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If you like songs, poetry, literary anecdotes and thought-provoking visual text, read on.

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The orthographical conventions adopted throughout the various entries are those of Australian English- so stop pointing out my “mistakes”, Uncle Sam!. . 

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The Summa Quotidian is a series of 10 albums featuring 12 songs apiece. Each song is preceded by an essay of about 850 words, canvassing a variety of topics, with accompanying illustrations.  Sample these essays and/or songs sequentially or at random. The highlighted song is the album title.

1- Everybody’s Story

2- Let Them Not Fade Away

3- Cannery Row

4- Foss Hill (The Old Comedian)

5- Changes

6- A Touch of Ireland

7-Old Dog

8- Sylvia

9- The Self-Unseeing

10- Easter Rises

11- The Mark of Cain

12- Surprised by Joy

13- Starting Over Again

14- All the Women

15- Looked at my Stars

16- Open Your Eyes

17- Is it a Dream?

18- Diving for Pennies

19- The Good times of Doris and Ronnie

20- Straight and True

21- When It Isn’t Heaven

22- Unhallowed Ground

23- Still on the Move

24- Just For You and Me

25- Belfast Calling

26- Penelope’s Song

27- Paddy Went Home Today

28- Mountains and Trees

29- Home

30- Perfect (as you can be)

31- The Cycle of Love

32- Dreams of the Elemental

33- I’m Supposed To Be

34- This Cold Bed

35- Sing Along

36- Staring (in the Antrim Lounge)

37-Harlequin’s Poles

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38- Airman

39- Outlaws

40- Patrimony

41- Rose

42- Oblivion Mountain

43- Pandora’s Box

44- Paul

45- The Ballroom of Romance

46- -Everything Goes/Restless Paces

47- Waiting For the Drought to Break

48- Coda

49- Old Fool

50- Since You Walked Out of My Life

51- Strange Meeting

52- My Good Friend Joe

53- How Did We Get This Way?

54- The Younger Son

55- Back to You

56- Somewhere Along the Line

57- Universe of Blue

58- Open Season

59- Where’s the Harm?

60- Come Back an Angel

61- The Answer

62- Desolation Row/1984

63- Hold Me Love Me

64- Whatever Comes

65- Homebase

66- The Long Weekend

67- Anything Can Happen

68- Counting Game

69- Tomorrow’s Zero

70- The Dispossessed

71- The Emperor of Ice-Cream

72- No Surrender

73- A World of Pain

74- Another Mother’s Day

75- Another Saturday in Limbo

76- It’s Been Taken Away

77- The Silver Frame

78- I Can’t Sleep at Night

79- Deadhead

80- Any Old Song/Dancing House

81- The Holy Ground

82- Saturday Night

83- Hiroshima

84- (on what would have been) Your 32nd Birthday

85- Spray

86- Ballyhootry

87- All I Did

88- I Was Taking a Lend of You

89- Woman in Blue

90- Where Henry Lawson Can Be Found

91- Parting Words

92- I’m Not a Merry Ploughboy

93- Looking at Pictures

94- Central Story

95- A Packet of White Powder

96- The Muso’s Lament

97- Autumn Road

98- Fleurs du Mal

99- Over and Over

100- Dumb

101- Mr Brown

102- Roscoe

103- Manolito

104- Rosa

105- The Morrigan

106- I Wonder How They Got So Far

107- Progress

108- An Impervious Wall

109- I Rest My Case

110- Now We’re 64

111- Sidekick

112- BMD (Births Marriages Deaths)

113- Slow Burn (a title for this song)

114- You Ask How Much I Love You

115- I Wish I Never Was

116- The Frost or the Fire

117- Wish You Could Be

118- Slip-jig Philosophising

119- I Won’t Cry

120- Love Everlasting Complete

 

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 A Bit of Banter- Banter is a folk group from Western Sydney. They play songs from (and inspired by) the folk traditions of Ireland, Australia, Britain and North America. Presented in the traditional 12 item CD format, I had finished five such groupings and started a sixth. Then I slacked off in 2018 until the pandemic hit in 2020. From the fourth song in Banter VI on, I have recorded 55 songs in lockdown in 56 days- the group, like the crew of The Irish Rover, has therefore, in terms of these recordings, been reduced down to one- me.

