Search Results for: Peter Bellamy

To you, with regard (8)

And the voice said: “This is the hand, the hand that takes…” Location: a busy street in a south Manchester suburb, on a sunny Saturday morning. We see PHIL coming out of a newsagent, a hessian shopping bag in one hand. A passer-by accosts him. VOICE: Phil, could I have a word? PHIL recognises the […]

To you, with regard (3)

Not the Victorian poetry – I’ll get to that soon – but a footnote to part 1. In that post I wrote briefly about the Beatitudes, ‘blessed are they that mourn’ in particular : where the meek inherit the earth and the merciful are shown mercy, what mourners are to be endowed with is ‘comfort’; […]

The times they are hard

I sing Peter Bellamy’s “Us poor fellows” at singarounds occasionally; if you want, you can hear me singing it here. It usually goes down pretty well; it feels like a song for our times – which is a bit disconcerting when you consider that the character singing it was hanged for burglary shortly afterwards. On […]

and the wages are poor

In many ways this doesn’t look like a particularly left-wing song. Look at the second verse: If we could find labour we ne’er would complain We’d work well for a master his favour to gain We’d be honest and faithful with never a stain It’s not exactly “Solidarity Forever”, is it? Right Argument 1: Workers […]

How can a good man keep the wolf from the door?

Twenty-two years ago today, Peter Bellamy took his own life. He was 47. His discography includes three albums made with the seminal vocal group The Young Tradition and (at a rough count) seventeen solo albums, some only released as privately-produced cassettes. Most of his material was traditional; some consisted of his own settings of poetry, […]

Thousands or more

So, what have I been listening to lately? Funny you should ask. Here’s about a year’s worth of recent listening, focusing mainly on new(-ish) releases. It doesn’t seem very long ago that a friend at the local singaround told me that he was thinking of starting a record label. I thought this was a ridiculous […]

Shifting the gear

(Crossposted from 52 Folk Songs and based on comments posted at fRoots.) The Indigo album marks the first quarter of the 52fs year: 13 songs down, 39 to go. With that in mind, here’s a quick retrospective post on the project. Songs posted so far: 34 Traditional songs: 22 Contemporary songs: 12 (authors: Peter Bellamy, […]

Although I’m not rich

I’m a folkie, in a small way. In my teens I was mildly, vaguely into folk – folk-rock, really – until punk happened; I forgot all about it then, and didn’t rediscover it until three or four years ago. By that time I’d been a regular performer at a local folk club for several years, […]

And come to dust

The Belgian radical surrealist journal Les lèvres nues once featured a slogan which I found simultaneously funny, heartbreaking and intensely inspiring: SAVE LIEBKNECHT For someone with my kind of politics, “Remember Liebknecht” would be a great slogan, one to bring a tear to the eye and a clench to the fist; “Avenge Liebknecht”, even. But […]

You are the fairest creature

Listen, if you can (the audio may be taken down before long), to this. It’s one of those traditional tunes that seem to do everything that a tune can or should do, twining around the scale like ivy and resolving back where it started. It’s a particularly fine rendition by Jon Boden, with a harsh, […]

In dark and empty skies

Nineteen years ago today, Peter Bellamy ended his life. I didn’t pay much attention to folk music between about 1976 and 2001, so Bellamy’s death in 1991 passed me by. More to the point, I’m afraid that Bellamy’s career passed me by; I remember hearing one track by his unaccompanied vocal group The Young Tradition, […]