Saturday, January 12, 2008


Enrevanche has been my catalyst today.

Along with his post about the Obama e-mails, Barry also posted this enlightening piece with an excerpt from and links to an article suggesting that Gospel music has its roots, not in Africa, but in the Hebrides.

And all along I thought I just liked it because it was great music. Now I learn it's really because both it and I are Scottish at heart.

Here's a tangential memory that began in the comment section of Enrevanche, but on further reflection seems worthy a place of its own:

When I was a cadet, some three decades ago now, the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell and Head of her Majesty's Household in Scotland, came to visit my alma mater. All the cadets with that worthy surname were assembled to meet him (and given detailed tutelage on the proper decorum for doing so) one afternoon on the Chapel Wall. There were about nine of us, as I recall. I also recall a rather distinct pause and moment of hesitation (probably not proper decorum under the circumstances) when His Grace realized that some four of the nine of us bore skin darker than Italian coffee. It amused me. I doubt it amused my darker comrades, and rightly so. That moment, like Gospel music we're now told, was one more legacy of slave owning Scots.

(For what it's worth, "Cruachan!" at least according to Wikipedia, is the slogan of the Clan Campbell.)