About Quentin Bega’s Blog and Letters From Quotidia Podcasts


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


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.

These are now being progressively rolled out as podcasts entitled Letters From Quotidia comprising four podcasts weekly (Monday-Thursday) which conclude with a song plus a supplement on Friday to be subtitled Postcards From Quotidia comprising four songs with commentary from the section, A Bit of Banter, comprising 120 songs which forms another major part of this site. There will be over an hour per week of material in this section.

About Letters From Quotidia: Quentin Bega was born in the middle of the last century, and then stumbled into the present one with something more to say. If you chance to visit Quotidia, a customs official, dressed in motley, will say to you: “Welcome to Quotidia- you don’t need a passport to get in here… but if you have one we will make sure your visa is stamped “entry always permitted“.

At least 30 weeks will be taken up in this new venture. The podcasts may be found on Apple, Spotify, Google, here at WordPress, and also on SoundCloud. Update 1- And here we are: [14/07/2021] I have just recorded and scheduled my last Letter From Quotidia, Episode 120. I am still trying to retrieve a decade-old Banter cassette tape from 2010 for my last Postcards issue (which will be edition 30), without success so far. Nevertheless, the sequence comes to an end on August 6th 2021. I hope that you have enjoyed the rodeo: to all quotidians out there- thanks for your support. Update 2 [26/09/2021] I have continued to podcast after the original series reached its conclusion on August 6, 2021.

Each week, until December 17, 2021, I will produce a podcast featuring one song from the folk tradition of the English-speaking world and one original composition. Then, after a break where I plan to go on holidays with the family, I will return in January to continue the series.

And so, the series continues. I have adapted two of the blog items from my site for podcast: between 4 January-7 January 2022, Update 3. I have subsumed Making the Living Poetry, in four parts, into Letters From Quotidia Episodes 171-174. Between 10 January and 14 January; then 17 January and 21 January, I adapt And Leave Him There, in 10 parts for podcast, comprising Letters From Quotidia Episodes 175-184.

Update 4. From Friday 28 January, 2022, I will resume podcasting once a week where I present a new recording of a folk song from one of the traditions of the English-speaking world, and an original composition with a short spoken mini-essay on each. The aim I have set myself, is to continue these podcasts, published each Friday, until podcast Episode 200 which, all being well, touch wood and Deo Volente, will be published on Friday the 13th of May! 2022. On this (auspicious or otherwise) date I will take stock of where these podcasts have taken me (and my listeners) and either declare that date a terminus or merely another stop on the journey through the strange land of Quotidia. Update 5 on the Letters From Quotidia. I published the final episode- number 200 on 8th May- Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day. Update 6 the continuation of the Quotidia texts features Postscripts From Quotidia – there are 20 of these podcasts- check them out! Update 7 From the 29 October 2022 until 31 December 2022 there will be 10 podcasts with the title The footnotes. As to what 2023 brings…who knows?

Below are 120 blogs that comprise The Summa Quotidian on which the Letters from Quotidia podcasts are based. This is followed by 120 blogs that comprise A Bit of Banter on which the Postcards Edition of Letters From Quotidia are based. These contain visual text to supplement the written text. For those who prefer to consume text through the ears rather than eyes, the podcasts are recommended.

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


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



 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.
a twin towers image2

…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. Update: this playscript is being adapted for presentation as a 10-part podcast between 10 January and 14 January; then 17 January and 21 January, 2022.


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.) This verse memoir has been adapted for presentation as a four-part podcast between 4 January-7 January, 2022.


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…) These sonnets can be heard as part 3 of the podcast series from Making the Living Poetry, above.


 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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