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Poor Edward

On one of these “On this day in history” sites, this morning I had read that it was on this day in 1936 that King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.

I had meant to post something on the subject but hadn’t bothered.

Then whilst driving this afternoon, the Tom Waits track Poor Edward came on my shuffle selection, and I thought that I’d post an article about Edward VIII and illustrate it with the song which seemed to have nonsense lyrics.

That was until I read about Edward Mordrake.

Edward Mordrake (sometimes written Edward Mordake) was reportedly the 19th century heir to an English peerage. He supposedly had an extra face on the back of his head, which could neither eat nor speak, although it could laugh or cry. Edward begged doctors to have his “demon head” removed, because, supposedly, it whispered horrible things to him at night, but no doctor would attempt it. He committed suicide at the age of 23. The description of Edward Mordrake’s condition is somewhat similar to those of Chang Tzu Ping and Pasqual Pinon.

“Tom Waits wrote a song about Edward Mordrake titled “Poor Edward” for his opera Alice. Waits performs the song on an album with the same name.”


Moothie Man

And whilst on the subject of harmonicas, here’s one guy who may encourage me to watch Saturday night TV if he succeeds in his Britain’s Got Talent audition. Moothieman is Stuart Farquharson from Ayrshire. I first met Stu about twelve years ago. After a couple of rehearsals we won the British Harmonica Championship duo section together.

This was no mean feat because as I recall there was only one other duo there on the day. However for me to claim any credit would be just silly. I played a wee simple rhythm part whilst Stu displayed virtuosity.

We performed together again at The Millennium Festival for Performing Arts in Leeds – again with Stu doing all the difficult stuff. Stu actually won every category in the championships a year later (i.e. Blues, diatonic, classical, jazz, chromatic, duo) which is no mean feat because basically blues harp and chromatic harmonica are two entirely different instruments requiring very different techniques.

Here is Stu impersonating a train!

And here he is with his band Jimmy Wolfe.

If there is a better harmonica player in Britain then I haven’t heard them. His youtube stuff is here

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