Behind my house the terrain runs in stripes: a stretch of grass, a narrow road, another stretch of grass, a canal, more grass up a slope, the elevated main road into our village, then the local business park. For some time, we and our neighbors have wanted trees between the narrow road and the canal to deaden the traffic noise and soften the view.
The first intimation that that desire had borne fruit (OK, leaves; they're willows) was the note through our door. Below the drop-shadow title and the tree-and-tulip clip art, it announced that one of our local councilors would be by for a tree-planting at 9:00 in the morning on Saturday, March 15. "We're asking for your help on the day. Bring a shovel and a wheelbarrow*. There will be journalists and photographers in attendance."
The trees were delivered during the week and laid out at intervals on the grass. Pairs of waist-high support stakes appeared. The turf was cut and laid aside. I kept expecting to look over the back fence one day and see all but one symbolic tree in place, in preparation for whatever ceremony or photo-op Saturday would bring. When the tiny digger drove from tree site to tree site on Thursday afternoon, I was sure that was the time, but when it left things looked much the same: each tree on its side, two upright stakes, bare soil, piled sod.
We were out in the back garden on other business this morning when we saw some of the community walking toward the back road, shovels in hand. Reassured that we would not be the dorky foreigners who did the wrong thing, we grabbed our own shovels and joined them. The trees were still unplanted.
Because here's the thing (and, Dutch readers, please bear with me while I talk this through). We weren't there for a photo-op, or rather, not for the photo-op I thought we were there for. After some introductory chatting, the Guy Who Knew What He Was Doing took us over to a tree site, where a hole had been dug between the supporting stakes. He explained how best to measure the root balls, how deep the holes should be (and why, with details about how the roots would interact with the water table), how to roll the root ball into place, and why they'd chosen that particular manner of planting.
And then he sent us off, two by two, to go dig our holes and plant our trees.
He went from pair to pair and advised on depth and width, lending a hand to get trees into holes and showing people how to firm the earth around the trunks afterward. The local councilor was there, but he had dirt under his nails when he shook hands. We answered the reporter's questions while tramping down loose dirt around a newly-planted willow.
When I lived in the Edinburgh, if trees were to be planted on public land near our houses, the council would send a couple of laconic workmen to do the deed. A local councilor might come for a photo-op to dedicate the already-planted willows, but whatever audience there was would not have brought shovels. When I lived in the SF Bay Area, I'd have expected about the same, but we would have brought shovels and stood around the trees for the photographs.† (And I am not denigrating either way of dong things! Different cultures do things in different ways. All three systems produce the two inextricable objectives of the exercise: trees and a picture of the councilor in the local paper just before an election.)
The inevitable jokes about saving money by making the locals do the work were made at the closing speech, when we were all thanked for our efforts. But that's not what it's about, of course, not when the soil had been pre-loosened by that digger. The point was much more primal: our trees, our planting. We earned those willows by doing not only the social work of politicking for them, but also the physical work of putting them into the ground. The two are linked, word and deed.
Now, I think of myself as a migrant; I'm in this place but not of it. I expect to be changed by the places I live, but I do not expect to change them. I don't think I have the right, and I don't want that responsibility, either.
And yet when I look out my back window now and see the spindly branches of the willow over the fence, I see that I have changed this place. A piece of me is planted here now, putting its roots into the soil I meant to only tread lightly upon. And that's a very Dutch lesson, too, bluntly questioning my personal narrative of non-involvement. The reality of the engineered landscape (and pretty much everywhere we live is engineered, to one degree or another) is that how we live creates the physical world we live in. People and land are as interdependent as politics and work.
There is no footfall so light that it does not leave a print. The best we can do is choose where we walk, and how.
* The Dutch word for wheelbarrow is kruiwagen. The term comes from the verb kruien, which can mean to shovel things, turn a windmill toward the wind, or walk in the peculiar way one does with a wheelbarrow. In other words, it's a name based on actions rather than appearances. This is, in a complicated way, neatly symmetrical.
† As the youngest rioter for People's "everybody gets a blister" Park, I should point out that California does have its own tradition of plant-your-own-tree activism. But I should also point out that Ronald Reagan found that kind of activism threatening enough to fight it with tear gas and live ammunition.
It’s strange how certain conversations can stick with you. I was chatting in an online forum years ago, among good friends, when the topic turned to family relationships. A number of forum members shared difficult and distressing experiences from their personal lives. Then someone asked, a little wistfully, “Is there even such a thing as a normal family anymore? Like, you know, a family where everybody is still talking to each other?”
