The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89365   Message #1686571
Posted By: Wolfgang
06-Mar-06 - 02:38 PM
Thread Name: MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl
Subject: RE: MI5 monitored Ewan MacColl
Another sideline:

J C: His family moved to Salford when he was a few months old

from Peggy Seeger's online biography of MacColl: In 1910 the Millers moved to Salford in search of work.
MacColl was born five years later, in 1915.

Well, I see no one who would not admire what MacColl has done for the music we love. He's a brilliant songwriter, a fine collector of songs, and his contribution to the Radio Ballads will considered outstanding for all times to come.

Now this is a thread about politics and not music, for I doubt the MI5 would have monitored him only for the music part of his life. The interesting point is what his political ideas have to do with his music?

I read J C Much of the discussion around MacColl's politics is totally irrellevent and I read
Akenaton Ewan's love for the music was driven first and foremost by his political philosophy and I read
Greg Stevens MacColl was a fanatastic singer, ideas man and song-writer. ...his politics were indescribably loathsome.

That is (for me) the interesting part of the discussion. Do we have to buy his ideas about politics if we love his music? I think his politics have influenced which he chose to write about (to collect) or not but the brilliance of his songs comes not from his politics but from closely watching and describing everyday life. He's best as a songwriter where he describes (and gives the listener free rein). He's worst where his politics enter into his songwriting (like in the incredibly bad Stalin song).