiece in The Book of Science and Antiquities. Ancient human remains are found in Western Australia, causing controversy: was the man Aboriginal, or does he signify an even older culture? Documentary maker Shelby investigates, sure that ‘Learned Man’ connects the planet’s earliest inhabitants with our troubled environmental future.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi & Geovani Martins 5.00pm
Manchester-based Ugandan author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Brazilian writer Geovani Martins live half a globe apart, but their searing short story collections both centre on being an outsider. Makumbi’s Manchester Happened features moving stories of Ugandans living in England, while Martins’s The Sun On My Head is set amid the inequalities of a notorious Brazilian favela.
Colson Whitehead with Kirsty Wark 8.30pm
Following the success of The Underground Railroad – named by Barack Obama as one of the most important books of his presidency – new novel, The Nickel Boys sees Pulitzer Prize-winner Colson Whitehead visit 1960s Florida, a period of American history fraught with racial tension.
Dr. Yeo (Image above kindly provided by the Edinburgh International Book Festival) discussed his book Gene Eatingin an event chaired by journalist Ruth Wishart at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday 12th August 2019 , examining topics including fad diets, veganism and how our genetic makeup impacts weight loss.
Yeo says there are two factors the brain takes into account every time we eat…
“Your brain needs to know two pieces of information in order to influence your food intake.
First, it needs to know how much fat you have, and why? Because how much fat you have is how long you would last in the wild without any food, if food stopped today.
And secondly, it needs to know what you have just eaten and what you’re currently eating.”
“If you lose any weight, your brain hates it because it considers it a reduction in your likelihood of survival. So it will always make losing weight difficult.“
If anyone tries to sell you an effortless way to lose weight, they are lying.
When queried about veganism being used as a tool for weight loss, Dr. Yeo said:
“It’s now become mainstream because people think it’s healthier. So, the cold truth is we probably eat too much meat as a society. This is true. Okay, does this mean all of us need to suddenly become vegan? Well I think it suits some people and for some people, it’s something to do. I think all of us need to probably eat ten – twenty percent less meat or even something more rather than eat no meat at all, but I guess this is the point if the kernel of truth is being vegan will help you lose weight. Not because it’s magical, because you eat less calories.”
His new book examines how genetic predisposition comes into play with how humans, as individuals, digest and process food. He started off by saying
“Body weight is not a choice. Now obesity just happens to be one end of the spectrum from being skinny and being average size. So, it’s a spectrum, okay, it’s not a choice. Now let me just caveat this, clearly it’s my choice if I choose to eat the cookie or not and I appreciate that, but remember we don’t gain weight overnight. We gain weight over a year, over a few months.”
“People think that when you gain weight, you gain fat cell. Okay, maybe you get more fat cells. This is not true. Fat cells are like balloons and they get bigger and they get smaller, and when we gain weight they get bigger, and when we lose weight, they get smaller. The safest place to store fat is in your fat cells as they do this because that’s their professional job. It’s when they’re not in the fat cells, and they go into your muscles, your liver, other places, that’s when you tilt into disease. But what’s interesting is, all of our fat cells expand to differing amounts individually.
“So when we carry too much fat we will become ill, but how much fat we can carry, that is going to be down to our individual genes.”
For those interested in finding out their genetic mapping for food digestion, Dr. Yeo offers two free solutions. “The first is very depressing, but if you actually just look at your parents, when you just imagine anything about your parents, their shape and size, the size of their bottom, also what diseases they have. That is free and far more predictive than any genetic testing. Second of all, if you have to lose the weight, if you are honest with your own failing behaviour, so for example, do I respond to stress by eating or not? Do I prefer chocolate, or what have you, then at least you have a fighting chance of controlling the environment you can control, meaning your household.
“So until we get to the point where genes can actually help in this prediction, I think look at your parents and be honest with your own feeding behaviour. I think those two things together are probably going to be quite effective.”