17 February 2012

Lucifer and Ice Worms

The other day, my propensity for reading historic fiction prevented a potential accident. Really! I was driving down the road, listening to Felix Possak's warbling on the CD player. He's got a medley of a couple of World War I songs, which starts with "It's A Long Way to Tipperary", and then goes into "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag" - and that's when I nearly drove off the road. You see, I'd never really paid attention to the words - have you? This is how it goes:

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
And smile, smile, smile,
While you've a lucifer to light your fag...

While you've a WHAT to light your WHAT?!? But then, with a lag of only a split second, my historic-fiction-reading filter kicked in, and I straightened the steering wheel with nary a twitch and we continued rolling down the road on our merry way instead of being marooned in the ditch as we might have been otherwise. "While you are in possession of a MATCH to light your CIGARETTE", that's what that means. Rather more innocuous than one might think.

Incidentally, my other favourite song on that CD is "When the Ice Worms Nest Again":

There's a husky, dusky maiden in the Arctic

And she waits for me but it is not in vain,

For some day I'll put my mukluks on and ask her

If she'll wed me when the ice worms nest again.

In the land of the pale blue snow,
Where it's ninety-nine below,
And the polar bears are roaming o'er the plain,
In the shadow of the Pole
I will clasp her to my soul,
We'll be happy when the ice worms nest again.

Ah, the romance! Ah, Canadian culture and folklore! Ah, the tender chirping of the ice worms as they nest in their charming arctic ice nests, gathering ice worm fodder for their little ice wormlets! Incidentally, the song ends with the singer being creamed over the head by his sweetheart with the ham bone of a bear because he stayed out too late and didn't come home to their igloo until half past two in the morning. Serves him right, I'd say.

Life, the Universe, Lucifers and Ice Worms. I suggest the reading of historic fiction to keep you safe on the road.


  1. And Felix Possak is such a sweet man too (not to mention talented). Have you seen him in person Angelika? There's just no way you can listen to him without singing along...or at least tapping your toes.
    I knew that fag was cigarette but pretty sure I'd never heard the lucifer bit before. You've just been the person to teach me my "new thing" for today. Thanks!

    Now to try to get these "prove you're not a robot". I'm guessing all blogs have them now? I came across them on Shelia's and they're tough!! If you don't get any more comments from me you'll know it is because I'm not quite getting the words right.

  2. I think you might be able to get a new one if you can't get the first one right. Apparently one of the ways those things are generated is from Google's OCR (Optical Character Recognition) system, which scans books and converts them to files. The words they feed us here are ones they weren't sure about, so they make us recognize them and type them in, and then add them to their OCR library. Which is why they get harder all the time, I guess...

    And yes, I've seen Felix Possak, twice even, which is where I got the CD. He is amazing indeed.

  3. So I was just informed by a friend that ice worms do, indeed, exist (but not at -99). I'm flabberghasted. If you, too, wish to flabber your ghast, take a look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesenchytraeus_solifugus

  4. Haha! That made me laugh - Lucifer et al! And yes, only in Canada would ice worms be romantic (I say that as a Canadian!). :)

  5. Another line goes "...all the walrusses will look at us and rubber..." That's pretty darn romantic, too.

  6. Sorry to hear you're not entering the show but I can understand why. You are one busy lady.

    I loved this post...so informative.

    I was able to take "prove you're not a robot" off of my blog...can't remember how I did it.