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More on Cornwall - nhpeacenik
More on Cornwall
Most Americans have no idea where St. Ives or Penzance are, but two cultural artifacts keep them in our consciousness: the Gilbert and Sullivan play "The Pirates of Penzance" and a nursery rhyme (shown below). The nursery rhyme casually mentions polygamy, and this is surprising . People from Cornwall must have been seen as both strange and alien in the seventeenth and eighteenth century, probably all pirates or smugglers or "wreckers", who would stoop to anything, including adopting saracen customs such as polygamy. The name Cornwall seems to come from Old-English "the kernel (center) of Wales", and the word "Wal" or "Val" in Germanic languages meant "strange, foreign or wierd", as in "Valkyrie (strange cow)". The fact that, as an isolated south-coastal region, Cornwall would have had continuous contact via the sea,  with other cultures, and the fact that a p-Celtic language was still spoken there, kept this ancient image alive and relatively accurate into the eighteenth century.

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Current Music: Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band, "Hal an Tow"

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sand_inmyshoes From: sand_inmyshoes Date: March 24th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
one. Only I was going to St. Ives.
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