Tuesday, 13 December 2011

In the Court of the Crimson King - King Crimson

The Thomas Hardy Statue, Top 'o' Town, Dorchester
a souvenir of my visit yesterday with more to come.

Again forced to rely on archive photos, for reasons not even known to myself we landed on the Oystercatchers of the World. It was however interesting to discover that there are 11 species of which I have managed to see and photograph 9 of them. The images appear in nomenclature (list) order with the absentees noted in sequence.

Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ferry Bridge, Portland, Dorset.

African Black Oystercatcher, Hermanus, South Africa.

Canarian Black Oystercatcher - never even heard of this one, although it did throw up prospects of an 'armchair tick'. Having visited the Canary Islands in 1996 (on the naughty boys tour) I dashed for my note books but found no trace, so will have to save this one for a next visit!

Amerian Oystercatcher, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.

American Black Oystercatcher, Seward, Alaska, USA.

Blackish Oystercatcher, Paracas, Peru.

adult Magellanic Oystercatcher, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands.

juvenile Magellanic Oystercatcher, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands.

Variable Oystercatcher, Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand.

Chatham Island Oystercatcher - not surprisingly another unheard of species, and given the location of 'Wharekauri', 500 miles east of New Zealand, it's unlikely to be added to the World List any time soon!

Pied Oystercatcher, Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia.

Sooty Oystercatcher, Cape Leeuwen, Western Australia (the most south-westerly point of their continental mainland).

A combination of my situation this week, a shuffle of the music library and arrival of the i-Pod has resulted in the re-emergence of an album once described as 'The First' and 'Most Inspirational' Prog Rock album ever! This, combined with an extremely strong local connection certainly inspired me to play the title track about 20 times yesterday and it's playing again as we speak.

The 1969 debut album from Dorset band King Crimson
In the Court of the Crimson King
including Return of the Fire Witch
and Dance Of The Puppets.

There have been untold arrangements of this track of music, and while there is no positive evidence I would say this recording (via the link) is the definitive version by the incumbent line up at that time. That is:-
Robert Fripp
/ guitar, still resides in Dorset with long time wife Toyah Wilcox.
Greg Lake / bass guitar, lead vocals, later to become a member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Ian McDonald / reeds, woodwind, vibes, keyboards, mellotron, vocals, seriously multi-skilled.
Michael Giles / drums, percussion, vocals, Crimson founder member with brother Peter.
Peter Sinfield / words and illumination. All except for Lake are from Dorset.

The rusted chains of prison moons are shattered by the sun.
I walk a road, horizons change the tournament's begun.
The purple piper plays his tune, the choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
For the Court of the Crimson King.

The keeper of the city keys put shutters on the dreams.
I wait outside the pilgrim's door with insufficient schemes.
The black queen chants the funeral march,
The cracked brass bells will ring; to summon back the Fire Witch
To the Court of the Crimson King.

The gardener plants an evergreen whilst trampling on a flower.
I chase the wind of a prism ship to taste the sweet and sour.
The pattern juggler lifts his hand; the orchestra begin.
As slowly turns the grinding wheel
In the Court of the Crimson King.

On soft grey mornings widows cry, the wise men share a joke.
I run to grasp divining signs to satisfy the hoax.
The yellow jester does not play but gently pulls the strings.
And smiles as the puppets dance,
In the Court of the Crimson King.

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