Jon’s on the money in calling this, “A powerful song from the radio Ballads, I believe. Sung on FSC – despite being a tad wordy for communal singing – the strength of the melody drives it on.”
This is a Ewan MacColl song from the original Radio Ballads that were produced during the late 50s and early 60s and this naturally enough, comes from the one about fishing. A quick diversion to the BBC is recommended if you don’t know anything about these, while Mainly Norfolk has details of the various recordings. There isn’t a mass of detail and there’s more about the 2006 series, but it’s still interesting. I think I’m right in saying that they are all available on CD, although two new ones were broadcast last year aren’t. The format of mixing song and vox pops is effective and can lend extra emotional weight to some very good songs. I think I’ll have to put a set aside as a project for later, or I might download them to my phone. Mind you, the simple tales told without artifice and combined skilfully with music can fair bring a lump to the throat and blubbing on the bus is hardly ideal. There’s a real vérité feel to Ewan’s song and I can visualise boiling seas and oil skins, with the concertina catching the roll and pitch of the boat. It’s also a coming of age song and now a historical memento, adding to the poignancy.
You can buy the February digital album now from all good download stores: