Monday, 2 April 2018

I Was Glad, take 2

This post started life as an update to an old post, but "jes' growed" It all started on the morning of Good Friday: Classic FM's Hall of Fame is marked by not infrequent travesties of justice, an early example being that "I Was Glad" was down to number 299. That's democracy for you.

Then I saw an ad for a concert I had missed, at Truro Cathedral, the venue
Church at Lostwithiel
for the final performance in my choir's tour of the West Country in the summer of 2013. From a base at Plymouth, we sang at various places, one being here at the pretty church at Lostwithiel. If more about the tour interests you, I covered it in this post nearer the time (a  bit parochial, but with some linguistic  interest on the subject of expressions of home and opinion [bei and chez]).

As I said, our last recital was at Truro Cathedral. By chance, only hours before we sang, the birth of Prince George was announced. In our  repertoire for the tour we had various largely devotional  pieces, and two party pieces from which our MD chose one, varying from concert to concert.

I thought that a  natural piece to sing to welcome the young prince was "I Was Glad".  But – rather tactlessly, I felt 😏 – for the Truro recital our MD chose "Zadok the priest" recalling the prince's grandfather's ill-starred wedding (where it had been played). (Perhaps, though, I was the only one to notice this rather lugubrious echo; besides my view was probably coloured by the marvellous bass-line of the Parry (especially the last few bars).

<autobiographical_note subject="City of Truro">
In my train-spotting days (brief and remote, and no anoraks were involved)...
Etymonline says that the slang meaning [HD: of anorak] "socially inept person" (sic – I'd say that the more relevant meaning in this context is "person with obsessive interest in trivia in some very limited context") had appeared "by 1983, on the notion that that sort of person typically wears this sort of coat"...
Surely the relevant thing is that an obsessive train-spotter would go to some busy hub (Clapham Junction was a favourite among my peers, not that I ever went) and sit all day on a number of platforms in all weathers, collecting numbers. Hence the choice of outer clothing.
Though this seemed madness,
yet there was method in 't.
They could as well have been called  "Packed Lunches" or "Vacuum Flasks". The anorak might have become a uniform, but there was a reason for it.
... But my elder siblings (not sure which, but they were felons of the first water, happy to break several laws by putting pennies on the line [that's trespass, criminal damage, defacing a coin of the realm...] which narrows down  the list of suspects to two {and you know who you are...}) – would not have been called "anoraks" at the time, some thirty years before the coining of that bit of jargon. 
 ... I used to frequent the forecourt of a garage on Spring Bridge Road W.5. The bridge was over the mainline to Bristol, a long straight stretch, and so beloved of record-breaking attempts.

One of the trains I copped ...
The train-spotter's jargon for see and register as having been seen is related to such apparently unrelated words as cop (what a policeman does to a suspect) and the German kaufen (after a bit of Grimm's Law treatment) See more on Etymonline (of course 🙋).
 ... was The City of Truro. As Wikipedia says,
Despite being a point of contention, some consider the locomotive to be the first to attain a speed of 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) during a run from Plymouth to London Paddington in 1904.
Naturally my informants at the time (who had to tolerate my tagging along) weren't interested in nuance, and this was a record-breaker, period.
But I'm beginning to ramble (beginning? )


PS: A couple of clues:
  • Combined ingredients of the French additives to cheat‘s lasagne, but without sea biscuits.  (7,2,4)
  • Misbehaving aircon for server. (6) 
Update: 2018.04.16.10:55 – Added PPS

PPS Crossword answers – LANGUES DE CHAT,  RAONIC

That garage forecourt has been built over, of course. It's now the foundation of the entrance to a multi-storey car-park (Google maps).

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