24 Responses to Guinevere and the Fire and Us

  1. Jennifer September 5, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    The embed doesn’t work. Can you post a link to the video?

  2. Jennifer September 5, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    It worked through my web browser, just not through Feedly. Thanks.

  3. Maria September 5, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Are you kidding that you are equating an old irish song about Irish ppl fearing the “black folk” to sex offenders? This is a song about fears raging in Ireland about the “gypsies” living in the forests in the 1920s. How on God’s green earth is this relevant to a sex offender in 2014? Are you suggesting the next time something happens to a child, a sex offender is going to emerge and ask “why didn’t you come to me.” This has nothing to do with stranger danger.

  4. Papilio September 5, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Seriously, Maria? Aboriginals in Ireland?

  5. Warren September 5, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Irrational fears are irrational fears. What don’t you understand about that?

  6. Robert September 5, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    > This is a song about fears raging in Ireland about the “gypsies” living in the forests in the 1920s.

    The song is set in Australia, hence the comment at the beginning of the song and the reference to “New South Wales”.

    > This has nothing to do with stranger danger.

    It has everything to do with “stranger danger” – the girl was taught to fear “others” rather than to realize that most folks are pretty decent, even kind.

  7. Maria September 5, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    @Robert, yes, I meant Australia, but these “folks” in the song should not be likened to sex offenders, some who rape little kids. How is that kind? and how is that a true analogy? I mean really.

  8. Gina September 5, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    They are NOT being likened to rapists (dangerous people). They are being compared to people who are THOUGHT to be dangerous because they are unknown. Like all the strangers out there who are unknown until we meet them. Some are good, some bad but unless you know them, you can’t tell which are which. And MOST people are kind…so to warn children away from ALL strangers is to not give them the opportunity to meet new people who are probably good and will help them if they need it. THAT is the point of the story.

  9. Maria September 5, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    @robert yeah I get that, and in NYC that is the norm, but I don’t like that she mentions “sex offenders.” Children should not interact with sex offenders and I get that some ppl are dubbed offenders for peeing in public, but others in the same class, are actually terrible humans beings who have raped and hurt young children. That’s all i’m saying.

  10. Kristen McLeod September 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    I have loved the Free Range Kids book for years, and try to live by it as it really resonates with the kind of parent of want to be and the kind of kids I want to raise. I wrote on my blog about my experience with the judgement that comes with that – please read if you like! Have a lovely day!

  11. ifsogirl September 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    @Maria, where does she say anything about sex offenders? I went back to read it, twice even, not one word about sex offenders.

  12. mystic_eye September 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Anyone still need the link?


  13. Robert September 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    @ifsogirl – the Facebook link from FRK says “Here’s the song to sing when people whisper about that. Or when they tell you not to let your child wait at the bus stop, or walk past the homes of sex offenders.”

    @Maria – I think you’re missing the point. Nobody is equating Australian aboriginals and sex offenders, nor suggesting that in a time of need a child should promptly seek out the friendly neighborhood pedophile. Lenore’s comment was specifically about *walking by* a sex offender’s home. That’s not terribly dangerous itself. But the point was about the “anything could happen / stranger danger” mentality.

  14. Beth September 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Maria, you’re not required to read this site. There may be other sites you would enjoy more that are more in line with your personal beliefs.

  15. Maria September 5, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    @beth thanks for the advice, but mind your own business.

  16. Stafir September 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm #


    You made it her business when you posted such a hateful post to a public forum.

  17. Donald September 5, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    Small Fred
    Everything Possible
    Guinevere And The Fire
    My grandmother was born in 1900
    On a farm in New South Wales
    She wed a dairyman
    Who liked to raise a pint of ale
    The first child came when she was twenty
    Five more babes in seven years
    That first daughter was my mother
    They called her Guinevere

    Little Gwen would play beneath the willow
    “Yes the Queen would love some tea”
    Helped with chores that never ended
    Tried to mind tried to please
    Sometimes she heard the music
    Wild and strange in the summer night
    “They’re dirty people” warned her mother
    “Never go near their campfire light”