I had one of those rabbit-in-the-headlight moments. “Yes!” I thought. “Mine!” We’re not perfect, not by any means, but we send each other gifts at Christmas and hold family reunions and take an interest in each others’ lives. Those of us who are married are still on our first marriages, and I’ve chatted amicably with all of my siblings during the past year.
But in the context of the conversation, it didn’t feel right to say that. How could I parade my happiness in front of people who were dealing with the horrifying situations we had just been discussing? It didn’t seem respectful. It didn’t seem appropriate. And so I let the moment pass.
And I find, years later, that I am still saddened by the necessity of doing so.
Because there are happy families in this world. Marriages that actually work. Couples who meet and fall in love and really do find a happily-ever-after together. It is possible. Difficult, yes, especially for those who’ve been handed a crapload of emotional baggage. But possible.
And I think, sometimes, that this possibility gets lost in the massive, ugly realities of day-to-day living. And that those most in need of a glimpse of hope are perhaps the very people who seldom get it – because when your own family life sucks, those who have it better tend to make themselves invisible out of a sense of respect for the difficulties you’re going through.
It’s easy to fall prey to the notion that everyone who appears happy is secretly hiding some ugly skeleton of domestic abuse. That every starry-eyed pair of newlyweds is destined for a rude awakening after their honeymoon. That lasting contentment is a silly children’s story, often envisioned but impossible to experience.
But you see, that’s a notion every bit as unrealistic as the belief that life will unfold perfectly just because you’re in love. Both realities are true – the fairy-tale marriage that crumbles to ashes and the romance which blossoms into 60 years of happiness – they both exist. They are both real. And so, at the same time that conscientious authors are understandably working to prevent young girls from rushing headlong into relationships they’ve not yet taken time to think about, I hope we also don’t erase the idea of a happily-ever-after entirely.
“But wait!” I hear concerned readers saying. “Statistically, the likelihood of an unhappy relationship is much higher than the likelihood of happiness. Why dangle an unrealistic dream in front of children who are sure to be disappointed?”
Well, hm. The likelihood of becoming a NYT Bestseller is, quite frankly, very slim. Do we tell aspiring authors it’s just a pipe dream? Do we urge them to set their sights on something more realistic, like selling a couple of short stories to a semi-pro magazine? Or do we encourage them to buckle down, use whatever resources fate and a cruel world have allotted them, and learn the skills that will give them the best possible chance of reaching that statistically unlikely yet infinitely desirable goalpost?
Happiness exists. It is real. It is possible.
It is worth striving for.
cross-posted from nancyfulda.com
So back in January I reported on the cancellation of a new Chicago SF con, apparently by getting dissed by some of the hotel staff. They promised to hold a one-day event the end of March and so they are:
Chi-Fi is here!
A geek convention in downtown Chicago
Chi-Fi is a convention celebrating geekdom. Whether you were a geek since long before it was "cool" or are only now discovering your inner geek, we welcome you at Chi-Fi. We know that there are many different varieties of geek out there. No matter what kind of geek you are, there is a place for you at Chi-Fi.
Our inaugural event, Chi-Fi 0, will take place on March 29, 2014 from 3PM to 3AM at the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago. There will be fantastic guests including Jason Carter (Marcus from Babylon 5), musicians SJ Tucker, Kieran Strange, the great Luke Ski, Time Crash, and more! There are exciting panels including cosplay, Homestuck, geek culture, After Dark, and gaming. Bristol Ren Faire will be on hand to entertain. There may even be a surprise or two. Registration is only $15. Register now!
In mid-March 2015, we will return for our first full-weekend convention. We are bringing you even more exciting guests, engaging panels and after dark entertainment. Support Chi-Fi bypre-registering for Chi-Fi 2015 today and gain free admission to Chi-Fi 0!
I don't know any more about details, but they got the Palmer House, a very elegant Chicago hotel, and free registration if you pre-register for the March 2015 Chi-Fi 1.
She did not list the authors as creditors in her bankruptcy discharged in 2012, even though she hadn’t paid royalties since (apparently) 2009.
Further, now she’s apparently preferentially wanting to pay her author creditors amounts that should have been partially discharged in bankruptcy even though this is unlawful. Does anyone have contact information for Kevin J. O’Donnell, Jr.’s heirs? They may be interested in getting the bankruptcy overturned.
You know, the guy dying of cancer that she snubbed to the tune of $109,364?
