Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Riding a Raid

In honor of Confederate History Month here in Virginia, here's an old Civil War song written in 1862 to the tune of the old Scottish air Bonnie Dundee.

Riding a Raid

'Tis old Stonewall the Rebel that leans on his sword,
And while we are mounting prays low to the Lord:
"Now each cavalier that loves honor and right,
Let him follow the feather of Stuart tonight."

CHORUS: Come tighten your girth and slacken your rein;
Come buckle your blanket and holster again;
Try the click of your trigger and balance your blade,
For he must ride sure that goes riding a raid.

Now gallop, now gallop to swim or to ford!
Old Stonewall, still watching, prays low to the Lord:
"Goodbye, dear old Rebel! The river's not wide,
And Maryland's lights in her window to guide." -- CHORUS

There's a man in the White House with blood on his mouth!
If there's knaves in the North, there are braves in the South.
We are three thousand horses, and not one afraid;
We are three thousand sabres and not a dull blade. -- CHORUS

Then gallop, then gallop by ravines and rocks!
Who would bar us the way take his toll in hard knocks;
For with these points of steel, on the line of the Penn
We have made some fine strokes -- and we'll make 'em again. -- CHORUS