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Song about Peter Bellamy

DigiTrad:
AROUND ME BRAVE BOYS
BRISK YOUNG WIDOW
NOSTRADAMUS
OAK, ASH, AND THORN
On Board a 98
THE BARLEY AND THE RYE
THE GOOD LUCK SHIP
THE OLD SONGS
WE HAVE FED OUR SEA FOR A THOUSAND YEARS


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Phil Edwards 26 Oct 15 - 04:33 AM
MGM·Lion 26 Oct 15 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Stuart Estell 26 Oct 15 - 07:41 AM
Phil Edwards 26 Oct 15 - 03:49 PM
Phil Edwards 28 Oct 15 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Ed 28 Oct 15 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Phil 28 Oct 15 - 09:03 AM
Jack Blandiver 29 Oct 15 - 09:15 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Oct 15 - 10:33 AM
Jack Blandiver 29 Oct 15 - 01:58 PM
Phil Edwards 31 Oct 15 - 09:35 AM
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Subject: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 26 Oct 15 - 04:33 AM

At 52 Folk Songs I've put up the lyrics to "One evening in Autumn", a new song about Peter Bellamy and his last days.

I've written some notes on the song & what I was trying to do with it, which you can also read at the same place.

I'm conscious of the potential for a song like this to be insensitive and offensive. I hope I've avoided it, but I'm not the best person to judge. Let me know what you think.


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Oct 15 - 06:38 AM

Tears in my eyes on finishing reading this. He was a dear friend and I have never really got over it. I remember bursting into tears some time after he took himself off, on playing "Death is not the end", exclaiming "Oh yes it bloody well is"; and my late wife Valerie saying, not unsympathetically but a bit puzzled, "Well, whatever are you going to do when I die?". I replied, "Why, I'll cry then too." (& I did of course.)
As for 'letting you know what I think', Phil; to quote your own words back at you, "I'm not the best person to judge" -- was too close to him, I suppose. But I read this with great interest, and a sort of bitter-sweet appreciation of the fact that someone still wants to memorialise a dear long-lost friend. For which I offer you profound thanks.

≈Michael≈


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Stuart Estell
Date: 26 Oct 15 - 07:41 AM

Phil, are you happy for others to take up this song?


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 26 Oct 15 - 03:49 PM

Thanks, Stuart, but I'd rather hang on to it myself for now.

Thankyou for the kind words, Michael. I'm very glad that somebody who knew PB doesn't feel I've travestied his memory.


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 28 Oct 15 - 07:05 AM

I've recorded it - I use the term loosely - and entered it for the Islington FC 'Trad2Mad' competition.

Youtube link

So if you're wondering what the tune is, now you can find out.

The lyrics aren't exactly as shown on my Web site - I've dropped a couple of verses to keep the song under four minutes, and changed the penultimate verse slightly.


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 28 Oct 15 - 07:52 AM

I'd rather hang on to it myself for now

Please don't be so pompous. When a song's out there, it's there for anyone to do with as they see fit.

Sorry if you don't like that, but it is how it is.


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 28 Oct 15 - 09:03 AM

Don't be daft, Ed - Stuart asked politely (and flatteringly!) if I was happy for other people to take the song up. I replied, politely, that for the time being I wasn't. He asked me how I felt, I told him how I felt. I'm not stopping anyone singing the song - as you rightly say, I couldn't if I wanted to. For that matter, I'm not stopping anyone setting it to their own tune, changing the words, turning it into a rap or translating it into Telugu, or all of the above. But if anyone wants to know how I feel about them singing it, the answer is that for the time being I'd rather they didn't. Just till I've had the chance to sing it myself to an audience or two. (Not to be confused with an audience of two.)


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Oct 15 - 09:15 AM

At the Wheeltappers' and Shunters' (sic) or the London Palladium –
Let 'em all forget folk song and forget me as well."


As a bit of a fan of The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club* I might take exception to this, likewise the implication that The Revival has ever been about the people from whom the songs were collected, or that PB himself was in any way concerned with the overarching leftist polemic inherent in The Folk Delusion. Working class culture will always be edgy, incorrect & frowned upon those who consider themselves its betters be they Left or Right. This much is reflected in the songs they made and continue to make as part of a myriad of Living Traditions of truly Popular Music which, in being real, are of no interest whatsoever to your average Folk Enthusiast, who was never that much interested in Peter Bellamy either, nor he in them**.

In any case, The Wheeltappers & Shunters Social Club closed its doors in 1977, the same year as Kew. Rhone., Inedits & God Save the Queen; the same year, indeed, as PB nailed his contemporary colours to the mast with The Transports, though on my signed copy of the original vinyl he's helpfully added a QANTAS flag to that the transport ship.

* I watched it at the time, naturally, with friends & family, but really got in to the re-runs on Granada Gold back in the mid-1990s. Epic, proud & subversively hilarious TV. Happily, there's a lot of it on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=comhKMltqxw

** I have somewhere in my keeping a live recording of a PB gig at Keele University Folk Club circa 1976 in which he praises the bright young things whilst openly dreading his booking at Preston Folk Club the following night.


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 Oct 15 - 10:33 AM

I think he was "concerned with the overarching leftist polemic inherent in The Folk Delusion", inasmuch as he thought it was bollocks. That bit of the song was inspired by an old NME(?) interview with Karl Dallas - not exactly a meeting of minds, as PB spent most of his time slagging off the sub-Donovans, the WMC entertainers and the politicos, while KD spent most of his asking why Bellamy didn't write more of his own songs or play electric guitar.

You're right about the dates, though - I've no real idea what was going on in PB's head in the seventies, but even less of one when it came to 1991.


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Oct 15 - 01:58 PM

You're right about the dates, though

I'm right about the other stuff too. By saying he wasn't concerned I'm saying he thought they were bollocks. He made no secret of that, which, together with the political legacy of his father and his over-fondness for Kipling's particular brand of jingoistic paternalism made people wary to say the least.

I don't know the interview to which you refer but I'd be surprised (& dismayed) if he was referring to the genuine working-class WMC Tradition that we see on W&SSC as oppose to that weird pastiche of it you find in certain regions of the folk world. Bottom line is, in over-estimating both the size and seriousness of the folk scene, not to mention its appreciation & tolerance of his genius, PB managed to piss a lot of people off.

*

My immediate response to the news of PB's tragic & untimely passing was to work up a solo version of William Lawes' Music, the Master of Thy Art is Dead (for John Tomkins, d. 1638) which I sang a couple of times hoping it would be obvious:

Music, the Master of thy Art is dead,
And with him all ravish'd sweets are fled;
then bear a part in thine own Tragedy:
Let's celebrate strange griefs with harmony.
Instead of teares shed on his mournful Hearse
Let's Howle sad notes
Stol'n from his own pure verse
.

Peter Bellamy died on the same day as William Lawes, who met his own untimely end at the Battle of Rowton Heath near Chester 346 years earlier, aged 43.


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Subject: RE: Song about Peter Bellamy
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 31 Oct 15 - 09:35 AM

Let's Howle sad notes
Stol'n from his own pure verse.


I couldn't have put it better myself.


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