A Pilgrims Way


Here we are with the Kipling /Bellamy combination again and Jon says, “A bit on the wordy side but worth it for the refrain. Last verse bit the dust though…”

An interesting poem given a suitably hymnal setting by Bellamy, although despite addressing The Lord it adopts a Humanist, if not somewhat agnostic tone. I suppose there’s a touch of the carpe diem about it too, altbeit tempered by a humility that verges on the self deprecating. It certainly takes an optimistic line on mankind’s mores, which could be debateable. I think what I like about this and some of the other Kipling poems is the way that humanity rises to the top above any sense of orthodoxy. Kipling is clearly a complex and controversial subject and perhaps another project for later. Mainly Norfolk is a good source of all things Bellamy so the best place to check out the poem, including the missing bit.

You can buy the February digital album now from all good download stores.


22 Responses to “A Pilgrims Way”

  1. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    Excellent………….what a philosophy…..what a pleasant fellow….how am I going to learn all those words!

  2. Shelley says:

    Fantastic song!

  3. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    So good, I appear to have said it thrice!

  4. Simon says:

    Muzza I’ve deleted one of them and I hope that I hope doesn’t affect any future comments, but I’ll keep an eye on things.

  5. Helen says:

    A wonderful song and beautifully sung. What lovely diction – a real treat to listen to this!

  6. John Phipps says:

    Pete and Mick played the Finest Kind version as a request from me on their lamentably gone Folkwaves program including their last show. Though Canadian (sort off) they really caught the spirit of Kipling and Bellamy with their version.

  7. Simon Dewsbury says:

    But when I meet with frantic folk who sinfully declare
    There is no pardon for their sin, the same I will not spare
    Till I have proved that Heaven and Hell which in our hearts we have
    Show nothing irredeemable on either side the grave.

    this verse reminds me a bit of Chis Wood’s ‘Come down Jehovah’, on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiVdtEWkqD0

    But I can see why Jon ditched the last verse.

  8. Joe Fineman says:

    I like the humorous touches — he rejoices in the devilkins as well as in the saints; and he has “sometimes pulled it off”.

    As one of the frantic folk who find themselves irredeemable, I miss the last verse, especially the first two lines, which always make me catch my breath:

    Deliver me from every pride — the Middle, High, and Low —
    That bars me from a brother’s side, whatever pride he show.

    That can stand by itself as a moral aphorism.

  9. Muzza(NW Surrey.UK) says:

    Ref the Mainly Norfolk Youtube link….how on earth does the young lady remember all those words………..I can barely remember my name!
    Hang on….Matron!…Matron!

  10. Diana says:

    I was expecting to know this one but it is not the one on Jon’s CD just a similiar title. Nicely done as to be expected and of course with Kipling’s words – now that is poetry.

    Just been on Mainly Norfolk and all ok so back to printing lyrics for my collection.

    She probably has a good memory Muzza rather like me fortunately. It’s the short term memory that is usually the trouble- one cannot remember where one was yesterday but can dredge up recollections from years ago. Strange isn’t it?

  11. Reynard says:

    Lucy Wright is a wonderful singer. This song is one of my favourites from the last year and I think it’s a pity that Pilgrims’ Way didn’t win the Horizon Award at the recent Radio 2 Folk Awards. But then there were four very strong contenders and sadly only one of them could win…

    By the way, there is a very nice video of Pilgrims’ Way’s way to the Folk Awards. Tom and Edwin are piloting their canal boat while Lucy is probably sitting in the boat’s cabin memorising the words for “A Pilgrims’ Way”.

  12. Diana says:

    That was a lovely trip up the Bridgewater Canal but so much ice. As for the Lowry hoping to get tickets to see Bellowhead there. Tickets go on sale on the 24th of this month but they do not appear until 18th Novemebr. Crumbs that a long time to wait.

  13. Muzza(NW Surrey.UK) says:

    @Reinhard………thanks for the canal boat link…..looks like the ideal training for would be Goalkeepers and pole vaulters!

  14. Diana says:


  15. Linda says:

    Another Kipling/Bellamy , Jon always seem to get these spot on.

  16. Muzza (N.W.Surrey-UK) says:

    @Diana……..aha-there you are…..CAPITAL to see you back.

  17. Diana says:

    Muzza I have finally caught up and what a welcome – CAPITAL don’t tell me I mispelt the other day. You cannot be serious!

    Nice song though.

  18. John Bryson says:

    I have heard various artists perform this Kipling/Bellamy work. I think it is a great song, and in my humble opinion Jon’s version is superb. Yet again I repeat myself, but great to have AFSAD back

  19. Linda says:

    Just followed Reynard.s link from 2012 interesting 10 minutes watching canal boats breaking through the ice.. As usual really enjoy listening to Jon singing Kipling/Bellamy

  20. Rob says:

    Heard Lucy Wright and co. perform this some years ago at the now sadly defunct Halfpenny Folk Club at Llanrhidian on Gower. Very impressed, bought the album, learned the song, and have performed it myself on occasion. Lucy’s version differs slightly, but possibly deliberately, from Kipling’s original.

  21. Linda says:

    Love a Kipling/Bellamy sung by Jon

  22. OldMuzza(NWSurrey Uk) says:

    Lindy Lou….beeeeeeHaaaaave,…..you are hedge hopping again!( 19th indeed)
    I’ll bet you open all your advent caledar windows at once!
    (Oooooer..today is 21st!)

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