The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159330 Message #3853850
Posted By: Jim Carroll
08-May-17 - 05:41 AM
Thread Name: Ewan Maccoll - Atheist or Religious?
Subject: RE: Ewan Maccoll - Atheist or Religious?
There is an arrogance of all religions that assumes that if you didn't believe in (their) god, you didn't believe in anything - not true, of course.
Ewan certainly had no time for gods, spirits, blind beliefs based on faith rather than reason.... but I don't think I ever met anybody with such strong beliefs - in humanity, its potential and its achievements - that is pretty well what he dedicated his life to, politically and artistically
His pride in folk song, the voice of the people, as far as he was concerned, was the first thing you noticed whenever you got into serious conversation with him - that was as strong as it ever was right up to his death.
His own songs reflected his humanity - the best of them were based on interviews and conversations with 'ordinary' people (a term he hated as much as I do - there are no 'ordinary people')
Nobody 'sat around his feet' - he would have hated it if they had.
He was presented with the opportunity to create that situation in the early sixties when he was asked to hold "classes" for less experienced singers.
He refused and instead, proposed a self-help group working on each others singing - the was what 'The Critics Group' was.
It achieved what it did largely though his influence, but that's a different matter.
Mike mentioned Mike Grosvenor Myer - a fine example of a critical admirer of Ewan - warts and all.
Iv'e argued this before, but I believe it to be narrow-visioned to reject MacColl's work and ideas because of flaws in his character, perceived or real.
That's like rejecting the Theory of Relativity if someone told you Einstein picked his nose.
I passionately hope I live long enough to see MacColl's ideas discussed seriously without the trivia