VIEWSrnDonald Davidson and the Calculus of Memoryrnby M.E.Bradfordrn^^dgj^f Nrn^ ^IrnM^i ‘^v.tsa /iV^rn^jj^HMVBHnBL VrnWMf t^^H^^^V ^d^^^H^^I^HnL vl^^^^ft:rnIfVi;^^^^rnP M: -M^ /%:rn•••H f– ‘^’ jmC’ / # Prn’ i * f’* j ‘ -rn^rn j’ •’• Wrn^m. • wJm ” frn ViYf ^rn *^ ‘ i Mr nil^^)rnQiIBi^ ^^^^^B -S^^^PMrnThe opening scene of the folk opera Singin’Billy, for whichrnDonald Davidson wrote the book and lyrics, takes place inrnthe yard of Gallic Wilkins, “Miss Gallic,” the matriarch ofrnOconee Town in Pickens Gounty, South Garolina. Two youngrnpeople have married, John and Jennie Alsop, and are in dangerrnof a shivaree. They flee but are caught by boys and girls fromrntheir community. Because all of this happens on her ground,rn”Miss Gallic” is able to deliver the Alsops from the rough celebrationrnthat was in prospect. But before bride and groom departrnin safety, the matriarch decides to give them a weddingrnpresent, a quilt from her own collection. Baskets full of herrnsewing are brought out and Gallic, with the girls she has instructedrnin her art, sings “The Quilt Song,” telling how to “readrnthe signs” sewn into their work. Seen in context, her song is arnproper introduction to the role of memory in Davidson’s conceptionrnof the artist and to his view of the place of art in reinforcingrnand directing that faculty in its cultural and politicalrnwork.rnBy the firelight, in the night-timernM.E. Bradford (J 934-] 993) was from 1967 to 1993 arnprofessor of English at the University of Dallas.rnI sewed laughter, I sewed tears.rnWoman’s sorrow, woman’s gladness,rnGloud and sunshine, days and years.rnWhat the sword said in the battle.rnWhat the axe said to the tree,rnAll our travels, all our wanderings—rnSewed to keep in memory.rnAll our travels, all our wanderings.rnSewed to keep in memory.rnWhile the candle guttered slowly,rnI remembered times of men.rnI remembered kings and heroes,rnDeathless deeds of now and then.rnRed Gulloden, grief of SedgemoorrnWashington and liberty,rnMountain riders, mountain rifles.rnSewed to keep in memory.rnMountain riders, mountain rifles.rn16/CHRONICLESrnrnrn