Banter I 

1- The Spanish Cloak

2- A Bunch of Thyme

3- The Diamantina Drover

4- Dainty Davie

5- The King of the Fairies/Queen of the Fairies

6– Donegal Danny

7- The Mermaid

8- O’Sullivan’s John

 9- The Grand Old Duke/ Heel and Toe Polkas

10- Now I’m Easy

11- Joe Hill 

12- The Old Man’s Tale/Instrumental

Banter II

13- Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore 

14- Shoals of Herring

15- The Raggle Taggle Gypsy/The Battle of Aughrim

16- The Three Sea Captains

17- Central Story/ The Hag at the Churn

18- Ride On

19- Sam Hall/ The Palmer River Song 

20- William Bloat/ The Sash

21- Rhonda Valley Girls 

22- The Lark in the Morning (instrumental)

 23- The Hills of Kerry

24- The City of Chicago

Banter III

25- Don’t Get Married Girls 

26- When the Boys Go Rolling Home

27- Denis Murphy’s/Rathlin Bog

28- The Monaghan Twig

29- Working Man

30- Deportees

31- Sonny

32- Whiskey in the Jar

33- Figuring out tunes

34- Begleys

35- The Irish Rover

36- A Nation Once Again

Banter IV

37- Three Score and Ten

38- McClory

39- The Triumphant and Centenary Marches

40 – Two Irish Tunes

41 – The Overlander

42Cross Me Heart

43- Hard Times

44- Spancil Hill

45- Three Rivers Hotel

46- The Spanish Lady

47- Where is the Man

48- Let Them Not Fade Away

Banter V

49- The Lonely Banna Strand

50- St Anne’s Reel

51- The Ferryman

52- Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye

53- Two Hornpipes

54- The Lark in the Morning

55- Back Home in Derry

56- Follow Me Up To Carlow

57- McAlpine’sFusilier’s/ Instrumental

58- Shelter

59- My Last Farewell

60- Ballyhootry

Banter VI 

61-Paddy Went Home Today

62- I’m Not a Merry Ploughboy

63- The Sea Around Us

64 This Cold Bed

65 The Patriot Game

66- Viva La Quinta Brigada

67- Down by the Glenside

68- Champion at Keeping Them Rolling

69- The Holy Ground

70- Rosalita and Jack Campbell

71- Gentle Annie

72- Moreton Bay

Banter VII

73- North and South of the River

74- Sweet Thames Flow Softly

75- Across the Western Plains

76- Come Up the Stairs

77- Fiddler’s Green

78- The Massacre at Glencoe

79- Her Father Didn’t Like Me, Anyway

80- The Jolly Beggarman

81- The Lachlan Tigers

82- The Leaving of Liverpool

83- Liverpool Lou

84- Whiskey on a Sunday

Banter VIII

85- Will You Come to the Bower?

86- The Wild Rover

87- Waltzing Matilda (Queensland version)

88- The Sea Around Us (redux)

89- The Augathella Drovers (Brisbane Ladies)

90-The Green Glens of Antrim

91- I Was Only Nineteen

92- Mursheen Durkin

93- Deportees

94- The Curragh of Kildare

95- The Galway Races

96- Joe Hill (redux)

Banter IX

97- It’s Heaven Around Galway Bay

98- I’m Missing You

99- The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

100- O’Sullivan’s John

101- A Bunch of Thyme( Redux)

102- The Old Maid in a Garret

103- Spancil Hill (redux)

104 Whiskey in the Jar (redux)

105 McAlpine’s Fusiliers (expanded)

106- The Old Bog Road

107- One of the Has-beens

108 The Snowy River Men

Banter X

109- Scarlet Ribbons

110- The Sandy Hollow Line

111- The Shores of Botany Bay

112- The Shoals of Herring

113- Will Ye Go Lassie Go?

114- Three Rivers Hotel

115- The Irish Rover (redux)

116- Little Old Wine Drinker, Me

117- The Mountains of Mourne

118- Nancy Spain

119- The Old House

120- Take this Frame Away

Outliers There are two major song collections on this site, The Summa Quotidian and A Bit of Banter. Each contains 120 songs. This collection will be much more modest, comprising those songs composed in lockdown from mid-2020 on, and quirky songs which make their way to the surface from a time long, long ago (or it might well be yesterday)- and were thrown a lifeline-or maybe just thrust into the pitiless glare of the limelight…

  1. I Wasn’t With The Diggers) Marching Home From That War.
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…And Leave Him There  is a playscript. (20,000+ words anyone?) Set on the morning of the 11th of September, 2001, in Manhattan, New York City, it encapsulates the tag of this blog: a tale of three islands, Aruba, Ireland and Australia. The songs, which form part of the play, are all accessible as part of The Summa Quotidian.

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Making the Living Poetry by Quentin Bega This is a memoir in verse which bridges my first stint as a teacher in Australia, and my first encounter with unemployment upon my return to Northern Ireland. (Again, songs included here can be heard in The Summa Quotidian.)

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Wollongong Sonnets Here is a crown of sonnets. First published in 1978 in Poems in Public Places, a real, published poet told me they were the first authentic poems of mine he had read. (He was wont to pour scorn on various effusions I had shown him over the previous five years…)

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 Quentin Bega is introduced as a character from a novel. This is the first chapter. Whether there are to be any more chapters is in the lap of the gods.

Feel free to leave a comment on any aspect of these posts. All such commentary will be thoughtfully considered…

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