Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Medieval Drinking Song

Reposted from The

The tradition of singing raucous lyrics in pubs has a long history. There are a few drinking songs from the Middle Ages, including those found in the Carmina Burana, a collections of poems and texts created in Germany during the first half of the thirteenth-century.
The Carmina Burana includes songs dating back to the 11th century, and were collected from various parts of Europe. Many were created by university students, and includes works of mockery, love songs and at least forty songs about gambling and drinking. As one scholar points out this “collection is full of that excitement, that daring, that laughing-at-convention which characterizes independently minded youth.”

Here is one of the medieval drinking songs:
In the boozer
you’re a loser
if the dice you’re shaking.
You’ll get hurt
and lose your shirt,
sit there cold and quaking.
Lady Luck, your gifts are bad,
you trick us, then you make us mad,
make us gamble, make us fight,
and sit out in the cold all night.

‘Brrr!’ The naked loser moans,
when he’s cold and left alone,
shakes and shivers as he groans:
‘I wish I could be
asleep under a tree
With a hot sunshine warming my bones.’

But now let’s roll the dice again
and win some drinking money!
Who thinks about November’s rain
while it’s still warm and sunny?

Image courtesy of:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bookworms rejoice! There is now a short-story vending machine for your convenience - free of charge!

Grenoble, located in the French Alps, started a great initiative. It installed short story dispensers. It’s simply brilliant in its simplicity. The dispensers are placed in public areas. They are one meter high, don’t have a screen (sorry, device addicts) and cannot be missed due to their vibrant orange and black colors. They offer a selection of short stories that can be one, three, or five minutes long to read. Best of all - it’s free of charge!

The Grenoble municipality launched this initiative for the benefit of its citizens; it wanted to bring back a bit of culture that is jeopardized by e-books, Kindle and the likes. It wanted people to connect with the printed word again.

The green party mayor of Grenoble, Mr. Eric Piolle, approached the founders of publishing company Short Edition to create content. The result? There are currently 600 short stories available. The is convenient; a short story of three minutes in printed on a piece of paper of 8cm by 60cm. Quite handy!

Christophe Sibieude, co-founder and head of local publishing start-up Short Edition explained: “We said to ourselves that we could providing good quality popular literature via vending machines to occupy those little unproductive moments.”

If you are in Grenoble and want to read, go to any of the eight dispensers located at the town hall, the tourist office, libraries and in social centers and try it out!

Happy reading!

(Image: A woman chooses a short story at a short-story distribution terminal in the Mistral district of Grenoble ©Jean-Pierre Clatot / AFP)