But, of course you should believe that the $19,198.36 of back royalties that she’s raising the money for herself (rather than having an independent party doing it for accountability purposes) is going to her authors.
And of course you should believe that $19,198.36 is in fact due.
Which, let’s look at.
Here are the titles from third parties that aren’t public-domain authors. I’m assuming Val Noirre is Vera’s pseudonym (because it’s not on her list of authors due royalties) and thus am excluding.
Titles that Norilana Still Publishes Where Royalties May Be Due
2011: Delusion’s Master by Tanith Lee (Note: Tanith Lee had an advance setaside in the creditor matrix, so any royalties due would be dependent upon it earning out) (reprint)
2011: A Song of Awakening by Roby James
2011: Phantas by Jeffry Dwight
2011: The Birthgrave by Tanith Lee (reprint)
2010: Death’s Master by Tanith Lee (reprint)
2010: Warrior Wisewoman 3 (anthology)
2009: Sounds and Furies by Tanith Lee (single-author collection)
2009: The Captain’s Witch by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (reprint)
2009: Under the Rose edited by Dave Hutchinson
2009: Night’s Master by Tanith Lee (reprint)
2009: Warrior Wisewoman 2 edited by Roby James (anthology)
2009: A Cold Day In Hell by Ken Rand
2009: Lace and Blade 2 edited by Deborah J. Ross (anthology)
2009: The Memory Palace by JoSelle Vanderhooft
2008: Warrior Wisewoman edited by Roby James (anthology)
2008: A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects by Catherynne M. Valente (single-author collection)
2008: Lace and Blade edited by Deborah J. Ross (anthology)
2007: Leaving Fortusa by John Grant
2007: The Covenant by Modean Moon
2007: A Little Peace and Quiet by Modean Moon
2007: Evermore by Modean Moon
Titles that Norilana No Longer Publishes (But Royalties May Still Be Due)
2011: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXVI (anthology)
2011: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXV (anthology)
2010: Clockwork Phoenix 3: New Tales of Beauty and Strangeness (anthology)
2009: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXIV (anthology)
2009: Returning My Sister’s Face: And Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice by Eugie Foster (single-author collection)
2009: Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness edited by Mike Allen (anthology)
2009: Another Chance at Life: A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Journey by Leonore H. Dvorkin
2009: Business Secrets from the Stars by David Dvorkin (reprint)
2009: Mearsies Heili Bounces Back: CJ’s Second Notebook by Sherwood Smith
2008: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXIII (anthology)
2008: A Stranger to Command by Sherwood Smith
2008: A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith
2008: Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness (anthology)
2008: The Journey to Kailash by Mike Allen
2008: A Posse of Princesses by Sherwood Smith
2007: Over the Sea: CJ’s First Notebook by Sherwood Smith
2007: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword And Sorceress XXII (anthology)
2007: East of the Sun and West of Fort Smith by William Sanders (single-author collection)
2007: J. by William Sanders (reprint)
2007: Senrid by Sherwood Smith
For the next part, let’s assume the following gross oversimplifications:
An author’s royalty for a given work is equal year-to-year and book-to-book (and across authors).
Reprints earn half the royalties of original works.
Collections and anthologies often don’t earn out. Let’s assume these count as 15% of an original title. (This is extremely generous, though.)
If an author or editor withdrew the work, then I’m assuming in-print and royalties due in 2010 through 2012 (or the first two years) as stuff really started blowing up in 2013.
Royalties due per book run, on average, $1.25. Royalty rates for trade paper generally start at around 7.5% of list price, and many run around $15, so $1.125. This is a little generous for trade paper only, but there were often both hardback and trade paper editions, released at the same time.
It’s Spreadsheet Time
a.k.a. Time to check Deirdre’s arithmetic.
So, what does this mean, gross oversimplifications aside?
Assuming Vera’s royalty number is true, the average Norilana author sold 196 copies of any given book in any given year. Reprints would be 98 copies, anthologies and collections 29.4 copies that royalties would be paid on.
If you want to assume every book sold the same number of royalty-paying copies over time, there’s 41 titles, 4 years, that would be (19198.36/41/4/1.25), or 93.65 copies per book per year.
So That Selling Books Thing
Vera Nazarian aka Norilana Books simply has no idea how to actually sell books. If you’re a publisher and consistently, on average, selling under a couple hundred titles per year with dozens of titles to market….
You’re doing it wrong.
