The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53303   Message #822135
Posted By: Bob Bolton
09-Nov-02 - 07:13 AM
Thread Name: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
Subject: RE: DTStudy: Hot Ash-Pelt (Hot Asphalt)
G'day Vectis (and GUEST of 07 Nov),

That first quatrain is from Ewan McColl's rewriting of Hot Asphalt as part of the Radio Ballad Song of a Road (1959). In rewriting the song and giving it a more 'honest' character and "celebrating" the work of the road builders, Ewan was very musch in character as a mamber of the (~) "Workingman's Song" group in the EFDSS.

He (and AL Lloyd) would have seen what they did as 'redeeming' the song and giving it back to its rightful owners. (And I can't disagree that they made a good song of it.) I have a particular affection for Song of a Road, despite Ewan's reservations (eg - they let themselves get snowballed by the Motorways PR people, &c) because:

(a) it was the only Radio Ballad I actually first heard on radio (re-broadcast, around 1968, by the ABC - the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as it was then) and

(b) because I had just been working in the big construction game - Tasmanian Hydro dams, Water supply dams and the Snowy Mts Hydro Scheme ... and many of the characters I knew were clearly identifiable with those in the Radio Ballad.

Certainly, Ewan's Fitter's Song from this Radio Ballad immediately calls up, for me, the image of 'Big Dave' - a Pommy (English) fitter I worked with in Tasmania - and gives me a deeper dimension to the song.


Bob Bolton