Jon Says “This goes quite well as a pair with The Lock Keeper – summing up the sadness of having to work away from home. Ewan MacColl has perhaps been somewhat underrepresented in this project. What a great song writer he was.”
I did make the point the other day that Ewan didn’t seem to provide much commentary on the songs he recorded and in that respect, as a voice he’s rarely if ever quoted throughout this project. I wonder if any of you out there saw him perform and whether he was similarly disinclined, as I get the sense of a man who let the songs do the talking. He was, as Jon points out, a considerable song-smith in his own right and this was written for his Radio Ballad series and included in the Song Of A Road, broadcast in 1959. I love the way that the opening line seems to dictate the length of the song and can imagine this working very well in context. Both those late 50’s/early 60’s broadcasts and the more recent set from 2006 are available on CD. Last year’s ballad about the miners is also about to be made available to buy as a download in the near future, although not on CD. I don’t know whether any of you caught it, but it’s incredibly powerful stuff and the mix of song and interview remains faithful to Ewan’s original concept. I found myself quite overcome when listening to it. Anyway, you might like to link here at the Beeb for some more info on the ballad – invaluable little time capsules all of them.