Especially if you publish twelve such titles in one year and then the next year, “Oops, can’t pay royalties.”
Everything about this Indiegogo campaign is intensely problematic. We don’t really know that the money is owed (except for Eugie Foster having opened the can of worms). We don’t really know how much is owed, and we only have vague ideas of to whom. It’s possible some authors have been paid (while others have not). There’s also what someone called “the Vera factor” in all this. I’ll let you figure the meaning.
Raising money to pay debt like this is also problematic. Vera already received that money. She spent it on other things (like her cable bill, which she details in one of her comments to my first post linked at the top).
Sonia was one of our class at the 2004 WOTF Workshop. She posted today on Facebook that it was 46°. Now just about two months ago she said it was about 46°, but she lives in Perth on the Indian Ocean, so 46°C in summer is still pretty damn hot. 46°C is about 115°F.
So now she's talking about the autumn weather half a world away. 8°C. 46°F. It's cold. Layer on the jackets.
Here it peaked at 48°F in Kalamazoo -- 51°F in Grand Rapids -- and people were tossing off coats to enjoy the warm and sunshine, next to the melting snow piles. Even with my cold, I took off my coat to enjoy a minute of shirtsleeves in the sun as I stowed my walker.
Temperature is a relative thing. A comparison. But it has to be done in context. 48°F in August is a sharply colder fall day. In March, when the low was near zero just two days ago, it's warm. And of house changing units makes it even more relative.
So record lows two nights ago. Above freezing last night. Heading back down to 8°F. March is some kind of brain addled lion-lamb chimera in 2014.
As for Winter, FINALLY after most of a week, NBCsports is showing some Paralympics Games -- adaptive snowboarding right now. Men's and women's snowboard cross. The adaptive snowboards are different, you can only point it down the course. No fakeys. Yeah I neither know precisely what that term means or how to spell it. (grin) These athletes are competing their hearts out, mostly in silence by NBC.
Part ninety-five in my comprehensive retrospective as I read the fiction in Realms of Fantasy and offer my thoughts, right up to the final issue. This time around I’ll be dissecting the August 2010 issue.
As most writers know, finding the perfect place to write is almost as challenging as writing itself. Of course, some will say that there is no perfect place to write. That you must write everywhere and anywhere you can. Perhaps that’s true. But for anyone who has ever tried to write in a crowded coffee shop, with babies screaming, people on cell phones, and the guy in the table beside you who keeps sniffling and smells like he put on too much cologne this morning — well, I’d say that some spots are better than others.
I used to write in my living room / office nook, which for most of the day is about as dark as a cave. But since I use the same computer for my day job stuff as a web designer / programmer, I found it was best to separate the two locations. So I wrote in the kitchen, on the hard wooden chairs. That’s where I finished the final draft of “The Sounds of Old Earth,” which is now up for a Nebula Award. You would think that I’d stay put, since the location appears to have worked in my favor.
Like other people coming from Markdown, you can use Markdown syntax in Scrivener, export your project to text files, and use Markdown syntax on iOS apps (like my much-loved Byword) ’cause there is no RTF (Scrivener’s native format) on iOS, really.
But, you say, then what?
Beholdify. You can wait to convert your Markdown until the very last second by checking it in the Compile options when you generate your final output.
So for those of us with books and books written in Markdown syntax, we can have it all. Finally.
You’re not one of the Markdown people, I can tell.
# This is an h1 heading
## This is an h2 heading
## This is an h2 too (sorry, couldn’t resist)
This is a paragraph with _italics_, **bold text**, and ***italic bold text***. You can also do *italics* with single asterisks if you swing that way.</p>
And this is another paragraph.
This is an h1 heading
This is an h2 heading
This is an h2 too (sorry, couldn’t resist)
This is a paragraph with italics, bold text, and italic bold text. You can also do italics with single asterisks if you swing that way.
And this is another paragraph.
No fussing with menu bars or character formats.
No having to remember shortcuts for italics, bold, whatever.
Which is one reason I’ve liked Markdown all along. It gets out of your way when you’re putting the words on the page.
I got my preliminary JordanCon schedule today! Looks to be a fabulous and fun lineup:
“Flawed Worlds in Fantasy” – Real societies have problems, so should the ones we create. But how do we address race, sex, and class when writing? With Delilah S. Dawson, Patrick Rothfuss, Jana Oliver, Balogun Ojetade, and Eugie Foster. Sat (4/12) 10AM.
