Clarence Darrow and the quality of mercy

This has been on my mind as of late. This is from Clarence Darrow’s plea for Leopold and Loeb, August 22-25th August 1924. Yes, he spoke for three days and his plea is rightly lauded as the best denunciation of capital punishment ever uttered. He moved the judge to tears, people openly wept in the […]

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A tale from Genoa

On April 23-25, 1945 Italian partisans engaged German forces under Major-General Neinholt, commanding the fortress in Genoa. The Germans had tried to negotiate a withdrawal from the city, brokered through Bishop Siri, but the partisans refused to enter into negotiations that would involve making concessions to the occupying army. When news of the German intentions […]

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Fires of Calais

My song ” Fires of Calais” is about the battle of Dunkirk, the anniversary of which is this week. I’ve been singing it on the UK tour. Last night in Westcliff-on-sea it was particularly emotional. It turns out the next town along, Leigh-on-Sea has a strong attachment to the battle as a number of cockle […]

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The Road Beckons

  Spring has come and the roads are clear! After some quality time at home I am heading out on the road again. I’ll be in the Eastern Sates, the western provinces, Ireland and the UK. Then I will have a nap. But I am looking forward to seeing some of you at these shows! […]

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Go west, Hugh and Jim, Go west!

Hugh and I will be heading out this afternoon for a short western swing. We’re playing a wildfire conference in Kelowna tomorrow, which should be a great experience. I like hanging with scientists and firefighters! Then we are of to the sweetest gig in the Okanagan at Medici’s Gelateria on the 27th. The Rogue Folk […]

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My Library-Yeats and now

I love reading. I love books.  My parents indulged my passion was I was growing up. When I was 14, my love affair with Yeats started. The cause was Liam Clancy. He recited excerpts of Yeats’ The Second Coming in concert. With an adolescent sense of drama I embraced it. My parents gave me this […]

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Canada Day 2016

My parents were immigrants to Canada. My dad was Irish, my mum English. At the time they came here they were living in London, a city still bearing the marks of the blitz, still under rationing from the war. Dad was looking for someplace to go and at the time it was a toss up […]

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