There is something strange about the British attitude towards the white cliffs of Dover.
Wikipedia falls into an eerie British time warp when it states the 72 year old song (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover “is” a popular Second World War song.
“(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover” is a popular Second World War song made famous by Vera Lynn with her 1942 version — one of her best known recordings. Written in 1941 by Walter Kent and Nat Burton, the song was also among the most popular Second World War tunes.
Wikipedia seems to reflect a uniquely British reluctance to accept the “past tense” when writing about the Second World War.
Undoubtedly, Vera Lynn’s singing “was” popular in Britain during the 1940s.
Undoubtedly, The White Cliffs of Dover “was” a popular Second World War song.
Undoubtedly, the British need to start using the past tense.
Wikipedia continues to pander to this strange cultural malady by describing the white cliffs of Dover as the “iconic” symbol of “Britain’s de facto border with the European mainland”.
the song’s lyrics looked towards a time when the war would be over and peace would rule over the iconic white cliffs of Dover, Britain’s de facto border with the European mainland.
Undoubtedly, Dover was the premier passenger gateway to Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.
Undoubtedly, the hideous halls of Heathrow provide the “iconic” template for modern travellers.
Undoubtedly, British culture wallows in the “past” to counterbalance the unpleasant “present”.
The Calais-Mediterranée Express was a luxury French night express train which operated from 1886 to 2003. It gained international fame as the preferred train of wealthy and famous passengers between Calais and the French Riviera in the two decades before World War II. It was colloquially referred to as Le Train Bleu in French (which became its formal name after World War II) and the Blue Train in English because of its dark blue sleeping cars.
Unfortunately, this mawkish cultural heritage appears to be deeply engrained.
Wikipedia associates the “white cliffs of Dover” with the archaic name for Great Britain: Albion.
The white cliffs of Dover may have given rise to the name Albion
Albion is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain.
Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island.
Historians suggest Albion might be derived from the Celtic tribe of Albiones.
Judging from Avienus’ Ora Maritima to which it is considered to have served as a source, the Massaliote Periplus (originally written in the 6th century BC, translated by Avienus at the end of the 4th century), does not use the name Britannia; instead it speaks of nēsos Iernōn kai Albiōnōn “the islands of the Iernians and the Albiones”.
Likewise, Pytheas of Massilia (ca. 320 BC), as directly or indirectly quoted in the surviving excerpts of his works in later writers, speaks of Albion and Ierne.
The Albiones were a Pre-Roman Celtic tribe of the Iberian Peninsula living the north coast of modern Spain in western Asturias, probably belonging to the Gallaeci and Astur group, and mentioned by Pliny. They are generally included in maps of Roman Spain.
This same area was settled by a group of Britons in the post-Roman period, from whom the region took the name Britonia or Bretoña, mentioned in ecclesiastical sources as Britonensis ecclesia (“British church”) and an episcopal see called the sedes Britonarum – see the History of Galicia.
Etymologists suggest two other “plausible” derivations for Albion: White or Hill.
The derivation of the name Albion is discussed by Eilert Ekwall in an article entitled “Early names of Britain” published in Antiquity in 1930.
Gallo-Romance Albiōn (cf. Middle Irish Albbu) derives from the Proto-Celtic * Alb-i̯en-, sharing the same stem as Welsh elfydd “earth, world”, together with other European and Mediterranean toponyms such as Alpes and Albania has two possible etymologies, both plausible: either *albho-, a Proto-Indo-European root meaning “white” (in reference to the white southern shores of the island), or *alb-, Proto-Indo-European for “hill”.
Unfortunately, the strange British fixation regarding the “white cliffs of Dover” seems to have caused the etymologists to overlook a third possible Proto-Indo-European conjunction: White Hill.
Scrape away the superficial layer of dirt that swathe large areas of southern England and a vista of rolling white downs is revealed that truly merits the wry Albion appellation.
A downland is an area of open chalk hills.
This term is especially used to describe the chalk countryside in southern England.