“More Than Just Prose” – Our favorite books are more than just paragraphs strung together. From poetry to songs to hidden word play, what goes into doing it right? With Patrick Rothfuss, Eugie Foster, and Harriet McDougal. Sat (4/12) 11:30AM.
“How to Polish” – What tools, tips, and tricks are there to taking that first draft up to a final? With Eugie Foster, Idaliz Seymour, Paul Stevens, Toni Weisskopf, Deb Dixon, and Peter Ahlstrom. Sat (4/12) 2:30PM.
“Fairy Tale Hour” – A look at Fairy Tales in literature, TV, and film. With Jana Oliver, Eugie Foster, and Pat Rothfuss. Sun (4/13) 11:30AM.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this local literary convention is one of my very favorites. It’s amazingly well run, with awesome programming, and a great venue. This year, it’ll be on April 11 through 13. I hope to see folks there!
I will be reading at the fabulous Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series in New York City next Wednesday, March 19! Come "up a steep and very narrow stairway" to see me and Ellen Kushner read from our work, mix and mingle with fans of fantastic fiction, and enjoy tasty beverages. The reading is at KGB Bar, 85 East 4th Street, and it's free! Come early to make sure you get a seat; doors open at 6:30 and the reading starts at 7pm. Hope to see you there!
My dad's not well and I'm at his place looking after him. There's a computer, but everything about it is old, and the browser crashes if I have more than two windows open. So... that's why I'm not commenting or posting much. (That, and I'm trying to finish some work I owe people . . . )
Waving from a distance, and hoping to be back soon . . .
I’ve recently gotten the “Steampunk Octopus” prints, signed and numbered, back from the artist Alex Broeckel. These are the prints of the art that I'll be using for the cover of the new small press ZOMBIES NEED BRAINS' first SF&F anthology Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs Aliens. I took one of the prints down and had it framed. I figured I’d share it with everyone, so here’s a pic of what it looks like with the frame I chose. I think it’s awesome. Those who pledged at the "Artistic Zombie" level for the kickstarter for the anthology have already received their reward prints and I hope they enjoy them. I do have additional prints available for sale at $250. These are unframed, signed, numbered prints. If you are interested, please message me here on LiveJournal about how to get one of the prints for YOUR wall.
[B]ut people suffering from the condition often spend years shuffling painfully between baffled specialists before getting our necks mercifully slashed open like an Opposite Day episode of Dexter.
Or you’ll visit six different psychiatrists who all fail to cure your crippling depression, because none of them ever thought to test to see if it was caused by an asshole thyroid.
Speaking as someone with a differently-assholish thyroid? This. So much this. Especially since I’ve been advised that I’m going to have to do the Opposite Day Dexter thing at some point in the fairly near future.
Sadly, my photos of it are mostly not as amazing, in part because I hadn’t yet got the hang of all the tricks that help make museum shots come out better. We went through not one but two museums of the stuff, though, one in Gdansk, the other at Malbork Castle, and I did not get tired of it at all. This is a modern sculpture using just a piece of amber; in the background you can see display cases full of more objects, most of them made entirely of the stuff. Utterly stunning.
Father Thomas H. Mooney at Sunday morning mass with the 69th, circa 1861, possibly at Fort Corcoran near Washington, DC. The regiment helped build the fort and named it after their commander, Michael Corcoran, who stands at Father Mooney’s right. Collection of Library of Congress. (click on image to enlarge it)
The ballad “The Irish Volunteer,” written and performed by Irish-American Joe English and published in 1864, tells the story of an Irish rebel’s son who fought the Confederate rebels during the American Civil War. The tune was “The Irish Jaunting Car” — the same used for 1861 Confederate song “The Bonny Blue Flag,” by Irish Confederate Harry McCarthy. (Random Walt Whitman connection: The song’s publishers, Dick & Fitzgerald, were at 18 Ann Street, Manhattan, the heart of the publishing and printing industry where Walt got his start as a journeyman printer and a journalist.)
The ballad opens with the June 1798 Battle of Vinegar Hill, Ireland, during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. At Vinegar Hill, British and Irish forces counted roughly even, but the British literally outgunned the Irish, who were routed.
My name is Tim McDonald, I’m a native of the Isle,
I was born among old Erin’s bogs when I was but a child.
My father fought in Ninety-eight, for liberty so dear;
He fell upon old Vinegar Hill, like an Irish volunteer.
Then raise the harp of Erin, boys, the flag we all revere—
We’ll fight and fall beneath its folds, like Irish volunteers!
