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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

On Swinging' Samson, pathetic excuses and American gun law,
with Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH

Dear Alice:
In this column:

On singing in Cardiff, Isserlis playing Saint-Saëns and square Samson

'Bridgit Beynon' has written to ask you if you know the Samson, cut your hair ... lyrics. I found your page whilst trying to research the same question myself. I have found the answer and wondered if you were able to pass the answer on. (The answer's probably no, and it was probably years ago that the question was posed but I was so overjoyed to find the score myself I wanted to share it.)

It is Swingin' Samson by Michael Hurd.

Further details ...
ISBN: 9780853601814
Format: Vocal Score
Length: 24 pages
Language: English
Publisher: Novello & Co Ltd

Hope this helps someone -- it's a lot of fun to sing!!
From IZ

Dear IZ,
You're a star, and thanks so much for succeeding where I failed -- and for letting me know, too!!!!!

Ask Alice


Your article about Joshua Bell busking anonymously in Washington, DC was brilliant.

All best wishes,
Gordon Rumson

Dear Gordon, and all the others who kindly wrote in about last week's column,

It's great to get such a reaction. In fact, I've never had half so many letters about any single column before, so perhaps I touched a nerve among music lovers.

Or perhaps the whole experiment did.

When I was in Washington (just last week) I read lots of comments about this, many from commuters explaining that they had neglected to stop, not because they weren't impressed by J Bell, but because they were afraid to be late to work. Many claimed that.

Frankly, I can't accept this sort of pathetic excuse. Either these people are so lousy at their jobs that one late arrival would scupper their careers (in which case, they might as well resign, and save their bosses the hassle of firing them) or else they're just so seriously annoyed that they failed to recognize genius when they heard it that they enjoy pretending that their work is so crucial to the nation's security (God help us) that five or ten minutes of their time might really make all the difference.

To which I say: Sorry, no dice.

(UK readers: please forgive US terminology, I am more than usually stuck in the middle of the ocean this week, having just come back from the US!!!!!)


Ask Alice

Dear Alice,
Do you think it true what The Economist suggested this week: that many more Americans are in favor of gun control than politicians are brave enough to admit?
J Neumann, Arizona

Dear J,
Yes, I also read The Economist on this (the bit that got to me was the like that 'since the killing of John Kennedy in 1963, more Americans have died by American gunfire than perished on foreign battlefields in the whole of the 20th century.'

Enough to rock anybody back on their heels, don't you think?? But no, not the gun-toting nerds in (some parts of) America.

Anyway, I have no hotline to the Democratic Party headquarters, but I DO think it possible that they're forgetting their true principles on gun control in hopes of shaving a few more votes in the next election. But at least their heart is in the right place (and not in their holster, as is the case with most Republicans).

Everyone mouthed all the right platitudes about the murdered 33 at Virginia Tech, including people who support the National Rifle Association, who think the world (get this) would be a safer place if we were all armed!!!!! But wouldn't it be the most fitting epitaph those gunned-down kids could have asked for, if The Economist's cogent advice was taken up by government? (For those who don't get The Economist, these include (a) a renewal of the assault-weapons ban, (b) mandatory fitting of child locks, (c) a system of gun registration, which exists in all other rich countries, (d) a more open flow of intelligence, (e) tighter rules on the trading of guns and (f) a wider blacklist of those ineligible to buy guns.)

I mean, come on, America!!!!!!!!! Wakey, wakey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How many more innocent victims do there really have to be??

(As The Economist opined, 'No civilian needs an AK-47 for a legitimate purpose, but you can buy one online for $379.99.')


Copyright © 27 April 2007 Alice McVeigh, USA

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