Berkshire Downs and White Horse Hills
Chiltern Hills (Dunstable Downs)
Isle of Wight
South Downs Way, Woolavington Down.
The bare hilltop field looks white as it is littered with chalk and flint stones.
Scraping away the superficial layer of dirt in southern England is a popular pastime.
The Cerne Abbas Giant is a hill figure near the village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset, England.
Evidently, scraping away the dirt in southern England has a long tradition.
Stonehenge 1 (ca. 3100 BC)
The first monument consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosure made of Late Cretaceous (Santonian Age) Seaford Chalk, measuring about 110 metres (360 ft) in diameter, with a large entrance to the north east and a smaller one to the south.
It stood in open grassland on a slightly sloping spot.
The builders placed the bones of deer and oxen in the bottom of the ditch, as well as some worked flint tools. The bones were considerably older than the antler picks used to dig the ditch, and the people who buried them had looked after them for some time prior to burial.
The ditch was continuous but had been dug in sections, like the ditches of the earlier causewayed enclosures in the area.
The chalk dug from the ditch was piled up to form the bank.
This first stage is dated to around 3100 BC, after which the ditch began to silt up naturally.
Evidently, the first Stonehenge monument was a 360 foot diameter circle of white chalk.
The imaginative reader might wonder whether this cleared white circle was dressed [and levelled] with pure Albion whitewash which accumulated as “silt” in the surrounding ditch.
Whitewash, or calcimine, kalsomine, calsomine, or lime paint is a low-cost type of paint made from slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and chalk (whiting).
Whitewash cures through a reaction with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to form calcium carbonate in the form of calcite, a reaction known as carbonatation.
When the paint initially dries it is uncured and has almost no strength.
It takes up to a few days, depending on climate, to harden.
It is usually applied to exteriors;
The imaginative reader might also realise that shadows are easily observed on a white background.
The thoughtful reader might also realise that tracking shadows around a 360 foot diameter white circle might be a natural first step for stargazers and mathematicians who were recalibrating their ancient knowledge which was based upon a standard of 360 days a year and 360 degrees in a circle.
Numerous evidences are preserved which prove that prior to the year of 365¼ days, the year was only 360 days long.
The texts of the Veda period know a year of only 360 days.
A month of thirty days and a year of 360 days formed the basis of early Hindu chronology used in historical computations.
The ancient Persian year was composed of 360 days or twelve months of thirty days each.
The old Babylonian year was composed of 360 days.
The Assyrian year consisted of 360 days;
The month of the Israelites, from the fifteenth to the eighth century before the present era, was equal to thirty days, and twelve months comprised a year;
The Egyptian year was composed of 360 days before it became 365 by the addition of five days.
Cleobulus, who was counted among the seven sages of ancient Greece, in his famous allegory represents the year as divided into twelve months of thirty days:
The ancient Romans also reckoned 360 days to the year.
the Mayan year consisted of 360 days; later five days were added, and the year was then a tun (360-day period) and five days; every fourth year another day was added to the year.
In ancient South America also the year consisted of 360 days, divided into twelve months.
The calendar of the peoples of China had a year of 360 days divided into twelve months of thirty days each… When the year changed from 360 to 365¼ days, the Chinese added five and a quarter days to their year, calling this additional period Khe-ying;
WORLDS IN COLLISION – IMMANUEL VELIKOVSKY – 1950
Thirty-day months, twelve months, year of 360 days as I put quite a long list, actually, from all ancient calendars, from Incan and from Mayas, from Peru—which [Mayas] means in Mexico—from all ancient European, like ancient Roman and Greek, and also Asian, near Eastern, and Far Eastern civilization. From each of them I put quotes from authority: twelve months of thirty days, strange as it is, without intercalary.
Transcripts of the Morning and Evening Sessions of the A.A.A.S. Symposium on
“Velikovsky’s Challenge to Science” held on February 25, 1974
The astute observer might also wonder whether the subsequent placement of upright stones [within the original white chalk circle of Stonehenge] was specifically designed to cast shadows onto a background of Albion whitewash.