    “Stay away from the camp of the blackfellas
    Little white girls have disappeared
    They drink and dance when the moon is red
    Better never let ’em see your golden hair”

    Came the winter of ’27
    So cold the milk froze in the pail
    Her mum hung the nappies by the hearth
    Her dad in town for a round of ale
    A spark leapt from the fire that night
    Wrapped her mother in a gown of flame
    Flailing dancing in a frenzy
    Falling down in voiceless pain

    Stillness and the stench of burning
    Then so soft ’twas like a ghost
    “Fetch the Cunninghams” she whispered
    “Bring me aid or I am lost”
    The Cunningham house was not two miles away
    And they the nearest whites
    Past the camp of the Aboriginals
    Past the demons of the night


    “I will run to save my mother
    I must go now I must fly”
    Still she heard her mother’s tales
    Of the Devil’s drums and the evil eye
    Her mother’s breathing ever fainter
    Gwen frozen in her fright
    Seven hours till dawn she waited
    For the safety of the light

    Now she runs till her feet are bleeding
    To the house upon the hill
    Now comes the doctor’s wagon speeding
    To her mother cold and still

    They laid her down in the Nowra graveyard
    From the Bible read a verse
    Children sent to aunts and uncles
    Some to Melbourne some to Perth
    Gwen packed her canvas satchel
    Could not hold the salt tears back
    Turned to leave her home forever
    Faced a woman gnarled and black

    “Child our hearts are heavy
    Grieving for your loss
    We live so close by you
    Why did you not come to us?
    We hve salves to heal the burning
    We hve herbs to stop the pain
    We could have helped had we but known
    To make your mother whole again”


  18. Yocheved September 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    OMG *chills* So tragic! )-:

    Stranger danger and racism, all rolled into one. Still relevant today, unfortunately.

    This is why it’s so important to teach your children not to “other” people. My blonde little daughter has been taught to trust people by their actions, not by their color. The nice looking white lady may be luring you to her creepy boyfriend, and the gang banger in saggy pants may just be the guy who sees it and steps in.

  19. Maria September 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

    everyone is entitled to their opinion. I found it egregious that’s all. If you think my post is hateful, take a look at what ppl are posting on the FB page.

  20. Stafir September 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Being less hateful than others.

    Is not the same thing as not being hateful.

  21. Gina September 6, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    I love the use of “other” as a verb..what a great way to put it!

  22. Jenny Islander September 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Hey, Maria: My parents were both sex offenders, although they were never caught. So I know whereof I speak, OK?

    Walking by the home of a registered sex offender, even one who is on the registry for actually having done harm instead of (as happens) being too drunk to realize he was peeing in public, does nothing to a child.


    Nothing at all.

  23. hineata September 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    @Jenny Islander – that is terrible. About your parents, I mean. Just terrible.

    Sympathy means zero….but I wanted to pass mine on anyway.

  24. EricS September 8, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Maria is a perfect example of how some people paint the worse possible scenario, from something that’s completely different from what she’s thinking. This is the mentality of society today.

    As others have stated clearly already, this song isn’t about equating sex offenders to black people, or even gypsies. This is about the “STRANGER DANGER MENTALITY”. Or even walking by a registered sex offenders house. Your walking by a house.

    Do you think walking by a house of a registered sex offender, you will suddenly be snatched up by some long armed monster? And before you answer that, “anything can happen” is not an answer. Because if that’s your belief, you can be snatched from your bed, while you sleep. Will you stop sleeping, and stop sleeping in your room?

    Fear is a powerful thing. Makes people see what isn’t there. Messes with their brains, that’s biological and psychological fact. They get paranoid, and it becomes a daily thing. People like that do this to themselves, with no merit, or logical evidence to support such paranoia. Most strangers you have met, and will ever meet have good intentions. There are the rare strangers that you will meet or come across, that are as bad as you fear. But you’d be attacked by a shark sooner than one of those people getting to you or your loved ones.

    And remember, when you post online, expect varying opinions. Especially, when you chastise someone or something, about something you interpreted the wrong way. Instead of seeing the bigger picture, and what the picture actually is. If you don’t like being offended, don’t offend. Golden rule. 😉