“Folkways Record Of Contemporary Songs” by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - album review

TJR says

Philisophical album opener “The Ballad Of Accounting” reminds us there's more to life than working; don't forgot to dream, to wonder, to marvel at all the beautiful landmarks from the cradle to the grave. And so the tone is set for this contemporaneous set for the here and now, reflected in the lyrics and in the musical style. Immediately thereafter “We Don’t Want To Live Like That!” bites hard at those who fail to use their power usefully: “We've learned to question everything we've been told, by learned men who have been bought and sold, their detachments only a damned excuse, to sit back on their arse and be no use, while the neck of the world's fitted for the noose, WE DON'T WANT TO LIVE LIKE THAT!” Hear, hear. Sharpness of tongue is a recurring feature on this terrific LP. Speaking of side one's haunting closer, “The Children”, Peggy says in her liner notes: “Dedicated to the countless children whose faces we have seen looking out from the Oxfam and Shelter appeals, from the newsreels and newspapers. Also dedicated to those who continue to see those faces and look away.”

Side two is even better. “The Campaneros” was written after a visit to Cuba in 1968 and celebrates Cuba's liberation in 1958, where the peasants overthrew the gangsters: “Against Batista, the Fidelistas, courage was their only armour as they fought at Fidel's side with Che Guevara.” The latin-esque guitar seals the deal on this fantastic piece. Equally fab is the down-home “Bufallo Holler”, flavoured by banjo and a yearning Appalachian vocal from Peggy. Experts had warned that heavy rain could bust the slate dam in Buffalo Creek under the management of the Pittston Coal Company. 150 folks were drowned and 10 towns washed away when the expected happened on February 26th, 1972. Peggy takes no prisoners: “Pittston called it an act of God - I call it an act of Man.” Closing the album is the wholly beautiful combination of Ewan and Peggy's harmonizing with the latter's AutoHarp - I'm a sucker for it everytime and “Darling Annie” is top drawer, finishing the LP in a swell of positivity. Annie doesn't need a wedding ring to prove a point: “For it's love, love will hold us, love is everything, who could dream of anything that's better? Not the vow, not the string, not the golden wedding ring, just you love, you and me together.

The best Ewan MacColl LP.

The Jukebox Rebel
18-Aug-2018


A1 [02:36] 6.8.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - The Ballad Of Accounting (Ewan MacColl) Folk
A2 [01:36] 7.7.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - We Don’t Want To Live Like That! (Ewan MacColl) Folk
A3 [01:52] 7.0.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Black And White (Ewan MacColl) Folk
A4 [02:23] 7.2.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Cut-Price Hero [1973 version] (Ewan MacColl) Folk
A5 [03:10] 7.4.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Lament For The Death Of A Nobody (Traditional, Ewan MacColl) Folk
A6 [02:20] 6.6.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Nightshift (Peggy Seeger) Folk
A7 [01:35] 5.8.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Jimmy Gray (Peggy Seeger) Folk
A8 [01:25] 7.9.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - The Children (Peggy Seeger) Folk
B1 [03:59] 7.6.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Nightmare (Ewan MacColl) Folk
B2 [04:25] 7.4.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - The Shellback Song (Ewan MacColl) Folk
B3 [04:06] 8.5.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - The Campaneros (Ewan MacColl) Folk
B4 [03:31] 8.3.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Bufallo Holler (Peggy Seeger) Folk
B5 [04:18] 7.0.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Song Of Myself (Peggy Seeger) Folk
B6 [02:42] 6.9.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Yankee Doodle (Traditional, Ewan MacColl) Folk
B7 [01:47] 6.9.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Look At You! (Ewan MacColl) Folk
B8 [04:10] 9.3.png Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl - Darling Annie (Peggy Seeger) Folk




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