She moved through the fair

She moved through the fair“, a traditional song from the Westcoast of Ireland that may well date back to medieval times, was first published in 1909. Here is a spine-tingling rendition by Lorenna McKennett in the Alhambra, where she resurrects the Eastern influences in Celtic tradition. The Simple Minds in 1989 recorded a song called “Belfast Child”, using the traditional tune but updating the words to reflect the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Things are definitely looking up. See Spotlight in August, “Northern Ireland: Peace and Beauty”.

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Hillary: No way, no how, no McCain

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke to unite the Democrats at the DNC. She referred to the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution that gave women the right to vote in 1920 and quoted Harriet Tubman, the anti-slavery activist who began the Underground Railroad and told the fugitives,  “Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” (Video of the highlights and script:)
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Ted Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy is suffering from a malignant brain tumor. Nevertheless, he came to the Democratic National Convention in Denver to unite the divided party, speaking out for health care as a basic right, and not a privilege. He’s an inspiring old lion of a senator who has spent his political career redeeming the great misdeamor of his youth, the Chappaquiddick incident, when only his name kept him from being accused of manslaughter. For more on the Senate, and why it is such an important instutution in the USA, read the article in Wikipedia. Watch Sen. Kennedy’s emotionally received speech in Denver (with transcript and translations):

SEN. EDWARD M. KENNEDY, D-MASS.

KENNEDY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Caroline.

My fellow Democrats, my fellow Americans, it is so wonderful to be here.

And nothing — nothing is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight.

I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals, and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States.

As I look ahead, I am strengthened by family and friendship. So many of you have been with me in the happiest days and the hardest days. Together we have known success and seen setbacks, victory and defeat.

But we have never lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world. And I pledge to you — I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the United States Senate when we begin the great test.

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

For me this is a season of hope — new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few — new hope.

And this is the cause of my life — new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American — north, south, east, west, young, old — will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.

We can meet these challenges with Barack Obama. Yes, we can, and finally, yes, we will.

Barack Obama will close the book on the old politics of race and gender and group against group and straight against gay.

And Barack Obama will be a commander-in-chief who understands that young Americans in uniform must never be committed to a mistake, but always for a mission worthy of their bravery.

We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor, but when John Kennedy talked of going to the moon, he didn’t say “it’s too far to get there, we shouldn’t even try.”

Our people answered his call and rose to the challenge, and today an American flag still marks the surface of the moon.

Yes, we are all Americans. This is what we do. We reach the moon. We scale the heights. I know it. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. And we can do it again.

There is a new wave of change all around us, and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination — not merely victory for our Party, but renewal for our nation.

And this November the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.

Michelle rocks Denver

On the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama did an impressive job of coming across as soft-spoken, middle class, blue collar and very patriotic indeed, to appeal to the average American (whoever that elusive character may be). She has an amazing physical presence, a marvelous voice, and a good story to tell. This campaign is very well stage-managed, indeed. Watch:
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