Peggy Lee: Fever! https://youtu.be/EYxoAJ3Boyc via @YouTube

Fever Lyrics – Peggy Lee https://youtu.be/SB5GFlJrZps via @YouTube

Peggy Lee 1920 – 2002

In 1989 she was still angry over missing out on royalties for her 1958 hit Fever. “I wrote special lyrics for Fever and I wasn’t copyrighted. I advise all young songwriters, copyright your song,” she said.

As a lyricist, Lee gained global fame for her contributions to Disney’s 1955 film Lady and the Tramp, with songs such as It’s a Good Day, I Love Being Here with You and I’m Gonna Go Fishin’, the latter co-composed with Duke Ellington. She was asked by Walt Disney to voice several characters, including Darling, the Siamese cats Si and Am and a stray Pekingese called Peg. Lee also co-wrote the hit song He’s a Tramp with Sonny Burke. In April 2020, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers initiated the Peggy Lee Songwriter Award in her honour.

Disney paid Lee $3,500 for her work but she decided to take legal action when no money was forthcoming when the film became a bestselling video release three decades later. In 1991, she sued the corporation for unpaid royalties, citing a clause in her original contract about transcription royalties for radio productions. The LA Times, reporting on her David and Goliath battle, said Lee sat quietly near the jury box in a wheelchair, a consequence of a fall in which she had broken her pelvis. “I’ve almost got a law degree out of reading all the legal papers,” she joked. Lee won the case and was awarded $2.3million.

Secrets of the Craft

VII Secrets of the Craft

  1. Inspiration

It happens like this: a kind of lethargy,
In my ears the sound of a clock chiming,
Thunder fading in the distance.
Trapped, unrecognizable voices
Wail and cry out to me: the closing in

Of some mysterious circle.
But from this abyss of whispers and bells
Rises a single all-conquering sound,
Despite the forest’s surrounding
Silence – hear grass growing,
Hear the wood troll walking with his sack.
And listen! The sound of words,
Rhymes l their arrival,
And I begin to understand:
Lines simply taken down
Appear on pages white as snow.

Anna Akhmatova


Today, we would call it ‘The Painter’!

Silky, sublime skills. Truly, Y Brenin, King John …

26 APRIL 1972

Explaining his decision many years later, he said: “I had become far too detached from ordinary people and I did not like it. Retiring was my only escape.”

Barry John

Bringing back The King, a Wales rugby icon who left the sporting stage too soon https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/bringing-back-king-star-who-18299100?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar

Barry John https://youtu.be/9CEHt4n_Kz0 via @YouTube

BBC2W – Me & My … Teacher (2001) 7-min version https://youtu.be/u-mn8Xp7ORU via @YouTube

No romanticizing here

Go Down to Hell

Alexander Tinyakov

How blessed to be a gob of spit
racing down a dirty gutter –
I can hug a stubbed-out cig,
find a piece of fluff to cuddle.

Say they spat me out in fury,
in a moment of despair –
skies are clear, I’ve got no worries,
breezes fill me with good cheer.

I may hunger for the freedom
of the river’s blue expanse,
but for now I’ve got the pleasure
of this dirty gutter dance.


Tr. Boris Dralyuk

At Oak Tree House we agree, with Jonathan Sumption 100% on this issue …

IT IS OUR POSITION AFTER DISCUSSING AND MUSING ON THE MATTER TOGETHER. We are, of course, fortunate not to have ‘health issues’ and will continue to take sensible precautions when engaging in social intercourse. In the words of the Bard of Avon: “The choices we make dictate the lives we lead.” Life goes on. Life must go on.

Lord Sumption on the UK Lockdown BBC News 17 May 2020 https://youtu.be/eB1eqvAxQAQ via @YouTube

17 May 2020: an extract …

Jonathan Sumption …

Today, the lockdown is only about shielding us from the risk of infection. This raises serious questions about our relationship with the state.

It is OUR BUSINESS, not the state’s, to say what risks we will take with our own health. We are NOT FOOLS or children needing to be told by ministers what is good for us, and forced by police officers to do it.

We should not need to consult ministers, as the first member of the public to phone in to the daily press conference did, about whether she was allowed to hug her grandchildren.

The continuance of the lockdown is particularly odd given that in its latest paper the government accepts that, whatever we do, Covid-19 is likely to be with us long term. So, unless it plans to keep the lockdown in place for ever, all that it achieves is to put off the moment when we have to face the risk anyway.

“The deer had come for me”

Roe-Deer by Ted Hughes

In the dawn’s early light, in the biggest snow of the year

Two blue-dark deer stood in the road, alerted.

They had happened into my dimension

The moment I was arriving just there.

They planted their two or three years of secret deer-hood

Clear on my snow-screen vision of the abnormal

And hesitated in the all-way disintegration

And stared at me. And so for some lasting seconds

I could think the deer were waiting for me

To remember the password and sign

That the curtain had blown aside for a moment

And there where the trees were no longer trees, nor the road a road

The deer had come for me.

Then they ducked through the hedge, and upright they rode their legs

Away downhill over snow-lonely field

Towards tree dark – finally

Seeming to eddy and glide and fly away up

Into the boil of big flakes.

The snow took them and soon their nearby hoofprints as well.

Revising its dawn inspiration

Back to the ordinary.

The Deer have come for me!

If we surrender to earth’s intelligence We could rise up rooted, like trees (Rilke)

Earth, isn’t this what you want: to arise within us, 
invisible? Isn’t it your dream
to be wholly invisible someday? – O Earth: invisible!
What do you demand but transformation?
Beloved Earth, I will. On my word, you no longer
need your spring-times to win me over – single May

is already too much for my blood.
I have been your tongue-tied subject these many years.

Ever you spoke true and your holiest inspiration
is our intimate companion, Death.
Look, I am living.

On what? Neither childhood nor future grows less …

superabundant springs of being wells up in my heart.
    (Rilke Duino Elegy IX)