The legend of 40 days of rain

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Legend has it if it rains on the 15th of July it will rain for 40 days continuously. Because today is St Swithin’s day.

St Swithin’s Day, if it does rain

Full forty days, it will remain

St Swithin’s Day, if it be fair

For forty days, t’will rain no more

St Swithin

St Swithin was an Anglo-Saxon bishop who died in 862. He was made a saint over 100 years later and his remains were dug up and moved to a shrine in a cathedral on July 15 971 in Winchester.

Legend has it this so outraged St Swithin he caused it to rain uninterrupted for 40 days and nights.

Apparently though this only applies to the UK & Ireland.

But here is the thing, similar legend exist in other parts of the world.

France and Germany have  St Gervais day, which is on July 19, where it is also set to rain for 40 days

In the Netherlands they have Maria Siep on July 2/ Which is according to legend and the bible (Luke 1, 39-56) when Mary visited her cousin Elisabeth,the mother of John the baptist, Mary told Elisabeth on that visit that she was expecting a child who we now know would be called Jesus.The original day was July 2, but the Catholic church changed this feast day in 1969 to May 31, because July 2 was only 1 day after another feast day, the birth of John the Baptist. However the weather gods kept on July 2nd, hence if it rains on that day, guess what? Yes it will rain for 40 days in the Netherlands.

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Well it is raining in Ireland today(finally after nearly a month of no rain), so legend has it we will see a lot of rain for the next 6 weeks, although the weather forecast says we will have no rain tomorrow.

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SRV-The death of a Legend.

I am very careful when it comes to calling someone a hero, for so many who are considered a hero , often aren’t. However in this case I can say that SRV-Stevie Ray Vaughan was one of my heroes. The man who made playing guitar look cool again.

On August 26, 1990, Vaughan performed two shows with Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin.

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Some of the musicians boarded four Chicago-bound helicopters, which were waiting on a nearby golf course. Vaughan, along with three members of Eric Clapton’s entourage (agent Bobby Brooks, bodyguard Nigel Browne, and assistant tour manager Colin Smythe), boarded the third of the four helicopters—a Bell 206B Jet Ranger—flying to Meigs Field.

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In Clapton: The Autobiography, Clapton explains that, contrary to rumors, his seat was not given to Vaughan, but three members of Clapton’s entourage were on board with Vaughan. According to a witness, there was haze and fog with patches of low clouds. The helicopter took off at about 12:50 am (CDT)on August 27 and, despite the conditions, turned left towards a 150-foot ski hill adjacent to the golf course. It collided with the hill approximately fifty feet from the summit.

 All on board, including the pilot, Jeff Brown, were killed instantly.According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a veteran pilot for Alpine Valley suspected that Brown attempted to fly around the ski hill, but misjudged the location.The Civil Air Patrol was notified of the accident at 4:30 am, and located the crash site almost three hours later.

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Clapton and Jimmie Vaughan were asked to identify the bodies. The Walworth County coroner conducted an autopsy and found that Vaughan suffered from multiple internal and skull injuries.Clapton issued a statement the next day, saying that the victims “were my companions, my associates and my friends. This is a tragic loss of some very special people. I will miss all of them very much.” A Coptic cross necklace, worn by Vaughan, was given to Jimmie Vaughan.

Vaughan’s memorial was held on August 30, 1990, at Laurel Land Cemetery in Dallas, where he was buried next to his father, and was preceded by a private chapel service for close friends and family. Reverend Barry Bailey of the United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, who was Vaughan’s AA sponsor, opened the service with personal thoughts: “We’re here to thank God for this man’s life. He was a genius, a superstar, a musician’s musician. He captured the hearts of thousands and thousands of people. I am thankful for the impact of this man’s influence on thousands of people in getting his own life together in the name of God.” Kim Wilson, Jeff Healey, David Bowie, Charlie Sexton, ZZ Top, Colin James, and Buddy Guy attended the event. Stevie Wonder, Jackson Browne, and Bonnie Raitt sang “Amazing Grace” at the event. Nile Rodgers gave a eulogy,while a member of the Nightcrawlers read chapters five and eleven from The Big Book, the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous.In 1995, the Vaughan family received an undisclosed settlement for wrongful death.

Sadly Jeff Healey and David Bowie also have died since.

David Bowie and Stevie Ray Vaughan had collaborated on Bowie’s China Girl. The guitar solo is the genius of  SRV.

I only heard the news late in the evening. I remember it as vividly as the time I heard the news about Elvis’s death. I had just finished an evening shift and went to my local pub for a drink. where I saw these big tattooed ,pierced bikers with tears in their eyes.

I asked “what happened?” and they replied in chorus”Stevie died” it was just so surreal.

Finishing up with my one of my favorite SRV tracks, taken from his last studio album “Family Style”

RIP SRV

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First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.

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2016 has been a devastating year for the music business and today we say goodbye to yet another legend, Leonard Cohen.

A Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen was inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.

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Marianne Ihlen passed away on July 29th. She was 81 years old. Marianne. She was Leonard Cohen’s muse and inspired songs like “Bird on a Wire” and “So Long, Marianne”

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When Leonard Cohen found out about the death of Marianne he wrote this letter .

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I know he died at the age of 82 which is a good age but somehow my heart is still filled with sadness because yet another legend and hero of my youth has left us for that malt shop, in the sky.

Finishing up with some of his classics.

Rest in peace Mr Cohen. Please give our regards to David Bowie,Glen Frey, Prince,John Berry,Merle Haggard,Maurice White,Denise Matthews,Paul Kantner and all the others that went ahead of you .