Dig My Grave


Jon simply names his source as, “Also from The McGarrigle Hour album.” This seems likely to be a spiritual and that may have some roots in The Bahamas. You can read more on Mudcat here. It’s a simple enough folk-hymn, that may have it’s roots in something older, but this Wiki page about spirituals is interesting and suggests that might not have been the case. It’s also interesting that The Weavers recorded a version on a record called Songs For Political Actions, suggesting that this in some way became politicised, perhaps identified with the Civil Rights Movement. Although I guess that the sentiment, which seems to be accepting of death and subsequent heavenly promotion, suggests that God and righteousness are indeed on the side of the singer. Whatever his or her fate the moral high ground is claimed. Having just found the CD on my shelf, I note that the McGarrigles’ version is arranged by Chaim Tannenbaum who is described as a “musical playmate of Kate & Anna’s since schooldays.” The notes for the track make clear reference to the Bahamian origins, “learned form a favourite Sam Charters anthology.” It also claims that it was a regular in their set “as a showcase for Chaim’s extraordinary singing.” I promised myself I’d play the CD the last time the Kate & Anna came up, I shall do so this evening.

You can buy the October digital album now from all good download stores:


11 Responses to “Dig My Grave”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by folkandroots, Jon Boden. Jon Boden said: Latest Post: : Dig My Grave http://www.afolksongaday.com/2010/10/30/dig-my-grave/ […]

  2. muzza says:

    Just what the “Grim faction” needed to set them up for a jolly Halloween weekend.

  3. Jane Ramsden says:

    Sentiments just a tadge too dark a reflection of the realities of the day for me! I like my Halloween to be a bit more parkin pleasurable and pumpkinny than this! With the odd cat flung in, of course, given I’ve 12. But sung nice and steady, Jon, and not too doleful.

  4. Reinhard says:

    I just had a delicious pumpkin and parsnip soup for an early supper, well suited for this weekend. Now I’m feeling mellow and don’t need to dig my grave at all. But I’m still enjoying listening to Jon 😉

  5. Jane Ramsden says:

    Happy Halloween one and all, despite the doleful song. This pumpkin pic will bring a smile to yer faces:


  6. Diana says:

    Yes a really doleful song, but short.

    Jane, your picture of the squirrel in a pumpskin was also in “The Mail on Sunday” and it certainly brought a smile to my face.

  7. Jan says:

    Thanks, Jane, for Squirrel Pumpkin – it did make me smile – and I’m with you on the parkin (and cats) for Halloween! Can’t be doing with all that trick-or-treat stuff.

  8. Diana says:

    Short but not so sweet.

  9. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    In the UK…….I hope that you all remember to put your clocks back an hour as British Summer time ends at 2am Sunday 31st early morning.

  10. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Dig mine short and wide…. we ain’t all as tall and gangly as our Jon
    Yes yes….. My clocks are done…so I appear to have been up since 5am this morning rather than 6…..weird ain’t it…why the heck don’t we stick to GMT.
    Mind you…when I were a lad during the war…we had double summertime…that was even weirder (that was WW11 rather than the Boer war – before you comment Yorkshire Jane!)

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