The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #130580   Message #2941253
Posted By: Phil Edwards
07-Jul-10 - 01:21 PM
Thread Name: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
Day 4, and time for something a bit different. The song I'm uploading tonight is Ewan MacColl's "Ballad of accounting".

It's an extraordinarily angry song - angry with the 'you' being addressed as well as, more obviously, with all the people who have kicked 'you' about -

Did you kiss the foot that kicked you,
Thank them for their scorn?
Did you beg for their forgiveness
For the act of being born?

A young man's contempt for his servile elders? Hardly - Ewan was 50 when he wrote this; he must at some level have been thinking of his own generation, and of himself. We all have our accounting to do.

What did you learn in the morning?
How much did you know in the afternoon?
Were you content in the evening?

I love this song, but I'm conscious that it would be a very easy song to do badly, or to overdo. Taking my inspiration from Tony Capstick's version, I try to let the emotion come through but without any fuss, and above all without hanging about. Singing this song is about getting certain things said, not beating one's own radical chest.