The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80784   Message #1476542
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
02-May-05 - 12:54 PM
Thread Name: Why did Ewan MacColl write new songs?
Subject: RE: Why did Ewan MacColl write new songs?
From my own experience I can tell you Ewan and Peggy had a profound respect for the creative process. Not only did they compose songs themselves, they used to encourage others to do so.

They used to run a magazine called New City Songster that songwriters who weren't likely to be picked up by the mainstream music industry could send their songs to. I was very proud when they put one of my songs in their magazine - it was in the same issue as The Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle.

Both Peggy and Ewan were ethnologists by instinct, but first and foremost Ewan was, and Peggy still is, great creative artists both. The tradition was, from their point of view, a great creative opportunity, and I think many of the artists who followed in his footsteps, like Martin Carthy probably still see it as such.

Ewan was also a playwright of great consequence. His works were performed with great frequency during his lifetime behind the Iron Curtain.

Another person who knows lots about Peggy and Ewan and will give you great insights is Ian Campbell, who took part in the Radio Ballads project - and afterwards formed a very successful Birmingham based folk group.

Best of luck with your studies, I really cannot imagine what it must be like to be studying Ewan. he was a very great man (we all knew that at the time), but I never really thought of him as a subject for university students to study - he was too much fun - he wore his great achievements and knowledge VERY light heartedly.

all the best

big Al Whittle