Chorus — Then raise the harp, etc.
Relative to the American Civil War, the casualties were slight — “only” about 500 to 1000 Irish and 100 British. Most of the Irish rebels lived to fight another day — or eventually to immigrate to the United States, where their sons (or, to be literalistic, their grandsons) would fight in the American Civil War.
When I was driven from my home by an oppressor’s hand,
I cut my sticks and greased my brogues, and came o’er to this land.
I found a home and many friends, and some that I love dear;
Be jabbers! I’ll stick to them like bricks and an Irish volunteer.
Then fill your glasses up, my boys, and drink a hearty cheer,
To the land of our adoption and the Irish volunteer!
Chorus — Then fill your glasses, etc.
The volunteer’s new “home and many friends” might have been on Vinegar Hill, this one in Brooklyn, near the Navy Ship Yard. Walt Whitman and his family (of solid English and Dutch descent with deep American roots) lived on Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill, as did many Irish immigrants driven over the water by the Potato Famine and another lost rebellion, that of 1848. The volunteer would have done well as a bricklayer there. Brooklyn was expanding exponentially, and devastating fires made brick a far better siding than wood. But when the Secession War broke out, he traded hod and spade for a rifle.
Now when the traitors in the south commenced a warlike raid,
I quickly then laid down my hod, to the devil went my spade!
To a recruiting-office then I went, that happened to be near,
And joined the good old Sixty-ninth, like an Irish volunteer.
Then fill the ranks and march away! — no traitors do we fear;
We’ll drive them all to blazes, says the Irish volunteer.
Chorus — Then fill the ranks, etc.
The 69th Infantry Regiment of New York has a line of battle stretching from the Civil War through the Afghanistan War, with lineage roots back to the American Revolution. In the Civil War era, it was riddled with tensions among those who wished to use it as a hammer for Irish independence, and scorned by American “nativists” who believed that people born outside the United States — especially those not of British heritage — could not be “true” Americans.
The 69th took the chance to show their side of the story when the Prince of Wales visited New York in 1860. The regiment, under command of Colonel Michael Corcoran, an Irish rebel in his own right, would not turn out to parade.
When the Prince of Wales came over here, and made a hubbaboo,
Oh, everybody turned out, you know, in gold and tinsel too;
But then the good old Sixty-ninth didn’t like these lords or peers—
They wouldn’t give a d–n for kings, the Irish volunteers!
We love the land of Liberty, its laws we will revere,
“But the divil take nobility!” says the Irish volunteer!
Chorus — We love the land, etc.
Defiance of British royalty did not resolve their loyalty, though. Like Whitman, many of Corcoran’s followers balked at waging a war, as they saw it, instigated by abolitionists, whom they viewed as fanatic Union-breakers. The Regiment swung in doubt: were they Irish or American? The 69th resolved the question with their valor at Bull Run and subsquent battles. Legend has it, when they pushed back their brothers, the Louisianna Irish “Tigers” at Malvern Hill, Virginia, they earned the title “Fighting Irish” from the rebel commander himself, R.E. Lee.
Now if the traitors in the South should ever cross our roads,
We’ll drive them to the divil, as Saint Patrick did the toads;
We’ll give them all short nooses that come just below the ears,
Made strong and good of Irish hemp by Irish volunteers.
Then here’s to brave McClellan, whom the army now reveres–
He’ll lead us on to victory, the Irish volunteers.
Chorus — Then here’s to brave, etc.
Unfortunately, their beloved General McClellan nullified their advance at Malvern Hill by pulling back over the James River, leaving the field, and Richmond, to the Confederates. At Antietam, too, where the Irish 69th suffered 60 percent casualties, McClellan stopped Lee’s advance, but allowed him and his army to slip away, a scenario that would replay at Gettysburg under Union General Meade.
Now fill your glasses up, my boys, a toast come drink with me,
May Erin’s Harp and the Starry Flag united ever be;
May traitors quake, and rebels shake, and tremble in their fears,
When next they meet the Yankee boys and Irish volunteers!
God bless the name of Washington! that name this land reveres;
Success to Meagher and Nugent, and their Irish volunteers!
Chorus — God bless the name, etc.
The Irish volunteer reasserts his loyalty to America, bringing together “Yankee boys and Irish volunteers” to defy “traitors,” blessing their country’s founder George Washington, and cheering the commanders of the 69th, Meagher and Nugent, both Irish-born, both officers who paid loyal service to the United States, along with their Fighting Irish.