May 16, 2001

Green Grow the Rashes

by Robert Burns

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Poem: "Green Grow the Rashes," by Robert Burns.

Green Grow the Rashes

Green grow the rashes, O;
    Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend
    Are spent amang the lasses, O!

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
    In ev'ry hour that passes, O;
What signifies the life o' man,
    An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.

The warly race may riches chase,
    An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' though at last they catch them fast,
    Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

But gie me a canny hour at e'en,
    My arms about my dearie, O;
An' warly cares, an' warly men,
    May a'gae tapsalteerie, O!

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this,
    Ye're nought but sensless asses, O:
The wisest man the warl' saw,
    He dearly loved the lasses, O.

Auld nature swears, the lovely dears
    Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she tried on man,
    An' then she made the lasses, O.

Green grow the rashes, O;
    Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
    Are spent amang the lasses, O!

It's the birthday of poet Adrienne Rich, born in Baltimore (1929). She married and had three sons before she was 30. After her husband's suicide in 1970, she identified herself as a radical feminist and a lesbian. Her early poems were formal and crafted, but her later style was freer and more personal. Her books include the poetry collection Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (1963), and a prose collection, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution (1976)

The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on this day in 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. There were 250 people were in attendance. Wings won Best Picture, Emil Jannings won Best Actor, and Janet Gaynor won Best Actress.

It's the birthday of oral historian "Studs" Terkel, born in the Bronx, New York (1912). He became a famous voice on Chicago radio in the 1940s, then started making books out of his recorded interviews. He wanted to give voice to ordinary people, he said, asking them "What's it like to be that goofy little soldier, scared stiff, with his bayonet aimed at Christ? What's it like to have been a woman in a defense-plant job during World War Two? What's it like to be a kid at the front lines? It's all funny and tragic at the same time." His books include "The Good War": An Oral History of World War II, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize (1984); Working (1974); and Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression (1970).

It's the birthday of English novelist H. E. Bates, born in Rushton, Northamptonshire, England (1905). He's best known for The Darling Buds of May (1958), about the Larkins, a family of scrap dealers and fruit pickers.

It's the birthday of actor Henry Fonda, born in Grand Island, Nebraska (1905). He moved to New York, where he shared an apartment with Jimmy Stewart, and lived on rice while looking for work on the stage. He was in a play called The Farmer Takes A Wife (1935), which led to a film contract. He became a major star in The Grapes of Wrath (1940), in which he played Tom Joad.

It's the birthday of David Hughes, who was born in London (1831), but moved to the United States as a child. He was the inventor of the teletype and also the inventor of the forerunner to the modern carbon microphone.

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